One of the most frustrating things about working in this business is meeting incredible women who say to us, “Oh, that’s so cool! I want to travel, but…”
But, what? There are a million reasons to put off traveling (there are a million reasons to put off anything), but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t encourage you to get out there and see the world–now!
Traveling is so important in helping us to decide who we are, what we want, what we think and what we feel; to gain clarity about our place in this world and about other cultures we live next to. If you’ve been toggling with the idea of traveling, this post will help you get inspiration to get out there and travel. When you do decide to take the leap, ladies, we’ll be there for you–every step of the way.
No.1: I can’t travel alone as a woman, terrible things could happen to me!
You are almost never alone on the road! Between hostels, Couchsurfing events, and meeting up with family on your road trip- you will crave alone time. When you are actually alone in a foreign place use learned safety tactics to avoid dangerous situations; stay with a group at night, watch your back, and always move about with confidence and purpose.
If you happen to be feeling scared to travel solo because of the media you take in, such as sensationalized local TV briefings of “our global world”, do yourself a favor and Google a travel blog instead. Or buy one of our guidebooks. We are not gunna lie, you could get pickpocketed in Argentina, but you could also get robbed at the grocery store tomorrow.
No.2: What about my boyfriend?
So, you’ve got a boyfriend or girlfriend that can’t travel for X, Y and Z reasons. We know it’s hard to leave your partner, but consider your options. Can you take a short trip? Will two weeks apart really hurt your relationship? Probably not! GGG Founder Kelly left a brand new relationship to travel South America for three months, and three years later, they’re still going strong. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are difficult, but if those decisions ultimately lead you to living a more fulfilling, happy life, and be a more complete, happy person–what are you waiting for?
No.3: I finally got into the career job I want, I can’t travel.
While this is a very good reason to stay put, and congrats on that job, have you heard of this lovely thing we call the weekend? What about accrued days off, paid holidays, and sabbaticals? In our current times, yes it is fortunate to hold tight to that career job you have and love. But why not use all of your hours wisely, both working and non-working? Ask to be placed on the marketing team that has their yearly conference in Germany, roll over your vacation days into one year (if allowed) and create a 2 week paid safari vacation in Zimbabwe. Pack the car Friday morning and head off for that camping trip when the whistle blows. If you work in higher education, ask about professorial exchanges in which your spouse tags along as well. With a career, get creative, and find those little “extras” in your contract.
No.4: I just got laid off.
What better reason to skip town? Your current location probably makes you want to vomit and curse because of its’ seething blow. Why not scour the web for a temporary job picking grapes seasonally in Italy or putting your old camp counselor skills to use leading students in outdoor excursions in Costa Rica? Chances are these employers will house and feed you, besides the plane ticket, what more do you need? Put your stuff in storage, or sell it, and say hello to a refreshing new beginning!
No. 5: All the other women my age are settled in, married, and having kids…it is what I am supposed to be doing?
Oh God! Sorry that was my gut reaction. Societal norms are hard to go against, I know from personal experience. Society does a good job of pressuring us into certain life patterns and time limits we are obliged to live by. The reason you should adamantly stand against this is your own personal well-being; if you do not follow your true path of joy, be that traveling or having the family, what good will you be to anyone around you? Following the pattern of society will ensure temporary happiness, however long term regrets and resentments might creep in as you age. Suddenly at age 36 you realize that trip to Europe never happened and now you have three kids and a mortgage.
Let me be even more idealistic. Why can’t you do both? Play nice with the norm and do your own thing. I currently have a lovely friend who is happily married and backpacks around with her husband. Tomorrow she is relocating to Ireland where they will setup shop and start a family as she is having their first baby next winter. It is all relative.
No.6: I am way too old to travel now.
Are you kidding me?! Did you know there is no age limit on applying into the Peace Corps? Or that Rita Goldman Gelman, badass author of “Tales of a Female Nomad” is still traveling around the world at 75, encountering new cultures and living simply? Age is truly but a number.