People often ask me how I got started with the whole ‘world traveler’ scene. Given my interest in culture and nature, mixed with my craving for adventure, it was pretty easy. I’ve long envisioned a fulfilling future that involved traveling the world. The more I stuck my fingers into the travel pie, more bits of inspiration popped up. It kept me in tune with travel subculture.
Traveling the world begins with traveling at home
What really got things going was traveling in my own country. Short, cheap trips. Some of the most valuable travel moments I have are the simplest: first time seeing the ocean, the mountains, the desert; Feeling the energy of big cities (I’m from a small city so that’s impressive); driving for hours and hours; hitchhiking, and on and on. That inspiration kept me focused on my goal: explore the entire frickin’ world.
Here’s a few simple steps you can take toward becoming a ‘world traveler’.
- Read travel writers – books, blogs, magazines.
- Watch travel shows and movies
- Look at travel photography websites
Get creative with that inspiration
- Make a personal mission statement. Define what it is you want to do in a sentence or two that starts with: “My personal mission is to…” End with a succinct outcome and how you’ll achieve it.
- Make a vision board or a vision video. Vision boards are essentially collages with inspiring images and words that project the lifestyle you want to design. Get scissors and some travel mags. or print inspiring stuff from the Internet. Organize it on a board. Hang it where you’ll see it regularly. Vision video’s are the same idea, but with images, video clips and music. The best way to do it is with friends or family so you can share your visions and inspire each other. The entire process is fun and inspiring. The more you see it, the more your lifestyle design gets crystalized in your mind.
- Make a bucket list. We all know about the Bucket List. Think of all the things you want to do and places you want to go before you croak. Make a nice list out of it. If it gets long, categorize and prioritize it.
- Make a Google map with pins in all the places you want to go. You can always use that map. As you visit a place, change the color of the pin.
Get social with the travel community
- Try Couchsurfing. You don’t need to surf or host unless you so desire. Just join some groups related to places you want to go someday and make conversation. Maybe there’s a group near you that has local meetings with locals, expats and travelers.
- Take a travel blogging course.
- Join conversations on travel blogs by commenting on posts. Do the same on social media travel pages.
- Try to find a friend or family member that’s compatible and interested in traveling. Plan a quick trip together.
Get your feet wet
- Research your first destination. Choose something according to your ability and priority. Read articles about it. Look at photos. Take notes on what stands out.
- Take a short trip somewhere in your state or region. Practice travel photography, using maps, asking for directions, using gear, etc.
There’s so many things you can do to get started traveling, and so many twists on these ideas. The more you clarify and incorporate your vision of traveling the world into your actions, the sooner it becomes real.
Have anything to add to the list? What kinds of things got you started on the path to traveling the world?