I remember the first time the trip became real to me. My wife Sachi and I were at our friend’s house and, as we planned before the visit, we let it fly…
“So, we have some big news for you guys. Starting in December of 2005, we’re going on a trip around the world for a year, coming back home in December of 2006.” I remember this moment for a few reasons.
First, I remember their reaction, which was something like “you’re gonna WHAT?” Second, this was the first time we told anyone about our big plans. For the first time, we were officially on the hook – to change plans now would be tantamount to failure.
Now that the trip is an incredible memory, we are often asked for advice for people who are planning their next big adventure (whether it’s travel, business or personal).
Looking back to the event above, it is clear to us that two things came together that night that did a lot to keep us focused, excited and motivated.
1. We Set a Date
Procrastination is easy when you’re facing a big challenge. Don’t do it. Set a realistic date, even if it’s years away and plot out milestones along the way. You’ll be surprised at how things fall into place.
2. We Told People
Do not take this lightly. When you’re ready, tell your friends and family about your plans. Once you take this step, the people in your life will be interested and anxious to see you pull it off. Peer pressure will become part of the planning experience.
Lastly, we are big believers in financial responsibility and planning your next adventure often requires lifestyle changes to make it happen from a financial perspective.
A friend introduced to a new term: Monetorium. A monetorium is a moratorium on spending money.
For over a year before we left, we changed our lifestyle to save more money and called this “living the monetorium”. No new clothes, no lattes, no eating out, no cable TV, etc. The monetorium became the name of our new lifestyle and all the little penny-pinching ideas and games we played to save a little more for the trip (“Let’s make the shampoo last until we leave!”)
Living the monetorium was a challenge that made saving money fun. So the third and final point that enabled us to proceed:
3. We Lived the MonetoriumTake a good look at your lifestyle spending habits and consider what changes you could make to enable you to save more. Remember that you’re saving for a life-changing experience, not just a rainy day.
Always ask yourself: What would this buy in Thailand? From this perspective, it’s easier to make the sacrifice. Tell people about the monetorium too! They can help.
It may appear that money is the biggest barrier to accomplishing your next adventure, but it isn’t, it is commitment. Planning and time can take care of the finances, but commitment and determination have to come first.
Only after you mentally commit to making the adventure a part of your life will you have the ability to make it real. Before setting a date, telling people or living the monetorium, you have to cross the chasm of doubt and anxiety.
Once that it done, everything else will seem easy.
Do you have any travel planning tips that worked well?