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My Goal Is To Travel the World (See Why and How You Can Too)

My Goal Is To Travel the World (See Why & How You Can Too)

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If you’re here chances are you’ve already fallen in love with traveling.

It’s the feeling when nothing makes you more alive.

And the thought of an adventure into the unknown causes you to feel immortal, motivated, and most importantly happier than anything else.

Whether you’re dreaming about traveling the world, about to board a plane soon, or already on the road. What I’m about to share is made for you.

And to make it manageable I’ve divided everything into two primary parts.

Part 1: The Why

If your goal is to travel the world, it’s meaningful to know why.

If not you’ll risk losing motivation during preparation or take choices not aligned with your goal. This can unnecessarily delay your traveling, or in the worst case hinder it.

And even if you’re already aware of your “whys”. Chances are you’ll either confirm the ones you already have or find new ones on this page.

Me hitchhiking
Adventure incoming

We’ll start by going through why someone should travel or make it their life goal.

I’m gonna share with you everything I’ve observed over the years from my journey and others.

Examples of what we’ll cover:

  • The reasons you don’t necessarily need anyone else to go traveling
  • Why traveling can be the best investment you’ll ever make
  • How traveling helps you become the best version of yourself
  • The real currency of life that tends to be forgotten
  • The important but often overlooked things to deal with before departing
  • And much more…

Part 2: The How

Here we’ll go all practical.

This means covering everything you need to achieve your travel goals (step-by-step). Whether it’s a single trip or traveling indefinitely.

Including how to:

  • Plan your trip and prevent common pitfalls
  • Estimate the total amount of money you’ll need
  • How to take your career online and travel indefinitely
  • Easy money-saving hacks that help you travel ASAP
  • Must-have items and gear and what to avoid
  • What and how to pack for practicality and comfort
  • And so much more…

Let’s begin.

It All Started in Miami on My First Solo Trip (2014)

Thinking of this trip gives me chills.

It actually gave tears to my eyes looking through all the photos for this writing.

My first hostel buddy ever (Petter from Norway)

While Miami is not the most popular backpack destination, keep in mind that this was before I considered myself a traveler.

At the time my comfort zone extended to choosing an Airbnb rather than a hotel.

I even booked a single apartment there in the beginning. But canceled shortly after when I found this thing called a hostel.

Not only was it more affordable but it also looked pretty decent. Shoutout to Posh Hostel South Beach!

And little did I know, this decision was about to change my life forever.

You Don’t Necessarily Need Anyone Else To Go Traveling

This leads us to one of the popular presumptions about traveling.

That you need someone else to travel, and you shouldn’t do it alone.

This belief held me back for some time too.

But there’s a reason solo traveling exists. It has its advantages compared to traveling with someone else (and disadvantages).

We’ll go in-depth about all that later.

Remember that solo traveling doesn’t mean you won’t meet people, it just means that you’re departing alone – not traveling alone.

Loneliness Is Often a Choice

A valuable lesson that traveling taught me was that loneliness is often a choice.

There are always people out there open to socializing. Better known as friends you just haven’t met yet (or more than that).

In many cultures speaking to strangers is rarely without a little bit of awkwardness. My country Denmark is a good example of this.

But when you travel it can become the most natural thing in the world. Especially when you surround yourself with other travelers you’ll often meet at hostels.

A night out with people we’ve just met (Hvarr in Croatia)

If the thought of talking with strangers scares you, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

It’s rarely without a bit of excitement, but that’s also a compelling part of it.

I like to think of it as “the social muscle”. As soon as you warm it up, train it, and strengthen it, the easier and more natural it will get. Usually within a short amount of time.

And there’s only one way to achieve this.

Though a cliche Nike still got it right the first time with their slogan: “Just do it”.

Chances are you might even get hooked on the challenge and excitement about it once you get into it.

But if you want to take a smaller step first, a good way is simply by joining the activities and events managed by the hostels you’re visiting. Most hostels offer this.

Travel and Break Free From Toxic Relationships

Many of us have tried to stay in relationships for the wrong reasons.

This includes friends as well as partners, or even family.

One of the reasons can be the fear of loneliness. Or not having any alternatives to rely on. But a healthy relationship should never be motivated by this.

When you’ve had your first few successes with meeting people while traveling, you’ll gain confidence that there are always friends out there you just haven’t met.

And when you know you’re able to convert strangers into friends, chances are you’ll no longer feel reliant on any toxic relationship.

It also makes you more independent which helps in many aspects of life.

And if you’re traveling for a more extended period, or more frequently, it’s also easier to cut bonds with toxic people merely due to the geographic distance.

Why Traveling Is One of the Best Investments

Traveling is much more than ice cream and sunburns. As we’ve already covered a bit.

If you travel long enough, chances are you’ll be aware of the effects it has on a deeper level and other aspects of your life too.

Enjoying the horizon after a mountain summit
Start with yourself and go from there

There are a lot of opportunities for personal growth.

We’ll dig into all of that now. And round it up with a list of specific practical skills you’ll get the chance to practice while traveling as well.

Get To Know Yourself and Live a Better Life

Distancing yourself from the memories, habits, and relationships at home is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself.

We majorly get affected by our environment in everyday life. And sometimes it holds us back.

When we travel we have the opportunity to find inspiration from the people we meet. The cultures we experience. The places we go. And the things we try.

It’s all opportunities to inspire ourselves on the lifelong path of figuring out who we truly are.

And when we experience something we resonate with, it’s rarely without a reason. Whether it’s something new or familiar.

When this happens we should pay attention. Because it’s often an opportunity to adapt something good or meaningful into our lives for the better.

Immersing ourselves in a new environment is not only inspiring. It can also make us question how we already see or do things, and ultimately change them.

And the things we don’t want to change, we can just appreciate more knowing that it’s not necessarily a given in the rest of the world.

Adjust Your Inner Values and Direction

Another major way traveling can affect us is by realizing how much happiness there’s to be found in uncomplicated things.

And if we find happiness in the simple things, chances are we’ll end up with a happier life.

Having breakfast with a stray cat in Thailand <3

Visiting countries that are less rich financially, yet seem happier, is a good environment to practice this.

I’m not denying the financial hardship that challenges people in big parts of the world.

Actually, the struggle can be a part of the explanation. Because it can teach us to appreciate what we have to a higher degree.

Example of simple things that makes me happy when traveling:

  • Daily random social encounters
  • Meeting the friends I just haven’t met yet
  • Being a part of a like minded-communities
  • Hanging out with animals
  • Access to cheap, healthy, and tasty exotic foods
  • Explore new cultures and stunning nature
  • Feeling the sun on my skin or the sand below my feet at a warm destination
  • Driving a motorbike and the feeling of freedom it gives
  • Getting tipsy, partying, and dancing (or at least trying to)

A few years after my first solo trip to Miami, my primary goal was to become rich. I was sure that it was everything I wanted, and that all my problems would be solved once I achieved it.

Though it’s might worth mentioning I was only at the beginning of my 20s at the time.

Me and friends in Palermo on Sicily in Italy
The hostel’s Spritz gang taking over Palermo on Sicily in Italy

Besides traveling other elements such as my best friend, growing up, and life experience also helped me to where I am today. On a happier path, I believe is more aligned with who I truly am.

And once you learn where you find your happiness, it will automatically affect your priorities, actions, and direction in life for the better.

Get Better at Appreciating What You Have

Gratitude is undeniably one of the most – if not the most important factor in having a good life.

When we travel we get the chance to see our lives from a bigger global perspective.

This especially happens when traveling to countries with higher corruption, more dangers, and lower living standards than we’re used to.

The contrast can be an eye-opening and valuable lesson supporting us in realizing the fortunes we have and how thankful we should be for them.

American passport
One of the very best passports in the world

Let’s just take an example of something that I bet most people never think about.

If you’re from the US, your passport belongs to the #2 best category out of #97 in the world.

This means you can visit:

  • 115 countries without a visa
  • 57 countries with a visa-on-arrival
  • 26 countries with a pre-approved visa

Let’s compare this with a Chinese passport ranking in category #60.

With a Chinese passport, you can visit:

  • 31 countries without a visa
  • 52 countries with a visa-on-arrival
  • 115 countries with a pre-approved visa

And that’s without comparing the worst-ranking passport on spot #97 (Afghanistan).

We can actually add numbers to the value of the typical western passport.

Most people with a few exceptions can buy the #23 ranked passport of Saint Kits and Nevis for $150,000.

This can give us an idea of what even higher-ranked passports would be if they had a price tag.

Restore Faith in Humanity

When you’re on the road you engage with people all the time.

By doing so chances are you’ll experience that most people have good intentions.

And the more people you meet, the more statistical significance you’ll collect supporting this belief.

If you consider yourself a good person, what makes you think the people you meet are different?

You’ve probably heard a wide variety of ways of people saying that the world is a dangerous place.

It’s important to be aware of where the preassumption comes from to question it constructively.

Mathias from Germany picked me up while hitchhiking in Turkey

One of the reasons is that humans are naturally attracted to things that can threaten our existence.

And from an evolutionary perspective, this makes a lot of sense.

We’re investing our limited focus in becoming aware of potential threats to increase our chances of survival.

There’s a reason why 90% of the news in America is estimated to be negative.

A part of the explanation is that our brains are biased toward it.

But that’s not all.

On top of that, we also have to take into consideration “The Lottery Effect”.

The Lottery Effect

The media are more likely to cover conflicts, tragedies, and dangers. Which we’re then more likely to consume and share as well.

But if it were possible to share all the positive things in between these negative events, we’d suddenly see the world more as it is – much more positive.

The problem is that if we don’t. There’s neither the possibility, resources nor time.

And this is where The Lottery Effect comes in.

If we heard about all the losers in between the rare millionaire Lottery winners. Most people would get a realistic view of their low winning chances and likely stop playing.

This effect can be applied to negative news as well.

So if you want to be more resistant to manipulation, it’s an important thing to keep in mind when interacting with any kind of media or gossip.

Stay Aware and Trust Your Guts

While the statistics are in your favor when it comes to the intentions of people around the world.

You still have to practice being aware and trusting your gut when exploring unknown territories.

Traffic sign in Pai, Thailand
Sign spotting in Thailand is an underrated activity

It’s easy to project our reality onto the world around us. And if done incorrectly it’s called ignorance.

I’m guilty of this too. I’m an optimist, and like everyone else, I want what I believe to be true. But the result is that we’re fooling ourselves sometimes.

Some places are dangerous, and not assuming it for what it is, makes them a danger to you too.

I’m not only referring to crimes committed by people. But also nature, traffic, and diseases.

It can be easy to forget this when we as tourists often only scratch the surface of a country’s sometimes complex reality.

Do some basic research on the destinations you intend to visit. Stay aware of your surroundings and trust your gut.

Once your inner voice tells you something, there’s usually a reason for it.

And don’t be afraid to act on that voice even if it means rejecting someone or something, or creating an awkward situation (who cares?).

Better safe than sorry.

The Real Currency of Life: Good Memories

I think a lot of people are spending too much time working.

And I’m not referring to those that do it to make means and survive. I have the uttermost respect for that.

I’m referring to those that have the option of prioritizing differently to create a larger proportion of good memories rather than professional acknowledgment or money.

Besides the joy good memories initially give us when we first experience them. They can also be relived in our minds over and over again as much as we like.

The paradise team in paradise

And the power of the mind shouldn’t be underestimated.

Strong emotions such as fear, love, or hate can be recalled from thoughts alone. But the same goes for the joy of good memories.

Recalling them is a powerful tool when life gets tough. When we need to remind ourselves about what’s important in life and motivate ourselves to do the right thing.

Sometimes I like to visualize myself as an old man sitting in a rocking chair in the future (very original, I know).

If that time ever comes I know I’d rather choose to be rich in good memories, than money or professional achievements.

I know that you can have both. But the take is being aware of how much we’re willing to sacrifice one for the other.

Other Skills Traveling Teaches You

Most of us would never think of mentioning our travel experiences on a resume when applying for a job.

This is weird considering the wide variety of skills it can teach us.

And the longer we travel, the more likely it is we’ll practice one or more of them.

Examples of things to practice while traveling:

  • Researching
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Self-reliance
  • Adaptability
  • Leaving our comfort zone
  • Facing fears
  • Trusting our gut
  • Social skills
  • Self-confidence

All these skills are of high value in many jobs, or might even be necessary. But most importantly in many aspects of life as well.

You’ll Become Stronger Than Ever

Taking into consideration all the reasons why traveling is one of the best investments.

Then the potential of becoming the strongest you’ll ever be might not come as a surprise.

Enormous Backpack
Strong enough for this backpack

Like most other people I’ve been going through some dark periods in my life.

And without the experiences from my previous trips, I’d never have been able to accomplish the things I have today.

Traveling taught me how good life can be, and that the opportunity to do so is always out there.

It gave me something worth fighting for. Which are powerful especially when life gets tough.

I’m not sure where’d been today if it wasn’t for traveling.

Face the Music Before You Go

This is a topic I think deserves more attention.

When you construct a house you’re not only focusing on the exterior and interior. Because without building a proper foundation first everything else is at risk.

It’s easy to use travel as a sort of escape from the problems we have at home. But most often the causes and solutions to these problems are found within ourselves or right in front of us.

Hence why we likely won’t solve them by moving geographically either.

Though sometimes a temporary escape is the best thing to do. Where the whole point is to get a break and relax to recharge your batteries and clear your mind.

But when it’s not chances are we’re doing ourselves a disservice.

Traveling is a powerful tool that should be considered as such with respect.

MacBook with a cup of coffee and post its
The getting sh** done starter kit

Therefore not having the opportunity to travel straight away can be a good thing. For example, in case we need to save up money first.

It can force us to deal with things at home that will help us grow and ultimately make our lives better.

Examples of things to solve before traveling:

  • Unsaid things or conflicts in our close relationships
  • Therapy sessions
  • Getting our health back on track
  • Finishing an important career opportunity
  • Paying off debt
  • Achieving unfinished goals already in progress
  • Getting things done we’ve postponed

The byproduct of solving one or more of these things is often inner peace and satisfaction.

Which also affects our travels in major ways. Our sub-conscience mind doesn’t forget that easily and will remind us about the things we haven’t dealt with.

And postponing things into the future, often just results in missed opportunities or worsening problems.

Even though it’s tempting to think of escaping challenges and problems by traveling forever, life is long.

We’ll never know what the future might bring. And therefore we should never burn our bridges.

When It’s Time To Take Adjust or Take a Break

Have you ever wondered why doing the same thing without modifications gets boring after a while?

We have our brains to thank for that.

It was initially built for us to survive and reproduce. And a key element in surviving for any species is continuously evolving.

A way to make sure this would happen is our brain’s ability to adapt to its environment and steal us from joy when we stop stimulating it after a while.

Chilling by the pool with a Chang beer
If “Ahhh…” was a photo

And traveling is not an exception.

Chances are that you’ll experience the excitement of traveling going up and down just like most things in life.

This necessarily doesn’t mean that you don’t value traveling as much as before. It just means that you might need to do things differently for a bit or take a break.

In fact, consider it an achievement if you’re fortunate to travel the distance and the time often needed to get to that point.

The Second Part: I Want To Travel the World – Where Do I Start?

This leads us to the second and final part of this guide, which was also briefly introduced in the beginning. You’ll find it here: I Want To Travel the World – Where Do I Start?

This is where we’ll cover everything you need to achieve your travel goals (step-by-step). Whether it’s a single trip or traveling indefinitely.

Including how to:

  • Plan your trip and prevent common pitfalls
  • Estimate the total amount of money you’ll need
  • How to take your career online and travel indefinitely
  • Easy money-saving hacks that help you travel ASAP
  • Must-have items and gear and what to avoid
  • What and how to pack for practicality and comfort
  • And so much more…
Global Dane

Hey, my friend! I’m the guy behind this website. I was born in Denmark in 1991. My love for traveling started at an early age when the occasional family trips meant ice cream, french fries, and sea water were indulged in an equal amount. Later in life, I found my true source of happiness in exploring unknown lands, turning strangers into friends, and challenging my view of the world through traveling.

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