Anyone Can Travel…Just Find Your Way

Thorin and I dreamed of traveling our entire lives.  We each grew up dreaming of far off places and imagining ourselves living in and experiencing all the wonderful and mysterious locales we read about. After we found one another and created our life together those dreams didn’t go away, but they did slip down the list of life goals as we moved forward and took on jobs, debt, and a house in the suburbs.

But, every now and then we’d talk about the things we wanted to accomplish in life and what we would do “later”.  Someday we were sure we would go to Italy, Croatia, Greece, Japan, Spain, or any one of the hundreds of other places we had always wanted to see ourselves exploring. Yet, we didn’t know what to do to make our dreams a reality. “Someday” always seemed so far away, far too distant to be actually obtainable and I think secretly we often felt “later” would just be more of the same.

Yet, here we are, living in Mexico for a while before we head off on our grand relocation to establish our new base in New Zealand. Finally, we feel like we’re living the life we always wanted, and what I know now is the secret to creating this life, the secret all traveling families know. And, I’m going to share it with you.

The thing is, this secret is not going to tell you how to make a zillion dollars on the Internet, get plane tickets for free by using 12 different credit cards, or turn into a travel blogger extraordinaire that has free trips provided just for the grace of your writing, because I don’t know how to do any of those things.  There are people who have done that, but I doubt they started with the dream of exploring the world.

The truth is the secret I learned recently and the one that I think has the potential to make your dreams a reality is much more basic and is simply the knowledge that ANYONE can travel.

I mean it! For all you nonbelievers, the ones who tell me how lucky we are, who ask how we can possibly afford it, or those who never say anything but who sit quietly wishing you could make your travel dreams a reality, listen to this really carefully and please, please embrace this idea: ANYONE CAN TRAVEL!  You just need to find your way.

This is the big secret that I didn’t know for years.  And truthfully, I’m not sure I would have believed someone had they told me this before I saw it in action. See, I knew I couldn’t just start traveling, I had responsibilities and children and a job and pets and things couldn’t just be moved around to let me wander the planet. That would be totally irresponsible. Clearly the only way to do this was to win the lottery or make a zillion dollars on the Internet!  What I later realized is that those things that I thought were keeping me in one place, the kids, the pets, the house, they were all truths about my life, but they weren’t the cause of my travel limitations.

People are traveling everyday, for long trips and short trips, for business and exploration, alone and in large families.  So, what was really holding me back?

The real limitation I faced, the one that kept us from doing what we had always wanted to do, was fear.  Fear of change, fear of instability, fear of losing something we knew we had to keep, just fear in general.   What if we ran out of money? What if we came back from traveling and couldn’t find a job?  What if the kids missed their family and their friends and we scarred them for life?  What if the car ran over the cliff because the mountain roads were awful?  There were dozens of questions just like this and none of them really have answers, so we stayed the course, and we kept talking about our “someday”.

And then something changed and I learned the truth about travel.  I don’t think it was an all-at-once, sudden realization that we could follow our dreams.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I remember hours of discussion trying to find answers to all those what-ifs and scaring ourselves silly with the answers we couldn’t guarantee.  But the thing that changed, the key for us unlocking the secret, was actually more fear.  All those hours of discussion had taught us something, we were suddenly far more afraid of life staying the same than of any of the terrible what-ifs coming true.

It was scarier to stay than it was to go.

That realization didn’t have us packing the van and driving away the next day, but it did break us out of the cycle we were in and allow us to explore the opportunities.  We still had to find our path.

Camping through Central America? Nope, two out of four of us hate camping.

Sailing around the world?  Well, it sounded nice, but we’re not really that handy, and don’t want to have to be. A boat was off the list.

RVing through Mexico?  Maybe, but did we really want to sink that much cash into a giant land boat?  Not right now.

In the end, our path emerged.  All of the ideas we had were exciting, there were parts of each of them that we really cherished and wanted to pursue, but the right path became the one that had all the pieces come together at just the right time.  For us, the path was Mexico for a while, New Zealand forever.  We still haven’t made it far, but the world is a different place for us.  The difference?  We KNOW that we can travel! And now we have plans and not dreams.

I still have amazing children, I still have an old yappy dog, a job that’s full of stress, and in general a lot of responsibilities.  The kind that wake me up in the middle of the night and often make it difficult to go back to sleep.  Those things haven’t changed just because my location is different, but those are the things I have chosen, they’re what make me who I am.  After all, I haven’t won the lottery, made my zillion dollars, or been given free accommodation, but I am living my dreams of international travel and living abroad and I am exactly where I want to be, at least for now…

Where do you want to be?  I promise anyone can travel!

Check out some other amazing families that have discovered the same secret:

Only the Very Special, Lucky, Rich, and Perfect (Like Me) Can Travel by Gabi

Anyone can travel by Mary at Bohemian Travelers

Diet shouldn’t stop you from travelling by Amy at livin’ on the road

If Anyone Can Travel Why Don’t You? - Keryn at Walkingon Travels (twitter: @walkingontravel)

Not Everyone Can Travel - by Living Outside of the Box

True Story: Single mother from Bushwick, Brooklyn, funds long-term trip without having to sell a kidney – Melissa at Break Out of Bushwick

Anyone Can Travel, Just Let Go by Diya at a minor diversion

Don’t Be Jealous of Our Travels! Be Happy for Us and Know That You Can Make it Happen Too !  - Susan V. and family

Pity, Envy, and why anyone can travel – Clark Vandeventer of FamilyTrek.org @FamTrek

Travel – Possible? 

New Life on the Road

Our Path to becoming Lucky enough to Travel

You Have to Be Special Like Us If You Want an Awesome Life


7 pings

  1. Lisa Wood says:

    Its so good to read about how you are living your life on your terms and how you believe that anyone can travel…no matter what!!
    Its all about wanting to travel. If the desire is big enough, the dream is big enough then anything is possible :)
    Put it out there and the universe will provide. Its that easy.


  2. Mary says:

    Make your life what you want it to be, it’s that simple isn’t it? Fear seems to be what holds us all back in life. Imagine a world where we were NOT controlled by fear at every turn?! Quite a different place I imagine.

  3. Susan Verbeeck says:

    Fear is the main thing I think for most people ! Good to hear that you made it past the fear and headed out into a new life. What is in New Zealand for you ? So exciting !

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