A number of my friends in Facebook recently shared a link to this article about reasons to travel while you’re young. We couldn’t agree more with what Jeff says:
1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure
2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion
3. Traveling allows you to get some culture
True, true, and true!
The writer says that these words never were more fatal words spoken:
Yeah, but… what about debt? Yeah, but… what about my job? Yeah, but… what about my boyfriend (or dog or car or whatever)?
“Yeah, but…” is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should.
It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.
Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did.
I have always marveled at people who were courageous enough to quit their jobs and travel. They are definitely past that “yeah, but…” stage. I’ve been reading about their fascinating stories in a Couchsurfing forum. I met someone in my travels who actually did. I’ve also encountered several people who were on their “gap year.” (A gap year, according to Wikipedia, means taking time out to travel in between life stages. It is also known as sabbatical, time off and time out that refers to a period of time. They take this time to travel, engage in volunteer work overseas or undertake a working holiday abroad.) I think such a thing hardly exist in the Philippines.
Here are my own “buts”…
I envy those who can take a sabbatical or gap year with reckless abandon. Most of them have let go of their excuses. “If not now, when?” someone told me. Good for them! For my part, I still can’t get over my concerns:
But what about my budget…? Taking a time off to travel for long period means you need a lot of cash. LOTS OF IT. (How does one break a bank?!) It’s not easy saving up for the big haul given my current Philippine monthly income (I learned from a backpacking talk before that a Round-the-World (RTW) trip costs around US$ 25,000!) and if I were able to gather already, I’d probably be not-so-young anymore.
But what about the bills I have to pay and other personal matters? Monthly bills are always there and I also have personal family obligations that would be hard to leave for a long time. I’m not sure if I would understood. You see in the Philippines, young ones stick with their family up until before they get married. I know that’s odd for other cultures, but that’s how we honor our parents and family relations.
But what about my next job…? So let’s say I did it, who would take me in once I get back? I’m in a good company now, would I be able to get the same kind of job in a prestigious company when I return? It would be a huge risk for me.
In the meantime…
Though I have these what you may call “excuses,” my dream to travel the world hasn’t been buried in the deepest of my heart; it still remains afloat. But I figured I’ll only remain dreaming if I don’t do something about it.
Meanwhile, I’m still going to travel. Occasionally take a vacation leave. (Maybe not for a year yet or RTW). Do travel photography and blogging. I’ll continue to save up. Start looking for other things where I can invest in and grow my income. Research. Talk to people who have done so. Prepare like it’s really going to be done.
There is no “I can’t” anymore. I’m in charge. The only thing holding me back is me.