I'm insanely excited because we finally are going to Italy! We leave in less than a month. The flights have been booked since March, but we just solidified which cities to visit and where to stay.
This trip to Italy has been planned since my husband and I first met. (Secretly, I've been planning on returning to Italy even before that!) I've been in love with Italy for so long. The first time I went there it was like see a long lost friend... deja vu all over the place. (Does anyone else out there have constant deja-vu? No, just me? Okay.)
I just belong in Italy. It's my Spirit Place. You know? That place that you feel totally yourself in.
My first experience in Italy was in the summer after I graduated high school, and I have gone back twice since then. This Fall will be the fourth trip to Italy - and Rome! I've never been to the Cinque Terre region, Naples or Florence before. It's so exciting to have this experience with my family this time around.
People ask me all the time how I've been able to travel, ski, hike and explore so frequently.
If you aren't familiar with our travels, in the past two years we've been: skiing in Colorado, spent summer weekends hiking in Breckenridge, made several trips to Chicago and recently spent 6 weeks there, visited Indianapolis, New Mexico, Washington D.C. AND obviously soon Italy. That's just the past two years. I've made quite a few more Europe and US trips prior to that. Next year we see Bali and Mexico in our future!
Back to the point... because we travel quite a bit, and because we go on longer vacations, I often get a mix of lovely comments and questions from people:
- "Can you really afford to travel?"
- "That's great for you, but we could never afford to do that...."
- "That's great, but it's not worth it to us to pay for that."
- "How do you find time to take trips?"
- "We are just too busy to take any trips! Don't you miss out on things at home?
- "How do you travel with your toddler like that? Are you crazy?!"
- "I have to work so much... how are you able to get time off? What about your work?"
We are able to travel and explore because it is part of who we are, and it's a non-negotiable. Do we get to go EVERYWHERE we want to go at the drop of a hat? No. But we prioritize having these experiences over many other things.
Here's a secret: all of these "obstacles" people have put in front of them are 100% mindset related.
Let me answer these questions... the short version. To really get into them, it's best to work with a mindset or success coach to work through them because it takes time.
"Can you really afford to travel?"
"That's great for you, but we could never afford to go there...."
Money is the number one objection to travel that I hear of, but traveling is also one of the number one things I hear people say they WISH they could do more of.
We would give anything to travel more!
I'll be direct: you can afford whatever you want to afford. This all goes back to your money mindset and your money story. We carry beliefs about finances and "value" from generation to generation, and we see messages from advertising about what we should spend our money on and hear messages about money from our friends and teachers. It is no wonder we have major issues when it comes to spending money on experiences for OURSELVES.
I get that you have bills to pay, debt, etc, but you are in control of your money mindset at the heart of it all. So you will find a way to pay for what you really desire to have. For example, I have a friend who always has the same response when we talk about an upcoming trip: "We would LOVE to go to Europe, but we could never afford it." I got news for you: you're right, but it's not because you CAN'T. It's because you don't make it a priority. That $500 you spend on clothing and shoes every month? If you saved it instead, or even just saved half of it, you'd be heading to Europe next summer. No problem.
All of the "things" that you buy (clothing, jewelry, gadgets, etc) while they'll bring happiness, it will wane more over time. However, if you spend money on an experience that you really deeply desire (doesn't even have to be travel! Could be canoeing, or painting, or a writing class), you may pay more up front for it (or maybe you won't), but you will have the memories of the experiences you have forever. Therefore, experiences will bring you more joy for a longer period of time. This has actually been proven, FYI.
So you think you can't afford to travel? You CAN. You just need to do the mindset work to realize what is worth it to you and start taking steps toward doing what you really want to do.
"How do you find time to take trips? Don't you get behind on things?"
"We are just too busy to take any trips! Don't you miss out on things at home?"
"What about your deadlines at work?"
You are totally in control of how you spend your Time, so you need to make the decision to spend it on things you enjoy.
Here is my big tip: STOP doing so much of the things that don't light you up or make you feel great. Just say NO. Stop being so busy just for the sake of being busy, or because you keep letting people tell you what your obligations are. I know so many people that say yes to far too much for everyone else or because they're afraid of how everyone else will think of them, but they end up run down, exhausted and unhappy.
When you decide what you desire to spend your time and energy on, you will find really quickly that you have more Time for the things you really enjoy.
We enjoy traveling. So we make Time for it - our energy gets allocated to arranging travel and daydreaming about our trips. It makes us happy! Therefor, we arrange what needs to be arranged to make our desire to travel a reality.
Sidenote: I understand that work and "obligations" can get in the way of your Time and the amount you have to spend on things you enjoy, like traveling. I get that you have to work, or you hope to have a job to be able to afford the things you desire soon.
If you choose to have a job that you love, you will have plenty of Time to do what you love... always! I am my own boss so I can work from wherever I want. I could easily choose not to travel because I'm like, a busy woman! When I was working in marketing, I still asked for the time I wanted off to travel. I would travel full time if we could. My husband works for a very large company, but he works from wherever he wants. He has to be at meetings in person often, too and has some pretty important deadlines... but that doesn't mean he can't ask for the time he wants for our travels. He just makes it a priority to ASK.
If you don't have a career you love, and you are ready and willing to spend time doing something that lights you up, consider signing up for 1-on-1 coaching with me or sign up for 90 Day Roadmap to Career Clarity LIVE, my new signature group program dedicated to helping people make career transformations and map out their journey!)
"How do you travel with your toddler like that? Are you crazy?!"
Damn right, we're crazy! Crazy for experience. We crave experience, and there isn't much that can deter us. Toddlers are busy, energetic little beings. My son is in a fantastic phase right now where he thinks it's cute to remove his adorable little diaper and run around the house, peeing on everything. But...
You can NOT stop doing the things that will make you a happy person just because you're afraid or unable to control everything. I LOVE exploring the world. I want my son to love exploring, too. That's one of my favorite things about toddlers. They're so curious. I want my son to be part of these experiences with me. Do I worry about the long overseas flight with him? Sure! But we aren't going to avoid a whole entire three week trip because he MAY hate the flight. Do I worry about him adjusting to the time change? Sure!... but we'll all be adjusting to the time change, and honestly, the kid can nap whenever he pleases. So can we! And we'll be so busy exploring that I have no doubts about our abilities to sleep and listen to our own needs.
A sidenote to this: I'm a huge fan of AirBnb. We're hosts! Our cozy house is listed in Denver. So instead of going the hotel route, we decided to book AirBnb apartments during our trip - one in each of the cities we're visiting. This gives us a little more flexibility with our schedule. We will have a kitchen in each rental meaning we can cook and avoid taking our busy tot out to eat for EVERY meal. In Europe - Italy especially - it's common to spend some time lingering over your meal at a restaurant, and Finn doesn't like sitting in his highchair for very long... which makes long meals difficult to accomplish.
The only way to truly be happy is to be open and adaptable enough to welcome the unexpected into your life... and to find ways to do more of the things you really want.
If you crave experience, like me, you'll understand what I'm saying here.
If you are ready to start doing what you love, and if you're willing to prioritize your transformation and desires, be willing to take the next step. Sign up for the signature 90 Day Roadmap to Career Clarity LIVE Group!
Tell me: where have your travels taken you lately? How will you make more room for experience in your life? What's holding you back?