The 5 most common excuses that stop you from travelling (more)

Stop!
Stop it right now I say!
If you use the words ‘I’, ‘always’ and ‘busy’ in one sentence more than you would like to (unless it’s a sentence such as: ‘Stop being busy all the time and come relax with me, like I always try to do.’) and you feel as if your lifestyle and all your work is standing in your way to travel more often, then read this!

Keep your mind open! And look around you, you don’t have to go far to travel, I’m still pleasantly surprised about the beauty of nature and the cities in my own country and it’s geographically the size of a towel! ๐Ÿ˜€

‘I don’t have time’, together withย ‘I have work to do’

Let’s break this down, shall we?
There are 24 hours in one day. If you value your health, you make sure you spend around 7 to 8 hours sleeping. I get way too little sleep, being a night owl, the intention is good, the execution would be great if I was able to get up at 10 AM every day.

Let’s say you’re working or studying full time and this takes up to 10 hours. Yes, 10 hours. Working 9-5 = 8 hours, getting there (if you are not lucky enough to be able to work from home or live close by) takes time too. In my case, it takes me 1 hour from door to door to get to Brussels, and that’s quite enough. And this is centre of Brussel, which means it’s conveniently located. My 1st job required me to be on the road to/from work for 3 hours in total, I would never do that again. I would even turn down an amazing job if it takes me too long to get there. I’m a modern, Generation Y employee, I value my time. Being flexible works in both ways. And I’m not even talking about work-life balance, there is no such thing. Your work is part of your life, I hope nobody has to spend 8 hours in a place where they feel they can’t be themselves. And please don’t see life as one continuous stretch of work. There is working time and relaxing time, you are entitled of doing nothing that could potentially make the world a better place, unless this of course is your idea of ‘relaxation’. ๐Ÿ™‚

Trust me, sometimes you just need to take some Me-time. I know what I’m talking about here. Last year, December 2015, I launched a brand new website at work, having calls with IT guys in India untill 8 PM, only to go home to do some more renovation work on my house. I never appreciated our sofa more, just sit down and watch ‘Ink Master’ on tv.

too much work.jpg

Same thing with ‘multitasking‘, there is no such thing, you know.
Imagine the concept of doing several things at the same time with early humans:

They got hungry, so they went hunting. They found prey, they worked together to catch it. The guy that was supposed to stay down low in the tall grass to make sure the prey could not get away, decided that, since he had some time waiting for his buddies, in the meanwhile he could cut some grass for tonight’s fire and pick some berries to bring home. Sounds extremely productive. Right until he got run over by the same prey he was supposed to stop.

Moral of theย story is: FOCUS on ONE thing at a time if you want QUALITY, if you do too much at the same time, you will not only loose quality but it will also make you go crazy in the coconut. ๐Ÿ˜€ย When you are at work, work, when you are not working, you are not working.

Let’s say, 2 hours for cooking and eating and 1 hour extra to do things that you just need to do, such as paying taxes (unfortunately, but hey, that’s just the way it is). Then there is time left to prepare (preparation is already half the job) your next trip, you have the full 3ย hours a day to do it. And when you study, you have spring and summer holidays, when you work, you have legal days off, official holidays and 52 weekends. They might not be a lot, but as soon as you can go, you can, since you already have your plan made up.

If you have small kids and you don’t want to take them with you on your trip, you might want to look out for child-friendly alternatives. You would be surprised how many destinations are great for families with small children. And ask family or friends to take care of your pets. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

‘I have nobody to join me’

Don’t be a shy sheep and go the f* by yourself. I’m always nervous the 1st day, but I get over this feeling pretty quickly (and I was very shy once ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and if you’re more curious than scared, great adventures await!
Nothing more to say about that one, a lot has been said and written about the advantages of travelling solo: it’s not sad, it’s empowering. They are true, so the only thing I will add here are the links of useful articles.

http://solotravelerblog.com/travel-alone/
http://www.fodors.com/news/10-reasons-to-travel-alone-11387
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/09/11/why-solo-travel-is-the-way-to-go/#7bdf68ac68da
http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-countries-for-solo-travelers
http://www.nomadicmatt.com/female-travel-tips/

femalesafety001.jpg

‘I don’t have the money’

You might not have the travel funds right now, but you can change that, depending on how much you want it.ย Just keep doing what you love, but in a different way. It’s usually all about setting priorities.

  • Take one thing you buy often that you might love, but not as much as you love to travel, and stop buying it until you have reached your target. To keep you going, you can still buy it, but lower the frequency from once a day/week to once every month. For example: your lunch at work, a coffee, gum, …
  • Love to go out on Friday or Saturday? No problem, but here is a huge saving tip: drink at home or even in the car when you have arrived at your destination (you can NOT be the driver if the drinks are alcoholic, obviously :D) together with friends and see it as the opportunity to catch up first and then go out dancing. If you are more a fan of going to cafรฉs and bars, order once instead of twice, don’t order snacks. Sorry cafรฉs, but the cost of having a drink in a Belgian cafรฉ is just getting more and more expensive every year and it’s always the same anyway. If you live in your own home, make it cosy, buy the drinks (Belgian beer, oh yes) you like in a store, drink them at home. You can also invite friends to come over.
  • Use the tools available, sites such as Skyscanner, Google Flights, TripAdvisor, Trivago, … can help you find good deals. A good deal means more money to do other nice things. And book either really early (airplane tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday!) or really late if you have no preferences on where you want to go.
  • Open a separate bank account. If you have difficulties saving money for a next trip and do some ‘automatic saving’. Easy to do so yourself when you’re internetbanking.
  • Shop only during sales season. Living in Belgium and working right next to the main shopping street of Brussels, I only buy clothes in January or July, unless of course I really need something. Also, patience can pay off, as you can see here:

‘I don’t know where to travel to at the moment,
I just can’t decide’

If you don’t know where you want to go yet, you’re actually very lucky! Want to leave soon: check out any last minutes on cheap tickets and hotels that don’t want to be stuck with empty beds. This might be ideal to let you travel somewhere you didn’t think of before. “Return flight from Brussels to Riga and a couple of nights in a nice but still cheap hostel? Don’t mind if I do!” Or why not book a trip to Lake Ohrid in Macedonia? When you click on ‘destinations’ in Google Flights, after you’ve selected your departure airport it will show you the prices of the most important cities.

destinations google flights.PNG

Usually, you will already have a certain destination in mind, my personal bucket list consists of 50 items and the list is not complete. Always on the lookout for new experiences? ๐Ÿ™‚ Then planning is your friend, once you know when you can go, start looking for tickets (train, airplane, ferry, …) and don’t book right away, but keep an eye on the prices and set alarms. Skyscannerย for example can notify you when there are price changes. And useย Google Flightsย to look for the best flights.

Keep your mind open! And look around you, you don’t have to go far to travel, I’m still pleasantly surprised about the beauty of nature and the cities in my own country and it’s geographically the size of a towel! ๐Ÿ˜€

Enjoy reading, saving and planning!

karen Signature

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