Soon the holidays will be over and the post festival hangover will begin. So if you’re like me, you’ve already begun planning the amazing, life-altering, fantastical adventure of a lifetime. Anything to get you through, right? Whether your imaginary travel takes you to the mountains of Nepal, the rainforests of Brazil, or even a cross country road trip through all of the National Parks, one thing remains essential. In order to embark on this mind-blowing excursion, you will have to renounce your worldly possessions and dedicate your life to your inner nomad. Picking up and leaving can be difficult but here are some tips that will help contribute to your irresponsible fantasies and allow you to leave your normal life behind.
Start Taking Pictures of All Your Stuff
Not only will this be helpful for reminiscing when you’re half way around the world, but this is the first step in posting Craigslist ads. If you’ve just graduated from college or are still living in a room that looks like it was furnished by Lizzie Maguire then sell your stuff! Trust me, unless you are sporting a six figure salary at a very young age, your prized Kramer posters is not worth the space. Think of it as a detox regimen. Letting go is the first step to starting anew and chances are, somewhere throughout your adventures, you could use the money.
Maintain Good Relations with Your Parents
If you don’t feel like parting with your things, or it seems unnecessary, having a good relationship with your parents is a must. Who else is going to take care of that cat you impulsively adopted? However, any good relationship is a two-way street. On your adventures keep up the contact. Your parents/family will appreciate your postcards and Skype sessions. Keeping the lines of communication open will also come in handy if you find yourself in a Malaysian prison.
Buy the Ticket
Now that you’ve taken preliminary steps, it’s time to do something drastic. This is arguably the most irresponsible part of the whole adventure. BUY YOUR TICKET! Before you have plans, before every cog is in place, buy the ticket. Not only does buying early mean that you will probably save money, but it will act as a contract. For those days that you have cold feet, look at your ticket and you’ll know (unless you’re willing to lose a lot of money) that this adventure will happen. When buying a ticket do your research, travelling in off-months or into obscure airports might help your save money.
Make a Plan
Notice how I’ve encouraged you to postpone any trip planning until long after you’ve sold/given away all of your things and bought a multi-thousand dollar plane ticket. That’s because, it is my observation, that you can sit and plan and make lists until the day you die, but until you take action, your plans are just pieces of paper, destined to be buried on some unused desk.
Quit Your Job
If you have a job, quit it. Unless you’re working somewhere that will let you take some sort of sabbatical. If you loved your job and couldn’t live without it, you probably wouldn’t be planning this adventure anyway. Give your two weeks notice and start packing up the cubicle, it’s time for a change of scenery! Your boss/coworkers will most like be impressed and jealous.
Shake off the Haters (Including Yourself)
Here’s the hardest part. When you make a huge and semi-rash decision you are most likely going to undergo criticism. It’s important to know why you are setting out on this adventure. People (parents, jealous friends) might not understand your reasoning but as long as you have a clear idea you can have courage in your conviction. Most importantly, it is crucial that you listen to, and then squelch your own doubts. You are your worst enemy when it comes to making these changes, so quit drinking haterade and just DO IT!
Sleep on the Plane
You’ll need your rest, after all you did just go through (most likely) one of the most stressful events of your adult life. Be proud of yourself! Go ahead and order that third bloody mary! After all, this is the first day of the rest of your life.