Time. There just never seems to be enough of it. I mean, it’s already December. Didn’t we just celebrate the start of 2019? I feel like I was just ringing in the new year. Time moves too fast (and every year it seems to just move faster). And time is something people always tell me they don’t have enough of and is one of the main reasons why they don’t travel as much as they would like. Now, I won’t pretend that people with 8-to-5 jobs can travel as I do. My travel needs to suit my way of traveling. It’s not for everybody. I’m lucky enough to be an educator who has breaks in between the year so I am able to travel more often. But even if they don’t want to be nomadic, most people I know with office jobs want to travel more than they do. They just think they don’t have the time to do so. They are wrong!
Let’s say you work 50 weeks a year and get two weeks of vacation. Counting your vacation time and every weekend brings the total number of days per year you can travel to 110 (104 weekend days plus the 10 days in your two-week vacation). That’s a lot of time to travel. Throw in three-day weekends and holidays, and we can add even more days to our total. It may not be all continuous, but you can do a lot with that much time. Let’s think about that for a second: 110+ days of free time per year. That’s close to four months of potential travel time per year! Four months! The world is your oyster with that much time. When looking at it this way, our busy schedule becomes a lot more open. What are you doing with that time? Everything is about priorities. Yes, there are certain obligations we have in our day to day lives that take up time but if you really want something, you find a way to make it happen. It’s like when I say I don’t have the time to go to the gym. I have plenty of time to go to the gym; I’m just spending that time elsewhere. Because the gym just isn’t a priority for me (though it probably should be!).
Moreover, most people associate “travel” with a long-term, big, expensive trip and thus discount all the short-term methods of travel. When people think “I want to travel” they envision a two-week vacation, a cruise, or some long, multi-month journey. That’s not really their fault — I used to think that way too. It’s just how the travel industry tells us we need to travel. We internalize that idea and never consider other options. The industry’s marketing machine tells us that travel means a long trip where we spend lots of money. And if you hear something enough, you believe it. I used to. It’s why Denise is never going to Ireland and Rodrigo will always be a hater. Like many, they don’t think about all the small ways one can satiate the travel bug when time is not on your side. Even when you don’t have months to travel, as we’ve seen, you still have 110 days of potential travel per year. If you make it a priority, you can certainly travel more. Try to incorporate more weekend trips away. It can help break up your routine and keep your wanderlust in check until your next big trip. Even a couple of days somewhere are better than no days anywhere! Stay close and you’ll need less time to do what you want. Additionally, the best flight deals you can find are often for destinations close to you. So be flexible. Anywhere you haven’t been is a good place to travel to! There’s so much around you that you probably don’t take advantage of when you’re busy leading your regular life that, when you stop and look for a second, you can find plenty of exciting activities to fill your time.
When you think that is how you have to travel and try to cram everything in, it’s easy to get burdened by your itinerary. You look at all those destinations, get overwhelmed, realize there is not enough time, give up, and hold off until you do “have” the time. I get that you don’t have a lot of vacation and want to see a lot, but don’t! Sticking to just one or two places suddenly opens up a lot of time and opportunity! You’ll never be able to see it all.
So the next time you think “I don’t have the time,” think of all the places nearby you could explore. Yes, you’ll have errands to run and things that require your attention. But by using your time productively, prioritizing travel, and thinking outside the box, you’ll find you do have time to explore the world. Travel is about exploration, and that exploration can happen anywhere!