Musings, Travel Tips

Why Now is the Time to Pursue Your Dreams of Travel

Now is the time to pursue your travel dreams
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Is this the year you embark on the road trip that will change you forever? Have you been saving your pennies to travel, but can’t figure out how to make it happen? Are you always telling your friends that someday you will travel the country and explore those amazing places you’ve only read about? Well, guess what, friends? That someday might never come unless you start planning to make it happen today.

Now is the time to pursue your travel dreams

We live in a society where there is no perfect time to drop everything and hit the road. We are overworked and underpaid. There are kids to raise, meetings to attend, and mortgage payments to make. You will always be able to find an excuse not to follow your dreams. If your dream is to see the country or even the world, you have to work to make it happen.

Our Big Road Trip Story

Several years ago we got an email from an aunt in California who we had been longing to visit since our kids were babies.  She asked if this was the year we would come out for a visit. “Not this year,” I replied without even thinking about it, “we can’t get off from work and we don’t have the money to make such a journey with two kids.”

Now is the time to pursue your travel dreams

Well, she was not so easily dissuaded. She wrote back that if we kept putting off the trip, then soon our kids wouldn’t even want to travel with us, and that there was nothing truly standing in our way. I’m not sure if this is absolutely true, but it did make me think long and hard about what was holding us back. Of course there were obstacles – money, or lack thereof, being the most critical, but what we finally realized is that we would never think we had enough money or enough time. We simply had to take a leap of faith.

So that’s what we did. We bought a small used car that got really great gas mileage, worked longer hours and saved every penny. Our budget was really small, but that suited us just fine. We vowed to camp every single night and cook all of our meals. We would live out of our car for the summer, and sleep under the stars.

There will never be a perfect time to travel, except right now

You will always be able to find an excuse not to follow your dreams. #travel Click To Tweet

We spent that summer driving across Canada and the United States, without much of a plan except to be together and go swimming a lot. We put 10,000 miles on that car in just three months, and discovered some of the most beautiful places on earth.

My kids are young adults now, and although they still love to travel with us, they are busier than they’ve ever been, and each trip takes more and more advanced planning. It’s what we love, so we have made it work, despite the obstacles.

What Can You Do To Make Your Travel Dreams a Reality?

First, you have to ask yourself what exactly is standing in your way? Is it money, your job, your pets, your little kids? What is holding you back? Once you have a clear picture of your goals and your obstacles, you can take steps to make your dreams a reality. It’s all about intention. Here are a few practical and not-so-practical tips to achieving your travel dreams.

  • Set a date – It’s amazing how much more you will accomplish toward achieving your goal when you have a date on the calendar. If part of your trip involves booking a flight, at least pencil in the week you want to embark on your trip.
  • Visualize your journey – Planning and saving for a big trip is hard work. Keep yourself on track by visiting your destination(s) in your mind as you go about your days.
  • Save, save, save – Money and work-related obstacles are often the biggest hurdle we have to overcome in order to travel. What small steps can you take to save for your trip? Are there small luxuries you can give up? Can you work longer hours to earn more money?
  • Travel on the cheap – How can you make your trip more affordable? For us, it was camping and cooking or own food, but for you it might be taking advantage of airline miles and staying in budget motels or hostels.
  • Bring the kids – Unless your travel dreams mean indulging in a second honeymoon on some deserted beach, bring the kids along. Children will encourage you to travel slow, wake up early, and be frugal. Here are some more benefits of traveling with kids, courtesy of Full Suitcase.
  • Start small or start big – just start now – Planning a life of travel, or any big change for that matter, is a lot of work, but truly the first step is the hardest, and that’s making the decision to do it.

Need some practical tips for taking the leap into travel? Check out these posts:

Road Trip Essentials for Outdoor Families

Create Your Own Road Trip First Aid Kit

The 10 Easiest Car Camping Meals for Families on the Go

There will never be a perfect time to follow your dreams, which is why right now is the time to take those first steps!

10 Comments

  1. This is a really great article! It’s so true that there are always reasons why not, but it is always a great feeling when you finally set that date. My husband and I have been trying for two years to figure out our big trip date and finally we got it set and we’re so excited. It all came together when we finally just bought the ticket and stopped making excuses! I also love that you guys travel with the kiddos!

    • Thanks, Paige. Our kids love to travel, but are definitely at the age where they want to either adventure without us or stay home with their friends. We are adjusting to this new stage in our lives, but I’m hoping we inspired them to explore more of the world themselves.

  2. Candy

    It’s a good thing your aunt didn’t give up and really pushed you to get out there and travel. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do for everyone, so these helpful tips are awesome.

  3. I moved to London in 2004 to travel and 13yr and half years later, I am still here travelling when I can. I wonder sometimes, why I had not done it sooner but as you send I needed to save save save and realistic I needed a plan. And I was scared… Great read, I could so relate in so many ways.
    Mel Butler recently posted…Why Mountain Bike Riding in Galicia Spain should be on your listMy Profile

  4. One should not waste a moment when it comes to travelling. Hoist the backpack on your shoulders and get moving. Thinking about it will only slow your down. Make the first move and then the rest will be history, that is what we think.
    Sandy N Vyjay recently posted…8 Ways to Save on Your Next Road TripMy Profile

  5. Definitely dig this. I moved abroad 10 years ago and still get people telling me they wish they could see the world and have so many experiences. You CAN! Volunteer abroad, work abroad. Do the same at home and meet and see places you didn’t know were there too. Traveling and learning are what we make it and what we make. Love it.

  6. Megan Indoe

    I whole heartedly agree! I wish I could share this with all the people who tell us they wish they could do what we do, when they themselves can. I am more talking about people in the US who have a powerful passport and don’t even have kids as an excuse yet! Loved the story and tips here!

    • Exactly, Megan. I know there are legitimate reasons why people can’t travel, but if it is your dream, you have to take steps to make it happen.

  7. Beautiful Tara! Can’t wait to share this on my page. You do only live once and you have to just go for it at some point! Great personal story and u loved the tips. Hugs!

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