Just do it! If you are already planning a life change, a career break, or a major trip, then good for you! Because the hardest part is over—deciding to do it and figuring out how to make it work. I would definitely say it is not as hard as you may think it is. If you have the opportunity and the freedom to just go—grab the chance now when you can. Don’t put it off for tomorrow, because something will always come up to get in your way. And there are very few excuses that really fly. I have met many people traveling who had lots of possible ‘reasons’ that would stop them: pets, spouses, children, careers, homes, cars, lack of funds, on and on. But none of this has to stop you. I know people that took their whole families around the world, who home-schooled their kids or enrolled them in programs in other countries, travelers who took a sabbatical from their career or started a new one while traveling (like myself). Where there’s a will…there’s a way.
And traveling for a year or extended period is probably way cheaper than you realize. But that’s for another post. So many people come up to me and say I had guts and I was lucky…but really all I did was make the decision to do it. And then I simply did it.
Once the decision is made, if you are organized everything kind of falls into place. I love the logistics, but it’s just a matter of making a ‘to do’ list and prioritizing. What are you going to do with your home? Car? Stuff? Find storage. Get a mover.
TIP: Find a trustworthy friend or relative to take care of some mail or bills (thanks dad!), but also remember you can handle almost everything online nowadays.
TIP: I paid all my bills through my bank’s ‘online bill pay’ (which were narrowed down to mostly a credit card bill and automatic monthly mortgage payments) and if I was ever paid by check for any work I did while traveling (I mostly used Paypal, which is great), then I’d have my dad deposit it for me.
TIP: Before I left I added dad’s name to my account to make things easier.
Notify your friends, family. One of the best things I did was put a ‘call’ out to everyone I knew and ask for their friends or contacts anywhere around the world. I met some really cool people this way and had more local experiences by hooking up with friends of friends.
Quit your job—a very fun thing to do! Or be lucky and get a sabbatical!
Pack. Shop for travel gear. Buy some tickets and plan out some major things and at least a place to stay in your first country. Figuring out the dates is often hardest as you just don’t know how long you might want to stay in one place. But just get out your calendar and try to estimate and then just go with it! And just soak in the fact that you are doing something so many others “dream” of, but never really have the balls to do!!!!