I have to admit, with somewhat of a swelling up of pride, that I really love it when my colleagues at the office introduce me to new clients and supplier reps as The World Traveler. They’ll emit a slight snicker as they send the ‘newbies’ over to my desk to view the umpteen or so photographs that adorn the top and sides of my dual computer screens.
Perhaps it’s with a tinge of envy, or maybe just a bite of sarcasm, but it couldn’t please me more. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my globe-trotting exploits with my friends – or with total strangers.
Because for me, travel is a lifestyle. It’s part of my life routine. I gauge the passage of time in weeks or months, whatever marks the next opportunity for travel.
While we want to take the next step and travel RTW, right this moment, my family and I have chosen not to leave everything behind—home, job, college tuition saving—for that ultimate quest.
Now, that doesn’t mean that a long-term trip isn’t in the cards for us in a couple of years, but in the meantime, I can still get my travel fix and create a travel lifestyle for my family and I. I tell people all the time — those people who whimper about having too many expenses to be able to afford to travel — “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”
I tell them that if they want to see the world, they’d better get going. Waiting until retirement yawns may simply be too late.
Sure, it’s a cliché. But it’s also a truism. In the next breath, I tell them that if they want to see the world, they’d better get going. Waiting until retirement yawns may simply be too late…because for the many of us, no matter how well we plan, we may not have the means or the good health that we’ll need for all those exotic adventures topping our bucket list. And that’s another truism.
So don’t sell yourself short, thinking that short-term bouts of travel “don’t count,” while you’re contemplating and planning for the big one – those round the world exploits. They count. The one-day adventure to a new theme-park with the kids…the overnighter in a nearby city with your husband to rekindle the fires of romance…the week-end getaway to visit your grandparents out-of-town…or the two-week castle-hunting extravaganza through Europe that you’ve been planning for years…they all count as travel.
Throw in as many of them into a 12-month span as you can, and you, too, can live the traveler lifestyle. Let those 365 days in every year glide along, in anticipation of the next great advenrture. For me, it’s the thrill of planning that I enjoy so much. It’s that educational process of locating exciting places around the world, and then honing my skills to figure out exactly how to turn those dreams into a feasible reality. I’m always up for a good challenge.
For me, it’s the thrill of planning that I enjoy so much. It’s that educational process of locating exciting places around the world, and then honing my skills to figure out exactly how to turn those dreams into a feasible reality.
There are innumerable reasons to travel. Here are a dozen for you to ponder:
- Expand your horizons. Visit places you’ve only read about in books. If you find a photograph in a magazine of a breathtaking alpine lake or a golden sunset reflecting across an exquisite meadow of flowers flanked by snowy mountain ridges, cut it out. Tape it to your refrigerator. Plan to make it there someday. I put aside two gorgeous color photos that I tore out of a calendar many years ago—both of magnificent waterfalls. One was Gullfoss, in Iceland, and the other was Iguazu Falls, in Argentina/Brazil. My family and I spent ten amazing days in Iceland in 2011, during Spring Break, and we saw that thundering cascade from the picture. It was one of the highlights of my traveling experience. As for Iguazu—well, that waterfall’s still on the list and pending for the very near future.
- Discover ancient or primitive cultures.
- Make the world your global classroom.
- Meet new people.
- Learn new languages, or at the very least, a few words in the language of every country you visit.
- Explore nature’s wonders.
- Marvel at man’s masterpieces.
- Learn to appreciate the world’s differences.
- Spend quality time with your family as you wander the world.
- Never stop believing that there’s still more to learn, more to discover, more to explore, and go after it long as you can. It’ll help to keep yourself young and your mind alert.
- Make a wish list of all the places you’ve ever dreamed of visiting and experiences you hope to have, then make them a reality.
- Bring home a “souvenir” from every place you visit, whether it’s an inexpensive trinket or an extravagantly valuable showcase item. Doesn’t have to be something to adorn the walls of your home or a knick-knack to display on your shelves. Could be an article of clothing, a whimsical tote bag…whatever brings back your memories and puts a smile on your face every time you look at it.
No better time to start planning for that round-the-world trip, even if you have to take it a few days at a time.