Everybody dreams of taking a sabbatical or gap year and traveling around the world. With today’s widespread technology and abundant information it seems it’s just a matter of organization. But is it? The globe might be ripe for exploring, but to truly make the most of it, your mind should be in the right place.
“My mind?” You ask. Yup, that’s correct. If you spend a long time on the road you’ll face some situations you wouldn’t otherwise. And if you don’t know what they are and how to deal with them, you can find yourself jumping from one frustration to the other.
So what are they and what should you do? Let’s see:
1. Can You Handle Being Alone?
It seems pretty straightforward, but have you thought about it? I mean, how many times have you actually traveled alone? If the answer is none, you should pay attention to this advice, especially if you’re the shy type.
When I first traveled by myself I took a book, just in case I was going to be alone the whole time — I never read even one page! It was actually hard to be on my own! However, some people are not that lucky and find it hard to socialize.
I say, test the waters and go on a few mini trips alone. See how it goes and how you feel, then imagine what it would be like doing it non-stop for a year. If it was harder than you expected, don’t give up, because no trip is the same — or travel for three months instead.
2. Have You Chosen the Right Partner?
If you read the first item and it doesn’t apply to you as you’re not doing it alone, then you must absolutely be sure you’re going to travel with the right person, especially if you consider you’re not going away for a weekend.
Seriously, a trip can make or break relationships — romances and bromances alike! I traveled with a psychopath once and it was a nightmare. I’m glad it was in the beginning of our relationship as we broke up as soon as we got back. The person I knew became someone else during the trip.
3. Can You Cope With Uncertainty?
If you’re used to all-inclusive five day resort trips, I’ll tell you now: it’s not like that at all! Well, if you can spend a whole year only staying in resorts and not having to worry about any planning, by all means, enjoy yourself — and invite me!
The majority of ordinary people, however, do have to budget and be constantly planning on the road. Where are you going to have breakfast? Lunch? Are you taking the train with your newfound buddies or sticking to your bus schedule? Can you splurge on that island hopping activity?
These are questions you’ll have to answer on a daily basis. If you’re addicted to knowing everything beforehand, then traveling is when you have permission to change your plans and you should definitely do it.