Are you looking for ways to start living life on your own terms so you can start traveling more? Here's some steps you can take so you can feel free to live life your own way.
Pursuing your own happiness
Have you always wanted to travel more, but feel that life is somehow holding you back? I know how you feel because I used to be the same way.
It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind, friends and family expectations, while putting your own needs on hold.
But what if you decided to stop living a life that isn't your own? What if you take steps every day to be the person you want to be and do things for yourself?
Here's some great ways you can live for yourself more, so you can finally break the chains that are keeping your travel dreams in check.
Related: How to plan a travel budget
It doesn't matter what other people think
What someone else thinks of you, especially someone that doesn't know you, is irrelevant.
First of all, they're not living your life – you are – so who cares what they think about your plans to travel?
Secondly, you are the only person who has to live with yourself. And if you're constantly living in fear of what people think about your decisions, then you'll never truly be free to make big, life-changing decisions.
Identify your limiting beliefs
Perhaps one of the things holding you back from going traveling, is that deep down, you simply think it's not possible for someone like you. This is an example of a limiting belief. Other examples of limiting beliefs might be thinking you could never afford to travel, or that you might be ruining a career if you take time out to travel.
Identify those limiting beliefs and try not to let them control your life anymore. Start by questioning everything you do or say. Why do you answer questions in a certain way? Why do you react in similar ways to similar situations?
The answers to these questions can help you understand why you believe certain things. Once you know why, then stop living according to those beliefs that are holding you back.
Related: Why do people travel
Take tiny steps every day to better yourself
Instead of waiting for the moment that all your dreams magically come true, start taking tiny steps every day towards achieving them.
For instance, if going on a backpacking trip to Australia is one of your dreams, then perhaps you could begin by reading books or watching documentaries about Australia. Perhaps you could start learning a bit of the language they speak in a country you want to visit.
Related: Australia Captions
Stop living for others
The only person you should be living for is yourself.
It's easy to focus your energy on people that you love, but it can become a problem over time when you over commit and don't have any energy to do things for yourself.
Don't forget about what gives you joy in life because when the people close to you are taken care of, something is missing.
Every day, you should take a few moments to remind yourself why you're here on this planet and what gives you joy in life. Then, start taking steps every day to live your truth and be your authentic self.
Take a 10-minute walk every day and imagine what it would be like to see places you've always wanted to visit. Imagine the smells, sounds and people. Imagine what you would do if you were there.
I've always put a map up on the wall of the parts of the world I want to travel through months before my journey. It helps my ‘spare thoughts' to be directed towards traveling rather than to more mundane or negative things that might hold me back from starting my trip.
Which dream destinations around the world would you like to travel to?
Write down three things you are grateful for every morning when you wake up. If that feels like too much, then try to write down at least one thing that day that makes your life better or is something that has happened recently for which you are grateful.
For instance, I am very grateful that I was able to travel Southeast Asia for three months before Covid pressed the pause button on international travel. I far prefer to experience the feeling of gratitude for having done something than the negative feelings of not being able to do anything!
Establish your own standards of success
It's great when other people support you, but they can't think for you. So stop living by their rules and start creating your own set of standards that represent what makes you feel good about yourself.
Find out what makes you happy and set goals to achieve those things. Then, do them! If it takes more than one step at a time to realize your dream of traveling full time, then take one step towards achieving that goal each day.
Build your self confidence
Practice self confidence by taking care of yourself and boosting your sense of self worth. This can be achieved by things like reading more, looking after your body and mind, spending time with yourself doing the things you enjoy, working on your goals and taking steps to achieve them.
Do something for yourself at least once today
How about doing something for you and only you once every day? Maybe you could do that thing for two minutes or two hours. Whatever it is, don't allow anyone to stop you from doing it and just enjoy the time spent in doing what feels good.
Set standards for yourself
Be intentional about how you want to live, and then hold yourself accountable. Find less complicated ways of living: if every choice requires too much mental energy because there are so many things pulling at you, simplify and focus on one thing at a time; make choices that seem like good compromises; get rid of media clutter (i.e., unsubscribe from newsletters or social feeds).
Don't be the victim
It's easy to take a victim mentality and blame things outside of yourself for the fact you're not where you want to be in life. But, no matter how bad a situation is, there's always something positive that can come from it. Maybe it will take longer than you wanted to get where you want to go, but at least you'll be living your life and be able to travel instead of stuck at a job or in a situation that makes you unhappy.
You have the power to change whatever it is that's been holding you back from being able to travel more and live your life the way you want. It all starts with doing something today, so go ahead and take action!
Is your glass half full or half empty?
I have found that when I think of my glass being half empty, it leads me to want to give up and de-motivates me to keep trying. While when I think that my glass is half full, it makes me feel more positive about trying again because there's a chance for success.
So when you're feeling like giving up on your desire to live a life of travel, think to yourself, “The glass is half full!”
Don't overthink – Appreciate things more
If you find yourself overthinking all the problems of daily life that you think are keeping you back, it's time you realized that you can't think about solutions to your problems until they actually happen.
So don't worry too much about them, and just accept that there will be an unknown amount of time before those problems are actually solved.
In the meantime, appreciate what's going well in your life now, whether it's as small as enjoying a beautiful sunset or as big as being with family.
Good things always come to those who are patient
As you are waiting for the right time to actually leave your job and begin traveling, keep in mind that good things usually come to those who wait (or at least they come eventually if you never give up on what's important to you). So stay positive and patient because good things are headed your way!
Don't dwell too much on what's not possible – Think of the possibilities
You shouldn't let a fear of not being able to do something stop you from trying it in the first place.
If there is a goal or destination that you want to accomplish, but you think it may be impossible because of the location or anything else … stop right there. Because what's impossible now will change as soon as people begin having a desire for something new and finding ways to make it happen. Start thinking about how things could be possible if you try hard enough.
Each day is a new day
Yes, you may have had a bad day yesterday where everything went wrong and there was nothing you can do to turn it around. But today is a new day! You may still feel tired or disappointed because of yesterday's events, but that doesn't mean you can't take action today that will help make tomorrow better.
If you can live life in the present or in the future instead of in the past, you'll be able to appreciate the good things going on in your life right now and make a plan for what you want tomorrow to look like. And if that tomorrow looks like travel – great!
Create a bucket list
One way to find out what it is that you really want in life and where you want to go is by creating a bucket list. It's just a list of things that excite you and make you feel happy, whether it's experiences like cycling around the world or seeing the Northern Lights, or destinations like Greece and Thailand.
Once you've created a bucket list, you can start planning and saving up for the things that will make your life richer and more fulfilling. And if you don't think it's possible to do everything on your bucket list in this one lifetime … you're right. But the important thing is to get started with what you can now!
Think of the future not the past
When you think about your time left to live on this earth, there's really only one amount of time that matters. And that's the future. You can worry about what happened in your past all you want but you won't be able to change it, so don't waste another second thinking about things you can't do anything about anymore.
Instead, focus on what you want from the future. If you think that traveling will bring you happiness, then stop waiting for the ‘right time' – you don't want to leave it until it's too late!
Recognize what's toxic and let it go
We all spend time with people or in situations we know aren't good for us. Most people don't purposefully seek out toxic relationships, but a lot of us end up in them anyway.
It might be a friend who always puts you down or makes you feel bad about yourself. It could also be a co-worker who constantly speaks badly about people and tries to make himself look better by putting other people down.
Try to identify the toxic and bad things in your life that you'd be better of without, and feel confident that you're doing the right thing by staying away from them.
Design the life you want
We all want a happy life, but few people sit down and purposefully write out and design what they truly want. So sit down with pen and paper, close your eyes, and imagine what you want. What does it look like? Where are you traveling to? How is your work/life balance? How is your physical health?
Now take a look at how things are for you right now. If you're not happy with where things are at the moment , ask yourself why you think this is the case, and write down potential ways you can turn things around.
Follow your inner voice
If your true self is telling you one thing, but people around you are telling another, it's time to start listening to your inner voice more. You need to stay true to what you want, and if you want to travel more, make that the focus of your thoughts.
Step outside the comfort zone
The path to personal growth rarely leads through our comfort zone. The only way to grow, is to expand into areas that are new to you.
So take small steps outside your comfort zone towards things that will help you grow as a person. You might feel scared at first – it's natural to be nervous about new experiences, but taking that leap is the only way you'll find out whether or not they're good for you.
Learn new skills every day
The best way to ensure you keep growing as a person is to take on new challenges every day. Besides, you'll never know what kind of interesting opportunities or experiences will come your way if you stop learning and developing new skills.
So learn how to play the guitar, start taking photography classes, read more books, write in a journal every day, or learn a foreign language.
Finally, there's no point in taking on these new ideas without rewarding yourself! It might seem small, but the smallest things give you a sense of accomplishment and make your life feel a little bit richer.
Try to find a micro-reward that means something to you and gives you a sense of happiness and satisfaction. The ultimate reward will of course comes with the joy of finally setting off on your travels around the world!
Related: International Travel Packing List
FAQ About Creating A More Fulfilling Life
How do I start living for myself?
The first step is to know thyself. You have to understand what type of person you are, and really be honest with yourself. It's not enough to say you want to travel more, but if deep down your actions don't match up with what you currently want, any efforts will be thwarted.
How can I live my own best life?
Ask yourself what makes you feel satisfied? What grabs your attention lately? Be honest about your other habits too: do they align with what fulfills you the most in life or your future plans, or does something else show up more often because it's easier to do that day to day.
What are some ways to live in the present moment more?
A way to stay present in a moment is by being mindful of it, paying attention to what you experience. For example, instead of thinking about the last time you did something or comparing it to a time before that, focus on the present and really pay attention to what's going on right now.
How do I stop living my own life for others?
While it is human nature to care about others and want to help them, you need to make sure that your needs are fulfilled as well. This might be a challenge because often times the input from people around us is negative or not supportive at all. One of the hardest lessons some people learn, is how to put themselves first.
How do I start living instead of existing?
You start living instead of existing by being honest about what you want, doing more of the things that you enjoy, and less of the things that you feel you are obliged to do.