Last summer I was working at an information booth in a mall in order to make money for my trip to France. One day, when I had to work by myself in the back room with absolutely nothing to do, I started reading travel blogs. It was on this fateful day that I stumbled upon Wandering Earl’s Blog and my plans in life changed forever. This was the first time that I read about someone who has made traveling a lifestyle. You mean this guy has been traveling non-stop for 14 years and is making money from it? I couldn’t believe it!
And then this idea started brewing in my head that maybe I could figure out a way to do this too, that I could actually live out my dreams of traveling for a living. The idea has just gotten stronger and stronger and stronger, and the more time passes,the more I imagine myself as a permanent nomad.
But as amazing as I imagine this life will be (actually, I guess I have been living it for the past year) there are things about a living a traveling lifestyle that really scare me, and that make me wonder if I actually want to do it.
Things such as:
1. Having to always make new friends:
It’s not always easy to find a niche in a foreign land, and I am a social being. I need to have a support network and people to go out with! I’m afraid that I’m going to end up in a place where I make no friends and end up finally embracing the hermit within.
2. Messing up my career:
What if I travel for a couple of years and then I realize it isn’t financially viable and have to enter the workforce but have absolutely no relevant experience and then I end up in a dead-end job I hate? Yeah, I’m freaking out just thinking about it. Maybe it’d be better to focus on my career instead of traveling? But what if traveling can be my career? Agh, so confusing!
3. Being shallow:
When I tell people that traveling is my passion I feel a little guilty, like I betrayed my passion for social justice. I’ve always dreamed of working to somehow improve certain societal/global conditions that drive me mad, but can I do this if I’m constantly traveling? I’m afraid that I’m going for a dream that will benefit mostly me, but then I think that I can find a balance and do them both…am I being unrealistic?
4. Being selfish:
I’ve been focusing so much on my own dreams I think maybe I’ve neglected the needs of the people I love. If I focus all my money on making traveling as a lifestyle viable, how am I supposed to help my mom financially? Can I find a way to juggle living my dreams, paying loans, helping my mom out, and saving for the future?
5. What if I miss my chance?
What if in the middle of all this debating I miss my chance of creating the life I want and end up in a life I’ve always wanted to avoid?
Right now I am not sure at all about what to do! I just know that I feel like traveling is essential, that it is a way to learn about everything that interests me, and to challenge myself to grow, to change, to mess up. I know that traveling has to be part of my life. I’m just trying to figure out how to make it all work!
Have you ever felt anxiety about your travel dreams? How do you juggle travel with everything else? Wanna give me advice so I stop freaking out?….halp!