It's easy to dismiss an awesome idea by coming up with excuses. By "awesome idea" I mean traveling the world. Want to travel but you don't think it's possible? Think again. Here are 11 excuses I've heard time and time again - and why they're weak. Don't let travel intimidate you - take action and just go. If you want to do it, just do it.
The 11 Most Common Excuses for Not Traveling Abroad (and why they're weak)
1. "It's not safe"
Why this argument is weak: I felt safer in Paris at night as a female all by myself than I did out with a group friends at night in my US college town. The saying goes that you're more likely to be safe abroad than you are in your hometown. There are exceptions, of course. Just do your research beforehand, keep your wits about you, and be aware of any scams to look out for. Consider if it's smart or stupid to be out by yourself at night. And try not to get drunk or intoxicated to avoid getting lost or taken advantage of. These are all precautions you'd normally take if you were at home, though.
2. "What if something goes wrong?"
Why this argument is weak: Things could go wrong whether you're home or abroad. Be prepared before you go.
"Most things I worry about never happen anyway." - Tom Petty
3. "I don't have anyone to go with"
Why this argument is weak: Why would you not go somewhere just because it doesn't work out to go with your friends? What if it's your only chance to go? You wouldn't want to miss out on the opportunity to go somewhere just because you don't have anyone to go with. You'll regret it if you don't go. Especially as you and your friends have increased responsibilities, it's difficult to make the timing align perfectly to travel together.
See the screenshot above - I have a Facebook group with my best friends from college. No one's able to go to New York with me for Memorial Weekend, despite the tempting low ticket price. I'm not letting that hold me back. I booked the flights anyway. NYC, here I come!
Solo travel seems intimidating at first, but trust me when I say that it's not as scary (or as lonely) as you'd think!
4. "I don't speak the language"
Why this argument is weak: If you're an English speaker, you will be able to get around just fine in most major cities. English is more often than not a second language and you will be surprised how many people in the world are fluent - or can at least make small talk - in English (plus many other languages!).
Of course it's always important to learn at least a few phrases before you go and to ask people if they speak English before assuming they would. The more rural an area is, the less likely you'll come across those who speak English. But if this is a main concern of yours you should be fine so long as you stick to cities or touristy areas.
5. "It's too expensive"
Why this argument is weak: most people who say this are those that hear the word "travel" and automatically connect it to a five star resort vacation, sitting on an excluded beach, and sipping pina coladas. There's nothing wrong with that type of trip, but with limitless ways to travel you can bet anyone with that mindset hasn't done any research on the topic.
If money is tight, then do what's right for you financially and save up for travel at a later date. You don't have to leave next month; sometimes having a goal (for example: 1 year from now, or when you finish grad school) makes it seem less intimidating.
6. "I'm going to stick out like an 'Ugly American'"
Why this argument is weak: You won't if you do a little bit of research on the cultural customs beforehand, be respectful, and embrace the fact that some cultures are different. As an American who have met other Americans abroad, not everyone fits into the "ugly American" stereotype. You'll still be seen as an American, but you should erase the "ugly" (being ignorant/rude) part of the stereotype. The more you travel the more you understand that not everyone hates Americans...
7. "I don't have time"
Why this argument is weak: If you prioritize travel, you'll find time. It doesn't have to be your number one priority, but it could take precedent over staying home for a long weekend versus going somewhere. If you really want to travel you will find a way to do it.
8. "I have too much stuff to bring"
Why this argument is weak: Exhibit A: my mom who brings two checked bags for a 5 day trip to Arizona. If you want to bring a bunch of stuff, then by all means do. Though you may be surprised by how little you need and how much room you can save with packing hacks.
9. "It's too complicated"
Why this argument is weak: Use the many resources available to help you get started. You could plan it on your own with the help from blogs and travel websites (Google anything you have questions about), by asking friends for advice, or by reading guidebooks.
To make it much easier you could book your trip with an agent or join a tour group. This takes all the planning out of it so you can relax and enjoy your trip. There are a number of tour companies for people aged around 18-30: Contiki, EF College Break, and G Adventures to name a few. You can sign up solo or with friends!
10. "I'm too young/too old to travel"
Why this argument is weak: You're never too young or too old to see the world. Traveling when you're younger allows you advantages like being more physically fit with less potential for injuries, able to stay up later and bounce back from jet lag or drinking, and (potentially) less responsibilities like not having to worry about children.
However, you shouldn't let age deter you. I've seen older people out traveling having a great time just like anyone else. Maybe you want to wait until you've settled down, have some money saved up, or are retired. Just don't wait too long to the point of regret. My motto? Don't postpone happiness! If you want to go now, go.
11. "I don't want to leave the comfort of my own country"
Why this argument is weak: Everybody likes being comfortable. But seeing the Eiffel Tower in person for the first time is 10000x better than seeing the fake one on the Las Vegas strip. Living life means taking risks, and taking risks outside your comfort zone allow you to grow. Is your dream destination worth the hype? If you never go, you'll never know.