The Importance of Traveling Now

This post isn’t about saving money. It’s not about finding a great travel deal. It’s not about planning a future trip. Actually, it’s about the opposite. It’s about the importance of traveling now rather than putting it off until the future, because we never know what the future will hold.

Retirement Plans Don’t Always Workout

My sister made a comment last week that she and her husband are re-evaluating their retirement goals. Our parents, like many people, worked hard all their lives in hopes of spending a full retirement traveling to fun and exotic places. My dad never took more than his allotted 2-3 weeks of vacation per year knowing that at age 65 he would have all the time in the world to travel with my mom. Well life often doesn’t turn out like it’s planned. Shortly after retiring he starting having problems concentrating, comprehending and communicating. Parkinson’s Disease with dementia was coming on him like a freight train. It breaks our hearts that their retirement is nothing like they planned.

I saw this happen to my ex-father-in-law’s retirement dream as well. He and his wife were only able to take one trip before he was diagnosed with lung cancer. And, he wasn’t even a smoker.

Travel for Today!

While we must plan for the future, don’t put off what you really can do today. Move up the time lines and deadlines so you can take that dream trip sooner rather than later. Most employers will give you time off without pay or a sabbatical, so with a few money-saving tips I outlined in another post you can make that trip happen. Do what you need to do to enjoy seeing the world today.

If you have kids, what better way for them to experience life than to see the world with you. My husband and I saw several families with young children on long-haul trips in Asia and they were having a blast.

Your trip doesn’t need to be a mega trip; it can be a lot of weekends away. You can take mini-trips and stay for free with home exchanges that I explained in an earlier post. So, there’s really NO excuse not to travel now!

Fantastic Books That Will Make You Speed Up Your Plan

Here are a couple of books to help you adjust your plans to sooner rather than later…
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Travel by Rolf Potts. This book will get you out of your chair and on the road. I read this and immediately kick started our around-the-world trip.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. The author helps you craft a life of less work and more travel by changing your habits and your career or asking your employer to be creative with your work schedule.
(P.S. You check these books out at the library so you can save money faster for your trip! But if your library doesn’t have them, please buy them through these links so I can travel faster. Thanks!)

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6 thoughts

  1. This is something to think about. My dad died shortly after he retired without enjoying hardly any of it. I would love to travel more. How do you have so much time to travel? What do you do for your job? How do you make time to travel?

  2. I’m my non-blogging life I’m a real estate agent. Both my husband and I are self employed we can take off when I want. However, we lose money when I’m not selling houses so we tend to travel when it’s low season in the market. But we feel that travel is much more important than money. We could earn a lot more if we worked more but we choose not to. We have scaled back our lifestyle to not need much money so we don’t have to work as much. But even when I was a salaried corporate employee when I asked for extra time off without out pay–a few days or a week–and was always allowed.

  3. The greatest luxury is not money — it’s time. And while we all may know how much money we have in our bank account, none of us knows how much time we have left.

  4. As a teacher I see a diffence in kids that have traveled with their parents. They are more worldly and they have more knowledge on different topics in life. When I have kids I hope to travel with them to teach them about different cultures and their history…so that when that history lesson emerges in class they can relate to it better!!

    I agree life is short and we never know if we will make it to retirement !!

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