So you’re sat at your desk, squinting from the glare of the halogen lights bouncing off every gleaming surface around you, thinking about that email you want to be writing to your boss handing in your notice saying thanks but you’re off to live in the wilderness a la Emile Hirsh (minus the ending), when you receive an email that your next mortgage payment is due and your day dream evaporates before your eyes; that glorious sun fades, the exotic creatures scatter and you’re back in your woolly jumper that you knew would itch you today but threw on anyway.
Your inner monologue begin: “you’re 32 now anyway; it’s too late to go travelling; you’ve bought a house and spent years building a career; you can’t spend that money you’ve saved, you’ll have nothing left; it’s for rich kids who don’t have to worry about work. Oh well”.
Yes, it will be harder to make that initial decision to up and leave but it’s not impossible to make it work.
Chances are you’ll probably fall into one of three categories:
- You’ve done some travelling before when you were younger but have fallen into the routine of work, life, bills and you need to break from the monotony of life.
- You’ve always liked the idea of going travelling but are worried about doing it alone.
- You’ve had an epiphany (usually brought on by a break up or life changing event) and want to take on every experience the world has to offer.
I’ve fallen into all three categories at various points in my life.
BUT, the same worries keep entering your mind:
- MONEY – if it’s a concern now then it will always be a concern no matter where you are in the world. It’s hard thinking about spending the small pot of savings you’ve managed to accumulate over the last few years but if you aren’t going to spend it on something that you want to do, then what are you saving it for? If you have no answer to that question or your answer involves a retirement plan that is due to kick-in in 40 years’ time, my response is; you can always save more.
Plus, there are multiple ways that you can make money online whilst you travel, so you can keep yourself ticking over and not delve too deep into your money pot. House & bills tying you to a place? Why not rent out your property to cover these and make a little on top to fund a trip or two whilst you are away. A little organisation before you fly off to your first destination could be the first step on a new way of living.
- CAREER – you’ve spent the last 10 years working your way through the low paying, crappy jobs to roughly where you want to be (give or take an annoying colleague, difficult boss and a few missing zeros on your wage slip). If you leave now, you’ll be jeopardising your future; you’ll feel guilty for the money your parents spent on your education; you’ll have to start all over again when (if) you come back; all the hours of hard work and qualifications will be wasted. Not necessarily. The majority of employers are wise to the experiences which are available to us fellow humans and are often much more open to employing people with life experience. Learn how to sell your break in employment as a positive and you will have no problem picking up where you left off. You can even use the break as a way to enhance your career. Take on an online role which allows you to transition skills and network in new areas.
- RELATIONSHIPS – single and 30 something? Urgh, stop asking about relationships. Far too much focus is put on being a singleton outside of your twenties. There are numerous reasons why you may not be in a relationship both by and not by choice. Taking time out to travel will allow for a healing process, time for reflection and an introspective view. Taking some me time is healthy, super healthy and not done enough in our busy lifestyles. If you are open to a new relationship then you are much more likely to meet someone who is on the same wavelength as you, has the same interests and is on the same path whilst adventuring then you will sticking to your same routine just in case the right person sits next to you on the train at the right time.
You may already be in a relationship, short-term or long-term and are worried about how travelling may impact this. That’s a valid concern, but if you don’t go then you won’t know, and surely going and it working or even not working is better than staying at home regretting not going, then resenting your partner for it and it not working anyway?
- SOLO TRAVEL – The prospect of travelling to a foreign country by yourself can be daunting for many people, especially the introverts amongst us. Having travelled to a number of countries by myself, I appreciate the wave of angst which can wash over a person when booking a trip or arriving in a country alone. Please don’t be put off by this feeling – it will pass and you will benefit in so many ways by travelling by yourself. Read my post on solo travel here.
- AGE – life does not stop when you pass 29, in fact for many it is just when you are ready to start living fully. You’ve got the skills, confidence and experience to travel, work and absorb a new way of life. The gap year cliché of how-to-do university graduates is fast disappearing and being replaced with open-minded individuals of all ages. Of course, you will come across plenty of the younger generation whilst travelling but there is room for everyone. A surge in organised tours for the over thirties brings with a it a breath of fresh air and takes a weight off the shoulders who those wanting to travel without being viewed as “the old one” tagging along in an 18-30 group. As they say, ‘age is just a number, baby’.
Whatever the reason for not taking the time to adventure, an answer can be found to overcome it. The only thing usually standing in the way is you. Take a step back and it will undoubtedly propel you forward.