1. “I can’t afford it.”
Travel isn’t cheap, but you know what really sucks? Getting to a point in your life where you realised you didn’t do what you really wanted to do. Money doesn’t leave this world with you. Don’t leave the life you want sitting on a shelf, gathering dust, saving it for ‘one day’. Take it off the shelf and ride that puppy to the finish.
2. “It’s way too scary to go by myself.”
You will never have a grander adventure than the one you have by yourself. You’ll learn more about yourself, be stronger, more confident and self-assured. You’ll learn to tune into and trust your own needs and instincts. You’ll have nobody but yourself to worry about and somewhere in there, you’ll find your heart and soul. Even if it tells you that you’re homesick and are ready to settle down back home, at least you’ll know.
3. “Long-haul flights suck.”
Yea, you’re right they do. Being jammed into an aluminium fart tube with 300 strangers is the pits and a really, good, totally legitimate reason to never, ever travel. It’s not like the amazing memories you’ll make on your trip could ever overshadow the pain of 14 hours in economy… right?
4. “I can’t get time off work.”
Then take a gap year and get completely lost in the world, immerse yourself in your life’s desires. Leave your job and spend a few months travelling through Asia, use the time off as a chance to get some perspective and refresh before finding a new job. Maybe you’ll meet the love of your life in a small bar in a Cambodian back-alley and never come home. Jobs aren’t permanent and you are always replaceable. Remember that. It’s liberating.
5. “I can’t stand crowds.”
There are loads of beautiful places you can go where tourists don’t usually go and they’re quite often the BEST spots. Try a trip to remote islands in Indonesia, like Sumbawa If you don’t like the crowds, just avoid them completely.
6. “It’s too hard to get around.”
Get a map, get some life skills and get on with having the best experience of your life.
7. “I’m worried I’ll get culture shock. I’ve never left my home country before.”
You will most probably/definitely get culture shock, especially if you’ve lived in the same quiet town most of your life then land in the bustling streets of an Indonesian marketplace or the night bazaar in Marrakesh. It might pay to ease yourself into it first by going somewhere westernised. If you really want to see what you’re made of though, go all in and drop yourself in a place that terrifies you. It’ll shape you and make for one of the best travel memories you could imagine.
8. “It’s too hard to organise.”
Ask that one super-organised friend to help you. I’m that super-organised friend and I can assure you, I’d love to do that for one of my good friends. You can also ask one of your travel-obsessed friends for help, they’d have loads of insight. If you’re really struggling, go to a travel agent. It’s quite literally their JOB to help you get organised with your travel and, if things go to shit while you’re away, you can call them and they can help you sort it out.
9. “I don’t really want to travel to other countries.”
It’s hard to want something you don’t know exists. Once you step outside the world you know and love and see another piece of the puzzle, it’ll open your eyes.
10. “I’m scared of terrorism or a plane crash or contracting a rare disease and falling ill.”
The only certainty in life is death. That’s not meant to be morbid, it’s just that nobody can assure you 100% that you won’t find yourself in a bad position. At some point, something is going to knock each of us off our perch. May as well do as much fun stuff as you can while you can. Don’t waste your able-body and your sense of adventure. Take them for a spin around the block and let them fly free.
11. “I haven’t travelled my home country first. I want to do that before I go overseas.”
Then DO IT. Just start. Book a flight, pack the car up for a road-trip, go completely Into The Wild. But just DO IT.
12. “I won’t be able to get anything to eat,” or, “I’m not going to China because I don’t like Chinese food.”
Do you like grocery stores? Oh, you do? Well, how about fresh fruit? Yea? What about Oreos and Mars Bars? Well, good news… they have those all over the world. I’m a vegetarian with a stomach more delicate than a tissue in a hurricane and I find stuff to eat everywhere I go. Worst case scenario you eat a few large fries from McDonald’s and chew down a chocolate bar for dinner. So what? You get to experience the beauty, culture, history and wonder of another country.
13. “I get motion sickness and worry I’ll get sick on buses and taxis etc.”
Hey, me too! I get boat sick, car sick, bus sick and even plane sick. But there are things you can take for that. I knock myself out with a drowsy motion sickness tablet for really long travel days and Matt drags me around airports and bus stations like a sack of spuds. The motion sickness is temporary, the memories you make after that passes, are forever.
14. “I can’t match up my time-off with my spouse.”
Guys… you have to ask yourselves, do you really want to travel? Is seeing the world together going to make you both really happy? If the answer there is yes, then it may be time to make some changes in your lives. Maybe you guys need to look at changing jobs so instead of taking your holidays to make your WORK happy… you’re taking your holidays to make YOURSELVES happy. Your life isn’t about your job. It’s about you and what you want to do to be happy and feel good. If you guys don’t want to quit your jobs and be nomads, you don’t have to. Just adjust your careers so they work around the lives you want to have.
15. “We’d rather buy a house.”
If that’s what you really want, then you should do that. Just remember, houses aren’t going anywhere… but your life is…
16. “I can travel when I’m older or once I’ve retired.”
I’m 27 and my knees already ache after walking around sightseeing. Can you imagine how hard it’s going to be to climb the Inca Trail at 67 or spend a day wandering the cobblestone streets and hills of Lisbon? Because let’s face it, 67 is the average retirement age so that’s the age we’re looking at here. So, let’s imagine, you’re 67… you have money in the bank and you’re sitting up at the top of the Inca Trail, sore as a mother-flipper, and you’re telling me that you don’t think for one second that your older self will see all this beauty and think “I wish I’d done this sooner.” ???? Seriously ??? Of course you will!
17. “People from that country are rude.”
Nobody’s asking you to be their best friend and, let’s be real, unless you’ve met every single person who comes from that country, it’s impossible to say that they are ALL rude. So you met one/one hundred rude Australian(s) in a backpackers bar in Thailand…. we’re not all like that. There are 23.13 Million of us over here just waiting to have a crack at showing you we’re awesome! BBQ at my place! BYO Shrimps for the Bar-Beeeeeee mate.
18. “Medication or health problems are holding me back.”
Rather than thinking, ‘This problem is holding me back. I’ll never get to travel,’ use it to fuel you. Use the travel as your reward, your inspiration, the reason you’re fighting through this illness. Have lengthy talks with your doctor, tell them how much you want to travel and ask them what they can do for you. You never know, they’re often able to prescribe medications you can take with you to help you manage things.
19. “There will be way too many idiot tourists.”
Yea, you’re right, there probably will be. But you should definitely go because someone has to show other countries that not everyone from other places is an idiot. It’s your job to represent your home country.
There is nothing in this life that you cannot have or cannot do. There will be things that stand in your way and it’s up to you to remove those obstacles and go after what you want in your life. If it’s travel, go for it. If it’s something else, think about the reasons why you think you shouldn’t do it, break them down, flush them down the toilet and just go for it. Grab onto your life with both hands, take it, hold onto it and make every moment of it wonderful.
Watch: our ‘Road to Phnom Penh’ video
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.