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Breaking Out of the Rut - How to Start Travelling

By Edited Feb 20, 2016 5 9

"I want to travel" says everyone at least once in their life. However, most people become too comfortable with their life that if mentally petrifies them to leave it for adventure. There is also this great binding force that tends to keep people in one place and that is money. You can't do much without enough money, travel is one of those things.

So with things like a job, a spouse, maybe some kids, and your lack of money weighing you down how do you get out there and travel?

start travelling

Take It Slow

While technically you can just jump right into going backpacking in a completely different country, you should try to start slow. It can be as slow as going to a local park and enjoying the flowers in bloom or taking in a local chili cook-off (you would not be hard pressed to find one). Just convince yourself or your loved ones to get out of the rut and enjoy the weekend out.

Perhaps after than move up to state parks for hiking or camping. Maybe after than go to an event out of state or maybe just go to a city to enjoy some good food and a museum. You get my point, start slow and keep moving up. It is a good way to build up to travelling and spend some time with your family and get away from the other things that bind you. Most of these small things can be accomplished in a weekend with very little money.

Save Your Money

A lot of people are kept bound to their bland life because they have bills. Everyone has bills. You may have a family member who talks about all their grand adventures, but they too have bills to pay. You may have a savings but when you think of spending it on travelling you are petrified by the thought or "what if my car breaks?" or "what if Billy needs his tonsils removed?" So thus, you never want to spend it.

The answer to this is to create another savings account. You don't have to add a lot to it. It can be something as simple as putting away five bucks a week in a hollowed out book. That will add up and someday you will have the money you need to go where you want to go as well as a savings for anything that could go wrong.

travel job

So What About Your Job?

Some people are afforded with a flexible job, but not all of us can work from wherever they are. This severely limits your ability to go on long adventures. But so what? So what if you can't travel around Europe for a month? Pick a place in Europe and go there for a week instead. Save up your vacation time, as well as your spouse, and go travelling with your when your kids are out for summer break.

Sure, you won't be afforded a month of freedom, but you will get to see some amazing places. Believe me, a week in a new place is enough time to feel like a new person and get to know a new culture.

What About Your Stuff?

So maybe you and your spouse have jobs that are flexible and let you travel for a month. Who will take care of your stuff? This is where having family, friends, and even neighbors in a pinch comes in handy. If you are gone for a whole month have them watch your stuff. You know, make sure your rent or other bills gets paid, watch your pets, make sure things don't burn down. I know I always enjoy when my sister goes travelling, I get to relax and spend some time at her nice house.

When you are travelling, don't worry about your stuff, it'll be fine. You can even unplug everything there and see the lowest electricity bill ever when you get back. Leave things you don't want to risk losing at your house. If you want to write about your travels, leave the laptop and take some good old fashioned cheap paper instead. You won't need your electronics when you are going to a whole new place to explore.

travel research

Research Up Some Courage

So you've worked up to that big overseas trip. You have someone to watch your stuff, you have the money, you have all your passports and vistas in order, and you and your family have the time off from obligations. Yet, you still are filled with more worries that you are starting to second guess this trip.

Maybe you are worried because you don't know the language or you are afraid of getting your money stolen and getting stranded over there. There are a lot of worries that people have when travelling to new faraway places. The best thing I have found to ease the worries is to prepare. Read about the cities you are going to. Find fun places to go, places to eat, local food stands, research local customs. The more you learn, the more excited you will get. I guarantee it.

If you are going to a new place where you don't know the language, it is a good idea to learn some phrases. Most places you can muddle your way through with English, but it still shows respect to their culture to at least show you made some effort. Phrases like "Hello", "Please", "Thank You" and 'Goodbye" are pretty much musts. You may also want to learn "where is such and such hotel?" or "how to get to the airport?" If you don't want to blunder your way through a language book, I have found the Google Translate phone app to be helpful. You can say what you want in English and it will translate it and say it for you. It is helpful in a pinch, but sometimes it can be confused by the weird things about English language like conjunctions and it will mess with the translation.

Once you have prepared, relax. Go with the flow. You are getting to see a new place filled with new things and interesting people. just breathe and take it all in.

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Comments

Mar 19, 2013 1:22am
bluethree
the hardest part of trying anything new is taking that first step - because of personal or other reasons (like time off from work). i'm lucky to have enough saved up to take an extended break from working, and the things i've seen on my travels have been really inspiring.
Apr 13, 2013 9:20am
aguy
I remember one of the most stressful things when I first started traveling overseas was money exchange rates. It's a good idea to really know what things cost in the new currency so you are not sitting there going "Wait - did I just pay thirty five dollars for an ice cream bar?"

I've been fortunate to do a lot of traveling to lots of interesting places. It definitely broadens and enriches your life.
Apr 13, 2013 4:35pm
KimChaos
Great point aguy and I agree. Figuring out the exchange rate is crucial. Great article!
Apr 13, 2013 6:23pm
ptownsville
If anyone asked me how they could begin travelling I'd tell them that the hardest part is giving themselves permission. After that, it's all about cash and a passport. Nice article!
Apr 15, 2013 11:18am
mikerobbers
Pretty useful tips here, very nice post...
Apr 16, 2013 10:26am
Daedalus
Awesome! I can't wait to travel, but I need to finish college first. I personally think it's best to travel when you have a degree but not a relationship! ;)
Jun 4, 2013 8:13pm
NU_Law_Student
Some pretty good advice. Create a budget! With a budget, you know exactly where every dollar you make is going. Allocate a small chunk of your income every month to a "Travel Account" every month, maybe taking 5% of your entertainment budget per month and putting it to vacations. We are the makers of our own lives. Degree. No degree. Relationship. No relationship. Job. No job. Traveling is easy. Just do it.
Aug 27, 2013 7:11pm
jssaggie12
I am so ready to begin traveling! All I do is work it seems!
Sep 9, 2013 2:03pm
prsquires
Great article and some brilliant comments too!!
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