Anything worthwhile will scare you. Fear is almost necessary for growth, and it shouldn't be avoided.
I know that I am following the right path when I find myself scared often. How else would you grow if you weren't doing things that intimidate you? This applies to many aspects of life, but it is very apparent with travel.
In the Summer of 2015, I quit my job, sold my stuff, and walked out of my door to hitchhike across the USA. After reaching California from Florida by using my thumb, I flew to Hawaii to work on a farm for a few months, and then flew to Southeast Asia where I am currently.
The act of traveling like this seemed so daunting before I made the leap. Here is some advice I learned and would have given myself before I made this change in lifestyle.
Don't overthink. Just buy the ticket.
It is so easy to rationalize your way out of taking action. We humans are so good at talking ourselves into being comfortable. How to avoid this? Cut off your thinking brain and just buy the damn ticket. The ticket is the accountability you need to get started in travel, and once you complete this step you automatically find ways to make the trip happen.
Pick a Destination based on your ability
When taking the first leap to travel, you want as little obstacles in your way as possible and the biggest obstacle will be your budget. Choosing a destination that matches your budget best will allow for the least amount of hurdles in your way, and will make it that much easier to make it happen.
Recommended destinations for low budget living and travel:
Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, etc.
Central America: Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, etc.
RECRUIT A FRIEND
I am very much a proponent of traveling solo. The truth is, you reap most of the benefits of travel when you do it alone. But, I do know that when embarking on your first travel journey, it can be intimidating to go solo.
Recruiting a travel buddy for your first trip will be beneficial in making this happen.
With a travel buddy, there is someone else to keep you accountable. It will be harder to back out when there is another person involved in the process. Plus, you will now have someone to get excited with about your trip.
What if there is no one willing to take this journey with you? Let's face it, we all have things going on in our lives, and most people don't prioritize travel as one of them. So what do you do?
Bother the hell out of a friend
Once you have purchased your ticket, send a friend the flight info. E-mail them pictures of the destination. Make it easy for them to say yes.
Don't Listen to People Telling you not to travel
A big issue you are probably going to face, especially if its your first time traveling is having people (friends, family) talk you out of going traveling. Especially if youre going solo, even if youre going with a friend.
DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL
Your family, your friends, they just want you to be safe. They care about you. And lets face it, traveling pokes and prods at the conventional idea of safety.
Only you know what is best for you. If you actually want to do this, you are going to stand up for it, and you SHOULD stand up for it. There may be some initial blowback in going against the dissuaders, but once you get over that hump and they see you traveling as an adult, you will actually gain their respect and help them realize that it's actually not that big of a deal.
TRAVEL INSPIRATION IS KEY
Now that you have bought your ticket and recruited a buddy, all there is left is that time between the idea and the execution. Don't underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with encouraging travel content. It may make the difference between backing out on your trip and actually taking the leap.
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Many digital nomads are lured into the lifestyle by other digital nomads marketing it as a "working on the beach with a laptop and a margarita" type situation.
Here is my day to day here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I've included prices of my purchases converted into US dollars. If you have found this helpful, or know a friend who may gain some value from this video, please share it!
Many Thanks to the Huffington Post for featuring my video as one of their Huff Post Originals. Find the video here:
After many requests, I've gone and launched a Teespring campaign for the second round of True Transient t-shirts!
If you have been following my journey through my videos, please consider grabbing one of these today and showing your support!
p.s. Send me a picture of you rocking the shirt once you receive it :)
I've never been told so seriously that I was going to die before I started revealing my plan to hitchhike across the USA.
The first words out of a lot of people's mouths were along the lines of, "you're going to get stabbed," or "I better not see you on the evening news."
This man had no knife. No axe. No intentions other than to help a fellow man by giving him a ride. Every single person I encountered on my journey was the same.
So the next time you want to do something big. Align your eyes to the goal and don't listen to what anyone else has to say. Make your own way, cut out distractions and craft your opinions out of real experiences that YOU AND YOU ONLY have experienced. Now go out there and get after it.
Stay tuned for a new hitchhiking journey soon.
Hitchhiking in Idaho, one of the few states in the United States where it is fully illegal to hitchhike anywhere...
Let me know what you think of the video in the comments below! Like and Subscribe if you enjoyed it!
Tara picked me up on a sunny Sunday hitchhiking just an hour outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I was surprised to see that she had her young daughter Kaley in the backseat when I got in. They were coming from church. Tara said pulling over to pick me up "just felt right." Kaley was adorable and kept asking her mom questions about me. Understandably so, as she just wanted to get to the bottom of who the strange, scraggly dude in the passenger seat was. You can see her head peaking above mine in this photo. Thanks for the ride Tara & Kaley!