As I alternate this morning between packing my backpack and standing on the balcony of my room in the South African wilderness, where I have a clear view of some zebras and wildebeests wandering around the river bed, I am left speechless.
I am speechless, not because of the animals, but because of the fact that I have now traveled to South Africa, not once, but twice in my life at this point. I am also speechless at the fact that before South Africa, I was in India for three months, and that prior to India, I had spent time in Romania, Finland, Estonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and many other destinations just within this past year.
Actually, I am speechless whenever I think back to any of the destinations I’ve visited, to any of my travels over the past 13 years. As a result, I am constantly wondering: “How on earth did I arrive in Southeast Asia back in 1999 with only $1500 to my name and somehow manage to create this lifestyle that allows me to continue traveling?”
It seems a little ‘too good to be true’, yes, even to myself at times. In fact, if I were to read about another person who claims to have done the exact same thing, I would be quite suspicious, and highly doubtful that such a life would be possible for me as well. And given this truth, I can completely understand if you feel the same way whenever you read about my story or listen to my claims of ‘anything is possible’ or that ‘there is very little stopping you from a life of travel too’.
After all, maybe I’m lying about how I began. Maybe I was really born into extreme wealth. Perhaps I don’t actually travel as much as I say I do. I could be making this all up.
While I can tell you that absolutely none of the above is true at all, why should you believe me? Why should you trust my words whenever I state, as I do often, that “if I can make this lifestyle happen, anyone can make this lifestyle happen”?
The reason I ask you to trust me and to believe so deeply in yourself and in your own ability to achieve your travel goals no matter what your current situation, actually has very little to do with my own story. The real reason I am so confident that anyone can travel is because of YOU.
It is the emails you send me, the comments you leave, the tales you tell and the sheer excitement in your ‘voice’ that gives me such confidence. So many of you have written to tell me that you have suddenly found the confidence to book a flight to some faraway destination or that you have landed a job teaching English overseas or on board a cruise ship. Some of you have sold everything at home in order to finally take that round-the-world trip you’ve been dreaming of for years, while others finally convinced themselves to start traveling on their own since none of their friends were interested in joining them. And the number of people who are taking off to travel soon after discovering websites such as Helpx.net or Workaway.com or finding out about working holiday visas or simply learning that travel doesn’t have to be nearly as expensive as it seems, continues to grow at a very rapid pace according to my inbox.
And I can’t even explain how thrilled I am whenever I hear that yet another one of you has built up the cajones to take the leap and start traveling in some shape or form, to enter the unknown with such confidence that no obstacle could possibly stand in your way for long. I’ve read your stories, I’ve seen your photos and have been impressed with all of your journeys, journeys that convince me over and over again that everything I claim on this site is indeed full of truth.
Whether your adventure has lasted for one or three months, six months or one year, or in some cases, indefinitely just like my own, the point is that many of you have achieved your travel goals despite having once thought that it would be impossible to do so.
Have there been challenges along the way? Sure there have and some of you have written to tell me about them. However, you’ve all kept moving forward and in the end, not one of you has written to tell me that things went terribly wrong or that you regret having made the decision to travel. Instead, the number of emails I receive from those who are ecstatic about their adventures and who wish they had started traveling earlier now that they understand how possible it all is, grows by the day!
Again, don’t take my word for it or trust in my story alone. Find your inspiration in the fact that one after one, many of your fellow readers of this blog have turned the impossible into pure reality themselves. And if they can make it happen, each with their own unique background, then no excuse is strong enough to convince me that the same isn’t possible for you as well.
Let’s try this. It’s an idea that just came to me…
If you have any questions at all about travel or about something that seems to be holding you back from taking that first step, please let us know in the comments below. Feel free to ask about anything you want and remember, we all had to ask questions before we started, so every question is a good one!
If you have already gone out there into the world and achieved your own travel goals, I now invite you to tell your own story or to offer your own insight below, either as a comment or a response to any questions that are asked. Through your own experiences and mine, we can help ensure that every concern is addressed, every doubt squashed, every fear conquered and ultimately, that everyone’s travel dreams are fulfilled.
So, how can we help you achieve your travel goals? What is needed to convince you that you can explore this world of ours?