I’m so excited to share with you a guest post today on excuses women use not to travel written by Phoebe from The Chance of Choice. A few years ago, Phoebe was diagnosed with illnesses that doctors claimed she’d never recover from. Today, she is healthy, happy and on her way to becoming the (second) woman to visit every country in the world. She knows firsthand the value of setting aside excuses and following your dreams. Here’s her advice for pushing aside those limiting thoughts!
1) I can’t afford it
If a Spanish teacher in San Pedro, Guatemala who earns 80p ($1) an hour can save for travel, there must be areas of your life you can reassess. When you make changes to save for traveling you expect to feel like you’re missing out on things. But you are saving for something even bigger and better. If you get a coffee each day, buy lunch, eat out regularly, get waxed, get your hair done or have a gym membership, good news! These things are all disposable so there is no need to use the “I can’t afford it” excuse–you can cut back and start saving today.
2) I have no one to travel with
This is a worry many women have–fear of feeling alone and wishing there was a friend with you. If you wait for someone to go with you, you may be waiting forever. There are more female solo travelers than male in Latin America! While traveling for a long period of time may not be the norm, of the people who do it, flying solo is more common than you think. One solo female traveler’s words ring true to many solo travelers: “I’ve just realized I’ve been traveling for 3 months and I ate a meal by myself for the first time today!”
3) I have a partner/boyfriend at home
There is one prying questions behind this excuse.
Are you waiting for them to travel with you?
If you are waiting for them to travel with you, just like waiting for friends, you may end up waiting forever. Spending your time hoping will end up in resentment and regret. Resolve to travel alone. After moving past the disappointment of not being able to travel with the one you love, you’ll find empowerment and relief. If your partner wants to help you improve and be the best version of yourself, they’ll encourage all your interests, including travel.
4) It’s too dangerous
Travel isn’t dangerous in and of itself; it’s the situations or areas that may increase the amount of danger you’re exposed to. As one solo female traveler said,”I don’t feel any less safe here than I do in London, there are parts of London I wouldn’t walk around in the dark in.” There are areas in every country you shouldn’t go to past dark, clad with valuables or alone.
Be sensible in your decision-making and keep your belongings as safe as possible. The dangers in the statement of “it’s too dangerous” can be mitigated, just like they can be when you are at home. Are you not going to go on a once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable trip because you’re scared of something that could just as easily happen where you live?
5) I need to focus on career development
Statistics are saying that for people of Generation Y and Z (Gen Y: 1981—1997, Gen Z:1995 or later) will on average be living until 90 or so, with many exceeding the age of 100. Looking back at the national retirement ages, that means we will probably be working until we are 72-77 depending on the country, government and everyone’s individual financial situation.
As a 20-something will you look back during retirement and think, “If only I had spent that year working and really developing my career, that was such a mistake?” Probably not. Many people do not have the option to travel, do if you do, take advantage. It’s a privilege that could be taken away from you in a second, whether it be related to health, family or finance.
6) Others are telling me not to
You may have heard any one of the following: That’s way too dangerous. What about your career? What about your family?
These sentiments come from a group that has been coined “well-wishing haters.” These are the ones that want what’s best for you, but unintentionally say things that knock you down and make you question your decisions. They care and want to protect you, but without realizing their comments can prevent you from doing something that will bring you growth and fulfillment. The best thing you can do is what’s right for you.
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