Why You Should Stop Not Traveling

This article may seem superfluous at first. You’re mentally admonishing me as such: “Seriously, Colin, I know I should be traveling more and I enjoy traveling and I will when I get the chance so lay off, sucker.”

I get it, I do. You want to be worldly and have a wonderful time, James Bond style, exploring exotic locals (and even more exotic women/men), enjoying the best the world has to offer, seeing the underbelly of the underbelly of a city that doesn’t even really have an overbelly.

I understand because I’ve been there. I have. In fact, I’m STILL there. I’m making plans, sure, but at this moment my dreams of travel are still just dreams, right up there with the ones where all my teeth fall out, flying down the stairs and trampolining with President Taft while wearing knickerbockers (what, you haven’t had that one?).

“But Colin,” you whine, “I took that trip to Aruba during Spring Break. Remember? I totally got hammered with some locals.”

An excellent start, for sure, but let’s be honest here: you stayed at a tourist trap hotel with a bunch of other people your age, from your country, and learned nothing new except what drinking games the locals play and what the natives think Americans like (wet t-shirt contests and keg stands…to be fair, that’s actually pretty accurate).

You need to get out there and experience something new, my friend! Stop thinking about it and do it! Take some time to prepare and do it right…you don’t want to be worrying about the fact that you have nothing to come back to or are completely broke the entire time…but seriously, now is the time to travel! While you’re young! Even after the safety net of school is carted off when you graduate, being young and malleable will still provide a respectable amount of leeway, so even if you make mistakes/lose all your money to gypsies/accidently get married to the King’s daughter, you’ll be able to bounce back. Not only that, but when you return to ‘real life,’ you’ll have some excellent stories to tell, and later on down the line, your kids won’t think you’re a loser (okay, they still probably will, but you’ll at least have the photos to prove you weren’t ALWAYS a loser).

So stop not traveling. I’ve made a resolution (and given myself firm deadlines) to finally end my destructive cycle of not doing the things I want to do with my life, and you should too.

What have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t because life got in the way? Share below!

19 comments

  1. I often think about taking my car, a laptop, my camera and see everything in the country I haven’t seen yet. The problem as always is about money. I don’t trust I can earn money with a laptop only, and I think I would spend a lot more travelling and getting places to sleep (you can’t sleep in a car everyday). Furthermore, How would I work and travel at the same time? I think the best way for this would be traveling on train, but then I wouldn’t have the facilities that the car has.

    How do you do for work and travel at the same time? How do you decide when to work and when to be travelling. What are you working at, that let’s you earn money enough to be travelling wherever you want?

  2. I often think about taking my car, a laptop, my camera and see everything in the country I haven’t seen yet. The problem as always is about money. I don’t trust I can earn money with a laptop only, and I think I would spend a lot more travelling and getting places to sleep (you can’t sleep in a car everyday). Furthermore, How would I work and travel at the same time? I think the best way for this would be traveling on train, but then I wouldn’t have the facilities that the car has.

    How do you do for work and travel at the same time? How do you decide when to work and when to be travelling. What are you working at, that let’s you earn money enough to be travelling wherever you want?

  3. Hey Leon, great questions-

    I run a design and development studio, which basically means that I create graphic design work, illustrations, web sites, user-interface elements and layouts, do SEO and social media consultations, etc etc etc. All of these things I can do from anywhere in the world, so long as I have an Internet connection, a computer and enough motivation to do the work, even when I’m in Argentina/Cairo/Machu Picchu (you get the picture).

    Working while traveling does not have to mean sitting in hotel rooms, sleeping in your car or trying to juggle your laptop between tourist destinations. In my case, I’ll be renting an apartment in Argentina (and likely will do the same wherever I end up next) and keeping my work laptop there, so at night and whenever else I’m feeling motivated, I can knock out some solid work for my clients. This leaves all the rest of my time to explore Argentina, go on day trips to surrounding countries and regions, learn the language and really just take it all in. It’s not a typical ‘vacation’ where I would be paying tourist rates and looking at things as a visitor…I’m opting to instead try my best to integrate myself into the community, if only for 4 months, and travel from the country as a new home base.

    Does that make sense?

    Feel free to email me, or comment here, if you have any other questions. Also check out some of the other articles on this site (and on the other sites I’ve recommended on the sidebar to the right), as there will be more explanation and advice there.

    Thanks for the comment, Leon!

  4. Hey Leon, great questions-

    I run a design and development studio, which basically means that I create graphic design work, illustrations, web sites, user-interface elements and layouts, do SEO and social media consultations, etc etc etc. All of these things I can do from anywhere in the world, so long as I have an Internet connection, a computer and enough motivation to do the work, even when I’m in Argentina/Cairo/Machu Picchu (you get the picture).

    Working while traveling does not have to mean sitting in hotel rooms, sleeping in your car or trying to juggle your laptop between tourist destinations. In my case, I’ll be renting an apartment in Argentina (and likely will do the same wherever I end up next) and keeping my work laptop there, so at night and whenever else I’m feeling motivated, I can knock out some solid work for my clients. This leaves all the rest of my time to explore Argentina, go on day trips to surrounding countries and regions, learn the language and really just take it all in. It’s not a typical ‘vacation’ where I would be paying tourist rates and looking at things as a visitor…I’m opting to instead try my best to integrate myself into the community, if only for 4 months, and travel from the country as a new home base.

    Does that make sense?

    Feel free to email me, or comment here, if you have any other questions. Also check out some of the other articles on this site (and on the other sites I’ve recommended on the sidebar to the right), as there will be more explanation and advice there.

    Thanks for the comment, Leon!

  5. Hey Colin,

    Nice article. Traveling is always good, get to know new places and talk to interesting people. But when you are starting its difficult to balance work and travel. You have to have certain amount of clients to be able to do that without having to worry about money and everything.

    By the way, my name is Fernanda Carvalho, im 24 years old and im a graphic designer from Brazil. I found you through Behance and you’ve got some interesting work.

    Take care :)

  6. Hey Colin,

    Nice article. Traveling is always good, get to know new places and talk to interesting people. But when you are starting its difficult to balance work and travel. You have to have certain amount of clients to be able to do that without having to worry about money and everything.

    By the way, my name is Fernanda Carvalho, im 24 years old and im a graphic designer from Brazil. I found you through Behance and you’ve got some interesting work.

    Take care :)

  7. Hey Fernanda-

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I definitely agree that traveling is a good thing to partake in, and I also agree that, to a certain degree, you need to have some clients already established before being able to just leave and not worry about money.

    On the other hand, you could use travel as a boon to your client base, gaining new clients all the time because of your journey, making new connections in each country and city you land in, and couch surfing your way around the world while building up an incredibly diverse client base in an affordable way.

    If you can, though, definitely have at least a few reliable clients that you know will stick with you, even when you are halfway around the world. I’m fortunate enough to have many clients like this, and it’s given me all the confidence in the world for this project.

    Thanks for posting! I just checked out your portfolio and you’ve got some really nice work (I especially like the toucan illustration). What part of Brazil do you live in (I may be taking a weekend trip there while I’m living in Argentina, and if I do I would love to meet up!).

  8. Hey Fernanda-

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I definitely agree that traveling is a good thing to partake in, and I also agree that, to a certain degree, you need to have some clients already established before being able to just leave and not worry about money.

    On the other hand, you could use travel as a boon to your client base, gaining new clients all the time because of your journey, making new connections in each country and city you land in, and couch surfing your way around the world while building up an incredibly diverse client base in an affordable way.

    If you can, though, definitely have at least a few reliable clients that you know will stick with you, even when you are halfway around the world. I’m fortunate enough to have many clients like this, and it’s given me all the confidence in the world for this project.

    Thanks for posting! I just checked out your portfolio and you’ve got some really nice work (I especially like the toucan illustration). What part of Brazil do you live in (I may be taking a weekend trip there while I’m living in Argentina, and if I do I would love to meet up!).

  9. @Fernanda:

    Salvador looks beautiful! I will definitely have to make my way up there when I’m living in Argentina!

    I’ll be in Argentina from September 15 until January 15, so I’ll shoot you an email when I’m there, and hopefully we can meet up at some point.

    Thanks for the response!

  10. @Fernanda:

    Salvador looks beautiful! I will definitely have to make my way up there when I’m living in Argentina!

    I’ll be in Argentina from September 15 until January 15, so I’ll shoot you an email when I’m there, and hopefully we can meet up at some point.

    Thanks for the response!

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  12. Colin,

    Love this site and your “remarkable ebook” (got here via Zenhabits). I have wanted to do what you do for like 30 years. The problem is that I am a laid-off medical transcriptionist with no money. That’s a dying profession they turned into a sweatshop. My transition skills are amateur photography and photoshop and I can write a decent sentence (used to have one of those personal blogs). I’m also good at languages. What would be the best way to make a living for me? Should I try to learn web design via internships, professional printing, professional Photoshop and copywriting too, or invest in a total immersion language course or two instead and try to become a translator?

    Keep on living my life,

    yrs

    fkzd

  13. Colin,

    Love this site and your “remarkable ebook” (got here via Zenhabits). I have wanted to do what you do for like 30 years. The problem is that I am a laid-off medical transcriptionist with no money. That’s a dying profession they turned into a sweatshop. My transition skills are amateur photography and photoshop and I can write a decent sentence (used to have one of those personal blogs). I’m also good at languages. What would be the best way to make a living for me? Should I try to learn web design via internships, professional printing, professional Photoshop and copywriting too, or invest in a total immersion language course or two instead and try to become a translator?

    Keep on living my life,

    yrs

    fkzd

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