If you want to travel, as well as money, what you really need is time.
But how do you find it?
The thing with time is that if we aren’t careful, it marches by and we have nothing to show for it. We are already six months into 2017. Are you finding that as hard to believe as I am?
I find with time, we have to be purposeful and organised. Without focus, it can be hard to know what to really do with the time that we have.
When I was reading Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger, what struck me was just how much Arnie managed to pack into his day. At one point, he was going to school, working, completing language classes and working out. He got 6 hours sleep a night. Now I’m strictly a 7-8 hours girl, so I’m not prepared to sacrifice my sleep to get by…
However it made me realise that it is really not about how much time we have, but how we use it.
Here’s what has helped me and what I hope will help you.
Start your own Adventure List
Get a notepad and write out everything that you’ve ever dreamt of doing. Your list might include things like gambling in Vegas, seeing gorillas in the wild, learning Spanish, making your own sushi, doing a masters or living in Spain for a year. Your list only ever needs to be seen by you so let your imagination run wild. You can be as unrealistic as you want. The point of the list is to put your intention out into the world. We can dream and think but there’s something about putting those dreams and thoughts to paper that brings them into the realm of the possible.
Get a travel board
I have two preferred travel board methods:
- Get a white board and write all of your travel goals and dreams on it.
- Make a collage of quotes, images and inspiration and hang it in a room in your home.
You might like to create a collage of travel experiences you’ve already had so that you can remember what you’ve already accomplished and use it as inspiration for future endeavours.
Humans are visual creatures and having that visual cue and reminder of your goals inspires us to act.
Get a diary
In an earlier post, I talked about how I gear myself up to get into the travel mindset. First things first, I like to start the New Year with a brand spanking new diary so that I can get planning. Not all of my plans come true but it allows me to get creative.
I highlight bank holidays and special occasions that I may wish to mark overseas, like my birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps there are certain times of the year which aren’t good for you. January is too cold and miserable or September is a bit ‘blah.’ These are times of the year that you can perk up with adventure.
I’m the type of person who thinks a lot and conjures up endless ideas. It took me a while to learn to take action. Still, I find one of the best parts of the process is allowing yourself to daydream, fantasise and experiment with your own personal travel diary. This keeps travel at the forefront of your mind and influences the way that you spend your time.
Diarise time to rest and time to act
This might not be a necessary step for everyone but I find it useful personally. I sometimes get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). This fear can make me want to be everywhere all of the time. I want to be in Cuba AND New Orleans AND Peru and unfortunately, I can’t. Not until a machine is invented that enables me to split myself into 3 people that can board 3 separate planes!
I tend to heap a lot on my plate and then crash. When I crash, I feel irritable, moody and tired. By factoring in weeks or months when I’m busier and weeks and months when life is quieter, I’m able to balance my love of travel with my need for rest.
Get quality sleep
If you want to make the most of your time, you need to lose some of it to sleep. I know there are people like Arnie who can sleep for 6 hours a night but I’m not one of them. When I went to Las Vegas, I barely slept. I crammed in a Big Bus tour, a trip to the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam and a Britney Spears concert on very little sleep. When I volunteered in Thailand, I often slept poorly but somehow had the adrenaline to do my daily chores. I can keep this up for a short period of time but it’s not sustainable. Quality sleep is so important if we want to feel charged for the day ahead.
A few little tricks are:
- Spray lavender on your pillow.
- Listen to a guided meditation before you sleep.
- Do 10-30 minutes of yoga.
- Have a warm bath or shower before bed.
- Ban technology from the bedroom!
It’s pretty easy to eat healthily when you travel. A lot of countries make delicious and healthy food and sell it cheaply. In certain countries, it’s more challenging. The food we eat becomes the energy we use so eating well often helps us feel that anything is possible. When your body feels well, your mental and emotional self can’t help but follow.
Use those bank holidays
Bank holidays are beautiful little free days. They are basically cheat days. You don’t need to book any leave. You just get to go. Don’t waste these days. They are ideal to add onto a big trip or to use for a weekend getaway.
Utilise your leave
How much leave do you get? Do you always take all your leave, or do you let some go to waste? Do you know what you want to do with it, or do you end up frittering it away last minute? We all need more time, but often we misuse that which we do have. Say that you wanted to go to the south of France this year but you ended up spending the year at home, doing what you usually do. What stopped you from going? Was it money? Or was it poor time management? Be honest with yourself.
Look for job perks
Every job is different. Some offer little to no perks. Others give you a lot! Some jobs enable their workers to work from home or overseas. You may even be able to travel with work. Use this to your advantage. Do a little exploring in your free time during that work trip. Work from a nice little café in the countryside. If you have particular perks, use them or lose them.
Try the short trip
Not every trip needs to last a year! A short trip can be just as beneficial, even if it may leave you wanting more! For me, based in England, perfect short trips include Cornwall, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the rest of Europe. If you’re in Australia, you might want to zoom over to Brisbane or Sydney. Wherever is close and affordable is worth trying out. Master the art of the short trip.
Whatever you value, you must prioritise. This is true for everything. If your career is important to you, put yourself out there for projects. If your relationship is your priority, keep those dates night coming and learn to speak your partners love language. If travel matters, read about travel, learn about travel and talk about travel. Make travel a priority in your life.
Sometimes travelling overseas is not possible. You may not be able to get away. In that case, local travel can be just as lovely. There are always hidden gems on your doorstep and you can always make an adventure out of it. In the UK, a trip to Brighton, Newcastle, Manchester or Cornwall can be a welcome break. A friend of mine sometimes books herself into a hotel in London for a weekend just to experience the city through ‘foreign eyes.’ Viewing your own city from an outsiders perspective can be fascinatingly revealing.
The biggest way that we waste time is by ruining it with stress. It’s hard not to I think. We all have so many constraints on our time in one way or another. How can we relax when there is always so much to do?
First of all, figure out if you are an active or passive relaxer.
Active relaxers relax by doing. They run, practice yoga, bake cookies or knit.
Passive relaxers relax by switching off. They watch TV, read, have a bubble bath or nap.
Figure out how you like to truly relax and find more time to do so. I often feel like I’m wasting time when I’m taking it easy, but if I don’t make time to stop, I quickly lose my mind!
When we relax, we let our intuition speak. Sometimes things come to us. In the stillness and silence, we find revelations.
Just do it!
We are all guilty of waiting for the perfect time.
‘I’m too busy right now, I’ll book that trip next week.’
‘I’m not in the mood right now, I’ll look for hotels later.’
‘I’m not sure if I should do it right now, maybe next year…’
‘I’ll wait until the New Year. I’ll be more motivated then.’
Sometimes, we just have to do it. If not now, then when?
Your three most precious resources for travel are money, health and time. Time can so easily slip through our hands, but you can seize time by seizing the day!
How do you try to make the most of your time? Do you already do some of the above or do you have some new suggestions?
All my love,