Doubting your long-term travel dreams

travel doubtsMaking life altering decisions is not easy. For every moment when the plan makes sense and you feel positive about the course you are about to embark upon, there are a dozen moments when your mind races with questions.

Some questions will be answered quickly, like… Do we take the dog on our long-term travel adventure? Of course, yes. Do we pack up all our stuff and store it in case things don’t work out? Heck, no! These types of questions come into your mind and you answer and move on. Maybe there’s some family discussion or maybe not, but the answers are easy to find. Occasionally, these questions might come back or you might find it difficult to make a decision. For us, taking he dog was an easy yes, while potentially packing and saving household items took hours of family discussion and several flip flopping answers before feeling confident with a no. Yet, no matter how long it takes to settle on an answer, these are the easy questions, the ones I think of as “the distractors”. They occupy your mind and you worry about them to the point of distraction, but the answers are likely already there, or the consequences of the wrong choice are so inconsequential in the grand scheme of life that any answer will do.

The more important questions come less frequently, but they are far scarier and can bring with them waves of doubt that make you want to climb back into your minivan and sign the kids up for every after school activity available that will keep you rooted where you are. These questions make you stop and re-assess whether the plan to uproot your family and move them to a foreign country is really the right choice. Questions like, how will a move to Mexico and subsequent ongoing travel impact the developing mind of a two year old? or Will we really find ways to stretch our budget and earn enough to keep us going? The answers to these questions are so critical, and the potential consequences so frightening, that we stay awake at night running every possible scenario through our tired minds. Unfortunately, the trouble with the important questions is that there are no acceptable answers. No one can confirm it will all be okay, and no one will tell you following your dreams is the right choice. You just have to know.

Knowing what you want and never doubting how it will work out are not the same thing! This is an important realization and I think it’s the key that unlocks your own path. Doubt is normal and it’s essential! When you have doubts it forces you to think through the options and ensure your plan is the right one.For my family, long-term experiential travel is the plan. We’ve had many doubts, from constant distractors to terrifying questions without answers. Each one has provided an opportunity to assess our dreams and regain our commitment to creating the life we want. With less than two weeks to go before we depart, I am not sure of many things, but what I do know is that doubt will not deter us. In spite of the worries, the what-ifs, and the sleepless nights, we are not making random choices but are intentionally forging our own familial path focused on shared experiences. I believe there is no cure for doubt, only continuous movement towards the path you crave in spite of the fear that motion creates.

Has doubt kept you from fulfilling a dream? What are your strategies to keep going?