Travel is an all-consuming all desiring addiction that many of us
suffer from enjoy and that’s why making decisions about it are so difficult. The allure of something new, something foreign, something to satisfy that feeling is a drug you can pursue for your entire life.
But it’s not the dream that makes decisions so difficult, no no. The problem with decisions for a travel addict is choice. Many of us have a bucket list of items we want to see before we die, that’s longer than it should be and for most of us will never be fully crossed off. The definition of cruel is giving an avid traveller the option of a free trip to one of five of their bucket list items around the world and watch them squirm trying to pick which one.
Choice hits a traveller at an early stage, when they start planning their travel itinerary for that first big trip. Where do you go and what do you see when there is such a big world out there waiting for you. On my first trip abroad there were many instances where I’ve made a decision only to have regretted it the following day. Missing out on a tour or seeing something that I’d never get the chance to again seemed so silly that day after.
What I realised while hot footing my way around Europe was that for me to come to terms with making decisions on what I’d see and do, I had to come to terms with the choices I had on offer. To do that I’d make a list in my head based around one or several of the options below:
- Did I want to see this place/visit this city/do this activity before I left home?
- Will spending those few extra dollars really matter?
- Will I ever be back here again?
- Was this a recommendation from another traveller?
- Am I not doing this because it scares me or is outside my comfort zone?
A lot of the time my reasons for not doing something in the beginning centered around not being sure I’d have enough money or because I was doing something that was pushing me outside of my comfort zone. These are natural fears we all have and can be difficult to overcome but as I travelled longer I started leaning the other way.
Instead of saying no because I didn’t think I could afford it or because it pushed my boundaries, I started saying yes. I’d become scared that I’d never be back here again or realise that an extra $50 for a tour wasn’t the budget shattering thing I thought it was. I’d shifted my perception of what I could and couldn’t go without, which made making decisions so much easier and less fear inducing.
As a traveller you are confronted with so much choice that making decisions on anything can become paralysing. The key (in my opinion) to removing that is the realisation you’ll never be able to do everything so make the most of what you can, and that opting out of something based on a few dollars or because it challenges you is the wrong mentality to take with you.
Travel is an experience few get to enjoy so for those of you who do take the plunge don’t regret your decisions and never second guess yourself, just get out there and do it.