Two weeks ago, The Huffington Post shared an article by Elite Daily on their Facebook page. The article, entitled You Should Never Marry A Girl Until You've Traveled With Her, lists some of the hurdles couples face when they travel.
Frankly, they're the types of challenging hurdles a couple should have to face before they get married.
The author, Paul Hudson, lists some pretty damn good reasons to travel with your partner or significant other before putting a ring on it: stepping outside of comfort zones, reacting under pressure together, and gaining insight into his or her particular level of independence.
I genuinely believe that many of these things cannot be tested to the same extent under any other circumstances, and traveling together should be a requirement for any marriage certificate.
One line from the article, however, which The Huffington Post quoted, reads as follows:
If you travel for a month or two and come back happier than before, then at least you know you can handle the good times together — not all couples can even do that much.
Which quickly elicited the following response:
And this one:
And then this one:
Who the Hell ARE These People?
Well, these people are normal people just like you and me. The difference is that these people have prioritized their lives in such a way to place travel very high on their list of what's important. These people have worked hard to fulfill their dreams of traveling the world for a month or two or, in some circumstances, maybe even years and years.
These are the people who pick up that extra shift, don't smoke cigarettes, cook at home, drink moderately and live modestly. And they do so in the name of travel.
Traveling is not necessarily a luxury, nor is the experience always luxurious. Many people equate the concept of traveling to a two-week holiday in Cancun. When we travel for two or more months at a time, we don't live in all-inclusive resorts or $200 hotels. We're cutting costs, living in shared accommodations, traveling by public bus, keeping track of expenses and maintaining a daily budget.
It's not always glamorous, but it means that we get to see the world.
I tracked my expenses to learn the cost of travel in places like Thailand, just to prove that long-term travel is possible. I never went hungry and, for the most part, wasn't uncomfortable. I've picked up jobs overseas and created a lifestyle which allows me to make money while I travel.
If you want to travel, take a working holiday. Go travel and work in a country on the other side of the world. You could teach English in China or bartend in Australia. I've done both, and it was easier than most people probably realize.
There's more than one way to travel, and there's more than one way to make enough to support yourself. It can involve risks like quitting a stable job, but like the cliché goes, without risk there is no reward.
I know plenty of people who have earned enough to travel by working for minimum wage, cutting their expenses and living a more frugal life. These people choose to travel rather than drink at Starbucks, dine out or go for cocktails after work.
They make sacrifices in the name of their dreams.
And they travel for a while and then support themselves by going on a working holiday to some place like South Korea or New Zealand.
It comes down to finding out what it is that you want in life. If you don't want to travel, that's okay. If you want to build a family and a home, I support that 100%. You will live that lifestyle, and there is absolutely nothing in the world wrong with that.
But if you want to travel, the hard truth is that it's not going to happen by itself. Like all good things, you must work for it.
It's about taking control of your life.
If You Want to Travel, You Will Find a Way
If it's important to you, you will make it happen. There is no magical job which just allows you to travel unencumbered. I travel, but I also work very hard and make sacrifices so that I can.
I have multiple income streams. I live out of a backpack. I've paid off my debts (did it while working overseas) and I'm not responsible for any mortgage, lease or two-year contracts.
Those list items did not just occur. I made them happen because that's what I wanted. I developed a way to live my life. I mapped out a plan and took charge.
The fact is, there is no one way to travel or one way to live a life of travel. There are many ways to create that life for yourself and support yourself while traveling. Frankly, if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to make it happen.
So what's stopping you from taking control of your life and making your dreams come true?