I should probably explain myself better because I secretly hope (well, now it’s not a secret anymore – but the people who would tell me that that’s a stupid idea don’t understand English so it’s still quite safe from them) that this blog will, at least partly, support my travels one day. But even though this post might make you stop reading my articles (and thus my hopes are in danger), I promise I’ll still do my best to explain what I mean.
The Core of the Poodle
Let’s get straight to the core of the poodle here. Oh, sorry, I mean the core of the problem.
How much time do you spend reading about things you love to do? And how much time do you spend actually doing them?
If the amount of time spent by doing them is bigger than the reading time, you can probably leave this article and think about how not-necessary it is to write about this. But if it is the other way around, you might want to stick around for a little bit longer.
You see, I’m not saying that reading about things you like or stalking people with the same interests on Instagram is wrong. Not at all, books and the Internet can be and are a good source of information necessary for you to gain to be able to pursue your passion, and they offer a good amount of inspiration.
But if you spend your weekend… and then another one… and another one just by reading and watching videos and scrolling through pictures, where’s the real deal? You are not living your dream, you are not really reaching your goals, you are not really doing what you love.
You live your life through the lives of other people, you live through the Internet more than your real life. You don’t have the real experiences, you have just the transferred ones from blog posts or pictures
Does that sound rough? Well, that’s because it is!
Again, because this blog is about travelling, I’m going to refer to the problem in a travel-related way.
Are you telling me now that there is no solution? Oh, but there is! There always is, even though you might not see it.
I know it’s hard to get out of the system that has been created in our society and inside your head. I don’t blame you for what’s probably happening in your brain now, it must be confusing for your self to be molded into a certain shape so it would fit in the system the best – and then being pushed in a completely opposite way, not really supported from its surrounding. What more, probably hearing all the bad stuff about being crazy if it thinks the things can change.
So what about starting with some easy stuff?
Time and money. Yes, these are probably your biggest arguments for why you cannot do what you like.
But maybe there’s something else? Fear, maybe? I wrote a whole article about fear only, you can read it HERE, so let’s focus on time and money now.
Even though it can seem like something you just can’t get enough of, you actually don’t need so much of it.
Believe it or not, you don’t need a week-long vacation and $15,000 to get out there to explore the world.
Now, I’m not going to be this unbelievably positive person who tells you that you can find a super-cheap flights because I know that they are never cheap enough for me to be able to afford to buy them, not even when I spend hours on the internet looking for the best deals and following all the rules and tips on how to get the best deals. With my salary, even flying from NYC to Chicago was a big cut through my budget.
Let’s leave flying alone then and focus on all the other different kinds of transportation.
I’m going to write about what I used, none of these things are sponsored and nobody paid me to write about them.
What I used the most to get around the east coast is a bus. If you plan a bit longer time ahead, you can get really great deals with Megabus. NYC to Boston as low as $5, NYC to Philadelphia $2. NYC to Washington, DC $15 (I was buying it late). They cover a lot of cities.
Next thing is Amtrak. Super comfortable, but a bit more expensive and with not so good schedule, from New York to Niagara Falls only once a day – and when you work as I used to in NY, you really need to save every minute possible so waiting four hours on Friday after work or coming back home on Sunday in the morning wasn’t the best option for me. But other than that, I can’t say anything bad. They even have great offers for long-distance traveling and you can get really good deals travelling all around the USA.
Then, of course, you can use your car! I couldn’t do that in New York as I didn’t have one, but here (in Cali) I only travelled by car so far. What more – with a car you can easily save on lodging if you step out of your comfort zone and spend a night in the boot. 😉 I’ve done that a couple of times, you just need to be careful about the choice of the place where to stop and sleep.
If you don’t have your own car but a train or a bus aren’t an option, you can still do carpool! There are lots of websites where you can find a shared ride. And this is a great way how to get to know new people!
And how to save on lodging – other than by sleeping in your car? Have you heard of Couchsurfing?I can’t say anything bad about that, even if I wanted! Great people, great times. You can learn so much!
And have you heard of tents? Pretty practical things, campsites are much cheaper than cabins or hotels! And you are so much closer to nature, it’s a whole new experience…
I’m probably going to write articles specially dedicated to cheap travelling so let’s end this discussion here. I think I gave you more than enough arguments so you can’t make excuses again.
And now, for the other problem, time.
I am really lucky now because (with really, really rare exceptions) I have every weekend free! That wasn’t the case for my job in New York but I still managed. And with 10 working days of vacation per year, combined with holidays, I can create a lot of free time to go somewhere.
I know your schedule can be (and probably is) crazy busy. But if you really want to get out there, you can do it. Every word you say against this statement is an excuse.
Do you have at least one free weekend in six months? Do you have a free holiday? Do you have 5 working days of vacation? Or do you happen to have Sunday and a half of Saturday off next weekend? Then pack your things, get on a bus or in your car and do a short trip into the wilderness, sleep under the stars, explore that lake which nobody knows about and you find it only because you stop worrying about nonsense.
Or go to the nearest city and explore neighbourhoods you haven’t visited yet.
Or, if you really don’t have ANY weekends or holidays off, just walk through a different street on your way home, turn left instead of turning right, get lost. Go to Chinatown and buy some weird-looking food you’ve never tried. Stop in the port and have a chat with a fisherman. Start with little things like that. And don’t tell me you don’t have time. There’s always time. Unless you are saying your last words, laying in a bed and about to leave, you still have time.
Let’s Wrap It Up And Go.
So now, when I told you this all… What are you still doing here? Move your butt and hit the road! How can you still sit and read this? 🙂
So now, stop finally looking at the picture of Half Dome and go see it yourself. It’s a completely different experience, it’s going to take your breath, I promise. I spent few years looking at pictures of Yosemite Valley but nothing could prepare me for what I saw when I first came there (Article HERE). I had tears in my eyes that moment…
If you need any more inspiration, here are some links to blogs that are all focused or have some articles about cheap and short trips. I’m going to expand this list as I explore new blogs.