Have you thought about “that” trip that would be so awesome but it sounds too fantastic for you even to start to plan it? So fantastic that it must be expensive or complicated to plan? But what if the only constraints are made up by you?
I’ve always wanted to see the world, but I haven’t been very good at executing that plan. I’m from Iceland, have family in Norway and friends in Denmark, so I’ve traveled a lot in Scandinavia. But’s that not an excuse for why I haven’t traveled as much as I would want to. For the past years, I’ve realized that what is constraining me is myself. My first big revelation was after I went alone to the Google I/O conference in San Francisco on behalf of my company. Then I unexpectedly experienced that there was a lot of freedom in traveling alone, and I quite liked it. Soon after, I realized that I was waiting for traveling places until I would do it with a boyfriend. But I didn’t want to live my life waiting for something that might never happen. So I went alone (and single) to the capital of love, Paris and enjoyed it very much! Since then I’ve been traveling a lot in Europe, both alone, with my friends or as a speaker. My next step in dropping my self-made-up constraints happened when I told some random person that I was a software developer. For the hundredth time, I got the reply “Oh that’s great. So you can work from wherever in the world?”. Uuuu, yeah, in theory, I could. So why not in practice as well? I decided to follow Nike’s advice and just to do it. I went to Lisbon for two weeks while working remotely. My team at work took it well, and it went more smoothly than I could have imagined.
A road trip in the USA has always been on my bucket list. But it’s been a far away dream, like going to Australia or travel around the world. Something that I’m sure I will do someday. Sometime later. The future-me will most definitely take care of it. Won’t it? But what if the future-me doesn’t? What is stopping me from doing it right now?
Me and my boyfriend were going to take our first trip abroad together this summer. We were thinking to go to Tenerife, like everyone in Iceland, or taking a road trip in Europe. I’ve still never been to Italy nor Greece! Somehow, a couple of weeks before our summer vacation, we started to talk about San Fransisco, a city both of us had visited a few years back, and both of us loved. Thanks to Wow-Air that recently started flying a direct-flight there, the prices weren’t that much higher than flying to Europe. We had also wanted to explore nature, not only be in cities. All of a sudden our travel plan for a road trip in the USA started to fold out. From San Fransisco, up to Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, through Las Vegas, on to the Grand Circle, back through LA, ending again in San Fransisco. We started to look at pictures of these amazing places, and it seemed unreal that we were gonna go and see them! Our initial plan was for two weeks abroad, but we extended that to three weeks when we saw how many points of interests we wanted to see along the route.
In a couple of days, we booked the flight, and it was on. We didn’t want to constrain ourselves too much with pre-planning where we would stay. Sometimes we did it with a couple of days in advance, other times we took our chance and stayed at a random campsite or a motel with good reviews on Google.
We did not get disappointed. We saw so many magnificent sights. Some of it felt like a dream which we didn’t want to wake up from. Traveling also makes you see things from a different perspective. Both of us have been working on making our lives simpler and finding how the connection with nature gives us true happiness. This trip made all that so much clearer for us that this is how we want to live our lives. The trip also taught us also a lot about ourselves and our relationship. There is no escaping of showing yourself, the good and the bad, stuck in a car with someone for three weeks.
The feedback we’ve gotten after we got back made me realize that it’s not a given that people go out of their comfort zone and travel out of the box. People have been awe-inspired and amazed that we went on this trip. As enjoyable as that reaction is, it feels somewhat weird because it was pretty effortless to go on this travel. It was not expensive nor complicated to do. I have to admit though, that I had a little bit guilty conscience about leaving my son for so long and don’t give him a trip abroad this year. But my honest belief is that it will serve him better in the long run to have a happy mum who can inspire him to do the same.
We got hooked on hiking after this trip and are working on steps to be able to include more travel and outdoor activities in our life. It might be going abroad regularly and work remotely from places where we can hike in our free time. It might be living in a van or a tiny house. Whatever it will look like, we know that we can do whatever we want. Our biggest obstacle is always going to be in our mind.
How do you feel about taking your dream trip and see where it leads you?