This article is being re-posted from FLiP Magazine October 2014. FLiP Magazine is a great publication with insight into pop-culture for both men and women! Aeri Rose is a regular contributor to FLiP W, the female focused half of the magazine. You should definitely check it out, and subscribe for the free digital editions! Even if I’m quiet here…I’ll always find something to say there!
“Making your Dream Travel Plans into A Reality: It isn’t a dream vacation: it’s an unplanned adventure!
By Aeri Rose
The problem with dreams is that we think they are almost impossible to achieve. We put dreams on a pedestal and think about them fondly and frequently, but with a certain amount of aloofness and pragmatism, being pretty certain they will never come true. We can dream of being the queen of a floating cloud island, but unless we find an unmarried king with a decent cumulus that dream just will not come true. We can dream of being the most famous Martian designer, but until we master interplanetary space travel, those catwalks will have to go without our fierce alien styles.
We should not dream about a vacation because travel is attainable. You CAN go on those trips you’ve always wanted to go on. You can and you will, as soon as you stop dreaming and start planning. In order to start planning successfully, there are a few misconceptions we are going to clear up right now. Don’t ever think you can’t travel because:
- You can’t afford it.
- You can’t go if no one will go with you; it isn’t safe to travel alone.
- If you travel alone, you’ll be lonely.
- You can’t decide where to go.
- You can’t leave right now.
Let me explain.
- You can travel, because travel does not have to be expensive.
Many budget travel bloggers, myself included, can talk for days about tips and tricks for frugal tourism. For a smattering of those tips you should check out my blog www.travelingwithaeri.com. I can promise you that there are trips to fit every budget.
Saving for your trip does not need to be scary either. A couple of friends once told me that they were having trouble saving for a trip they wanted to take until they put it in perspective. They asked themselves what the trip was worth to them. Turns out it was worth more than soda. So they gave up soda, and every time they felt a craving or thought about buying a bottle of pop, they would put that cash into a jar. And sooner than you would believe, they had kicked an unhealthy habit and had a jar full of potential adventure.
- If you act smart, being alone in their country is no worse than being alone in your own.
Traveling alone is not asking for trouble. It is not the dangerous and intimidating experience your grandmothers want you to think it is. Not all strangers are trying to lure you into their vans with candy. Most strangers are perfectly nice people going about their day just like you would be if you were home.
I have a few strategies to get comfortable with a new place, like to timing my arrival so there is still daylight, and taking a walk around the area to orient myself as soon as possible; but beyond that, don’t be afraid to explore! Ask for directions! Get a little lost wandering off the beaten path. That’s often where the best memories are made.
- “To Old Friends, New Friends, and Strange Places.”
I have raised my glass to this toast many a time, in many a place, with many a face. Travel is your chance to get outside your bubble. Travel is more than looking at the architecture and geography of a place; it is about getting a feel for the culture too! Go introduce yourself to someone new! Smile at the bartender, get a drink at the hotel and chat up some fellow travelers! Ask the locals where you should eat and then invite them along! You might never see these people again, but there is comfort in knowing that there are people half a world away that you forged a genuine connection with.
But remember to take time to be alone too. Don’t be afraid to sit quietly on the bus and stare out the window. Remember the way the countryside looks as you ride past. Capture the serenity of a solo sunset and you’ll be able to access it the next time you’re surrounded by stress and chaos.
- This isn’t your only trip, it is only your first trip.
Don’t put the trip on a pedestal. Don’t you do it! Get it off of there! This doesn’t have to be the perfect, best, trip-to-end-all-trips trip. It just has to be your first trip. Pick somewhere sort of interesting, and sort of in budget, maybe sort of nearby, and go for it. It might be great, it might not be what you expected, but no matter what it WILL be an experience to remember. You’ll learn from it. You’ll find things you love and things you hate. And you’ll discover that you are capable of so much more than you thought. And the next time you plan a trip it will be that much easier to get your butt out the door, and you’ll have that much more confidence in yourself, and that much more enthusiasm for the world around you.
- No time like the present.
There will never be a perfect time to go. There will never be a time when you have no deadlines at work, no significant others (people, pets, or plants) requiring your attention at home, and no other expenses demanding your hard earned dough. You will never get ALL your ducks in a row. So just leave them in a pile and get out there! Do it for yourself. All your ducks will be waiting for you when you return.
Now it’s your turn to decide what travel is worth to you, and recognize your own strength and independence. Don’t dream of cloud kingdoms; plan your next adventure instead. Travel is attainable! Go get it, girlfriend!
=====================================================================================Have you ever had the urge to just drop what you were doing, pack a bag, and set out on an adventure? Five years and over two dozen countries later, Aeri is proof that excitement, independence, and discovery await those who are bold enough to say “yes” to life’s craziest choices. When not exploring the world with her little grey backpack, Aeri can be found living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the United States as an artist and entrepreneur. To follow Aeri on all her adventures, check her out online at aerirose.com or travelingwithaeri.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aerirose.”