Gone are the days when you could pack a backpack full of snacks, disposable cameras, and a few maps before you were on your way to an indefinite trip around the world. Wait, were those days ever here? Unless you are Anthony Bourdain or Sir Richard Branson, those days were probably never yours. However, traveling the world and finding new adventures every day doesn’t have to be a pipe dream and you certainly don’t have to put those dreams off until retirement. Of course, sometimes it pays to be an armchair traveler, especially when you are planning or have to work to save your money. But a bold future awaits you!
But first, let me warn you: this is not a get rich quick scheme that will have you on the first flight out to Bangalore. On the contrary, this article will offer three small but mighty suggestions to help you work towards your goal of ice climbing in New Zealand, spelunking in Turkey, or skydiving in Switzerland. Yes, you’ll have to utilize patience and no, you don’t get to board a plane tomorrow. But hey, it’s better than only talking about your plans, right?
Plan ahead, at least financially
Planning often takes the fun out of things, doesn’t it? Like John Lennon said, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. On one hand, Lennon has a point. If you’re always just talking about making that trip to Asia, you will only end up doing just that…talking about it! On the other hand, if you consider your travels a far-off reality that will eventually just happen, you’re wrong on that front, too.
Figure out where’d you like to travel, what kind of cultures you want to explore, and then set yourself a goal and budget to make it there. Since you’re working towards a goal you already have in mind, your motivation to save money for your trip and organize itineraries will be that much stronger. And when the day finally comes that you’re packing yours bags, you will feel the reward you have worked so hard for.
Monetize your adventures
Ever wonder how professional travelers, like Seth Kugel of the New York Times, came to be? Do you envy anybody featured in National Geographic or any of the countless travel bloggers out there? Maybe it’s time you take a hint from these “lucky” pros. There’s an old saying that if you’re good at something, don’t do it for free.
The same rule should apply to travel and adventure! Just like you, there are hundreds of thousands of people just yearning to read about the world’s exotic locations and foreign traditions. And professional travelers, like Seth Kugel, realized this very important fact…and capitalized on it! If you’re going to travel, why not find a way to support yourself in the meantime?
Creating a blog and finding advertisers and sponsors is one way to get started. Investing some time in learning to use that digital camera your parents gave you years ago is another way to get your career as a professional traveler started. Or you can always do what Indiana Jones did…but then again, that might be a little more dangerous than my first two suggestions.
Network like crazy
I have a simple question for you, and yes, it’s rhetorical. Why do you even want to travel? Is it because you want to see the remnants of the Berlin Wall? Or maybe it’s because you long to sit under the White Nights of St. Petersburg? While you might have specific sites and activities that are calling your name, the underlying cause of wanderlust is always one thing: the people.
Seven billion people in this world, and you only know a couple hundred? It’s no surprise that the travel bug has bitten just about every one of us! And the best part about this is that people in other parts of the world want to meet people like you, too! Therefore, one of the best things you can do prior to, during, and after your adventures is to network.
Meet people, befriend them, and stay in touch. Not only will your new allies be able to share their adventures with you, but they might have a friend in Nepal you can stay with. Or perhaps they’re interested in that South America tour, too…and suddenly your expenses are cut in half. You really never know what doors can open when meeting new people, so even if you are only just traveling to see the Great Wall of China, it can’t hurt to know a friend or two along the way.
Gina Vinnitsky is a SEO Copywriter working with Independent Skydive Company, a leading skydive facility in Colorado offering tandem jumps and skydiving certification.