Maxie is probably one of the most adventurous travelers I know. I feel like there are people who travel all the time in crazy ways (backpacking or on someone else’s dime), but Maxie’s travels are totally attainable. She has the best let’s-make-it-happen attitude when it comes to travel and she’s sharing them here!
So You Want to Travel?
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
Who isn’t hit with a travel bug this time of year? Friends are on cool family vacations. Classmates are rocking study abroad trips. And colleagues are on a rotating schedule of visiting far flung places.
It’s no surprise that you’re likely struck with the head in the clouds, heart on an airplane, soul wants to get out feeling of wanderlust.
I’m with you. In this year alone I’ve lived in Bali for a few months, seen the beauties of New Zealand, spent my summer on a rotation of most major US cities, and am already planning my return to the other side of the world.
Travel, if it’s up your alley, is one of the great gifts of this human experience. Whether it’s seeing the pillars of other cultures firsthand, or being brought to tears when you find yourself standing above an epic rainbow – there’s nothing like travel to expand your soul.
The thing I’ve heard over and over and over again since the day I stepped back on home soil was “I want to travel like you! How do I do that??” If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering how you can get your booty on the road instead of your couch, here’s a few things to think about:
Build Up Your Travel Tolerance
Before I lived in Bali for the first half of this year, I had done a great deal of international travel alone. From India, to Hong Kong and through much of Western Europe, I wasn’t a travel newbie. But when I went to HK and London, I was. And everyone starts somewhere. So before you jump into the idea traveling through the Southern Pacific or going on the Great American Roadtrip, know how you fare on the road, either on your own or with your travel buddies.
If your ultimate goal is to travel whenever and wherever you want, it sounds like flexibility might be an important value in your life. The US workforce is definitely going in the direction of self-employed business owners, creatives and consultants. Think about the work you can do from anywhere. Maybe that means monetizing your blog, or doing skilled design work from the comfort of your laptop. There are so many options! And if you’re not yet working think about what future opportunities could afford you the option to be anywhere.
Know the Landscape
I love going where the wind takes me. However, before you go on a trip there are a bunch of very practical things you need to do before heading out besides looking at the weather. Do you know about the travel warnings? Have you made copies of IDs and passports? Are you stocked with the right meds just in case. What’s the attitude towards your gender, culture, or race? Know what you need to know. Here’s about 10 things I personally screwed up so you don’t have to!
Just Do It
Knowing where you want to travel ends up being as much of a gut feeling as knowing who you love. Something will just tell you. Something will call you to go there. When I had a vacation I needed to take and had no idea of where to go, India came knocking on my door. I tried to ignore. But then everywhere I turned there were signs pointing me. So I did it and it’s hands down the most life-changing trip of my 20s. When you get a feeling to go somewhere, decide then. Book it. And go. You can figure out the rest later.
Have a $$ Cushion
One of the biggest factors keeping people from traveling is the obvious: money. Over the years I’ve created a few workaround to the crazy expense of traveling. First, the “Parent” advice which is just to set money aside. You’ll never miss it if you do a little bit every week. And it’ll add up. Second, fly with one airline and align your credit card to be the same. The points will add up so much quicker than you realize. I booked about $10k worth of flights on points this year alone – aka free flights. Lastly, go where your friends or family friends are. Stay at their places. You’ll be surprised how happy people are to open up the opportunity for you to see someplace new and awesome. And it’ll help the budget big time.
When you decide to travel, near or far, have the time of your life, follow these tips when you get there, and know that you always come back a little different than left.
This is such a fantastic post! I'm in college and am starting to apply for study abroad programs, and I'm definitely a little anxious about going somewhere where I know nothing and no one. Thank you for the encouragement to just go for it! I hope to one day travel as often as you do, Maxie!
Oh you will!! When I was in college the farthest I had ever gone was Mexico. You get more and more experienced over time 🙂 No better way to begin than with Travel abroad. That's one thing I wish I had the opportunity to do (but athletes had to train, not travel hehe) – Good luck!!!
Thank you, Maxie, for this amazing post! It is super helpful!
Phyllis | http://www.prettypleese.com
What a great post! I was actually just on vacation in NYC this past weekend and Maxie definitely gives sound advice. Having a budget is really helpful because you won't feel stressed on the trip if you know how much you can spend.
Lindsey | Finding Balance in Life
Thanks for sharing this amazing post! My daughter is going for tours of San Francisco and I am worried about the budget. I would definitely share this post with her so that she can learn some important things before leaving.