I never believe people when they say they love to travel.
- You love cramming your luggage until it's busting at the seams?
- You love repacking your bag because security tears it apart?
- You love paying for an Uber with an Airport surge rate?
- You love waking up at 4:30am to catch your flight?
- You love feeling like a zombie due to lack of sleep?
- You love eating overpriced airport food?
- You love waiting for your delayed flight?
- You love sitting next to a crying baby?
Travel. Is. Stressful.
And not the good kind of stress.
Like a hard workout or a sauna and cold plunge.
The annoying kind of stress that's completely out of your control.
Where you're told what to do, where to sit, where to be, and if you don't like it, go home.
But I do it anyway... for 3 reasons. 👇
I was on a boat tour on the Amalfi coast in Italy for one of my best friends wedding.
We decided to stop at a coastal town for lunch.
The only way to shore was to jump ship from our bigger boat to a smaller boat since the dock was too small.
Bret (the groom) had the brilliant idea to swim to the shore instead of taking the boat.
My brain said "Noooooooo... I don't want to do that at all!"
Which for me is a sign that I should probably do it.
I'm currently in the best shape of my life... but I was not prepared for this.
I barely made it half way before I realized I was in over my head (pun intended).
I started getting smacked by waves, feeling short of breath and started to have what felt like a panic attack.
- "Oh God, this is way farther than I thought it was!"
- "Well... I can't stop... and if I do I'll drown."
- "Nobody is coming to save me."
- "I am not as good of swimmer as I thought I was."
I had two options.
Keep going... or drown.
Having no other option I looked around for the nearest thing I could swim too.
I swam to the buoy and held onto it for dear life.
Just long enough until I could control my breathing again.
I wasn't tired... I was panicking... knowing that if I stop swimming... I die.
Eventually I found my breath again and swam to the next buoy.
Again, I held onto it until I could control my breathing.
Leap frogging my way from buoy to buoy until I eventually made it to shore.
For someone that used to be a lifeguard, I didn't realize how uncomfortable I am in the water.
Which brings me to the first reason I travel.
Travel, often unintentionally, puts you in situations that let's you test your edges.
It get's you uncomfortable.
It show's you how "strong" you really are.
I often use the analogy of a snow globe.
When we stay home and stick to our routine, the snow in a snow globe starts to settle.
If we stay for too long, all the snow settles at the bottom and quite literally nothing changes.
No change = no progress.
We have to be intentional about shaking the snow globe.
There's two ways to play the game of life.
- Play it safe.
- Play to grow.
The second is how you win.
We decided to rent scooters and drive them around town like a band of hooligans.
It was one of the highlights of the trip.
Cruising around Italy, honking our horns at each other, and visiting all the lookout spots along the Amalfi coast.
We were one street away from returning our rental scooters when one of the guys dumped his bike.
Luckily he was ok since he rolled out of it nicely, but the scooter itself took a bit of a beating.
Scratches along the side of the paneling and a slight dent in the muffler.
When we got to the rental store I was shocked by the workers response.
He was visually angry (eyebrows slanted and making gestures with his hands) and cussing.
"Let's take care of this bullshit!"
As an American... I didn't think much of it.
I can't imagine this is the first time someone scratched a bike.
Isn't that why rental services have insurance on their vehicles?
But the man decided he needed to make a show of it.
He was threating to charge us $1,000 for the repair and continued to show clear signs of anger and disapproval.
It taught me something important about cultural differences.
- Italians are more expressive of their feelings.
- While Americans are more suppressive of their feelings.
Which brings me to the second reason I travel.
I consider myself a pretty open guy.
I'll share most anything with anyone.
But I don't quite express my feelings to their fullest.
Definity not even close to that of an Italian.
I'm not saying one is better or worse.
But it has given me a new view of the world.
Only possible by traveling to a new place with new cultural norms.
Every culture has their own norms.
It's up to us to explore them and decide which ones to discard and which ones to adopt.
Traveling to Italy for my friends wedding was not convenient.
- 2-hour flight from Austin to LAX
- 12-hour red eye from LAX to Rome
- 1.5-hour train to Naples
- 2-hour taxi ride from Naples to Sorrento
And as you already know... I don't even like travel.
I like my routine.
Here's my daily routine.
- Do work that is meaningful to me.
- Move my body and exercise.
- Spend time with people I love.
It's the 3rd one that's the kicker... sometimes we have to travel for that one.
One of my best friends taught me this one while we were sitting in a hyperbaric chamber getting younger.
I was telling him how my grandpa had recently passed away and based on my already overwhelming schedule and current financial situation, I was debating if I was going to go or not.
He said something to me I'll never forget... "Never skip a funeral."
Like any good INTJ personality type... I asked "why?"
The short version... a funeral isn't about me at all.
It quite literally has nothing to do with me.
It's about being there for the people I love.
- My family
- My friends
- My community
- My grandpa
I've since expanded that to "Never skip a funeral or a wedding."
It's not about me.
If you truly love someone... at some point you are going to have to travel for them.
Travel tips for the non-traveler.
I recognize that I was only pointing out the negative sides of travel.
There are a lot of wonderful things about travel as well.
- Planning a trip
- Meeting strangers
- Bartering taxi fees
- Trying new coffee spots
- Riding in new forms of transportation
But for the most part... I do hate travel.
It's the destination and the experiences that I enjoy.
Here's the advice I would give to fellow non-travel lovers that know they should do it... despite their resistance.
1 - Be Intentional
If you're anything like me... you error towards your routine.
Which is good, it's probably why you are so damn productive.
But productivity will dwindle if you become bored.
And a routine that never changes is a fast track to boredom.
Be intentional about traveling.
When your brain goes "Nooooooooo.... I don't want to do that."
Do what I did before jumping into the water to swim to the coast and almost drowning.
Use that as a sign that maybe you SHOULD do it.
Fear and resistance is a wonderful compass.
Pointing us towards the things we probably need to do.
2 - Choose what excites you
Traveling more doesn't mean saying yes to everything.
If anything, it's the opposite.
Traveling for the sake of traveling is silly.
The destination or the experience should excite you (and possibly scare you).
Here's what happens when you choose destinations that excite you.
- You'll meet more people
- You'll bring more energy
- You'll plan in greater detail
- You'll learn and grow more because of it
Choose the destinations that makes you say "Oh, hell yeah!"
3 - Find a buddy
I've done my fair share of solo trips.
And I love them.
But I equally love traveling with others.
One's not better than the other.
They're just different.
However, there is one upside to having a travel buddy.
Shared experiences that you can take to your grave.
When you ask people about all of their best memories.
99/100 they will tell you about an experience they had with other people.
Not always... there is room for finding enjoyment in solo activities.
But more often then not... humans crave connection.
So what about you my friend?
What's your next travel destination?!
- Travel sucks... BUT
- Travel helps me grow
- Travel gives me new perspectives
- Travel brings me closer to others
Here are my 3 travel tips for non-travel lovers
- Be intentional
- Choose what excites you
- Find a travel buddy
If you want to learn more, contact me here.
Hope you enjoyed this one, my friend.