You cannot hit a target you cannot see. Without a clear vision of what you want in life, there’s no way you are going to reach your goals and achieve any of them.
So you want to travel. That’s great. But where do you want to go? What is the driving force behind you wanting to travel?
I’ll be straight with you here, it’s not enough to just want to travel. It’s a good start, but it’s not enough. You need a VISION, you need a PURPOSE. Just wanting to travel is like having a treasure map with no ‘x marks the spot’. You know what you want (the treasure), but you have no idea how you’re going to get there.
Before you start any planning for an overseas trip; before you start researching travel insurance, before you start researching transportation and before you start deliberating over what size backpack or suitcase you should take, you need to sit down, grab a piece of paper and get clear on your vision. The vision you set for your travelling adventures becomes the foundation and the very solid reminder of WHY you are doing what you’re doing. Along the way and leading up to your trip, you are going to have to make sacrifices. You may have to pass up going out to a gig with your mates, or going out to dinner and drinks with your girlfriends to save that extra cash for travel, and you’ll feel like you’re missing out but then you’ll remember your vision, you’ll remember the reasons WHY you had to say no. It’s because you have a goal, a big goal to travel and to experience a foreign culture, and when you are reminded of that, the sacrifice you made doesn’t seem so drastic anymore.
I am gearing up for my next BIG trip overseas. I’m Europe bound baby! But I know that just having the dream to ‘go to Europe’ is not enough. I need to visualise it, I need to feel it, I need to see it. I need to have a clearly defined target that I know I can hit!
So how DOES one get clear on their vision?
In the above video, I take you through two activities that I personally use when planning for any overseas trip. For both activities, all you’re going to need is a piece of paper or two (or three, if you want to get really creative!), a pen and your imagination. In the first activity, we look at some thought provoking questions to really help you understand and get clear on WHY you want to travel and WHAT has been stopping you from booking that flight. We uncover the exact fears that have been stopping you from making it happen and slap them right in the face (figuratively, of course!).
The second activity looks at creating a mind map which is essentially a brain dump of all the thoughts and ideas that you have swirling around in your head. The aim of the game is to start with your central idea, which in my case is going to be Europe, and then branch out from there writing down anything and everything that comes to mind. The beautiful thing about mind maps is that there is absolutely no right or wrong way to do them and they are a great way to help determine what your next important action steps should be when planning your trip.
If you haven’t watched the above video, I highly recommend that you do… like, right now.
Combining both of these activities are a big help when it comes to researching and understanding your dream destination better. For me, these activities allow me to get soooo clear on the vision and the end goal that I can practically taste the croissant in Paris, or the Bratwurst in Germany. Having this clarity also gives me a determination and dedication like no other to make sure I HIT my goals and saying no to certain social activities, or the fact that I am working like a crazy person isn’t so bad when I remember WHY I am doing it. Because I am going to be strolling through the streets of Prague one day soon, I am going to hike Trolltunga in Norway and I am going to take a boat cruise through the canals of Venice. I am definitely NOT going to be stuck in the same job here in Australia, dreaming about doing these things…
So for those who have watched the video above full of nuggets of widsom, here are some of the great online resources I use to research my travel destinations. The third link is great for those who don’t necessarily know where they want to go just yet:
Lonely Planet – Search by Country/City/Continent, search their list of Destinations and Regions, flick through their featured articles and recommended destinations, search other filters such as Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Art & Culture and much, much more…
WikiTravel – Is a crowdsourced travel guide jam packed with articles and travel inspo as far as the eye can see. Again, you can search via country, region and just about anything else that comes to mind (using the search bar). There are several featured sections including ‘Off the Beaten Path’, ‘Top Destinations of 2017’ and ‘Cuisine of the Month’ just to name a few. You can literally follow your taste buds to find inspiration on where to travel.. Mm mmm!
Here is a quirky quiz I found that matches your personality traits to different countries. It is a bit of light hearted fun but you may find some travel inspo you hadn’t even thought of yet, especially for those who aren’t sure where they want to travel to just yet.
But my NUMBER 1 tip for researching and finding reliable information on various travel destinations is to…
READ OTHER TRAVELLERS’ BLOGS!
This is where you find the BEST real-life and real-time information, and because it is information they have crafted and published on their own personal blog, if they are genuine, they will be giving you their own honest opinion. Here are just a few great travel blogs which focus on particular regions that might give you some seriously good inspo:
The Savvy Backpacker – These guys know Europe inside and out! (You can bet this is where I’ll be doing a lot of my research!)
Backpacker Banter – From the UK, this well-travelled backpacker just can’t get enough of Australia and wants to share it ALL with you.
Hippie in Heels – If India is on your travel radar, you can’t go past this wanderer. This blog is overflowing with great information for your next trip to India.
So if you are ready to slap fear in the face, get clear on your dream travel destination and stop putting off booking that flight, then grab a piece of paper and a pen and let your imagination run wild. The three thought provoking questions I included in the above video is just a snippet of what you really should be asking yourself (especially first time travellers). If you would like a copy of the complete questionnaire I have (which I specially designed for a few select friends of mine who wanted help to plan their adventure) then let me know in the comments below and subscribe to the blog so I can send it straight to your inbox.
Let’s get travelling amigo!