6 Excuses Not to Travel (and Why They are BS)

Enough already with the excuses! I’ve heard them all over the past few years. I never ask for them, but whenever I meet someone at a party, tell them what I’m up to and what I’ve chosen to do, the excuses come pouring out.

It always amuses me a bit, because I would never expect anyone to do the crazy stuff I’m doing unless they really had a burning passion for it. It takes all kinds of people and there’s definitely no right or wrong way to live your life. That being said, I also have to roll my eyes at the folks who clearly would like to travel, but let a bunch of trivial stuff get in the way. Travel, like so many things in life is about priorities. You have to make it one if you ever want to get anywhere.

Which is why none of these excuses work…

Save MoneyPhoto credit: 401K

1. I can’t afford it

Probably the most common excuse for not traveling. Yes, traveling is expensive, and it’s hard to save up when you have bills to pay and all that. But…. there’s a lot of things you spend money on that you don’t need. You don’t need a new car, you don’t need a flatscreen tv, you don’t need a $15 martini. Most people who travel a lot aren’t rich kids, they just make it a point of saving their discretionary money for travel. If travel is a priority, there are a lot of ways to find money to make it happen.

In fact, in many instances traveling for a year can be cheaper than your expenses would be at home.

Gary had a long night

2. I’m stuck at my job

This just makes me sad. I know we are in a recession and jobs are hard to come by, but there are a lot of ways that travel can help, not hurt your career. A career break can re-energize you, give you new skills and resources and help you re-examine your career path. If you don’t believe me check out the guys at Briefcase to Backpack.

3. I have too many loans

Yup. I’ve got them too, lovely student loans that I will be paying off for years to come. Actually, a lot of travelers I know carry this particular burden. I pay them every month and you can too, you just need to build that money into your potential travel budget. You may also want to look into working on the road.

Tourist information
photo credit: josemanuelerre

4. Nobody will go with me

Well, you already know what I’m going to say. Solo traveling is great and rewarding blah blah blah, but it’s also sometimes the only way to get anything done. I set out to do my big trip solo, not necessarily because I particularly wanted to, but because I knew that if I waited around for the perfect travel partner I might wait a very long time. (As luck had it the perfect partner appeared much sooner than expected, but that’s another story.)

Don't feed your daughter to the crocodiles
photo credit: tm-tm

5. I’m worried about safety

Okay, it’s certainly wise to consider the safety concerns of anywhere you go. That being said, there is a misconception, particularly in the United States, that the world outside is a big scary dangerous place. That’s simply not true. There are many places in the world that can be safely traveled, even by solo women.

Batur Volcano and Lake
photo credit: tropicaLiving – Jessy Eykendorp

6. I’ll do it someday

I say I’m going to do a lot of things someday: write a novel, start going to the gym, learn to cook. How many of them are actually going to get done?

You can put off travel indefinitely, but there’s a pretty good chance that the day you’re waiting for isn’t going to come. There is no perfect time to travel, but the time to start living the life you want is always right now.

The thing is, it’s okay if you don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t really get it, but I respect it. However, if you DO want to make a change, then it’s time to stop lying to yourself and to start living the way you want.

But how? That’s the hard part. That’s why I’m devoting one day a week over the next few months to telling you HOW exactly you can travel the world.

Stay tuned…

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33 thoughts on “6 Excuses Not to Travel (and Why They are BS)”

  1. My least favorite of all time is: “But I have a boyfriend.” SO?? Take him with you, or leave him behind. If he’s awesome enough, he’ll find a way to travel too!

  2. I hear ridiculous one’s all the time as well. A lot of people have perceived barriers and obligations that really aren’t that obligatory and the only thing holding them back is themselves. As for #5, I hear that one from American’s all the time and frankly, most places I have traveled I feel infinitely safer then I ever have in any city in America. There are cities in the US where I wouldn’t leave the hostel at night even with my bulky eastern european boyfriend in tow because we just didn’t feel safe.

  3. The biggest thing that holds me back is healthcare. I’m in my 20s but I’m a cancer survivor. I might be able to find a travel insurance or country that might help me out if I need medical tests but if I want to return stateside then who knows what the situation might be with all the healthcare/insurance issues in the US. I wouldn’t want one year abroad to ruin my chances at good (and affordable!) healthcare in the future.

  4. Student loans are indeed the worst excuse not to travel-I still haven’t paid off my undergrad loans (graduated 10 years ago!) and I have traveled more in the last decade then I probably will the rest of my life. If you wait until your loans are gone, your ability/desire might be gone too! Student loans will ALWAYS be there. That cheap ticket might not!

  5. Great list! I am 17 months into my life on the road with no home, no car and no cares. It’s been the best. Now I just have to figure out a way to fund it so I can keep going.

    No excuses! I will find a way!

  6. Six years ago I quit my job, sold everything I owned and moved overseas. It was the best experience of my life and I did it solo. Everyone came at me with the excuses why they couldn’t do it (the 5 excuses listed here were prominent) and I shot down every single one. I’ve done almost all my traveling solo or I met fellow travelers with similar itineraries. The world is too big to stay in one place.

  7. Thank you!! I’m one of dreamers, trying to save up now though and selling some belongings…its harder than you think it is for an Egyptian though…and it itches me to stay without traveling for so long so every now and then I just take out of my account for some internal traveling inside Egypt (A) its a guilty pleasure haha

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