On travel, priorities, and planning

People ask me how I am able to travel as much as I do, and so few believe me when I tell them it is a lot easier than they think. My answer is almost always the same, and it is pretty simple. It is all about priorities and planning; and if you really want it, you can do it. Yes, that’s all. For some, it is more complicated and I understand that. Having school-age kids, need to care for a family member, pets, and other reasons make it more challenging. I would imagine it makes it harder and requires more thorough planning, but it would still be not impossible.

P1000277Travel is not an all-or-nothing experience. By that I mean, you don’t have to quit your life to travel. There are also a lot of wonderful people who travel for a living (and I am secretly envious of), but you can see and experience a lot in a shorter trip as well. In the U.S., we don’t get a lot of vacation days, so all my trips to South America were my annual vacation days taken before or after a long national holiday and were on the shorter side like 15 to 20 days each time. For those trips, I needed to do comprehensive research beforehand especially for travel times and transportation, because one learns fast that these things might be unpredictable, and if not careful, you may lose a chunk of your time in a little town waiting for the next bus for three days 🙂

Of course, one thing that I need to remind myself every single time is that I should not be too ambitious and avoid the temptation to over plan. Because there is always something that will not go how it’s supposed to, and I also don’t like to feel like I am just putting checkmarks to a list. I will have a pretty good idea about the places to go, what to eat where and such but not a firm plan. Once I have a tentative itinerary, I book my roundtrip flight and first night’s accommodation, and I leave the rest open. What ends up happening most of the time is I will change things around a little bit here and there after speaking to other travelers I meet on the road. So it gives me a level of flexibility as well as allowing me to enjoy the wonders of traveling such as meeting new people and travel together with them for a few days, spend some extra time with locals, or just hang out at a place longer if I want to, etc.

When I say it is all about priorities and planning, what I am trying to say is that we all have things that we will use our extra resources for, yes? Among other things, traveling is on top of my list, so I manage my budget and vacation days with that in mind. And that’s my choice. A wonderful choice, that is. I am already thinking about twenty different destinations, now that I am located in a different part of the world and so many amazing places are nearby. It is all so tempting and I cannot wait to start!

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11 thoughts on “On travel, priorities, and planning

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, particularly with one eye on travels coming up this year for me. It’s challenging at times getting the priorities in line, and I do regularly have to come back to one of my partner’s insightful questions: ‘what will you regret the most if you don’t do it?’ – this has shaped a lot of my decision making!

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    1. Yes, that question has helped me making big life decisions several times, too. I will check out your blog to follow your travels, too. Sounds very exciting. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. I mirror your sentiments about being jealous of people who get to make a living out of travelling 😀 And one who could combine travel and writing… oh, that would be the best, wouldn’t it?! 🙂
    Thanks for the follow.

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  3. I so agree with you on prioritizing travel. For me, learning about the world is a value, so why not make the investment in pursuing it with verve, instead of waiting until it’s too late to immerse entirely into the journey? Thankfully, I realized this sooner, rather than later.

    As for planning, I would like to be a bit more flexible, and even spontaneous, when booking flights and reservations, but alas, that is something that will come with time.

    Liked by 1 person

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