When should you make your travel daydreams a reality?

My newest Ask Rolf column at World Hum involves a question from an American named Mike, who wonders when he should take the leap to go travel the world. He writes:

I’m in the U.S. Coast Guard, and I constantly daydream about traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Australia and too many other places to name. My problem is that I cannot decide whether to go now, or retire from the Coast Guard (I have 14 more years to retire) and then go. Retiring would allow me to travel forever. However, I fret over the political future of the world and whether it will be safe or even possible in the future. Which prods me to go now. What are your thoughts on this? I’ve asked friends and family, but they all think I’m either crazy, or not really serious about doing this.

My first advice to Mike was to not take too much stock in the pessimism of his friends and family:

For starters, don’t take too much stock in the negative feedback from your friends and family. Most everyone who’s ever set off on a long-term journey away from the workaday world, including me, has had to put up with skeptics among our closest friends and family members. In the end, ignoring these folks is easier than arguing with them. Just quietly persevere with your travel plans, and send a few polite postcards home when you’re having the time of your life on the other side of the world.

Past that, I tell Mike that sooner is usually better when it comes to making vagabonding plans — but, just to be sure, I call in on some advice from my old travel pal and Coast Guard vet, Al Ribera.

For the full take on what Al and I tell Mike, click over to the World Hum column here.

Posted by | Comments Off on When should you make your travel daydreams a reality?  | June 29, 2006
Category: Vagabonding Advice

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