This is a guest post by American Tripper Caroline Eubanks inspired by the reaction she got when telling others about her working holiday in Australia: “I wish I could do that.”
1. You’re so brave
Am I brave? It’s not like I’m charting unvisited territories like Lewis and Clark. I’m even in a country that speaks English, more or less, so that challenge is out of the picture. If it’s the being away from home part that makes me brave, I already did that when I left for college. Am I brave for not doing what is expected of me? I’m never sure how to respond to this statement.
2. You’re lucky
I hate hearing that word any time I’m traveling because luck has nothing to do with it. I prefer the word fortunate. I’m fortunate to live in a country where owning a passport gives me a lot of freedom and opportunities. I’m fortunate to have realized early on that travel is a priority in my life, more so than 9-5 jobs, apartments and stability. This statement always makes me feel like I haven’t earned it. Like my parents paid for my trip (they didn’t). Like I didn’t wait tables for lousy tips instead of going out with friends in order to save up to buy my plane ticket.
3. You’re going alone?
It sounds like I just told you I was planning on shaving my head and worshipping trees. I’ve traveled alone many times before, the first time when I was 17, and this time is no different. The only exception was that my now-boyfriend was here to make sure I didn’t get into too much trouble. I recommend solo travel to all ages and genders because alone is not the same as lonely.
4. Now’s the time to do it.
While I agree with this statement in many ways, since I have no major commitments in the US and the job market there has fallen apart, but who says you can’t travel now AND later? There are plenty of great stories of people in their 60s and 70s traveling. My grandparents are such an example and are still riding camels in Egypt and camping in the Moroccan desert.
5. I wish I could do that.
Why can’t you? You’re the only person getting in your way. Jobs, houses and relationships can all be adapted if you make travel a priority. Here are the only acceptable excuses for why you can’t travel like I can.
You don’t have a passport because you are an illegal alien and risk deportation.
You are in the witness protection program and travel could compromise your alias.
You are wanted by the police or currently serving time in jail, in which case PLEASE stay where you are.
You are in the hospital for treatment of a life-threatening condition.
There you have it. If one of these excuses fits your description, I doubt you should be reading this post in the first place. As for the rest of you, apply for a passport if you don’t have one already and get moving. It doesn’t have to be to Australia, but that would be pretty cool. So get Tripping.
For more tips on Australia, connect with Caroline through her profile, she’ll be “thrilled to meet Trippers Down Under!”