Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Traveling takes time, effort, and money.
The best places to visit are often the hardest to get to.
Traveling requires you to drop everything and commit to the "van life".
There are exceptions to each of the above statements. Life isn't cookie cutter one way or another. So, in a sense, each of these above statements can be seen as truths and lies. Some are more capable, and able, to venture in areas some can only dream of. However, today, I wish to inspire a measure of hope within you that adventure awaits within your reach, not outside of it!
Traveling nowadays does take some measure of money, even to backpack across Europe, we will always need food and supplies on our journeys. Effort is required to find the best deals, the quietest spots, the best views, etc. Whether you want to explore the world or your own backyard, you will need to put forth the work required to play. Again, there are exceptions to this, which can be a blessing or a hinderance. I feel that my favorite trips are the ones I plan, with personal goals that I accomplish using my own time, effort, and money. These trips can and often do include other people, making the experience even more memorable! Often I'll hear that traveling some distance just really isn't worth the trouble. True, travel is one of the most stressful day-to-day experiences we have as humans, but I have to question why it is people want to travel in the first place? Is it all for the likes, followers, and status? Perhaps a destination will be far more worth the journey if instead we learn to cherish the journey along the way. Perhaps the growth, made possible by the very traveling required, will be far more valuable to us than any status we might obtain by making the trip.
I have found that my favorite hikes, vistas, spots, etc. require a great deal of work and pain. That is not always the case, but hikes like Sheep Falls and Table Mountain, are really difficult to get to, but so worth it! With that in mind, you can find incredible beauty in the rolling hills, the peace found in the forests and in the wide expanse of an open sky and reaching horizon. The cotton fields of Texas, thick forests of the East, high plains and vast rivers and streams of this country are worth the short trip it takes to find them. The hidden gems within each of these require more effort. The high mountains and deep canyons, to be explored, demand more time and attention. Beauty can and is found everywhere on this planet. Follow anyone from around the world on social media and you'll be inundated with pictures of the simplest yet most beautiful sights. What is common place for these people appears as paradise for those living elsewhere. So, find that beauty where you live. What graces your landscape and sky? When traveling to those hard to reach, exotic places, that are truly breathtaking, remember those places are called home by other people. Treat them as such!
You don't have to give up a normal 9-5 life to explore the world. Yes, the means to explore may be tight. Yes, you won't always have the time to get out to the places you'd like, but you don't have to resort to the nomad life (as appealing as that sounds) to see what this planet really has to offer. For many, that life isn't possible. The introduction of children into the mix makes extended travel even more difficult. I do not wish to discount the "van life". Some have made this work, spectacularly. Yet, we really only see the success stories, and only the tip of the iceberg of those success stories. Most jobs offer vacation time. Weekends happen once a week. We all have the same 24 hours in the day. Time can be made available for small and large trips! Money can be set aside and saved. Over the coarse of months or years, you can plan ahead for meaningful trips. The effort to do all of this can feel overwhelming, but again I ask, what is motivating you to want to travel in the first place? What goals do you have? What is your bucket list for?
I promise you can make traveling work for you. Moderation is wise and sustainable. Traveling outside your means will lead to more stress than healing. Life still needs to be lived, work to be done, and people to be loved. Sacrificing those and other things can lead to unforeseen difficulties. Spontaneity makes for incredibly memorable experiences! You never know 'till you ask or try!
I wish you all the best as you satisfy your wanderlust. Be wise, be safe, enjoy!