If you just daydream of far, faraway places then it is likely these journeys seem to you prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. Or perhaps it is simply too hard to get organized.
Believe it or not, but a trip to Cuba can be put into motion for about 2 weeks. Plus, just with a sleeping bag on the beach at Cuincho island might turn out to be a better experience than the 5 star hotel.
Once you really get serious about becoming a world nomad then money and time don’t matter much.
We are big-time fans of roaming the planet. This, together with reaching our objectives, is a favorite topic of ours and we can be of considerable help to you. Here are some tips from our own “know-how” in setting travel goals.
What are “Travel Goals” really?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “goal”? It’s hardly a summer vacation or a visit to some exotic place. For these, the trigger is usually the word “dream”. And that’s a problem.
Action is the one thing that stays in between an aspiration and its realization. And to undertake this action you must first make it a priority and clearly formulate the expected end result.
Vision, visa, visit
The very first and basic concept behind our system is not complicated. When you have a long-term vision for a fulfilling and rich with unforgettable moments life then you also get a direction. Regardless of what you may call it, “leisure time”, “family”, “friends and fun”, or just “travel”, it can be one of the elements of your vision.
In order to get closer to the vision, you will have to know exactly what you are aiming at. If you apply the 90-day action goals then you will be working on them with focus and persistence. One could be a visit to the Vatican and for the rest of the period you can do three short ones.
What’s left for you is simply and effortlessly to turn your fantasy journeys into reality with the help of the small weekly steps.
Do you really need goals here?
Of course, for some people, things happen all by themselves and in a most natural way but for others, a well structured approach is a must.
The truth is that as spontaneous as life could be sometimes you have no choice but to plan a vacation. Such situations arise when you become a parent or when you are overloaded with work.
How goal setting helps with this? On one hand, it is guaranteed that you will get your time off and won’t miss on the experience. On the other, it is easier to have it planned this way.
Why do you want to do that in the first place?
If you have the same passion as ours then it only makes sense to have it fully realized.
One undeniable reason is that you will expand your horizons. Your world view will inevitably change under the circumstances – when you immerse yourself in some strange environment, foreign language and a different way of life. All of these enrich you as a person. You know, a man is a man only when on the road.
And there is more to it. While being on the road and all your senses are open to the exotic and the unfamiliar around you may also encounter some opportunities. A recent case at hand, while in Havana Ivan witnesses a strange thing, almost everybody had a smartphone but no one has Internet access. Moments like that can give birth to a great business idea.
The unusual but interesting around you induce a change in your own self. You get better at how to spot what’s new in our fast changing way of life – an important advantage and not only a memorable experience.
You might be already aware of how planning a journey can motivate like nothing else. Every single minute till the moment of departure is purposeful and exhilarating, you are on the “wings of desire” so to speak and you stay like that long afterwards.
There is yet another plus. A past trip can be the perfect topic in a conversation, a way to socialize with old friends but also to meet new people. Imagine how after a trip to Japan you get a call from an acquaintance who visited Tokyo as well and now feels like talking about this over a drink. Come on! Kanpai!
Our attitudes are quite the opposite even though it is for both of us an indispensable part of the vision for “Family, Friends, Fun”.
And while for one of us travel plans simply seem to happen on their own and rarely need much forethought, it is quite a story of contrast for the other who had to work hard before he could make a habit of it. The latter, Ivan, refined the whole process to such a degree that he has a goal called “12 vacations in 12 months”. You’ve hardly ever heard of something more exciting than that, right!
We hope you might like the following couple of ideas. They are as different as day and night but are also quite successful.
Sometimes all you need is a call from a friend and the end-point coordinates in the navigation system, then you load the surf on the car rack and off you go.
If you are anything like Niki then there is no need for you to apply any strategy.
There is a “system in this madness” though. There is nothing coincidental in his seemingly impulsive behavior. It’s just that all his vacations are under the motto of his hobbies, like skiing, surfing, diving, and paragliding.
Wild and free
Combining travel plans with hobbies has numerous advantages.
When you bring together the objectives of two separate visions you are doing the classic “one stone, two birds”. The feeling of satisfaction is ensured when something you love to do is also helping you to materialize yet another dream of yours.
A surprising upside here is that such trips don’t necessarily need much planning on your side. When a friend, who shares your interest in, let’s say, kayaking, calls and asks you to join for an outing than you have to decide on the fly. And that’s all you have to do, no planning whatsoever.
Not to mention that these adventures often happen in some of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Nikki – “total research”
But what about when you are short on ideas where to go! There is a fun trick to apply in this situation.
Just spin a globe and then place your finger on it. Then you literally study everything about the place – from the most comfortable to the most unusual way to get there; from the usual to the most creative options for food and shelter. Try to imagine everything in the minutest detail even if it is unlikely that you will ever make that trip.
This “total research” may seem quite a waste but it is, in fact, a drill when it comes to all things logistical, like prices and accommodations. So, for example, when SkyScanner gets you a good ticket offer you will be able to recognize the opportunity and act accordingly. Just one click and you are ready to go.
Ivan – “purposeful dreaming”
It’s quite another story. Unlike Niki, he has structured it all around a routine. The monthly outings are a habit that was built up consciously and purposefully.
Another month, another country
It is as easy for Ivan as a cake walk, he is the master of the blitz trip.
If you love to spend time walking around in an urban area immersing yourself in the atmosphere and exploring the locals’ way of life you might find helpful this expert advice of ours. It is much better when you don’t limit yourself to a specific geographic place but just travel as much and as widely as possible. Then you will be able to go somewhere which might be close by but you will do it quickly and cheaply. Just be prepared to book right away and without hesitation. You do that and the result won’t take long – you will become an experienced journeyer.
Ivan’s “Vision Board”
And how about when you have a longing for a faraway and unreachable country? One tremendous way to see your dream come true is to make a “Vision Board”.
It is a visual stimulus for the subconscious. Covered with pictures of the coveted place – nature, people, clothes, architecture, culture, food … You can collect clippings and pin them to the cork board in your office. Or, like Ivan, you can set your screen saver to shuffle through the pictures in a folder named “Places I am visiting one day.”
The idea is to feed your imagination. These images are getting imprinted in the inside and prepare you for this “one day”. And when you have the opportunity, the furthest and hardest destinations become all of a sudden not so distant. This is the reason why even a trip to Cuba should be planned and prepared within 2 weeks – to the surprise of everyone, including Ivan’s.
What’s stopping you?
So far so good – or it is in theory, at least. There is a problem though -you want to hit the road and yet you never actually do it. Why is that?
It’s hard to believe how many people have no clue why they fail. Obviously, there is something that’s insurmountable for them but they are not even aware of it. As soon as you find out for sure what the obstacle is then you can find your way around it, or you can completely get rid of it – your mind will start immediately working on strategies how to do that.
Obstacles as an advantage
That’s why we’ll never stop saying it all over again – obstacles are not the problem, there are no stumbling blocks or a wrench in the wheel. On the contrary:
The obstacles in your way are your means of achieving the goals. Take advantage of them!
To put it differently and with an illustration – if you realize that time and money is the only thing that stops you from your dream trip then you’ve done half the job. The rest is easy – you have to come up with ways to find the time and money needed. Some suggestions follow.
The Piggy Bank, or a money-finding strategy
Okay, maybe “set-aside” is the better choice of words. Regardless of where and how you found them, or how much it is, money has the unpleasant property of quickly depleting itself and never being enough.
One proven method to generate the funds is the “JARS System of Money Management”. What you do is to distribute you monthly income amongst 6 jars, figuratively speaking, of course. And then designate one of them to be for travel only. You will end up saving a pretty good amount and in doing so you can decide where you want to go, or how to get there, or how much to spend.
“I need (50) dollar”
Apart from income, we’ll have to talk about cost now. Typically, the most expensive item is the air fare. There is always a better way, no exception here either. Instead of fixating on a destination better browse for bargains within the timeframe of your holiday. If you take into account only cost and available time slot you can spend just 50-60 euros on some extremely rare places that never crossed your mind.
Now that we’ve resolved this first problem let’s move onto the next one!
Strategies for finding time
Usually, the problem is not so much as lack of time as the inability first to separate it from and then to integrate it with the free time of your family. Like many other things in life, and in this case too, the key is in long-term planning.
Here is a readymade formula – have in front of you the schedule of all public holidays and then try to take off work those days that are between the holiday and the upcoming weekend. Your aim here is to maximize the length of your vacation and minimize the use of your days off. There is a bonus – you won’t be wasting any of your time off on work related calls and emails.
We heard of a very interesting practice but you have to find out if your employer is open to it. What you do is to “book” ahead of time some tasks, if possible. Then you are getting a head start by working on them for just a few extra hours some days of the work week. In that way, you earn some “credit” for time which you can later use towards your vacation.
When it comes to going places its value is the experience of learning and better understanding yourself as well as the world as a whole. One can always get a bigger bang for their buck by choosing less expensive but also less popular destinations. Why not walk the coastal lane of a small Italian fishing town instead of lying down in the bathtubs of an expensive local SPA resort.
In the end, pretty much all is possible. If you don’t have enough money then look for ways how to save more and spend less. If you don’t have time then try to meet your work commitments well in advance. And if you have no experience in organizing then find a Goal Buddy and start planning. It’s worth it!
The Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta said it best: “Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Go become one and bring in your life the excitement of it!
Do not forget to follow our Goal Buddy stories on the web site. See you soon!