Envisioning A Life Of TravelPosted on Dec 1, 2011 | 15 comments
So often in our search for answers, the answers wind up finding us.
For the past week I have been thinking about this post. I knew what I wanted to say; I just wasn't sure how to say it.
And then, with my mind completely removed from my plans for travel, I stumbled upon a bit of magic in the readings for my business class.
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
Leave it to the Japanese to make the first step in a great journey so clear and simple.
I promised that over the next year I would document our family's escape into a life of travel in a series of 52 steps. A blueprint if you will, for all those who can no longer sit back and let the world keep spinning without them.
Well, here is where the process begins. This is the first step in preparing for your travel lifestyle. Before you do anything else, you need to know exactly what it is you want to do. You need to find your vision.
Finding Your Vision
People often say that they could do anything they wanted if they just knew what it was they wanted to do. I think most of us understand this. We all struggle with this.
Most of us want too much. We want a good marriage, a good job, good kids, good schools, a nice car. We want to be fit, successful, smart, social, happy. We want to write a book, start a business, learn to cook. We want a lot. And this is where the dilemma comes in when one decides to make a life change like traveling the world.
If you're trying to do everything, and do it well, you're not going to be successful. You can't do everything right. Sure, there are enough self-help books in the world to get you all twisted into believing that you can master it all, but in life you're lucky if you get 2-3 things right.
Your cup never gets bigger. In order to put something in, you need to take something out, otherwise all your stuff will overflow and you'll be left with one big mess.
When planning to travel the world and live a nomadic lifestyle, you really only need to know 2 things before you get rolling.
1) What is it you really want to do.
2) And when are you going to do it.
Forget about where you're going to travel. Forget about how you're going to make money. Forget it. That comes later. Your cup can't handle that now. For now it's just the what we want and when we're going.
Creating Your Vision
So how do we find out what we want?
Well, there are two ways to do this. You can take a few years like me and go back and forth on every little detail, often switching plans and visions, only to wind up right where you started, or you can take a few hours and try the exercise below. I suggest the exercise below. It works. I believe we all know what we want, it just takes some guts to go get it. This little game below helps.
I initially got this idea from an article I read by Nora Dunn on how to change your life and kind of tweaked it a bit. After reading her article I realized I do this all the time. Only problem was I really should have only done it once. I killed it. Anyway, in order to do this right, you're really going to have to give yourself some time. An afternoon maybe, and you really need to be by yourself.
Ok, here we go.
1) The first thing you need to do is get away from everything. You need to go to the woods, desert, park. You need to be away from all people, cell phones, music, advertisements. This will not work otherwise. All the things in our lives influence us way more than we know. I have had moments where I thought all was right with the world and then comes a phone call, a lyric, a siren, and it throws everything off. You have to get away from all this for a while.
2) Bring with you a pen and paper. And wherever you are, once you're alone, just take some time to be alone for a while. Walk, sit, throw rocks. Do anything but sleep. Then, after an hour on your own, start writing.
3) What you're writing is your vision. Your world the way you want it. Write down how you want to travel and live your life. Will you still work and travel more on vacations? Will you seek to become location independent? Do you want to take one year off or will it be 5? Do you want to volunteer? Do you want to homeschool? Whatever it is you want in your travel life, write it down. Just write. Write hard and fast. Don't worry if it makes sense or not. Don't worry about how much it costs or doesn't cost. Just write what you truly want for you and your family And after a 45 minutes, STOP!
4) Now, the last step. You need to know when this is all going to happen. You have to set a date. You just have to. This is the biggest mistake I made to date regarding our journey. I avoided setting dates and tried to plan everything, but that's not how this works. You learn as you go, stuff happens, but you have to have a goal. Set an achievable date. You know what you can do and what you can't. When can you put this grand vision of yours into play? Set that date, and then know this is the date your life changes and your vision becomes reality.
Many of you are going to read this and question how this will work for you. You will avoid setting dates. You will try to do this exercise on your lunch break. You will worry more about saving 100,000 dollars instead of just going. You will want to know how your vision will play out before you put it into play. But that's not how this process works. Believe me, I know. I did all of the above and it got me nowhere but frustrated. It was too much.
I wanted to travel years ago with my family, but my vision became clear only weeks ago. I was by myself. I wrote down what I wanted. I set a date. I forgot about prices, itineraries, and blogs. I just set a realistic date that would give us time to work hard, save, and get ready to go.
Vision without action is a waste of time that fills you with regret. Do it!
And action without vision - which is the game I played - well, that is a nightmare. You can ask the wife and kids about that!
Your first answer is your best answer. Stick to your vision. Embrace it. Start working towards your goal. Do this, and all will fall into place.
OK Escapists, that’s it for now, but make sure you come back and check in on our progress in our quest to travel forever. We promise we’ll put everything we’ve got on the table for you. You have just read our first step in planning and preparing for a family travel adventure. If you're looking to plan your own travel adventure, take a look at our Escape Guide.