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1.2. "I couldn't take a big trip like that, because..."

The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace

from The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World

and The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace

by Edward Hasbrouck

You say want to travel around the world, but you haven’t done it? What’s your excuse for not fulfilling your travel dreams?

  • “I couldn’t get that much time.” If you think, “No one in my situation could get six months off,” you’re wrong. Whatever your age, occupation, and stage in your career, people like you are finding time to travel. Once you really resolve to travel, you’ll find a way to make the time.
  • “I have a job and a career.” Your job and career may be the best reasons for world travel: There’s no better investment in your skills and future earning potential than a year or two of international travel.
  • “I have children.” Children are another great reason to take a trip around the world. Few other gifts you could give your children could match the lifelong value of international experience and exposure to global diversity as a child. No one I know who has traveled abroad as a child would think of trading a year of world travel for a year of conventional schooling. Experience living abroad as a child is the single best predictor of success in international business as an adult.
  • “I don’t have that much money.” You can’t extrapolate from short vacations to long- term travel, or from package tours to independent travel. Most people find that their total costs, including airfare, for an extended international trip are less than their living costs were at home. If you can afford to spend a summer or a year sitting around your back yard doing nothing, you could afford to spend the same amount of time traveling around the world — for less than the cost of staying home.
  • “The places you talk about are too far away.” Europe isn’t the closest other continent to North America. From San Francisco or Seattle, Tokyo is closer than London. From Miami, Sao Paulo or Santiago de Chile are closer than Madrid. From New York, Senegal is closer and a shorter flight than Switzerland. And the Third World is, of course, right next door to the USA in Mexico and much of the Caribbean.
  • “It would be too difficult and uncomfortable.” Because services are so much cheaper in poorer places, independent budget travel in the Third World can be much easier and more comfortable than in the First World. It’s travel in wealthy, expensive places like the USA or Western Europe that’s most difficult on a budget and takes the most travel savvy.
  • “I don’t speak a foreign language.” Never before has any language had the truly global hegemony that English has today. You’ll learn much more if you know more languages, but there is almost nowhere that you can’t get around on English. You speak English: you’re lucky and privileged. Make the most of it: you can go wherever in the world you want.

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