Do you have unfulfilled dreams of travel? Are you stuck in a rut, languishing in your comfort zone? It doesn’t have to be that way! You CAN follow your gap year dreams and travel the world!
Imagine living in a world where no one followed their dreams or their passions. A world where no one bothered to push any boundaries, climb any mountains or cross any oceans just to see what was on the other side.
Imagine living in that world. A world where all you had to look forward to was a day or two of rest in between the endless monotony of a 9 – 5 production line existence. A world where the highlight of your week was being able to finally watch one of those DVDs you ordered off the internet weeks ago.
So many people don’t have to imagine that world at all, that is their reality!
It seems insane, doesn’t it?
If you think about it for a minute, you are essentially spending the best years of your life working your backside off just to survive in a lifestyle that you probably don’t even like all that much! Why?
Society tends to force people down a narrowly defined path. Leave education, get a job, settle down, get a mortgage, start a family, pay endless bills and then die. Now don’t get me wrong, some people are happy that way and that is fine. If that is all you want out of life then all power to you and I hope you have a nice one.
But many people are not satisfied with this. Many people dream of a world bigger than their immediate bubble and are often left with a feeling that there is something more to life – to themselves – that they are missing out on.
There is a grand, wonderful world out there just waiting to be explored. There is far more to life than the 9 – 5 rut that society wants to keep you in.
So why aren’t you out there discovering it for yourself?
So many people have dreams and fantasies of travelling the world, but that is often where they stay, as dreams and fantasies. So many don’t make it beyond that realm of daydreams because people make constant excuses as to why they can’t follow them.
The new year is always full of resolutions that see people wishing they could follow their dreams. Every new year people say this is the year they will travel more, this is the year they will finally take that gap year, do something different with their lives. Yet those resolutions are often forgotten about as the weight of those excuses they make for themselves bury their dreams like a landslide. No money, no time, endless responsibilities, I have heard them all.
And those people fall back into their same old routine. Their comfort zone.
It is easy to live that comfortable life because that is what you know, it is what everyone else you know is doing. Adventure and exploration is something you watch others do on TV, like a disconnect from reality as if they aren’t really doing it. It is much easier to stay in that little bubble of you have built for yourself.
So many people fall into this routine without thinking. So many people stay stuck in that rut, unable to break out of that prevailing paradigm that the 2.4 kids, the car and the picket fence is what you should do.
It isn’t! And you don’t!
The world is an awesome place, filled with tropical paradises that will match any Nirvana promised by organised religion, filled with desolate deserts and unexplored jungles better than anything you will see on TV and epic mountain ranges and vast oceans that will make you feel so insignificant and tiny yet connected to a much larger universe all at the same time. There are endless cultures for you to get to know, foods to taste, people to meet and adventures to have.
The only thing stopping you from living your dreams is you.
Imagine for a moment that instead of taking yet another lazy commute on a wet, miserable Monday morning you can be lazing on a string of tropical beaches sipping mango juice from a hammock or spending your morning diving in warm, crystal clear water amongst the coral reefs and marine life. Think for a moment about exploring ancient ruins and seeing wonders of the ancient and the modern world first hand. Imagine seeing the milky way in all its glory from the top of a mountain after a night time trek or glimpsing an elusive orang utan in his natural habitat after trekking through a tropical jungle.
Yet you will experience none of this if you never step out of your comfort zone and make that move to follow your travel dreams. You will not see the amazing sights our planet and the people on it have to show you. You will never reach your full potential as a human being if you don’t open yourself up to that world and explore it fully!
The world is full of amazing things and you will miss out on them all if you continue to sit on your backside and fester in your comfort zone.
Take control of your life. Take every opportunity life is freely giving you. There is so much more out there than the limited existence of your comfort zone and you can have it all! If you want it enough.
So forget all those worries, stop making excuses for yourself and just go! Stop telling yourself ‘oh there’s always tomorrow’, because believe me tomorrow never comes, until it is too late. There is never a ‘right time’ to follow your dreams. There will never be a better time than now. All those excuses and roadblocks people throw up for themselves don’t mean a thing because there are always ways around them.
The New Year is a blank page waiting to be filled, full of possibility. It is up to you to make the most of it! So push yourself a little bit. Buy that plane ticket, visit somewhere new. Take that step out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it for a single second I promise you.
Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.
Excuse Buster Series Part 1: Why People Make Excuses Not To Travel Independently.
New Year, New Start. Follow Your Dreams Of Travel In 2014.
No Great Story Ever Starts With I stayed At Home.
No One Wishes They Travelled Less When They Die.
Thank you for posting this! The theme, message and timing of your article are perfect! I’m leaving for my big RTW trip in 84 days. It’s been a long 2 years since I made my new year’s resolution back in January 2013 to go around the world. The wait was long and hard, but everything seemed to fall into place. It was almost like everyone I knew got together and conspired to help me make this possible. Now the date is just around the corner. Lately though I’ve been feeling a new emotion along with the exhilaration and excitement.
2 years ago it was fun to map out places to go, window shop at outdoor stores and try on different backpacks. I had a long way to go, but it kept the dream alive. Now with my dream quickly becoming reality the weight of what I’m about to do is settling in. I’m going to be leaving my friends and family, giving up the stability of my apartment, leaving everything I know that’s familiar. I have friends that are waiting to meet me on the way and I have my career to return to. I’m not a travel rookie. I’ve been traveling for the past 8 years. I know how to stay safe and to make new friends. By rights that should make any reasonably sane person plunge head first into a trip this big. Until now, I’ve been thinking how easy it is to back out and keep living life as I have been for the past 40 years.
You don’t know this but you’ve been encouraging me to make it through to the end (beginning?). Whenever I feel like giving up, or feel too scared to actually do this, I come to your site to read articles like this and remind me why I started this dream in the first place. I don’t think of you as giving me the push in the back or the kick in the ass, but more like you’re leading me by the hand. You stop when I’m about to take that leap (the trip to the airport for my first flight). When I finally take that first step, I know self confidence will be my travel partner. Your travels made my dream come to fruition. Keep traveling.
Wow! Thanks Tony, I’m really happy my writing has inspired you! I’m sure your trip will be amazing, and I’d love you to come back and tell me all about it. Maybe I’ll see you out on the road somewhere! ;D
I hear you! I would love to get out of my rut…but it’s got cliffs for walls! BTW – I kinda like it in here, too~!
If your rut has cliffs, get some climbing equipment! Anything is possible if you want it enough.
I couldn’t agree more! It’s tough to break out of your comfort zone. I think more people have to live for themselves and not for other people or notions of what they “should do” in life. While I don’t think that a life of full-time travel is for me (I like living near my family/friends, having my apartment in Canada), I try to live on my own terms as much as possible. I think that travel is very important and I am trying to do it more and more often. I get constantly bothered by people, namely grandparents, “when are you going to have children?” and “your clock is ticking!” (I’m 32 years old). Things might change, but I know right now that kind of lifestyle just isn’t for me. I’m really happy with how things are, so why change that! Anyway, I’m glad that you are encouraging people to step outside of their comfort zones, go against the grain, and live life to the fullest!
I know what you mean. I’ve had many of those exact same comments myself! (I’m 36 now!) ‘When are you settling down? When Are you having kids? Where are my grandchildren? (Thanks mum!) But there is no need to go to the other extreme of full time permanent nomad either if that isn’t right for you. I’ve always said it’s all about finding the balance that is right for you as an individual, not what others expect of you. I’m living proof you can have your cake and eat it! ;D Thanks for commenting.
Ah, Mike, you’ve worded this so perfectly! I’m on the same page as you when it comes to getting out of our comfort zones – every year should be a year of travel. Can’t wait to read about your 2015 adventures xx
Thanks so much Kasha! Really glad you enjoyed reading it. I totally agree, every year should be! Maybe I’ll start writing about my own personal misadventures on the blog a little more this year too! ;D
Hi, Great post, I absolutely love your site! Thank you!
Thanks Mario, glad you like it!
Excellent choice of topic for the new year! The world really is wide, and life is rather short. All the more reason to get out there and see as much of it as we can!
Thanks Revati couldn’t agree more!
I love this article ….I discovered Solo Travelling last year. And im glad I did its the best experience I had, and im happily continuing my journey exploring the world 🙂
Thanks Anne, glad you liked it! Happy travels. 🙂
What GORGEOUS pictures!!! I agree. The world has soooo much to offer! Go experience it!!! We are currently living in Germany, but have traveled to the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Austria, Switzerland, France, the UK, & multiple places in the Southern Caribbean (and of course, the USA where we are from)… and there’s STILL so much to see! =)
Thanks so much Rachel, you’re so right it does! I’ve been travelling for over eleven years now and I still haven’t been everywhere! There will always be new things to see and explore, that’s one of the many things I love about travel. 🙂
This is a very inspirational article! It makes me want to grab the 2 kids and head off for some adventures in an exotic part of the world I always wanted to see. Your enthusiasm for travelling is contagious. Don’t ever lose that.
Thanks Sharon, I hope I never will! And I hope the article inspires you enough to do just that!