How many times have you seen the dollar sign raining when you hear the word TRAVEL? How many times have you heard the phrase from someone: you must have a lot of money after you come back from a trip. Or when was the last time you saw a friend of yours who is always abroad and you thought to yourself; this guy or lady must have a lot of money oo?
Well, you are not alone, I use to think that way too until I actually started to travel around the world.
You see my first international exposure happened 10 years ago when I went to college in Ghana from Nigeria and subsequently after that experience, a year later I was exposed to the Western World through Model United Nations programs. I was the first person in my immediate family to travel overseas for things other than hajj (the Muslim pilgrimage ); we did travel within our country but travelling overseas or even overland to the next country was never an option.
The experience of travel has been for a long time sold to us with a ‘cash value’. Our society has coerced us into thinking that the experience of travel is intertwined with the amount of money you can spend on such a trip; while having money can afford you the luxuries indulgement; in itself can not make your experience meaningful as a traveller. but true travel and real experience that travel brings come from exploring the unknown Since the true travel experience comes to a mindset that finds adventures in our daily lives and on the road. Beginning with the decision to embrace life curiosities, learn about yourself, and to see, feel and experience things and destinations that are foreign to you.
And while we are new territories, the real experience that travel brings comes from the unknown, from interactions with locals, learning new cultures and not the money we have.
So here are 11 reasons you shouldn’t wait to have a lot of money a.k.a get rich before you start travelling the world
TRAVELLING IN ITSELF MAKES YOU RICH
So why wait to stack up a lot of money to get it started? Like seriously you’d be surprised with how it can enrich your soul, your life and even your bank account if you have the golden eye to notice better business practices and innovative solutions that may help you skyrocket your career or business to the next level.
What are you waiting for? Book the ticket and start travelling to enrich your life. Do not be that person when you are old and grey all you have is money and nothing else.
YOU WILL MISS OUT ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE SOME PLACES IN THEIR BEST FORM
Environmental pollution, irresponsible manufacturing and consumption has resulted in Climate change occurring and having a devastating effect on our environment. It is shocking to see how different a place looks 10 -20 years ago and how it looks now: this article here shows some pictures to illustrate this devastating effect of flooding, hurricane, rise in sea level and it impacts on some of the world’s most beautiful places. These effects are not only on land but also underwater as this article here shows some shocking contrasting pictures of the great coral reef 10 years ago and now.
When you wait to get rich before you travel; you miss out on experiencing some of the most iconic and beautiful landscapes on earth in their best form. Since some of these damages will take 100s of years of better environmental practices to be reversed to their original state.
YOU WILL MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW THAT LESS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH
Travelling on a budget can build your sense of gratitude and appreciation for how the little you have can really do and can afford you to experience. When you are travelling on a budget you get to see how much a difference your little cash can make a big difference on the life of the local fruit seller in the local market, you will get to realize in some destinations what you spend in a day on a budget trip is so much more than what the average person earns in a week. You will get to learn the act of minimalism, frugality and yet you may develop a better sense of generosity.
YOU WILL MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN BETTER FINANCIAL HABIT
What more can teach you to cut your coat according to your cloth than being in a foreign country where you neither speak the language nor have anyone you know to rely on but yourself? Whether by losing your atm card or by the card refusing to work at the grocery store or by knowing you have only $30 to spend a day: travelling while you are not yet rich can help you develop better savings and budgeting habits. In many ways, it improves your creativity and enhances your sense of providing solutions for others in exchange for some extra income or value.
YOU WILL MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN & EXPERIENCE IN REAL LIFE WHAT YOU READ FROM BOOKS, VIDEOS or MOVIES
Are you studying or working in anthropology, languages, sociology, History, Human geography, global finance, international trade or business, hospitality management, charity, conflict resolution, law, media communications? Whatever your field is, Travelling to experience things, places, businesses and people in real life will have a much greater impact on your than any text, video, audio, lecturer or wherever it is that you learn from. Even basic emotional intelligence, resilience, human empathy and conflict management skills can be improved tremendously through travel.
If you are a startup working on an idea in your country, travel that includes study trips, company visit, participating in boot camps, competitions or networking event can give you a global perspective into developing and implementing better value-driven solutions in your local country. It can give you exposure to investments, mentorship, co-creation opportunities among several pecks!
YOU WILL MISS EXPERIENCING GENUINE CULTURAL IMMERSION & REAL LIFE
When you travel on a budget, you look for the places where the locals go to eat, drink, party, shop, dance, etc. You are typically indulging in less of the touristic packaged activities and more in the daily local life experiences. You may find yourself randomly meeting locals who may invite you for a traditional dinner or to witness a real (not staged performed) cultural rituals, old traditional practices or perhaps invite you to sacred places and experience that google or your official tour guide may never even mention to you.
Not to say that touristic places and packaged tours are not meaningful but most at times they lack the Genuity, deep cultural significance and will be typically be marketed just for their monetary value. Through the co-sharing economy (which I will write about this in coming weeks) and random local encounters while travelling on a budget; you can experience the highest level of cultural immersion and local life that money may never be able to buy.
YOU WILL BE DENYING YOURSELF THE EXPERIENCE OF GENUINE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
An important lesson that I have learnt while travelling is that the majority of the world population are good and kind people. I also learnt that most people who offer to help you are genuinely doing so with no expectations of anything else in return but a genuine cross-cultural exchange. Simply put no one cares about your money or lack of it. If you are from a big city perhaps, you are always looking over yours should and having to guards up against any theft or extortion. Prolonged exposure to this kind of mentality can make you become paranoid and not trusting of genuine kindness.
I wrote a poem about the kindness of strangers (yet to publish) that I have encountered in the past 1 year and how it has changed my life in ways words cannot express.
So do not wait to get rich to travel the world; for if you do you will be denying yourself the blissful experience of the kindness of strangers who will help you with no ulterior motive.
YOU MAY NEVER GET THE TIME TO TRAVEL
Tomorrow is never guaranteed! Why wait so many months, years or even decades to take that trip you have always dreamt about? When you are not even sure that you will live to see it?
I almost died a few weeks ago in Rio: Last week Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant a teenager and several others just perished: It’s not only about travel, but living your best life every day! Every chance you get could be the last one; so start doing the things that matter the most to you, visit the places and experience the things you want to; and in doing so inspire and empower at least one person because you never know how much longer you have.
YOU MAY NOT GET AS RICH AS YOU THINK IS ENOUGH TO TRAVEL
Bad news! But it’s true and could be good news if you change your perspective. As humans we always want more and are always setting the bar even higher for the next goal; so who knows if you would ever get as rich as you think is enough to travel the world? Find contentment in what you already have and start using it to go after your dreams without placing limitation of ‘When I get X or have Y or become Z: then I will do A, B, C ).
YOU WILL MISS OUT ON GLOBAL FRIENDSHIPS
I cannot tell you how many people I have met and built great friendships, brotherhood and sisterhood that may last a lifetime with due to my travels. I have been blessed and continue to be through people I have met in bus stations, at the airports, in flights, at events, in college and sometimes randomly on the streets in foreign countries. If you wait to get rich before you travel you miss this opportunity of a lifetime to build genuine relationships with people from all around the world who could possibly be the most supporting, inspiring, accountable and non-judgemental friends you could ever have.
AND EVEN WHEN YOU EVENTUALLY HAVE A LOT OF MONEY
YOU MAY ONLY EXPERIENCE ONE STYLE OF TRAVEL
Luxury travel may all that is you get to experience! Experiencing the world on a private yacht or jet, or perhaps always flying first class and staying 5-star hotel, pampering yourslef at every corner, going on packaged and superficial tour trips sold off like a jewellery box: sure sounds super cool: but you miss out on the very essence of true travel and real experience that comes from the unknown, spontaneity and genuine interactions with locals who do not worship you because of your money but genuinely share a part of their sacred culture, life and traditions for the sake of it.
Funnily, you may never even appreciate this luxurious style of travel too since that will all that you know. Sadly, this style of travel though highly desired by many only gives you a glimpse into what your money can buy.
LASTLY, YOU MAY BE TOO WEAK OR TOO BUSY TO ENJOY THE TRIP
‘Too busy or too old? Either of the above may be your reality when you eventually make the money’
You are managing a large company with 1000s of employees across the world; you barely even sleep let alone have time to just be in the moment and enjoy the new experiences that come with travelling to a new destination. Or perhaps all that you will do is go on business trips and not even have the time to go experience the city you have always dream about. What a shame that would be.
Don’t wait to get rich! Travel! Else you may be too old to enjoy it.
I remember a similar sight of the above picture when was in Rome 2 years ago, of an old couple taking a break every five minutes during a group walking tour. Similarly, I was on cruise two months ago from Spain to Brazil; where I also met an old couple whom we shared a table with over lunch; as usual when talking with older people I asked them during our conversation, what they wished they had done differently while they were young, they replied TRAVEL More and Worry less as we shared a laughter. My and your story doesn’t have to be the same! Some of those old folks did not have the access to information, platforms and digital opportunities we have today.
So start young, start with the little you already have or willing to save. Start local, you don’t have to go far! Remember that travelling begins with the decision to embrace life curiosities, to learn about yourself, and to see, feel and experience destinations and things that are foreign to you. You definitely should not go broke or go in debt because you want to travel the world. With adequate planning and utilising of travel resources that exist today; you can travel more for way less than you ever thought was possible.
At the end of it all, life should be more about the experience that we create, the impact we make on others and on the planet much more than about the money we have in our banks or in assets. Funnily travel can make you even more financially savvy and intelligent. I will leave that for research to prove or a conversation for another day.
You want to seek the true experience that travel provides which comes from interacting with locals, learning their culture and immersing in their traditions. Similarly, those real growth experience comes from the uncertainty, from pushing your boundaries, testing new limits, challenging your fears and embracing the adventure that comes from the unknown.
I urge you to start travelling and experience the world around you more than you have ever done in the past and stop waiting to have so much money before you do.
If you found this article helpful perhaps you may also like these articles on Travel Local and 7 things you need to stop doing if you want to travel.
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If you have any questions that you would like us to an answer or have a suggestion on the content to produce in order to make Travelling much easier to you as an African Living Fully. Be sure to send me a direct message via Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org