The Trade Off

“I can’t afford to travel.” “I don’t have time to travel.” “Traveling is too difficult.”

I hear these phrases every time I start to tell someone about my next trip. In reality, they’re all just different ways of saying, “Traveling scares me because _____.” Many people are afraid of traveling because they’ve never really done it. In the first world, this is an issue that seems to be specific to Americans, because for some reason culturally, we aren’t inclined to explore. We go to school, get a job, get a mortgage, raise a family. We don’t allow for time in our lives to get out and see the world! (At least not until all our children have moved out and we’re retired.) Our country is so vast that we don’t really feel the need to go far in order to try something new – plus getting anywhere besides Canada or Mexico requires crossing a large ocean.

Since many Americans aren’t used to traveling out of country, the cost and time required appears daunting. What they don’t seem to understand, is that everything in life is a trade off, and traveling is no different. If you want to go somewhere far, you’re probably going to have to save up for awhile. If you want to get away from your normal life for more than a week, you’re going to have to start planning early so you can get the time off of work. The task only seems difficult because, for many, it is unknown territory and a lot of research has to go into it. Unlike going to Ocean City (for the 10th time) or visiting your family out in California, you can’t just book a hotel and say “Ready!”

In my opinion, it’s worth it to put the time into going on a trip overseas. There are so many different cultures to see and people to meet. Everywhere you go can teach you something and if you choose to stay in one country your whole life, you’re limiting yourself. I also suggest that you try to go while you’re young. I’m not saying don’t travel as you age, but there are many, many physically tasking places to see that may become harder as you get older. (It’s much easier to climb Angkor Wat when your knees are still with you. Those stairs are steep, but it is worth it!)

Sure the whole concept might seem scary, but it gets easier as you go along so just jump in!

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