Seize the Day!

Travel Series: Volume 1 

 

I have an adventurous soul, and travel is necessary for me. The love of art, architecture, and history fills me with a passion and spurs my need for travel.  I know a lot of other people who feel the same way.  Some people call it Wanderlust.  That need to see things, learn things and experience things.  It’s like a Vampire’s thirst for blood.  It drives us.  Creeps into our brains while we are asleep and plants it’s seeds.

My husband, Mark, and I grind through life making enough money for the regular stuff but without having a lot of extra left for serious travel. But that is ok, where there is a will, there is a way! I’m not the “fancy” type that has to change out my furniture, drapes or my purse every time there is a new style trend.  I am a utilitarian.  I try to buy things with classic style and durability that will last a long time then put the money I saved aside for experiences.   I pick up hours working a part time job and bank some money from my husband’s overtime.  I utilize Rebate apps, shop sales and use coupons.  I do my homework and grab great deals on the trips we take.  When there is a plan in the works, I find all kinds of ways to save money.

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A lot of people say they are waiting to travel until they retire, or until they think they can afford it or 1,000 other reasons.  Some people have excuse lists longer than the list of places they want to visit!  For us though…. No excuses, No regrets-we travel NOW.

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In this  blog series, I hope to encourage you to push past your fears and dare to plan an adventure. I want to help you develop strategies to obtain your dream trip!  Each week I plan to highlight a different area from why  to travel now, choosing your time and destination, different travel styles, how to design and plan your trip, available resources to use, packing tips and to how to find extra money for your journey.  Oh we will get to the 3 day weekends and necessary little vacations all in due time, but for now I want to focus on why I feel it is necessary take some big trips NOW.

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#1 NO GUARANTEES

There is no guarantee that we will make it through today, let alone tomorrow. Life is fragile and you could have an accident that leaves you disabled , develop health issues or die unexpectedly.  This is not something you should spend your life worrying about, but it is my number one reason for travelling today. No guarantees.

On a trip my husband and I took a few years ago, we found ourselves in Assisi, Italy. It is a city built on a hill and it is a steep climb to get into the town.  We were travelling with a tour group where a large number of the people were older.  Some were just physically unable to make the climb at all and others struggled to do so.  I felt bad that this impeded their ability to enjoy their time there.  Another day on that trip we walked a total of 9 miles just wandering through Rome taking in sites with another couple.  I felt so fortunate to be able to explore so effortlessly.

Without being too much of a downer, I know people who had a dream and just didn’t get there.  They planned that big retirement trip, they dreamed and saved and waited.  But life sometimes presents a curve ball.  People get divorced, get sick or sadly some die before they get there.  I know some people think we are crazy taking these big trips we are now, but I don’t want regrets someday.  I don’t want  “what if I’d just taken that trip sooner.”  Are you willing to gamble on what tomorrow holds?

#2 CULTURE & PERCEPTIONS ARE CHANGING WITH EACH NEW GENERATION

Previous generations had it in their heads that you vacationed but waited to do any real travel until you retired.  If you had an urge to “See the world” you enlisted in the armed services and let Uncle Sam determine your travel agenda.  Otherwise people nested away money and just waited.  But those days are changing and more and more people are beginning to put travel on their to do list long before they retire.  Here are some reasons I think that this shift is happening.

  • People getting married later in life than previous generations
  • Some people are waiting longer after getting married to have children or choosing not to have children at all creating early travel windows
  • The availability of information through media now has educated people and sparked an interest in travel and exploration
  • More available opportunities through Internships, volunteer opportunities and study abroad programs make travel attainable

#3 TODAY THERE ARE MORE WAYS TO FINANCE YOUR TRAVELS

People often save their whole lives for one big trip to be taken after a long career, the children are gone and they have entered into retirement. Snore…..   Now there are tons of ways to finance trips and more time to take them at an earlier age.  Later we will get in depth on  many of the creative ways that people can use to fund their travels.  We will look at ways you can save money on trip costs, programs that will pay for all or part of your trip, and great ways to finance travel.  Mix, match and combine them to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Maybe travel hasn’t consumed you to the degree it has me. That feeling that you need to see everything and experience everything all the while hearing this clock ticking.  Ticking that gets louder every year I wait, as the list of places I can explore gets shortened by the  time remaining on the game clock that is life. Smash your clock…..plan that trip!

Stop waiting for a tomorrow. Pack your bag, grab your dreams and go now!  Andiamo!

Next post we will talk about some programs that are available to help young people get to travel.

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