There are things that prevent people from traveling, but the good news is that there are ways to overcome most of them!
When I wrote about the five reasons why our family has taken our children to Costa Rica for five weeks this summer, I was a bit taken aback that a few readers on social media reacted negatively, with expressions like “it must be nice to take such a long, lavish vacation.”
I had to laugh at the “lavish” part because, as I hope to write in Saturday’s update, that couldn’t be any further from the truth!
Others responded to the post by listing out the reasons why they can’t travel.
Many of these are very valid reasons. I have been there.
Then there were some people who have no interest in traveling (and that’s OK!).
But for those of you who do want to do travel–whether in the U.S. or abroad–there are usually three main things that prevent it: lack of finances, poor health, and season of life.
The good news is that most of these things that prevent people from traveling can be overcome!
3 Things That Prevent People From Traveling
1. Lack of Finances
The number one reason many give for not traveling is lack of finances. This is completely understandable.
This was our family for many years and may very well be our family again in the future.
I remember a time when we barely had enough money for gas to make the drive out to Mississippi to spend time with my husband’s family. (Actually, his grandparents would give us money to help compensate for those trips!) A 5-week international trip with our kids wasn’t even on our radar a few years ago!
But once we discovered that we had an income problem, we worked hard to do something about it. We both took on extra jobs in order to increase our income, and we began to save.
For some people, the extra money simply is not there. For others, the money might be available, but they choose to spend it in other ways.
It’s really no one’s business how anyone else chooses to spend their money, but, for our family, we have chosen to forgo expensive and brand new cars, new clothing for our children, and a larger home in order to have the funds to take the trip we are now on.
It took a whole lot of hard work and saving to make this trip possible.
If you do have the travel bug, I would encourage you to:
- make sure you are tithing to your church (this is something we have always done–even when we were low income),
- pay off all debts,
- save $1,000 for an emergency fund (that you only touch in the event of an emergency!), and
- save 3-12 months of living expenses.
If you have completed all of the above steps, then you will feel much more freedom to travel.
2. Poor Health
The past two weeks in Costa Rica have already given me more motivation to get in shape when I get back home. Why? We are currently living in a mountain village, and we have to hike up to the school where we are studying every morning.
Getting winded during this trek each day has shown me that I need to take better care of myself! I am 34 years old and want to still be able to travel when I am older!
Some people, though, have chronic, debilitating illnesses that prevent travel all together.
IBS, ulcerative colitis, and other stomach issues are diseases that keep many people at home. Many sufferers are not able to go on a family trip and travel because they have to be near a restroom at all times.
I do not take for granted that our current health has given us the opportunity to travel. Going on a long plane or car ride is something that many people are unable to do.
Even though our family has not dealt with debilitating digestive problems, we have seen that taking a daily probiotic has helped make us more comfortable during travel.
As for many other health conditions, I believe that regular exercise and eating real foods can make a big impact. I want to work towards bettering myself in both when we get home because I can see that my body is not getting any younger! I want to be able to hike up mountains for years to come!
3. Season of Life
For some people, their current season of life might be all that is preventing them from traveling. And that is okay.
I left part of my heart here in Costa Rica back in 2004. When I left the country then, I had no idea that eleven years would pass before I would be able to return!
But those years were worth it. During that decade (plus a year!), I survived trials of the Great Recession, birthed and breastfed three babies, and started this blog.
It was simply not the life season for me to be traveling. At one point, I honestly thought I might never return to Costa Rica again. I was at peace with that.
This season of life is perfect for our family because our youngest child recently potty trained, and all three of our girls are much more independent now than they were just a year ago.
How do you overcome this reason for not traveling? Simple: wait. Be content in the season you are in. I know it’s easier said that done, but these years of waiting might just go faster than you think.
All of this said, the “perfect” life season will never come. Many people wait until they are retired to travel, but we want to experience family travel while we are young enjoy to truly enjoy it together.