At 24 years old, I have been places some people only dream about. Since graduating college two years ago, I’ve been to NYC twice, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto, and Hawaii just to name a few (not to mention my 2 week Eurotrip), which can be really hard to do as a new grad. A lot of people wonder how I can afford to and think that someone else must be financing my trips for me. It’s frustrating to hear, but I wanted to share with you my best travel advice.
The Cold, Hard Truth About Travel
I have watched the sunset from the Eiffel Tower. I tried to climb the stairs at St. Peter’s Basilica and became too claustrophobic and never made it to the top. I took a boat tour from town to town in Cinque Terre and slept in a 6 person sleeper car on an overnight train. I ate cheese fondue in Switzerland and drank champagne on the lawn in front of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. I got sick in Brussels and cried outside a grocery store and accidentally found myself in the middle of a Pride Parade trying to get back to my hostel. I got lost on the streets of Barcelona and ended up drinking sangria on the beach. I brunched in NYC and rode bikes along the Golden Gate Bridge even though I was afraid of heights.
I’ve been around the world, but I haven’t done any of these things by accident.
There is always going to be someone on the internet promising you that they can teach you how to quit your job and travel the world! Someone is always going to be telling you that you don’t have to live the life you live, and it can be better, more exotic or more adventurous. And they are right. Your life can be better, more exotic and more adventurous. The internet can open that world for you. It can show you places that you never dreamed existed and it can excite you to your core. But you have to want it.
My Best Travel Advice
The best travel advice that I can give you is that you have to make travel a priority in your life. It sounds like common sense, but it isn’t. You can spend your whole life making excuses for why you never made it to Paris. Or why you never drove down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible. Or why you never ate sushi in Japan, but the truth is that they will always be excuses. There will never be a right time, there is never going to be a lot of extra money laying around. The reason I get to go so many places and see so many things is because I make travel a priority in my life.
I always have a trip in mind which makes saving money for it a lot easier. I have a goal in mind so I can always weigh my options. Would I rather spend seven dollars on a drink or would I rather have seven extra dollars in Hawaii? Would I rather go out to lunch every day at work or have that money for lunch in Toronto? If you’re constantly complaining that you haven’t been anywhere, chances are it’s because you haven’t prioritized it yet.
If you always spend your money on something else, you will never have money to travel. Make a budget, include traveling in the budget and stick to it.
Having a goal is important. Making that goal a priority makes it happen.