It was a 10-year process for me. Back and forth. Up and down. Should I do this, really? The decision to finally follow the dream of long-term travel is a difficult one, especially for those of us with an established career and lifestyle.
For me, the decision-making process was all happening in my own head, until I found some books and blogs that gave me the final boost of inspiration. These outlets provided a support group of sorts – helping me realize that there are many people out there doing this and that it’s totally possible.
Since I’ve shared the news of my travel plans, I’ve come across several others who are in the place I was in for 10 years. Here are the books, blogs and organizations I recommend for that initial inspiration:
Vagabonding – Ok, this is clearly biased, but honestly this is the first thing I recommend to those who express interest in a traveling lifestyle. It’s a quick read that captures the philosophy behind it all while also giving practical advice. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down – which was my first sign that this is a true passion that I needed to explore.
Meet Plan Go – I didn’t find this site until a few weeks before I left for my trip, but I wish I’d found it sooner. Aimed at those who are mid-career, Meet Plan Go organizes meetings in various cities for those interested in travel to network and learn. You can also join their online community and “basic training course” ($149) for help with determining if career break travel is right for you, expert advice on the preparation process and numerous other resources. Their Briefcase to Backpack blog provides helpful info for those in the contemplation stage as well as those in the “plan” and “go” stages.
Make Things Happen – Another organization I wish I’d found sooner, Making Things Happen is not specifically travel-focused but rather aimes to help anyone with a goal to finally take the steps toward making it happen. They organize workshops throughout the U.S. to help people overcome their fears, discover their strengths, and get inspired to change their life. Although I didn’t attend a workshop, I came across the Making Things Happen blog and found the quotes and articles inspiring during my planning process.
The Art of Nonconformity – This book, website and blog are written by Chris Guillebeau, a traveler with a goal of visiting every country in the world. His mission is to help people realize they don’t need to live the way society expects, and that you live a fulfilling life by creating your own path whether in business or in lifestyle. I found myself going back to a few of his posts, including Why you should quit your job and travel the world and Ever feel like giving up?, several times throughout my decision-making and planning process.
Advanced Riskology – Tyler Tervooren focuses on embracing the unknown to learn and grow in life. His posts are thoughtful, detailed and motivational. I personally enjoyed A tale of two dreamers, about those who let life happen versus those who focus consciously on their goal.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but they are the places I found most helpful. In addition to these outlets, simply reading the hundreds of personal travel blogs and forums out there can be inspiring in themselves. Together these sites helped me realize I wasn’t totally crazy and that I had the power to make this happen for myself.
What are some of the other sites and books you find inspiring?