Travel is addictive, exciting, eye-opening and just about the best activity out there for encouraging curiosity and learning about our world. But not all moments are ideal for take off. Just as travel is exhilarating, it can also be exhausting, expensive if incorrectly planned and blind us to not-so-pretty responsibilities waiting for us at home.
Think before heading off: when your life’s scale of awesome is marred by one of these uncomfortable moments, a trip away might not be what the doctor ordered (yet)…
You know you’re running away from something
Whether a crappy job, unrequited love, study overload or family issues are ruining your mojo, don’t think that hopping on a plane will automatically solve it all. It may do in the short term (an abundance of cheap, beach-side mojitos will tend to do that) but rest assured that your problem will decide to punch you in the face again when you return.
If there’s a biggie back home that has you feeling down and restless, deal with it as best as humanly possible before leaving. And be healthier upon your return.
You’re seriously in debt
While there are a colourful collection of ways to travel cheaply (especially when long term travel can be easier on the hip pocket than your normal life is), some money will definitely be involved in your gypsyish journeying. If the urge to travel has grabbed you around the jugular and is shaking you up like a green smoothie, don’t react quickly: instead, use that crazy energy to save, baby, save.
Resist all attempts by banks and money-lenders to lure you into a debt trap. Ritualistically tear up any invitations to upgrade your credit card. Reduce and aim to pay off your debts. Walk proudly past banks and ignore the pretty, happy people in all Mastercard adverts. (Remember, their smiles are as fake as the card’s promise to painlessly fill your home and life with unneeded items bought on credit.)
You’re in the middle of a big project that absolutely cannot be put off
Now, this isn’t your job itself (most expats are really keen on encouraging others to quit their jobs to move away!), but rather, a component part that requires you to plant your bum on your office chair until it’s all done and dusted.
Maybe it’s a presentation, report, or semester that you must kick before you can take leave (or, *heartbeat*, quit). So be patient. Work like the mega-awesome, mega-watt employee you are until that little stone in your shoe’s out and finished. Then choof off into the sunset, happy traveller style. This way, you won’t piss off your boss or burn any bridges. (And you’ll be able to return to work after your trip’s over – to, you know, start planning for the next one.)
Itchy to fly away but your life currently looks a bit frayed at the edges? Take moment to plan your way out of your difficulties before heading off. You (and your experience away) will be better off for it.
P.S. If you’re penny-pinching to go gypsying, you might enjoy this post on saving cashola (while still, you know, enjoying life!)