Tag Archives: reasons for travel

When You Should NOT Drop Everything and Travel

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Photo via Les Haines via Flickr

Like me, well-meaning travel writers and bloggers promote why you should go off and travel. And, more like me, at times you have to weigh the balance of measuring spending money on experiences – and what your decision can cost you.

Recently, journalist Chelsea Fagan penned a great piece about the notion of choosing the experience of continuous travel and financial risks that come with it on her personal blog, “The Financial Diet.” Fagan examines the viewpoint that (especially younger) people have about long-term travel as being a must-do, don’t worry about money experience. Whether they have it or not.

In her piece, Fagan talks about an internet, well-to-do acquaintance that decides to get her master’s degree in Europe because it’s an “opportunity to learn and expand her mind. Fagan also points out that her friend’s “opportunity” won’t really guarantee anything but that her friend can take that risk due to having a financial safety net.

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Photo by frankieleon via Flickr

While Fagan does admit she has done some modest travel, she is pretty sound about how putting yourself in a monetary bind to travel “just because” adds up. I definitely agree with Fagan about not putting your financial future in jeopardy, yet I have to challenge her on this sentence: “Traveling for the sake of travel is not an achievement, nor is it guaranteed to make anyone a more cultured, nuanced person.”

As someone who travels for business and personal reasons, my experiences have been rewarding and enlightening. They’ve also resulted from choices; not privilege. Having come from a hard-working family, I fund my travels through different means of income. In my twenties and thirties, I held part-time retail jobs along with my full-time office one, did a unique but well-paid pet sitting gig, and parting with unneeded but still valuable junk. I gave up weekends to work and spent money when necessary (like toothpaste and gas).

Now in my forties and more self-employed, I have to admit that travel can cost me in some ways. Sometimes I’ve had to pass on a freelance assignment due to being away on one. Or as I give my ongoing clients my travel schedule, I do worry that maybe a day might come where they won’t need me anymore. Plus there’s the other side of this debate: regret. Or maybe FOMO. Or my fear of looking back as a sad, old woman who wished she did more with her life.

And though I’m dealing with a financial pinch right now, I have to say that I wouldn’t trade in my experiences for anything else. I also agree with Fagan in that being able to travel, or not, doesn’t mean that a person is any less, but I do think people should pursue this opportunity if they have the chance, and means to. Maybe it can’t be right away or in the way that you want, but do what you can without breaking your bank.

Just don’t sound like this person.

Here’s Why I Go Places… And You Should Too

July starts this Monday (in the U.S., that is) and I’ll be getting ready to leave for upcoming excursions. While I’m going to keep quiet about where I’m heading for now, I want to use this post to encourage you to get out there too.

Maybe you want to explore Europe by rail or go backpacking through Southeast Asia. Or even trek off the map to remote places (I don’t know if even I could do that). Or perhaps you’re content with seeing more of your home country. To all of you, I say, “Just. Go.”

Doing it? Great!

Hesitant. Why?

Can’t. Why not?

399710_4325971780202_280524651_nIt’s understandable that many of us are putting off the idea of traveling right now, or not even considering it. The job market is still shaky, layoffs still happen, and wallets are getting tighter. I know and have met many people who have been impacted by the current economy. And I have been too.

So, why still encourage travel? Well, first, travel is not only about taking week-long vacations or booking a hotel or flight reservation. Or feverishly surfing through third-party search engines for discounts and package deals (well, it’s a good idea). Rather, travel can be about exploring your surroundings or discovering new venues or locations. It’s just that simple.

And also that’s why I decided to name my blog, “She Is Going Places.”

Here are my other reasons for “going”:

– You learn more about the place you live in. How many people actually see much of their town, city, or even state/region? It’s like living in New York City and never going to the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building.

– You can recharge your batteries. When you’re unemployed or in a rut, being out and about can be good for your well-being.

– You develop a better sense of direction. For me, it’s a work in progress.

– Your self-confidence gets a boost.

– Most often, you can choose where, when and how you want to go.

– Your possibilities are limitless. Going to festivals, shows and other events counts.

– You discover new venues or attractions and/or give longtime places a second look.

– You have a great reason to get together with friends or relatives. (Having someone that is open to trying new things with you is best.) However, don’t be afraid to venture out on your own.

So, please get out there. Thanks.