So, you have the travel bug and your significant other doesn’t? Or, maybe it’s you that simply just doesn’t see the value? In either case, I can help. Travel is aspirational, it’s a “want” and not a “need” in the eyes of most. It’s often hard to clearly define the benefits of travel because, well, travel is personal. And what I mean is, travel means different things to different people, therefore the pros and cons are all over the map, so to speak. Nevertheless, I will do my best to shed a little light on the subject.
Let’s start with the facts. According to Forbes, the travel industry worldwide is a $7.6 trillion industry. It directly and indirectly employs millions of people. It’s a true economic force not to be reckoned with. Think about, the airlines, travel agents, hotels, car rental agencies, cruise lines, local shops, restaurants, bars, theme parks, and national parks- they are just a cross section of industries whom all rely on a financial transaction that has something to do with travel. Let’s not forget about the auto industry, apparel, luggage, and tech companies- if you look around, you’ll start to see, travel isn’t a BIG it’s a HUGE business. So, by participating, you are fueling economies, paying for goods and services, or maybe helping to make someone else’s life just a little bit easier. Think of the housekeeper you tipped $5 for taking care of your room for two nights, or the server who went out of their way to serve you an excellent meal- so you throw them $20 as opposed to the standard 20 percent.
How about time off? According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative, the average American leaves eight paid vacation days on the tabe each year. Unacceptable. Really? It’s a benefit of your employment. Because employers figured out long ago they want happy, motivated workers. They are literally paying you to be away from the office and, for the most part, were opting to stay at our desks working ourselves to death.
Speaking of health, more and more research emerges consistently about the health benefits of travel. Sure it might be a little counterintuitive because travel can be stressful, but the the big picture is, travel is usually good for the mind, body and dare I say soul. Have a look at the latest research conducted by Timo Strandberg of University of Helsinki, and learn all about lowering your blood pressure while away. More benefits include getting a little more Vitamin D from the sun, getting a little more exercise by exploring or swimming in the ocean, or even having better sex! It’s not my opinion, it’s science, folks.
Not getting along with your mate as well as you’d like to? Well, travel is an excellent way to share an experience with the one you love. Laughing a lot, trying new thing, and falling asleep in each other's arms again can all be part of the travel fun!
The New Year celebrations have long since ended and perhaps you made a resolution to learn something new. Or learn a new language or become more culturally well-rounded? Hello? TRAVEL!
Okay, now comes the uncomfortable part. How do you pay for this life-changing vacation? That’s up to you. But the word TRAVEL begs a little personal definition. I used to define “vacation” as a far off place, that's expensive, and that requires a tremendous amount of planning and financial resources. Those trips do exist. But after traveling for a living for more than a decade, I now completely understand the true meaning of the word. Travel is defined by YOU! An extended weekend away without the kids? Travel. A short cruise to the Caribbean? Travel. Getting in the car and rediscovering your neighboring town? Travel. Camping by the river or in your own backyard? Travel. Forget about keeping up with others. Don’t just do what everybody else does, do what YOU want to do. Go where you want to go and be with the people you want to be with. Nobody really cares and if you have people in your life that you feel are judging you based on your travel plans….get rid of them! You see, you DEFINE what travel travel means to you and yours. Travel doesn't have to be expensive. How about missionary work? Voluntouring? The possibilities are seemingly endless because travel’s such a huge business.
Hopefully, I’ve peeled back the onion layers here to help you get a clearer picture of the big world out there just waiting for you to explore. Now, all you have to do is... do it. Good luck and keep me posted on your plans- before, during, or after you return from your next great adventure.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to start a new year! While I’m not the most reflective person, I do enjoy taking a moment in December to glance back at the previous year and think about the highlights.
Sure, like most of us, your year might have had some adversity. While you might have had to overcome some tough times, didn't you also have moments of fun? Did you spend time with your family? Save a little more for retirement? Laugh out loud with your friends? Did you travel? Get a promotion at your job?
No matter where you are in life, a new year is upon us and I say, it’s time to start living! If you haven’t made New Year's resolutions in the past, this is your year!
How do you break old habits and resolve new ones? Start here: Picture yourself having this moment of reflection in 12 months from now.
Think of your life as a paint-by-numbers picture. Now is the time to draw the lines of the picture you can be proud of; you have 12 months to paint in the colors. It's okay to acknowledge that you might not be happy with some aspect of the analysis. That's normal. This is the year to resolve to act and make improvements in that area!
I suggest including travel in your 2018 plans. Get out there and explore a new corner of the world. Drive, take a cruise, or hop on a flight to your next great adventure! But remember, you will need to be proactive. Look ahead six months, nine months, and a year to make room in your schedule. Personally, I like to have some sort of travel adventure (even a simple weekend getaway) to look forward to every three months. Next, begin a budget and start setting aside money each month for this adventure. But get the planning started today. Because once you do, then you’re more likely to take the trip you planned.
Oh, and as a last note, you never know which vacation will change your life, forever. It’s true! I receive emails and calls all the time from people regaling me with the stories of vacations that forever changed their lives.
The 2018 train is leaving the station... are you on it?
Happy New Year and happy travels in 2018.
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!