Few experiences are as memorable and life changing as travel, especially travel that is something more than the standard two-week vacation. Taking off for weeks or months at a time, fully immersing yourself in a different language and culture can be scary and exhilarating at the same time. It can also seem like something reserved only for the wealthy. How are you supposed to take that kind of time off work, and how will you pay for it? Even if you’re retired, it can sound like a big financial commitment. The steps below can help you address these questions and plan a life-changing trip to a faraway place.
The first step is to brainstorm the experience that you want to have. At this stage, don’t think that you can’t. Let your imagination run wild. Do you want to take cooking classes in Italy or language classes in Mexico? Maybe you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or spend several months driving to every national park. Perhaps it’s your dream to hop on a sailboat in the Caribbean and see where fate takes you. Let your imagination be your guide, and dare to dream.
This can seem like one of the biggest obstacles that you face, but you may be surprised at the options that are out there. First, travel is often cheaper than people imagine, especially if you plan a trip on your own instead of joining a tour. Second, you may be surprised at where you can come up with money. Start by taking a look at your own budget and financial situation.
There may be assets that you no longer need, such as a life insurance policy if you do not have dependents. You could sell this through a life settlement if it is the right kind of policy and potentially get enough to cover your trip. To make sure you choose the right company to help you with this, you can review a guide that works with licensed providers and helps to coordinate sales. There are other ways to get money as well. If the adventure you are setting out on is truly an unusual one, you may be able to do fundraising and get sponsors for your trip. Other options are to pick up a second job or even work on the road.
This is generally the other big obstacle for people. Telecommuting may be an option for you although it doesn’t quite allow you to completely disengage from your everyday life. Very few companies offer sabbaticals to their employees, but you could also find out if there is an option for you to take unpaid leave for a certain amount of time. If you are in an industry with a lot of demand, quitting is a risky but possible option. Of course, some people use a big experience of this nature as a springboard to a new job and life entirely. This can be a scary leap to make, but it can also be very rewarding.