We all make New Year’s resolutions we can’t keep. A drunken promise, a throw-away comment, a non-committal remark. We quickly forget the resolution made or struggle to stay true to the words uttered on the stroke of midnight.
So let’s forget talk of resolutions as the New Year approaches.
Instead, think about how you spent your time in 2014 and whether you achieved all that your heart desired. And if not, why not?
Did you spend your days chained to a desk dreaming of vibrant city getaways but the dream never became a reality? Did you research the road trip by campervan across Europe but it became too hard too fast and the trip never got off the ground? Did you contemplate a longer-term move abroad but the moment passed you by?
We dream and we wait. We prevaricate and we obfuscate. Time passes quickly and we grow old so fast. We are constantly restless – the urge to explore never goes away – but we’re caught up with our chores, commitments, careers, families… our lives.
The thought of travel or an international move remains a thought.
Life is too short and all too fleeting. We can’t have regrets. I reached my own personal milestone in December when I turned 40. They say life begins at 40 but it can’t be true because if life begins at 40, then everything that went before was a prelude.
And it wasn’t. Not for me.
Turning 40 did remind me how precious time is and why there is still so much of this planet left to explore. 2015 will be the year I commit to travel further.
So why not let 2015 be the year you make the decision to head overseas, to explore and to wander? Here are the reasons why you’ll know when it’s time to go.
You crave adventure.
The monotony of life leaves you feeling unfulfilled and empty on the inside. When you look back, you want little regret and many moments to feel proud of.
There are things you want to see and share. There is great risk and adventure to be experienced by setting foot beyond your comfort zone. You want to appreciate the “here and now”, enjoy every minute, find and try new things, taste, learn, listen and love.
Travel will give you this and more. It will let you live life to the fullest, not watch it pass on by.
You have to find yourself.
It may sound like a cliche but travel and life abroad is the ultimate experience for helping you find yourself. Nothing beats the survival instinct that kicks in when you wander off a beaten trail or lose yourself among the strangers of some vast continent.
Travel allows you to step away from everything that is familiar and gives you the room to breathe, to reflect, to consider and to assess what is important to you.
Travel lets you find out who you really are.
You need to satisfy your curiosity.
You are endlessly curious and there is always more for you to learn. What is it like to live among a foreign culture? What are the people like? Are the sights as impressive as they seem in every book you devour?
You need to put yourself out there and experience new, unusual situations. You need to travel beyond your local borders to see and appreciate other people’s perspectives.
You need to be shown what else is out there.
You finally realised it’s not about the money.
Too many times travel is considered expensive and unaffordable. You put it off for long enough but a life abroad doesn’t have to cost the earth. You don’t need to travel first class or stay in the finest accommodation.
Think outside the box and consider your longer-term goals. How many weeks or months do you plan to be away for? Where will you visit or choose to live? Is this a permanent move?
Work back from those end goals and come up with a plan that doesn’t break the bank.
You can’t have regrets.
You cherish where you’re from but you know there’s more to life. Family will disapprove if you go, your departure will be upsetting and you do love them dearly. Your emotions are in a state of upheaval and you’re unsure what to do.
You are torn.
It’s stressful to be where you are right now but it’s also clear something has to change. Is it worth crossing your fingers, hoping for the best, and jumping headfirst into the unknown? Of course it is.
Don’t hold back or make excuses. Face your fears head on and wait no more.
It’s all going to be worth it.
Travel, expat life, an overseas excursion… call it what you will. These things may bring upset, financial stress, uncertainty and unease. You may hate it. You might resent a loved one for pushing you to go. You could regret leaving.
But you probably won’t.
Over time, you realise that these issues aren’t issues unless you choose to let them become so. What matters is the journey to get where you’re going and the outcome once you get there.
The control you now have over your life’s direction. The emphasis on what matters most to you. The opportunities coming your way if you stay the course. The life you’ve always wanted.
It’s time to go. Let 2015 be the year you do it.