A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault.
Or if I put it in my everyday terms, excuses are convenient ways to chicken out. At least that’s what I believe. 70% of us go through life making excuses because we are scared, tired, risk averse, depressed, lack confidence, bored, and lazy. And trust me – when it comes to taking career breaks to travel – I’ve heard them all…excuses come pouring out of people as if you opened the flood gate. They are flimsy, not well thought out, and the are what keep us cemented in place, in ruts, and ultimately unhappy. For every excuse – I can offer you a counterargument and examples of people who have shattered those excuses and have fought through their fears.
It costs too much
No, you don’t have to be rich to travel. Travel is not a 52 week vacation where you stay in hotels and fly from city to city doing tours and splurge on once-in-a-lifetime restaurants. It’s life…on the road…and you can be as frugal or extravagant as you want. When you are traveling – you don’t have expenses like cable/internet bills, car insurance, rent payments, or electricity bills. All you really have to worry about when you travel is food, accommodation, and transportation. You can travel to more economical parts of the world like Africa, South America, or SE Asia. You can even work while you travel. If you don’t believe me – then check out these people’s travel budgets for a year of travel. You don’t need to be rich.
It’s career suicide
I haven’t met a traveler or a career breaker who ever said…”I shouldn’t have done that – it ruined my career.” Travel may indeed make you look at your career and the definition of ‘success’ differently. And travel will most definitely make your stand out in a crowd of other resumes. Just ask Michael Bontempi – How a career break helped my career. Plus – consider all of the soft skills you will learn and perfect when traveling. There is no reason to even have a gap on your resume – you can fill it with all kinds of travel experience that translates into career experience.
How to account for a travel on your resume.
I may get mugged, raped, killed, taken hostage
Yes – absolutely – I totally agree with this excuse – it MAY happen! However – the likelihood that it WILL happen in a foreign country is about as likely as it could happen in your own town. We have been programmed via news media to be scared to go to other countries – but realize – you are only seeing what the news producers want you to see and feel. And they know that fear is an emotion that keeps people tuned in. After traveling to over 50 countries for extended periods – I can safely tell you that I am more fearful of violence (and pointless violence) in America than any other country. I was recently in Turkey when the Colorado Batman shooting happened – and one of my local friends there said to me, “I don’t understand – why does this happen in America? Things like that don’t happen here.” And he’s right – crazy violence around popculture, and highschool/teenage violence – is seen more America. Every country has violence – but to think that America is the safest place to be is just wrong.
I have kids
Here’s a shocker….kids can indeed travel. They let them on planes, boats, trains, and in cars. They can get a passport and visas. They can indeed travel. They can be homeschooled while traveling. In fact – most people will tell you that travel is the best education there is.
Don’t believe me – then here’s people who have done it – or are currently doing it with kids – they aren’t super heroes, they aren’t rich (see exsue #1!!)…they are normal families.
Family on Bikes
Van Loen Adventures (on the road now)
I have a dog/cat/gerbil/horse that needs me
Just like kids that grow up and leave home to figure out life without you, so will your pets. Animals are adaptable – and contrary to our human opinion – change is good for them too! Find a petsitter or someone to take your pets when you are gone – it’s only temporary. I gave away my cat 6 years ago and just recently my friend who took her sent me a picture of ‘my’ cat – just as mischievous as ever. Sometimes you have to realize that you are not the center of the universe and that life goes on – even for pets. In order to live the life you want, or accomplish a dream – you may have to do things that temporarily cause sadness – but realize it’s temporary.
People say this because they actually think that there is a right way and a wrong way to live life. People ‘should’ be settling down and having a family, should invest in a home, should do what everyone else it doing. Most people don’t like people to deviate from the norm and when they do they call it irresponsible. And let me ask you this – do you want to finish you life and be able to say, “I lived a responsible life…boy was that great.” If so – then super – but if that makes you cringe, and you think there’s more to life than being responsible – then start to shake things up.
You are running away from something
My answer to this excuse is “so what.” Sometimes you do need to distance yourself from your past or your routine in order to clear your mind, and work through a situation. Pondering a recent divorce or life change while hiking up to Everest Base Camp or even questioning your life decisions while on a bus filled with motion sickness in Morocco can actually be the best thing for you.
You can’t leave a job with a good salary
They call it the golden handcuffs for a good reason. I don’t know about you – but the though of being handcuffed to my job isn’t a vision I like. How do you know that there’s not a better job or career out there- one that can bring you more happiness. Salary does not correlate to happiness – just ask the NY Times – Don’t Indulge, Be Happy. So instead of concentrating on dollars, concentrate on your own happiness.
You’ll never get hired again
After doing long term travel you do not get branded with a scarlet letter “U” for Unemployable. That’s just crazy shit to think that. And anyone who tells you that is not at your friend or ‘on your side’. Travel will open so many new doors, you may be overwhelmed with the new directions your career can go. Look at Adam Seper who was a schoolteacher and now is the online editor for Bootsnall.com – a travel website all about Around the World Travel! My motto – never say never.
I have a house I can’t leave
Just because you have a house doesn’t mean that YOU have to be inhabiting it! Don’t let your house be the anchor that cements you in place. Temorarily subletting it or renting it a a totally viable option . Or use your house to leverage your travels – do a home swap with someone in a country you want to visit!
I would get homesick
Yes – you may. You may miss things that are familiar to you as well as your friends and family. But who says they can’t come join you on segments of your travels? They are just as capable of getting on a plane as you are. During my travels I invited friends and family to join me for parts of my travels. To my surprise I had about 7 different people take me up on that offer – friends and family. Bring your ‘home’ to you!
People will think I’m crazy
Big deal – people think Jack Nicholson is crazy…but last I checked he was doing pretty well! Crazy is the new cool. If you are going to live out your adult life and decisions based on what other people think…well…good luck. Sounds like you may be stuck at age 16 – isn’t it time to get un-stuck? This BootsnAll article may help – Why it’s not crazy for professionals to quit their jobs and travel the world.
There’s never a good time to take a risk – after all a risk is the process of taking a chance with no guaranteed outcome. If life were guaranteed – it would be boring. Really – it would – just think about it. B-O-R-I-N-G. If you’d rather wait until there’s a good time to take a risk…then get used to being stuck right where you are today. No risk, no reward.
It’s not safe to travel alone
Studies have shown that the odds of getting sexually assaulted by a stranger on the street are practically negligible compared to it happening from someone you know. You can reduce your vulnerability by common sense measures all travelers should follow, male and female, such as not wandering down strange alleys alone at night, and using a money belt.
Further, being in a group can often make you more vulnerable to theft as many people decrease their vigilance when traveling in a group.
I have no one to travel with
Ummm…so what? When you travel, you are only alone when you want to be – there are so many opportunities to make friends on the road when you are solo. In my opinion, if you have to get your strength and confidence to travel from someone else – then good luck in life. Find your inner personal strength – you may never thought you had it in you – but you do -just as Val Broman . Plus – consider this – when you are traveling solo – you never have to compromise your itinerary. If you want to go shopping one day instead of site seeing – you can.
I don’t speak another language
I don’t speak another language. I’ve traveled to 50+ countries. I’ve been able to communicate in all of them. English is the language of the world and you can normally find SOMEONE in a village, town, or city that knows a little bit of English. Granted, not everyone will know it, so when you come across someone staring at you blankly, then try to move on and ask someone else. How to Remove Language Barriers
I don’t know where to begin – it seems to hard
Boy do I have the event for you then! Meet Plan Go events will give you a jolt of high powered inspiration and all of the resources you need to begin….and it will take you through to stepping onto that plane.
Can’t make it to the event – then join the online class and get all the instruction you need to get you over the hurdles, through the planning stages, and on the plane.
My spouse won’t support me
I always thought marriage was about compromise and support. I have met many people where their significant other was unsure about the other’s crazy travel dream – but they worked through it – just like any marriage can. Sometimes you have to be creative like Keith Savage. And personally – I think using your spouse as an excuse is flimsy…and maybe so is your relationship if you can’t compromise and allow each other to pursue their dreams.
It’s not a good time to to leave in this economy
Really – is it ever a good time? There will always be unemployment, there will always be debt – big deal. Sometimes escaping a bad economy and laying low in a country with a cheap cost of living can be a lifesaver! It’s much easier to be unemployed in Vietnam than it is in New York City as the cost of simply living is vastly different. And what if you are laid off and looking for a job – have you ever thought of making the most of it and hit the road? That’s exactly what San Francisco’s Spencer Spellman , Boston’s Brian E. Peters, and New York’s Sheryl Neutuch did after unexpectedly losing their jobs. For all, a seemingly bad situation ended up being a blessing in disguise.
I’m too old
The minute you start using age as an excuse – you might as well get fitted for dentures and a cane and give up now. Career Break travel isn’t just for twenty- and thirty-somethings. Baby Boomers are doing long term travel more an more. And Meet Barbara Weibel from Hole in the Donut – she’s 60 and nothing is slowing her down as she travels to places like Nepal and Mexico. Want more – then check out New York’s Larissa and Michael Milne turned 50 and decided to breakaway and travel for a year and Boston’s Ellen Martyn spent her career break bicycling across the country with a group of women all over age 50!
I don’t know what to do with my couch/car/food processor
Trying to figure out how to simply get through these first steps of putting your life on hold to do longer term travel can be tough…but we let these little things turn into big things and soon our couch is not a couch – but an anchor.
Need some help getting rid of that couch – then check out the ebook Getting Rid of It from Career Breakers Warren and Betsy Talbot of www.MarriedwithLugage.com. In 2008 Warren and Betsy Talbot put their decluttering and downsizing skills to the ultimate test: How much travel could your junk buy you? Only one way to find out
No more excuses…if you really want to do it – then stop with the flimsy excuses.
Don’t know where to start? I have wonderful veteran travelers who will show you how you can get over your hurdles and excuses on Oct. 16th in 10 cities – MeetPlanGo.com. No more excuses – just get a ticket!
What flimsy excuses have you heard form people? Share in the comments!