“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”
– Richard Bach
Everyone has a bucket list. For some it’s a portfolio of big dreams and plans for the future. For others it might be a vision board. Yours might be scribbles on a post-it note, or simply a mental image of an activity you’d like to do one day.
You’re probably here because you want to know how to achieve your travel goals. Perhaps you want to try traveling solo but don’t know where to start. maybe you’ve wanted to go trekking Nepal for years but have never found the right time. Maybe your bucket-list goals aren’t within your budget.
This is about finding out what you want and then figuring out how to achieve your travel goals. It will require work, but any goal is possible.
Too often we get sidetracked before we’ve given ourselves the chance to truly commit.
I am the type of person that loves to try new things. I easily get caught up trying new hobbies: photography, blogging, reading, rock climbing. Starting new habits is very exciting for me and it’s easy for me to jump in.
The hard part is sticking with it. The real work happens when the going gets tough and you stick with it anyway.
When I stop seeing failure as an option I am able to push through challenges that come up. This is about taking your budget list one step further. Instead of wishing for your dreams to happen, make them a reality. This takes work, but breaking it down into steps is how to manifest your travel goals.
Here are sure-fire steps towards taking that trip you’ve been dreaming about.
Take Time To Be Quiet
Clarity comes through stillness. It can be tempting to jump online and start researching. Hold yourself back from scrolling Instagram for #travelinspo just yet. Meditate on what you truly want for yourself. How do you want to feel when you’re traveling? Do you want to feel relaxed? Outdoorsy? Challenged? When you get quiet your intuition has the chance to come through. Sit for a few minutes in silence, and the quiet will give your mind the space to prioritize all those excited thoughts. This exercise will help you get clear on what you want. Then you can start mapping out how to get there.
Make Your Goals Specific and Big
Dream big but get specific. You can go anywhere in the world -where will you go? How long will you be there for? Who will be with you? Be ambitious and don’t shoot down any ideas just yet. Instead of hearing the voices in your heard that say it won’t work, try to think of reasons it will work. Anything you desire can become a reality. You just need to be positive, motivated, and specific with your goals in order to turn dreams to action.
Set Goals That Are Realistic and Attainable
“To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.”
– Anatole France
To achieve your travel goals your target must also be realistic and within reach. You might not be able to take a trip to Antarctica for spring break, but a cruise to Alaska definitely could be on your horizon. It’s easier to achieve your travel goals when you know that you can make it happen with a reasonable amount of time and effort.
Look At Your Calendar
Now that you know where you want to go (and that you can make it happen) figure out when you can make the trip happen. Will it be a solo trip? With friends or family? Even if it’s way in the future, having an idea of when your adventures will take place will help you stay motivated to taking the steps to get yourself there.
Budgeting: Plan in Advance
Get your finances in order before you go and be aware of how much this trip is going to cost. This will help you have a smooth journey and ensure that nothing gets in the way of you having a great time. Is the place you want to travel within your price range? If it’s not, figure out how you can save up in advance or travel in a way that will be less draining on your savings account.
When I traveled to New Zealand I knew it was going to be expensive for my budget. I came to terms with the fact that it was going to cost a significant amount of money, but I decided that the adventure and experience was worth it. I saved money while I was there by getting rides with new friends, cooking for myself, and moving around less.
Don’t let a challenge discourage you – figure out what you need to do to get yourself where you want to be. Limitations are opportunities. If a trip to Thailand isn’t in your budget, set aside an amount of money each week towards reaching your goal. Create a 90-day plan for yourself outlining how you will get the funding for your trip. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Get Acquainted With Your Why
Simon Sinek came up with a powerful concept: Start With Why. He has a TED talk where he explains that companies like Apple succeed because they tell us why they do what they do, not just what they do: they don’t just make great computers, they believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.
Apply this to your travel goals.
You know where you want to go and how much it will cost. But why? Why do you want to make it happen? Why will this adventure be incredible?
Get clear about why you want to jet-off in the first place – this will help you stay motivated to save money and stay excited about your trip.
Think Of Yourself An Egg
I watched a TED talk recently (my guilty pleasure) that defined the human experience: the shell is what you do and the yoke is who you get to be when you’re doing it. For example, the shell is that you want to travel to Croatia and Montenegro in May on your own. The yoke is you feeling free and adventurous and independent while you’re doing it. That is your why.
Getting clear about how you want to feel while you’re traveling makes the planning and waiting more awesome.
Your trip will be more meaningful if you get clear about the kind of adventure you want to have. Everyone has taken a trip that they anticipated for months, and then it was over in a heartbeat! Imagine if you could be present and engaged with every moment. That comes from setting some intentions beforehand. Here are some great tips from the Drifter Collective about setting travel intentions.
What Doubts Are Stopping You?
Starting to wonder if that trip you’ve been dreaming about is realistic? Think again. Start by writing down what’s holding you back from traveling to the place of your dreams. Not enough money? Can’t get time off of work? Does the kitchen need to be cleaned?
Fear setting is a tool developed by Tim Ferriss to get clear on the limiting beliefs and doubts that stop us from achieving our goals. We all have doubts, but you might not realize how doubts about how to achieve your travel goals may be self-sabotaging. Ask yourself: If I go through with this trip, what’s the worst that could happen? How would I handle that challenge? If I don’t pursue what excites you, where will you be in 5 years? 10 years?
Don’t kill your dream trip before it even starts. Write down what is in the way of your trip taking shape. The only way to get past limiting beliefs and thoughts is by defining them.
So what are you waiting for?
What Has To Happen For You To Feel Thrilled?
What has to happen for you to look back three years from now and say “that trip was the best decision and the awesomest trip of my life”? Perhaps this means trying something new like waking up at 6am every day of your trip. Maybe that means drinking mojitos everyday and dancing the nights away. Write down 9 things that you make this trip ideal and utterly thrilling.
Need –> Do –> Desire –> Accomplish
Once you get clear on what needs to happen in order for you to achieve your travel goals, it’s simply a matter of following steps and motivations to get you there. Do one thing at a time and don’t get discouraged if things don’t go exactly according to plan either!
The most important benefit of setting travel goals isn’t going on the trip, it’s who you become as a result of the process. You learn about what make you tick and how to be self-motivated. You become more confident in your abilities and more willing to challenge yourself.