Friday, June 18, 2010

1. the big trip: identifying obstacles

Last July, Anil over at FoXnoMad posted the "7 Reasons You Won't Travel the World." I only discovered it last week on a tip from the envy-inducing world travelers at ...Sending Postcards, but it certainly struck a chord. I've mentioned that travel is one of my most consuming passions, and I truly feel that my life will not be complete until I've covered as much ground on each continent as I can physically and financially finagle. I've decided to put these seven reasons to the test.

It is easy to feel comfortable with routine, and while my job allows me a certain sense of stability, it also leaves me feeling entirely too static. I don't earn enough money to make a serious dent in my dizzying debt, but I do make enough to discourage any attempt to seek more satisfying employment with a less substantial paycheck. Comfort has never really been something that I've sought. I don't mind sleeping under the stars or in a tent or in a hostel or on an airplane or on a couch somewhere--my body has an incredible ability to fit into small spaces or bounce back from long hours of discomfort. I never wear appropriate walking shoes, but if the opportunity presents itself I will walk barefoot up a mountain with my heels in my hands. I would rather forgo sleep than miss out on precious hours of a beautiful day in a new place. It can be nice to come home from a day at the office and sit on the couch and watch movies and eat the same sandwich every night, but before I had a real job I would never have passed on a night out and now I generally just feel like I have no spontaneous energy. That is not who I am--that is a dried-up version of my former self. This is partially because of my "comfortable" job, and I'm not comfortable with that.

This is my most significant obstacle. I have debt to pay off from my relatively reckless wandering years, and it has been difficult to balance the excitement of a potential adventure in the future with my desire to live presently. Financially speaking. I'm still working on this. It's difficult, especially because this blog is focuses primarily on personal style, and to buy clothes I need to spend money. I may have to get even more creative with my thrifting in order to cut back on my clothing budget.

More accurately, I don't know where I wouldn't go. I know that realistically I will have to compromise my vision and cross a few countries or continents off my list, but I already have a few places in mind that can probably wait. The goal is to have one big trip that will take somewhere between six months to a year, but it will be nice to leave a few stones unturned for shorter visits in the future. I know I may also need to be a little bit flexible about my dream time-frame. I would love to travel indefinitely until I can't take it anymore, but in all likelihood it will be difficult to make that happen.

I can't imagine that I'll have trouble with this one. Whenever I've travelled in the past I've become so absorbed with whatever I was doing or seeing that anything outside my immediate realm of existence momentarily ceased to matter. That said, I have no intention (at this point) to travel alone. I know I am not extroverted enough to content myself with the company of strangers while on the road, and I truly want to have someone special to share the experience with. I'm sure I will be able to keep in contact with the other important people in my life through email and other means (postcards!), so I'm not terribly worried about that.

Not likely. The timeline I imagined for my life when I was a young girl has already shifted to allow a little bit of twenty-something breathing room. And while I know that traveling with children is quite possible and (I think) beneficial for them, I know that I need to get some of this wanderlust out of my system before I "settle down."

When I told K we should take a trip around the world after he finished graduate school, he was... well... less enthused than I was. Needless to say, that was not the response I was looking for. However, as Anil says, "a first reaction is not a final reaction." K is used to my harebrained schemes and they rarely (if ever) come to fruition, so he knows not to give these things much serious thought. Consider yourself warned, K!

As far as Anil is concerned, saying that I will travel the world "later" is as good as procrastinating myself out of the possibility. I disagree, mainly because I have a few extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into account and a few loose ends that need tying. I know I want this but I also know I have to be realistic--until I have some money saved, I'd be in big trouble trying to take a trip of this magnitude.

Take that, seven reasons! The only roadblocks I seem to face are financial weakness and the power of procrastination. Both of these can be taken care of in time... as long as the time frame doesn't keep widening until I'm old and grey! In the spirit of inspiring myself to overcome these obstacles, I am going to start weekly postings of my past travel adventures. I hope you'll come along for the ride!

1 comment:

  1. haha nice list and counter points! Minus the financial issues I think you can do it!