Should I stay or should I go?- Sorting through the initial travel urge and hatching a plan.
Welcome back globetrotters, well admittedly, just like the world’s climate and current Australian politics, your weekly GTG entries have been a little out of whack, apologies and commiserations on that matter 🙂 In the spirit of getting things all organized, what better topic to explore than where all trips begin, with an idea.
The first part of anyone’s travel story is surely how they caught the travel bug. I would describe my own travel interest as travel by osmosis (no non-human animals were tested in the forming of this theory). Being from a relatively newly immigrated family on both sides, I was always aware that daily life carried on in other places, completely separate from my daily experience here in Australia. The world becomes an even smaller type of shellfish when these relocated family members have travelled. In other words, I was constantly surrounded by romantic stories of far off lands, and meeting people from those far off lands on their visits to Australia, all taking a little piece of me with them. This also serves to quash the fear of the unknown which can often deter would-be travelers.
When it came time to begin my own, travels, fate seemed to decide these matters conclusively and all that was left to me was to decide whether or not to take the global plunge. To describe what I mean, my first trip overseas came as a ‘study trip’ with my Japanese language class in high school. Fortunately the government subsidised this trip, in support of the educational outcome. My next trip was an extension of a ‘meet the family’ trip to Ireland’, which had now become a financial possibility. All privileged circumstances aside, the point here is that many beginnings seem to become logical possibilities through pure chance.
When considering your own travel possibilities, the following are a useful series of questions to answer for yourself.
- Will there be another chance to go on this trip if I don’t go now?
- Can I afford to go?
- What are the simple limitations of what I would like to achieve on this trip?
- What would change if I was to go by myself or with travel partner(s)?
- How much going on at home am I prepared to miss? (What situations may be worthy of cutting a trip short?).
- How does this fit with my other plans e.g. study, career, family? (also how are important are these plans, can they be pursued later?)
By now you may have noticed that travel has (so far) been portrayed mainly as a reaction to opportunity. Naturally, many of you are the DIY kind and prefer a more proactive approach. You may feel like the fan for your travel flame is hard to come by. The following list are some ways through which your travel itch may finally be scratched.
- Spend some time looking at a world map (I pick up on something new every time I do this)
- Go to your local library (or book shop) and source some guide books for the place (s) you are most interested to go to
- Get a second (up to date) source for any information you need to be highly accurate e.g. currency exchange
- Visit a travel agent -this may give you more of a sense of what is realistically achievable and some of the costs involved
- Look for a local travel expo- this could be another great fact-finding mission
- Search the internet for information on things like job opportunities, visa requirements, volunteering openings. cheaper flights
- visit your doctor or a travel health clinic to ask about any vaccinations you may need and check the condition of your general health
- talk to people you know who have travelled and ask for their insider tips
The particular bits and pieces that apply to your trip and what you need to organise will become clearer as you go through this process. Finally, as with all good travel, things should best be decided on a whim (following background research of course), or in my case over a typical night at karaoke. When deciding which companies to consider applying to (for employment) during my process of moving to Japan, I ran into my (one of my) Japanese teacher(s) from high school on a karaoke night at a local pub and she asked me what my plan was after university. I told her I planned to live in Japan for a time and she then recommended the company her daughter had recently worked for, who also ended up as my employer throughout my time in Japan.
If there is a moral to my long-winded monologue it is mostly to say that random influences are the purest travel guidance you can come across, take them seriously, evaluate and get yourself a booking of some sort 🙂
Your GTG is always keen to hear your thoughts and travel queries so you’re all more than welcome to comment, give feedback or request future topics for discussion. This is your forum far more so than it is a means for my personal pandering. Happy reading, travel responsibly and until next week 🙂