One of the most important aspects of world travel is having the mindset to do it. Gaining confidence to see the world is key. I’ve seen many people ponder the question of what to do in retirement. It’s a big decision how you spend your remaining years. When you are young, they tell you, “The world is your oyster!” but honestly, when you’re young your life choices can be impulsive and influenced by your immediate circumstances. John graduated from the West Virginia University. He then took a job in southern Indiana, thinking he’d get a few years of experience. He ended up working at that location for twenty-four years.
At some point, you look up and you realize that your life continues. It evolves around the choices and unexpected life experiences you encounter. After a lifetime of seeing how decisions impact our futures, we become more thoughtful in everything we do. We think before we act, and we make choices that have long term gains. Retirement is one of those opportunities to think about what we want out of the remaining years of our lives.
Most people start thinking about retirement long before the day comes. We all know that once we retire, managing our assets is our responsibility. Retirees no longer have company matched savings plans or insurance. We have to plan every aspect. Where do we live? How do we make our investments last? How do we manage our long-term health? There are numerous life choices to make. Retirees seek out experts to helps us. But, in the end, it’s our job to see that we take care of ourselves.
One of the many things people consider at this point in their lives is what to do before they die. I can imagine there are a million options. If you are reading this on our website, traveling the world is part of your dream. It may sound crazy to some, but it is so doable. If you have the travel bug and want to travel the world, go for it. You can do it!
For us, we want to go EVERYWHERE! I don’t know if we will make it everywhere. But, we want to live in every moment and see other cultures, man-made marvels, and of course, God’s beautiful creation. Here’s a sampling of our bucket list:
- Find a tiny seaside village in northern Sweden to sit for a while
- Hike a glorious trail in Patagonia
- Go Birding in Padua New Guinea
- Go to Tibet and see the wild Himalayan Blue Poppies
- Visit the Tai Mahal
- Ride every funicular we come across
- See every painting Johannesburg Vermeer painted
- Ride a train through Africa
- Visit all the Blue Zones to learn their secrets
- Play golf at St. Andrews
- Buy fruit on a floating market in Vietnam
- Tour the car museums in Germany
- Ride camels in Egypt
- See the Northern Lights in Norway
- Visit the Sea of Galilee and the River Jordan
- Meet the most fascinating people from every walk of life and leave as friends
We want to continuously be amazed by this beautiful planet we live on. In the end, we want to live a full, rich life that we enjoyed. Will we go everywhere? We don’t want to die without giving it our best shot!
Believe in yourself…
One of the most important aspects of world travel is having the mindset to do it. If you love the idea of being free to go somewhere interesting, world travel is for you. If you have a desire to experience something different than your normal life, world travel is for you. It can fill a void in your life. You must believe in yourself. It’s a scary idea for so many people.
Many people say to us that they wish they could be as adventurous as we are. So many from small town America just can’t imagine themselves catching trains and riding on subways in foreign lands. They can’t imagine how they could get around without knowing the language or being able to read foreign directional signs. For them, planning a trip by themselves is a daunting task.
If this is you, rest assured you can do it. Moreover, you can be as successful at it as you were in your career or raising a family. The skills you’ve developed over a lifetime will guide you to make good choices in your travels. If college students can figure it out, so can you. With the resources in the 21st century, you can pretty much learn anything that can take you anywhere.
Overcoming your fear…
I remember the first time I signed up to go on a zip line. I was so scared! During the entire “training” session all I could think about was how to get out of it. John and the kids were with me, and they were so excited to try it. Once we got to the platform to leave, I pretty much froze. It took a few minutes of convincing. Finally, the idea that I would have a lifetime of regrets for not participating propelled me forward. Standing on the edge, I took a step and off I went. It was exhilarating! It reminded me of my childhood and flying down a hill on my bicycle or the occasional icy sled ride. Zip lining turned out to be one of my favorite things in the world!
World travel is just like that, fun, exhilarating, and life changing. The first step off the plane in that foreign land is the hardest. Then, the excitement of the location sets in and you’re off and going, never looking back. I have yet to meet someone who landed at an airport and couldn’t figure out what to do next. It might take you a moment to get your bearings with people going on with their lives. Just stop and breathe, and you’ll figure it out. We can always find someone who can speak some English to help.
Create the life you want…
If you are like many, being fearful to do something different or to change your life is a big deal. Having a certain routine that you are accustomed to is common. But, sometimes in our lives we need change. If your life has become mundane, I’m here to tell you that you definitely need a new path. The world is a BIG place and there is so much to see and experience.
One of my daughters shared a bit of advice once. She said, if you simply rearrange the furniture in your home, it has the power to change your mood. It can even help people with depression. I totally get how this is true. My feeling is that changing your entire environment is good for the heart and soul. World travel changes everything about your life, not just your mood. It can change your outlook. Depending on how you do it, you can create a life that is very meaningful. It can be as fulfilling as the career you had through the years, if not more. Whether it is short term travel or a year at a time, travel can change you.
Don’t let being alone stop you either. Solo travel is growing in popularity, even if you are a woman. In fact, more women book solo trips than men.
John and I were in Colombia in 2019 and we met three different young women who were traveling alone. Each one told us where they had been, all over Colombia and neighboring countries. Yes, they were young and brave, but they were out there doing it alone. As we talked, I couldn’t help but ask how their families felt about their travels. They each told a different story, but each had families that were concerned but supportive. They told us that they took extra precautions and had never felt at risk as they went.
After that, John and I made a pact that if one of us died before we saw the world, the other would go on with our plans, even if we were alone. He reached over to me and said, “This applies to you, too.”
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” If this doesn’t sum up why you should jump out of your ordinary life and embrace change and adventure, I don’t know what to tell you. The joy we feel when we see beautiful places or meet interesting people is priceless. We not only live in the moment, but we relive those moments over and over when we recall those experiences. They truly bring us joy.
I’ve heard that children don’t oftentimes remember the gifts you give them, but they remember the experiences you shared with them. This is true for travel. I can’t tell you what I did last week on Wednesday, but I can tell you what I did and who I met when we traveled to the Great Wall seven years ago. My memory is vivid, and we have shared our experience numerous times with others because we remember it, very clearly. The Great Wall is big and bold and its a wonder to behold. I remember it because it spoke to my inner soul. It was like visiting the Grand Canyon the first time. It was bigger than all my problems, and it showed me that beauty follows hardship.
One thing I can assure you is that the more you travel, the better you will be at it. Once you’ve got one trip under your belt, you will feel so confident and you can do it again. The key is to remember the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” Researching your locations by looking at maps, pictures, and even videos can help you get your bearings before you land or arrive.
I recently planned a trip from Kosovo to Macedonia and found a video on YouTube showing the train ride between those countries. I now know what to expect, a rickety train from the 1940’s. The video even showed the train breaking down and needing to be changed out. But, didn’t stop us from booking a ride. Obviously, they don’t just leave you on the tracks!
Mistakes are for learning…
We’ve made all the mistakes other world travelers make, and we lived to tell about them. It’s hardly the end of the world if you get on the wrong subway or you find yourself unable to find your hotel. You’ll live through it and learn how to do it right the next time. Just keep an open mind and don’t beat yourself up when you have to make a change on the go. Just soak it in and know that you’re on an adventure, and it’s all part of the process. It’s what helps you grow as a person and helps you become a better traveler in the future.
Check out these articles:
- HOW TO PLAN A TRIP TO EUROPE
- ORGANIZING TRAVEL DETAILS
- MINIMALIST RETIREMENT
- BACKPACKING EUROPE CHECKLIST
- CLOTHES FOR BACKPACKING EUROPE