How to Convince Yourself to go Backpacking

Each year, citizens of every country travel far and wide to explore and experience new cultures around the world. Their travel adventures take them to exotic destinations throughout Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia, North America, and many other destinations across the globe. Though some may struggle with whether or not they will leave their comfort zone, many more do not let anything get in their way. For example, according to the U.S. Travel Association, 663,000 Americans traveled to India in 2011, making it one of the most popular travel destinations for Americans.

If you are not one of those who take the opportunity to travel, be it within or outside of your own country, you may want to ask yourself the following question: “Why am I not traveling more?” There are many roadblocks and excuses we create to not discover what else is out there. Knowing those reasons is just the beginning to being able to convince yourself to start traveling more.

Excuses

When you consider making plans to travel, do you find yourself listing off excuses as to why you just can’t? If this is the case, you need to look past this list and turn each roadblock into a reason to travel. These may be some of your reasons:

-I can’t afford it
-It’s too dangerous
-I don’t have anyone to travel with
-I don’t have the time
-I have kids
-I am too old

Make it happen

These are just excuses that stand between you and your future travel plans. Don’t let them get in the way! For every excuse listed above, there’s a way to turn it around and make your dream of traveling a reality. Here are some ways you can change your negative excuses into positive thinking:

-I can’t afford it: If you really want to travel, you’ll make it happen. Look for opportunities to save in your day-to-day life, and set aside that money for travel. And while there are always expenses involved in travel, there are many, many ways to stretch your money while traveling, including staying in alternative lodgings, packing light, and taking trains or public transit instead of planes and taxis.

-It’s too dangerous: In many cases, traveling is no more dangerous than staying at home. Look into your destination(s), take precautions, and avoid traveling alone if necessary. If you are prepared and have planned ahead, you’ll be more ready for what kind of dangers are out there, and you can allow yourself to relax and have a good time.

-I don’t have anyone to travel with: There are countless opportunities to travel in groups, even if you don’t know anyone. Research group travel and tours, and when you find something that fits with what you want, you’ll have both an adventure and a chance to make new friends. And if group travel doesn’t appeal to you, why not think of your adventure as a way to get to know yourself? Spending some time alone is good for everyone.

-I don’t have the time: Saying you don’t have time to travel is just like saying you don’t have enough money to travel. If you really want to travel, you’ll make the time to do so, even if just over a long weekend.

-I have kids: Traveling is an experience kids will remember for the rest of their lives. It’s a learning opportunity, and the world is their classroom. If you have kids who are too young for what you have planned, arrange for a friend or relative to stay with them.

-I’m too old: Don’t let your age get in your way of traveling. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the average age of leisure travelers is 47.5. No matter how old you are, there are ways to get out and experience the world, including cruises and bus tours.

Traveling the world is an invaluable experience that you need to make time for. Whether you travel for a week or even an entire month, taking the time to avoid the stress of our day-to-day lives and experience what the rest of the world has to offer is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

About the Author:

Sandra Mills is a freelance health, career, and travel writer. She enjoys helping people live happier and more fulfilling lives. She plans on doing more traveling this year with her family, friends, and by herself. You can follow her on Twitter @sandramills63.

 

Source

A Letter to Women Considering Solo Backpacking

People often ask me, ‘aren’t you scared?’ I try to address this question with careful understanding, acknowledging that this lifestyle is definitely not in the mainstream – it’s far from it. Most Americans don’t have passports, let alone the urge to solo backpack. My most common answer to this question about being afraid is simple: it was a lack of fear that allowed me to discover the world.

Speaking honestly, I did not chose this path on my own. In a sense, I was thrown into the backpacking lifestyle. When I was 19, I was planning on spending the summer with family friends in Israel; this happened to be the summer that fighting broke out in the country. When I landed at my last layover before flying to Tel Aviv, it was clear that Israel wasn’t going to be a good option for my final destination. I found myself stuck in an airport in Vienna with an over-sized suitcase filled with bikinis and nothing but Shekels in my pocket. I did not even know what country Vienna was in! I had a choice: go back home, or figure something else out. That something else ended up being my first backpacking trip, where I traveled to eight countries in Europe over the course of two and a half months. Before this impromptu adventure, I had never stayed in a hostel, never traveled without an itinerary, and never been alone abroad.

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During that trip and the trips that followed, I discovered my personal strength. I have always been an outgoing person, but I relied on the happiness of others to make myself happy. While I still very much enjoy the company of others, I have discovered the bliss that comes from being completely comfortable being alone. I used to fear loneliness, but now I cherish time when I get to be my best friend and greatest travel companion. I find that when I am traveling alone, without the influences of my friends, family, and anything familiar, I learn what I really want to do.

Being a woman, I have been raised to fear solitude. Parents, teachers, and even politicians say that a woman alone is a target. Through my experiences as a solo traveler, I have found that I am no more of a target than any other foreign tourist. I have learned to become acutely aware of my surroundings and to respect the culture of the country that I am visiting. I do understand that traveling alone comes with risks, but I like to think that I would survive any experience and persevere. As I have overcome challenges while on my solo trips, I have developed a strong sense of confidence in myself both abroad and at home. This is why I offer this simple piece of advice to anyone who hungers for adventure: the moment that you let go of fear is the moment when the entire world becomes completely available for your to discover.

By Halley Crane www.imajorineating.com

 

9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life

Traveling alone may be the single best catalyst for personal growth.

My solo traveling experiences have created quantum leaps in various areas of my life. And every person I’ve met who has traveled alone has been among the most interesting and awesome people I’ve encountered.

It may sound paradoxical, but the more you explore the world outside, the more you explore the world within. Solo travel gives you free rein for the exploration of both the external and internal world.

Sure, it can be lonely at times, but you meet a lot of people and get to know yourself when there aren’t familiar faces always around. And yes, it’s hard leaving your friends and family behind for any period of time. But it’s completely worth it and you will come back a better person.

9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life

1. Self-sufficiency – You learn to be independent, do things on your own, problem solve for yourself, navigate on your own and become your own best friend. Self-sufficiency is an invaluable byproduct of solo travel.

2. You meet more people – When traveling alone, you’re forced to talk to more people (unless you just want to be by yourself 24/7, which would drive anyone insane). I’ve gone out alone plenty of times and I always end up meeting more people than if I went out with a group of friends. Why? If you go to a bar alone, for example, you’re not just going to stand in the corner by yourself. It forces you to leave your comfort zone and talk to anyone near you (which leads to the next reason).

3. You become a better conversationalist
– Because you meet so many people when traveling alone, you naturally enhance your conversation skills. There is no one else who you can depend on to carry a conversation; it’s all on you. So naturally, you get better at starting conversations and less hesitant about approaching people.

4. You get comfortable being uncomfortable – During solo travel, you’re almost never in your comfort zone. You get used to the excitement, the adventure and the bold decisions. Though you’ll undoubtedly face inner resistance, push through it. This is where the magic happens. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Growth only happens when you push your boundaries. This is a big reason why traveling alone spurs so much personal growth.

5. Flexibility, freedom and spontaneity – You are in complete control of everything you do during solo travel. If you want to do something, there’s no one else to consult with and no consensus to be made. You just do it. Traveling alone gives you ultimate flexibility, a high degree of freedom and the opportunity to be as spontaneous as you wish.

6. You’re able to put yourself first – This is most applicable to highly empathetic individuals, but still applies to everyone. When you travel alone, you have the rare opportunity to do whatever you want, whenever you want and spontaneously follow your own intuitive desires on a whim. It also allows you to work on any personal projects or develop specific skills you desire while traveling. To use myself as an example, I get much more writing and blog work done when traveling alone compared to when I’m with other people.

Traveling solo creates a situation in which you can put yourself first, without worrying about hurting other people’s feelings and having to come to a mutually beneficial consensus about everything. If you’re at all empathetic, you always make sure that people around you are happy. This is good of course, but sometimes you have to put yourself first in order to really know yourself (which is the next point) and evolve. And don’t view it as selfish; when you do the inner work, you actually expand your capacity to give to others.

7. You get to know yourself – When you have to do things on your own and spend time alone, getting to know yourself better is an inevitable side effect. You become more self-aware (in a good way). You become more in tune with your emotions, tendencies, habits, patterns and the deepest aspects of yourself. “Know thyself” was inscribed on The Temple of Apollo at Delphi for a reason. It’s that important.

8. The lone wolf aura – There’s something beautifully enigmatic about someone who’s confident when they’re alone in a new place. I call this “the lone wolf aura.” People are curious and intrigued by someone who is genuinely self-assured. Solo travel cultivates your own unique lone wolf aura.

Read my poem “The Lone Wolf Aura” for a deeper look at this.

9. It’s a pilgrimage – You’re the hero, the star of your own movie. A key component of any hero’s journey is some form of pilgrimage. And it’s always been a crucial step on the path of life for humans.

Jesus apparently went to Asia for many years to hone his spiritual practices. Buddha supposedly ventured into the woods alone and meditated under a tree for a while. Ash Ketchum traversed Canto and Joto to catch ‘em all (I had to drop a Pokemon reference). The hero archetype is brought to fruition by some form of a pilgrimage.

What’s unfortunate about our society today is that there is no real guidance regarding this stuff anymore. There are no rites of passage in the modern world.

But that missing ingredient is why pilgrimages have been making a resurgence in the form of things like backpacking and world travel. People are exploring the world more now than ever before. So this phenomenon is becoming something like a nondenominational pilgrimage. Not subject to any rigid rules of what you should or shouldn’t do. It’s a personal journey. And the details of it are up to you.

9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life

I hope this post inspired you to embark on an adventure of your own. It may take time and effort to line everything up, but it’s totally worth it.

I’m not condemning traveling with others either (I’m doing it right now for this part of my trip). However, I believe that everyone can benefit immensely from solo travel, even if it’s only once in your life. If you feel that inner calling, take heed and make it happen.

It’s all about the journey.

Live each moment to the fullest.

 

– Stevie P!

Website link: http://www.feelingoodfeelingreat.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FeelinGoodFeelinGreat

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteviePThatsMe

YouTube: Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great

Source: Expanded Consciousness

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