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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Why you should ditch everything to travel now, not later

I’m going to let you in on one of my greatest fears.

At my previous job working in a print shop in Sydney, I was conversing with a colleague about some of the crazy experiences I had on my travels through Europe. Walking through a political protest in Ukraine, exploring the death camps of Auschwitz, and being blown away by cultural differences in some of the less-travelled countries.

Listening intently to a few of my somewhat insane travel stories, my colleague responded with “I wish I’d travelled more when I was younger.”

My heart broke just a tiny bit.

Eastern Thailand, 2018

Exploring the coast of eastern Thailand

I’ve heard this line multiple times from numerous people. And each time I think I don’t ever want that to be me. If I end up on my deathbed regretting the things I should have done when I was younger, then I’ll consider my life a complete waste of time.

My colleague is in his mid-thirties, has a wife, two kids, and debts to pay. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is what his life has become. I can see the regret behind his eyes without him actually voicing it. He now has to direct his money into things that benefit the family, and he can’t just decide to do his own thing.

In other words, he left it too late.

In his case the regret is due to family commitments, but it could be anything. Nobody knows what will happen in the future. As much as I prefer not to think about any possible catastrophes that might hinder my lifestyle, I do have to consider that they’re a possibility and therefore make the most of what I’ve got while I’m young, healthy, and able. This is something I think everyone should think about.

“But I don’t have any money to travel?” the skeptics will say.

Well, I earn barely any money working as an entrepreneur. Less than half the average Australian wage. But you know what? I still get to travel more than anyone I know. Because having lots of money doesn’t matter – being smart about where you spend money and where you make savings can make the world of difference. You can travel the world even when you’re broke.

Living on the edge in Tasmania, Australia

When I was speaking to my colleague, he’d told me earlier that day that he recently purchased an $1800 television for the family home. Now I don’t know about you, but when I comprehend how much travel $1800 could get me (a month in South East Asia, maybe?), I’m blown away that he could possibly waste so much money on a large box that flashes advertisements at you.

Isn’t it more important to invest in life experiences (something that will be with you forever) than a fancy car or a new wardrobe?

There are always going to be countless reasons why you can’t travel now. I hear people say they don’t have time to travel, or money to travel, or their career is in the way. But in reality, the choice they made was to prioritise those things instead.

If I can change the direction of just one of you to ensure you don’t become someone with regrets like my colleague, then I will consider this blog a success. Please, I beg you. If you want to travel, do it now. Don’t wait. What’s the worst that could happen?

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