Here’s a fun game to play: think about one place in the world that you’d like to visit someday. You don’t have to make a long list, just think of one single place.
Even including people who don’t travel that much, most of us can think of somewhere we’d like to see before we die.
There are a couple of easy rules for this game:
1) You only get one place
2) It has to be somewhere you haven’t been yet
Those are the only rules; the rest is up to you. It can be a city, a country, an island, a continent, or just one big mountain.
You may already have an idea of where you’d like to go, but if not, there are plenty of options out there. Look at a globe or a good map if you need help deciding.
Once you have your one place, it’s time to bring it closer to you, and bring you closer to it. You didn’t think this would be strictly theoretical, did you?
The 3-Year Deadline
If your one place is on your “someday” list, let’s give it some kind of deadline, even if it’s far in the future. How about three years? Do you think that you could find a way to visit your one place sometime between tomorrow and three years from now?
Most of us can probably move that deadline up to two years, one year, or maybe even sooner. But to keep it fair, we’ll use three years as the outside limit.
I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, and I’ve found that even the furthest destinations on earth usually cost less than $2,500 to get to and back. Most of the time, it’s a lot less—there are many countries I’ve gone to for less than $100—but for planning purposes, we’ll use the high end.
Even using the most extreme example—a $2,500 destination and three years to save for it—you will only need to save about $2 a day to get the funds for your trip. You’ll even have enough left over for meals and duty-free shopping!
(By the way, I realize that many people in the world live on less than $2 a day, but most of them won’t be reading this essay. My writing is for those of us who are pretty well-off.)
I use this example to prove that money isn’t what prevents many of us from going somewhere we’ve always wanted to.
Instead, most of us stay where we are because of inertia more than anything else. Even if you’re not ready to quit your job and go off the grid, you can probably do one thing to prepare for the visit to your one place.
The Next Action
To start the preparation, take the first single action you need to take to plan your trip.
You don’t need to buy a ticket or anything else. Just go to the bookstore and check out the travel section. Read the travel guide for your place in the café. If you prefer, look for books about your one place at the library, or ask someone who has been there to tell you about it.
Just do something.
And then you can plan the next thing—set up your three year, $2 a day savings fund, mark off a block of time far in the future, look for a travel companion, or whatever you need to do.
Building it out step by step, one action at a time, will help you get to your one place. It won’t just be a dream anymore. You’ll make it real, and in three years or less (probably a lot less), you can be wherever in the world you’d like to be.
If you did this exercise or at least thought about it, where is your one place? Feel free to share your answer with everyone else who is reading along. If you’re going to really plan for making it happen, post up your next action as well.
Image by jlhopes