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Preparing for Travel

Preparation for travel goes far

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beyond just packing up a few bags to take

with you. There are all the things that go

into planning a  trip, making sure your visa

is in order, having enough money put away,

ect. But how does one truly prepare for longer

term travel? It’s both an exciting and difficult thing to do.

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I look around the now bare walls of my room and remember all the things that use to hang on them. The action figures, posters, and other collectible trinkets. Things that were cool, but overall pretty meaningless in the long term outlook. They represented things I liked and was into, both currently and in an older time, but they didn’t do much in showing who I was. Perhaps that’s why I had such an easy time cutting ties to those things and selling most of ‘em. Sure it sucked thinking that one day I wouldn’t have as many old action figures to give to my kid, but rather I was trading those for stories and lessons I could teach him one day instead.

It seems like when you prepare to go abroad for a long period of time you have to under go an odd transformation. At least I did. You look around and realize that you won’t be seeing the things your familiar with, or be around the people that you’re use to interacting with on the daily. For a brief time that can be scary.

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You begin to rid yourself of baggage that is holding you back from your travel. Selling things, perhaps isolating yourself because you don’t want to face the reality of not seeing your loved ones for so long. Maybe you even feel guilty you won’t be seeing then for such a long time, like your somehow betraying a relationship. These are all just bumps in preparing for the future though.

Seeing things in a far away place are far from the only things that happen when you travel. You grow, learn and broaden your horizons. It’s the times in your life when you come into yourself unlike any other time.Now perhaps this stems from having to be more independent and responsible. Because traveling is no easy process. It requires you to stay on your game. To manage your hostels, figuring out how to navigate a new city. Or how effectively see a city for your budget. It changes you as a person, even if you didn’t mean for it to. But that’s one of the beautiful things about travel, that growth.  

This preparation can be a fickle sort of thing though. Often times through the process I even second guess myself. Wondering if this is the wisest thing to be spending money on, or if there is something more “responsible” and acceptable that I should be striving to do. I wonder if I’m not just being some foolish 20 year old kid chasing silly dreams.

Then I think of the alternatives. Think of the things I could rather be doing. Saving for a car, maybe start paying back some student loans earlier then I need to, get a real job. But I couldn’t bring myself to betray myself like that. For I’m capable of traveling now, and in a time of my life that allows me to. Where as I don’t know if I’d be able to later. I also know I’d hate myself for the rest of my life if I didn’t take these opportunities now.

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So I’m taking them. Taking the leap. Being bold and proactive. The future is the future. Something to be aware of, but not something to keep inactive and petrified over. So things will move forward, and this dream will continue to evolve, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

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21 comments

  1. It’s interesting to see other people’s style of “planning” for travelling. For better or worse I’ve gotten to the point where I just point to a place I feel like going, throw some stuff in a bag and show up in the middle of the night looking for a hostel. There is definitely an art to travel planning and for some people it can make their experience so much better, for me I love the thrill of not knowing what the hell I am doing.

    1. I try to blur that line a little bit. I prefer to have a pretty basic outline, budget and destination. Then from there just kinda roll with it and see what happens. But that’s the awesome thing about traveling is there is no right way to do it, just whatever works for you and makes you happy :)

    2. I think less planning comes with experience. I’m a planner by default, but the more I travel, the more I let loose. I’ve definitely gotten more flexible and even more impulsive, but I always get the basics done like booking a hostel and using google maps to figure out how to get there. I don’t do much more than that though. I’ve traveled with someone like you, figured she did her research. She never did, but we always got to where we needed to be. We had a lot of fun, but you need to be able to relax and think everything will work out in the end, cause otherwise, it’s super stressful. I’ve been in situations where we couldn’t get a ride or didn’t know where we were haha, but it was always a fun adventure.

      1. Totally, when I look back, the best experiences, and the best stories, are from the times I was completely lost or things went to shit. Things have a way of sorting themselves out and they always make for the best stories to tell your friends over a beer!

  2. I agree with your thoughts on this, you should travel all you can, while you can! I’m getting to the point now where I have too many responsibilities to travel around all the time and its not fun! :(

  3. Travelling is one of the best things you can do in life before there are things to stop you from doing so! I remember wishing I had planned a little more of my journey (well I didn’t really plan anything), as I probably would have got a little more out of my adventure. At the same time though, I’m kind of glad I didn’t have a plan as I got to go with opportunities as they came my way! I hope you have a great time where ever you are heading!

    1. Yeah that’s my approach as well. To just have an outline and an idea of what is going to happen and then just go with it. Gotta introduce as much adventure as you can into your travels :)

  4. Enjoyed reading your thoughts. Sometimes it’s like a deep longing to see the world for me. Like the force between two lovers. Well that was dramatic of me to say, but it sort of is. I love to travel and take the opportunity to as often as I can. I’ve never lived abroad for an extended period for time and I’m not sure I could alone but I admire those who do. Good luck! I’m sure we’ll read all about it. :)

  5. Do it do it do it! Some really awesome Transformers or Gundam aren’t worth missing this chance – especially as you mentioned wanting kids someday (by the way, your daughter might like those toys, too, ahem!). My best friend is one kid on the ground and the next due to land there any day, and all she can say is that she is glad that she lived in Nevada for a while, and came to see me in Ireland once. That’s more travel than most of her family ever did, but not enough for the likes of you! Grab those reins and stand tall in the stirrups!

  6. Accurate description of the ‘perils’ of doing something other than what society expects from you. I tell people I’m in this for life, yet I’m always calculating how to maintain certain responsibilities in case I ever succumb to society’s pressure to save up for a house, car, kids, family … ugh kill me now. Some people just don’t comprehend that those things will not make us happy. Some of us just don’t fit the mold. And it’s scary ! But the reward is so worth it.

  7. Very well said, about the distancing yourself from people prior to travel. I tend to do that as well. Not sure why. May be some guilt. But then like you said, I just can’t betray myself.

  8. Some people are gifted with the opportunities to travel so take ‘em all! From all these years living in another country by myself has taught me so much; it’s hard but sometimes I feel lucky to not get stuck in the boring rat race. :) if you decide to go to vietnam, you know who to call 👌

  9. I have three kids now all under three (I’M 33) ,my life is filled with annoyingly short sleep patterns, work, crying and nappies, then repeat this again for the following day, the idea of traveling, even planning a trip sounds like a different world right now, I did spend time traveling around Australia and Asia when I was younger, Asia is ace if you are going low on funds, biggest mistake I made was not planning enough, and enjoying too many beers in too many bars, If I was smarter I could have traveled for longer and seen more of the world, one day your freedom with me no more, make the most of it :)

    1. Definitely will try to enjoy and get the most in whilst I can :) But speaking of Asia I’ll be around that area this summer/ upcoming year, any gems that I should make sure I don’t miss out on? Trying to compile a nice list right now. But Yeah I’m going to try to put off the whole growing up thing for as long as possible, not because I’m not responsible or anything but because I like the life I’m living now, but all in due time I suppose. Thanks for stopping by though!!!

      1. Thailand is probably the most Western friendly, avoid Pattaya if you do visit but do visit Chiang Mai in the north and visit the highest peak in Thailand (Doi Suket) we paid £80 a month for a room in the north or £2.00 a day for some very basic rooms, other places worthy of visit there would be Bangkok, if you visit all the parks they are free but when tracking down each park you will get to see the real Bangkok via the Skytrains, Motorbike taxi’s and Tuk tuks, Koh Chang was great, lots of parties on the beach without too much sleaze, Phuket is worth a look at but I would not recommend staying more than a week, it is a big tourist trap and you will get tired of it quickly, we didn’t book anywhere in advance, we just went from street to street asking for the best room rates, also nothing worse than paying over the odds for an average room, this way you can look before you buy. Hong Kong has a great vibe and is well worth a look, only negative is the cost, we paid £40 for a room that was not big enough to swing a mouse around, in fact in reminded me of a horror movie, although funny looking back now, Burma is getting rave reviews at present, the locals have got issues but I am told this is the new Thailand without it being over run by tourists and people trying to exploit tourists. whatever you do when you get to Asia, when they ask if this is your first time in their country always say no, if you reply yes they will try and rob you blind of anything they can, if it be Taxis, Bar bills, clothes…. you name it. have fun and message me nearer the time if you get stuck.

  10. “…I even second guess myself. Wondering if this is the wisest thing to be spending money on, or if there is something more “responsible” and acceptable that I should be striving to do.”

    Do not let other people influence how you live your life :) So much of who I am is built off travel and the love I have for it. Ever since I started traveling often, I find myself “needing” less STUFF. People like you and me would much rather spend our money on EXPERIENCES rather than things.

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