I’ve heard it a hundred times, and probably a hundred different versions. “I would love to do that, I just don’t have the time, I guess.” “So I bet that plane ticket was pretty pricey, huh?” “You didn’t know the language at ALL? Geez, I could never do that…”

In other words, “I can’t travel.”

For any of you who have ever said something like this, here’s my response.


Let me elaborate.

You know that new pair of shoes you bought last week? You know the ones. They are hot and in right now and will end up in the “donate” bag a year and a half from now. In five years, you’ll probably even forget you ever owned them. You know what you won’t forget? That one time you went to Machu Piccu/Quito/Bankok/Uzbekistan/Fill-in-your-dream-destination here. Especially if you take pictures. Which will sit on your shelf Forever.

Don’t have the money? Sure, maybe not now, but do you have an extra 75, even 50 dollars a month that you could stuff into your back pocket? In a year, that’s a plane ticket, and that’s the most expensive part of traveling. Now, imagine what happens if you save 100 a month… Or, consider working abroad. There are enough au pair and teaching jobs out there that virtually pay for themselves.

And time? Well, only you can truly speak for this. But if you truly ask yourself how much of a priority traveling is and if you decide to bump it up to a position close to the top, you’ll be surprised at what you suddenly find you can do. I left the United States in the middle of a semester of graduate school—took classes online, worked all my graduate assistantship hours before I left, taught English classes in China for six months, and was back in the US in time for fall semester to start.

And if you don’t know the language in your Dream-Destination, well, that’s ONE thing you don’t have. You know what you do have? Books. Body Language. And internet. And creativity, if you give it a fighting chance.

And Hutzpah is in fact a learned skill. Something you pick up along the way, after you click “purchase” on that flight, after you pack your bags. It’s a pretty valuable skill too.

So stop spluttering those “Buts.” You can choose to just go. Learn about yourself and what you’re capable of. Learn to challenge your assumptions about people, the world, and yourself. See great things. Do great things.

Carpe Diem.