It is 2019, and I can’t believe (for the nth year in a row) how fast time slides by. The sun rises and sets so fast, seasons change, children grow up and have children of their own, and it’s easy to feel like I’m getting dragged behind time instead of driving it.
This is why I want to talk about 2019 today in BIG terms. It’s easy to push off big decisions, like travelling to a new place (especially alone, and especially as a woman). “Next year,” you might say. “I’m definitely doing it next year.” Well, it’s next year again. What holds you back from doing new things, and how can you tell if you’re finally “ready” to do something a bit radical like travelling alone?
The first step is tricky: deciding whether you really want to do it. Maybe you wanted to buy a huge house ten years ago, but now times have changed and other stuff is more important. In the same way, maybe you had a burning desire to go travel five years ago, but you’re feeling rooted and excited about different kinds of adventures these days. Maybe you’ve experienced a major upheaval that has thrown all your priorities into chaos.
Even in my generation, FOMO (fear of missing out) is strong– be wary of doing something just because someone else is doing it, or someone thinks you should do it. Take some time to reconnect with what you think is important to you now and be confident with any decision you make, so that you’re not wasting energy wishing after something you don’t really want.
If you truly want to travel but you’re putting it off again, take a closer look at what’s going on. We all use different strategies to make big decisions, and a lot of them aren’t helpful. Maybe you peek at your bank account and instantly think nope. Or you might ask every single person you’ve ever met about it (including your anxious mother and sister who will always tell you to stay home) and get lost in the myriad of different advice… advice that has nothing to do with you and a lot to do with them. Perhaps you consult your horoscope, or check your event calendar to see if you can “squeeze in a trip”. When you’re planning something you’ve never done before, one word from a loved one can blow your tenuous plans apart.
At the end of the day, all of these methods involve placing your important decision in the hands of something external, and if you do this, it will never happen. If you make your bank account the deciding factor, you will never feel like your life is in control enough or financially sound enough to follow your dream. You will never hear the words you so badly need from someone else’s lips. No one else can give you permission or see into your heart… only you can. You’ll be waiting for the rest of your life for the stars to align, and if you’re looking at your calendar and prioritizing other things first, well, then you will never prioritize YOU.
Whenever I find myself struggling to make a big decision, I realize there’s something else going on. It’s not about the money, or danger, or other people’s two cents. It’s about my fear and guilt disguised as “I need to be logical about this”, or “other people need me”, or “this other thing comes first.” I know I’m not alone!
I feel time rolling on and I know it’s important to do things for myself. It took me a few decades to understand this– that time is precious. Who knows
what will happen next year or the year after? Who knows if your made-up obstacles might become very real and prevent you from following your dreams in the future? If travelling is something that tugs at your heartstrings but you have concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me... I have some worldly advice :)