“Wow, you are lucky!”
“Noooo way, you are going to the US for so long, lucky you!”
“I have ALWAYS been dreaming about this too but…”
“I would also like to go but you know, money, time…”
I hear these sentences quite often when I tell people about my trip for two months to the US. And I am wondering – why do people react like this?
Because you know what?
I am not lucky, I haven’t found a magic lamp with a handsome gin in it. Nobody sprinkled me with a magic powder and let the miracle happen. Wingardium Leviosa, you’re flying to USA. Nope.
Two years ago I came back from my volunteering in Russia which was one of the best experiences in my life. When I was sitting in the plane home I knew already that I will go on another longer trip and maybe volunteer again.
I needed this decision not to get totally depressed with the thought that such an amazing time is now over and I’m going back to my daily routine. If it hadn’t been for my longing man waiting for me with flowers at the airport it would probably take me at least a month to pull myself together.
I had made this decision back then and I didn’t forget about it afterwards. I defended my bachelor thesis and decided to apply for extramural studies for my master degree so that I could have classes on weekends and work during weekdays. Terrible decision according to my family because with “SUCH studies and an inferior diploma you will never find a job, and when are you going to learn, huh? You will fail the studies completely and that’s it” (I defended my master degree just this week 🙂 ).
Even though I was a person with little experience, I found a quite well paid office job. “Ha!” some will say happily. “See? You are lucky after all!”. I wouldn’t agree that this was luck but that’s a topic for another discussion.
As soon as I started working I started to transfer a certain amount of money to a separate account and I pretended this money doesn’t exist. Whenever I pay by card, 5% of the amount paid goes to this non-existent account as well. Additional money which I got as a gift? They went to that account too. And it continued for the last 20 months. There are countless tricks how you can save money for traveling. And there are no excuses – check this post to learn how to afford to travel with kids.
Moreover, I set up this travel blog to share my experiences. (do you want to start one too? Check these 10 simple steps to starting a travel blog)
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to complain because I live comfortably, I moved out of my family house, I was paying for my studies (ok, parents often helped me out here and I am very grateful for this). What I mean is that I was doing this systematically and I wasn’t spending money on things I didn’t need. I had my travel goal set and I followed the plan.
It took me two years to save up for this trip, others might need three years. And there are people who would bend over backwards, take a working holiday job, work 60 hours a week and find a way to save the same amount of money in six months. And there are some positive, crazy people who would just go with only 50 euro in their pocket (like a Polish guy who set off to China by hitchiking and his micro-scooter! He started his trip a day before yesterday and I keep my fingers crossed for him. Unfortunately his blog is only in Polish)
Because except for money, dreams require courage. Reading the best travel quotes can certainly help to inspire you but it won’t make your trip happen. I planned to ask for an extended unpaid leave at work and I expected to get it. However, if I didn’t I wouldn’t hesitate to quit my job and look for a new one after I come back. I got the leave this time but I will want to go somewhere for a longer time again. And again I will not be afraid to take (some say) drastic steps to achieve it.
Because it makes me happy. Makes me smile every day.
I’m not the only one, there are a lot of people who decide to live their dream and they go for it.
So if there is something you “would really like” or something you “have ALWAYS been dreaming of” then think what are your priorities. Take a piece of paper. Write down what you want to achieve. And then do a list of things you need to learn, the amount of money you need to have in order to do it. And how much time it will take. It could be a year or two, could be fifteen.
Seems long? It is. But time will pass anyway, be sure of that. In order to make your dreams come true you just need to be systematic, determined and to have a plan. And you can do it.
Unless you want to bore yourself to death and achieve nothing in life.
You can also get back to scrolling your Facebook thinking that nah, you won’t make it anyway. Only “the chosen ones” can make it. The better, the richer, the smarter, the prettier or the ones born under the sign of Cancer in the third phase of the Moon. You are a Capricorn and moreover there was a New Moon on the day you were born, so you are completely screwed.
All excuses are good. Only they are not true.
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