Why do we believe that traveling abroad is not accessible? Why do our itineraries continue to be a pipe dream?
Imagine living in a world where traveling abroad was the norm.
Where we had no doubts in our ability to travel.
Where we weren’t afraid to experience different cultures.
Where we respected the differences of other countries that we traveled to.
This is possible in the world we live in today. But we don’t allow ourselves to embrace it. We don’t believe that we can even travel outside of the US. We get sticker shock from the prices of tickets that causes us to shut down. Flights are expensive to travel overseas, but there are ways we can afford them. Making a plan for your trip and saving money from each paycheck, is the best way to start. Instead of purchasing that new pair of shoes or handbag, put that money towards your trip. Instead of splurging on a domestic trip have a stay-cation. Instead of going out to dinner, treat yourself to a home cooked meal with one of your favorite dishes. There are a variety of alternatives to save for your trip without feeling constrained.
As we plan for our trip, we must remember to not over-book ourselves. Traveling abroad is a life-changing experience. As a culture we are taught to live in a reality where traveling abroad only happens once. We tell ourselves that we must see everything. But, trying to squeeze in as many locations as possible in a two-week period depletes the overall experience.
We have to take advantage of the experience but at what cost?
Filling our itinerary with a list of other countries does not allow us to fully experience any destination. We are focused on seeing the top attractions but never get to live like a local. That is what traveling is all about. Immersing ourselves in another culture with the food, the language, and the lifestyle. Turning off our routine way of living our everyday lives. Remembering that we are a visitor to this country and we need to respect the locals.
As a society, we embrace a strong sense of entitlement when we go abroad. We think that everyone should speak English and accommodate us at all times. But the world does not work that way. Every culture is different and prides themselves on their traditions and way of living. We cannot expect to receive special treatment because of where we are from. We are traveling to this country by choice and need to respect all aspects of it. But we never fully embrace this idea.
We have to remind ourselves that traveling is a way to expand our mind. We will never come back the same way as before we left. The things we see, experience, feel, and taste will forever be ingrained in our memory.
So, why do we rarely travel?
We are apprehensive to leave the comforts of our own home and engage in a new experience. We are fearful of the unknown. We step away from things that are different from us. But this is exactly what we need. We need to explore a city where we don’t speak the language. We need to try local fare like daily fresh baked bread, delectable pastries, or farm fresh ingredients. We need to partake in events that are unknown to us. These are the kinds of experiences that broaden our perspective and make us appreciate cultures outside of our own.
When the idea of traveling abroad arises, we consistently box ourselves off from it. Our mind tells us it’s too expensive, if we go we have to see as much as possible, and that we will only be able to go once in our lifetime. But we have to shut down these thoughts. We know that it is feasible. If we set our mind on it, then we can make it happen. We just need to find ways to save and plan for it.