Lots of folks say they want to travel. Travel is a common aspiration for many people. It is almost like the urge to explore is hard wired into our brains. If this is the case, why are there so many people who don’t travel as much as they would wish?
Not Enough Vacation Time
Here in the US, this is particularly true. Many folks don’t get more than a week or two of paid vacation time. Our culture here is built on sacrifice and hard work, and we just don’t put as much emphasis on the importance of vacation as many other countries (particularly those in Europe) do.
For example, it is common in many European countries for people to get a whole month off in the summer. WHAT! That is almost unheard of here in the United States. Europeans recognize as a culture the importance of taking a break from work for its health and wellness benefits.
Even worse, there are lots of folks who do not get any paid vacation at all, because they are self employed, or because they are working a part time job (s) which do not qualify for vacation benefits. Without the coverage for the missed pay, vacation is almost out of the question.
Too Much Debt
The subject of debt is one that I am passionate about, because I truly believe that this is the single biggest thing that holds us back from our dreams and keeps us from fulfilling our purpose.
There is the obvious debt (student debt, car loan debt) but the biggest debt culprit of all is one that many people have and see as necessary and completely normal. I am talking about the debt that you carry for a mortgage.
Why do most people work 40-60 hours a week? It is to pay your mortgage payment for the big houses that many people live in. The average size of a house here in the US has gone up significantly in the last 50 years. The amount of space that we need to feel “normal” in driving huge mortgages that cost us a ton in interest and that we sacrifice our lives to pay off. Yes, time is the only thing that you can’t get more of. You are LITERALLY sacrificing your life for your house.
What would you do if your mortgage was paid off? If you didn’t need to go to work full time just to pay your mortgage? Would you travel more? Would you relish in having more time with your kids? I know that these are the big reasons that we built our own small house - to travel more and not have to work as much so that we have more precious time with our kids.
Health is a big reason why many folks don’t get to live their travel dreams. Health directly affects your ability to travel (IE: if you live with a chronic condition, it makes traveling much more complicated) but it also affects the ability to work enough to get the money that you need to travel.
Even if you are healthy now, how you take care of your health can affect your long term ability to travel in the future. How many people do you know that are putting their “big” travel dreams off until they retire? The truth is that none of us knows what our future years of retirement hold. My father in law would have loved to have traveled more, but in retirement, pain and mobility issues have severely hampered his dreams.
Health and travel are directly and indirectly related in many ways, and investments in your health NOW will (hopefully) lead to many, many decades of travel adventures.
Lack of the Will/Ability to Prioritize Travel
Are you jealous of those folks that you see in your Instagram feed, taking amazing trips. They make it look effortless, don’t they? I have some news...travel doesn’t just happen. If we wait until we have “enough” time or money or whatever to go after the things on our bucket list, they will just keep getting pushed off indefinitely.
What it takes is careful prioritizing. If travel were in the top 3 of the most important things in your life, and you made decisions about allocating time and resources accordingly, you would probably travel a lot more. If you consciously made a decision to buy a smaller house instead of a larger one, or to get by with a used car instead of buying a new one, you would most certainly have more money to travel.
Maybe you would even rearrange your life to look for a job that afforded some benefits that allow more travel, or start a profitable side hustle to save money for travel.
I know a lot of folks who are amazed and wonder how we take so many vacations. The truth is that travel is more than just a want for us. It is something that we truly prioritize into our lives. Most folks spend an average of 10% of their income on leisure. Some people choose to buy a boat, or snowmobiles, or to spend their leisure money on a cabin by the lake. We choose to spend the majority of our leisure money on travel, and we budget and plan accordingly.
Fear and Overwhelm of Traveling with Kids
I am here to tell you upfront that having kids does change the way that you travel, and it isn’t always easy. There are days of vomit. Days of jetlag. Days of crabby kids who just can’t get along (wait, that happens at home, too!) You won’t be able to do the same things or take the same kinds of trips that you took before kids for a while.
I can also tell you that traveling with kids is amazing, and the gift of seeing the world fresh through the awe in the eyes of a child is something that fills my heart with joy and renews my excitement about life.
Being successful in traveling with kids (and not losing your mind) takes careful consideration and planning. You need to think ahead and try to anticipate things way ahead of when they happen. You need to plan your whole trip just a little bit differently to make sure that everyone has their needs met and gets something that they want out of it.
Is travel with kids easy? NOPE. Is it worth every bit of stress and frustration? Yes it is, and I would be happy to use our own extensive travel experiences with our kids and help you with planning the best trip for YOUR family.
So, which of these are stopping you from living your family travel dreams? What are you going to do about it? Getting people traveling more is one of my big passions. Check out the resources listed below for some concrete steps to get you on the path to your travel goals!
Click here to get your hands on a copy.
ps: we have an awesome Facebook community where I share our wealth of experience traveling the world (both with kids and without) and help you overcome the fears and obstacles that keep you from living your travel dreams. Click the image below to see if it is a good fit for you!