The first step for a trip of any length is to decide where you want to go. For some individuals, having no destination at all is part of the adventure. But for most of us, we want to at least have a general idea of where we will be going on our trip… and this is where the planning process should begin!
After more than 10 years of traveling, I’ve come to the conclusion that the secret to a successful adventure begins with picking a destination that YOU are most drawn to.
Let me rephrase that: If you want to have fun on your trip and actually return home having completed the journey you set out to complete, you need to pick a location for your travels that you are most interested in.
Over the years I have been asked hundreds, if not thousands of times, where some of my favorite travel destination are. And every time I get this question I hesitate to answer, simply because I know that:
1) My favorite destinations may not appeal to others in the way that they appeal to me.
2) My favorite travel destinations have almost always been places that no one ever told me about—but I discovered on my own because I was passionately interested in the area.
You see, if you really want to have a great time on your travels, you need to pick a location that YOU are most passionate about.
If you choose a location that you are not 100% excited to visit, there is a good chance you will end your trip prematurely. When you hit that first big hill, encounter your first full-day of headwinds, or you suddenly get hungry and your next food stop isn’t for at least a couple hours up the road, you are going to be tempted to stop, turn around, and go home.
But when you pick a location for your travels that you are excited about, those temporary inconveniences simply don’t matter. When you find yourself traveling in a location that you are excited to be in, you won’t quit because you know that the temporary pain of that hill, that wind, and that hunger is something you can push through in order to get to that location you have so been looking forward to experiencing.
Before you even begin to look at purchasing gear, planning out a budget, or searching for travel partners, my recommendation is to think long and hard about where you MOST want to go in the world.
If you want to simply explore your local neighborhood, then that’s what you should do! If you want to visit a neighboring state, then that’s fantastic! And if you want to travel half-way around the world and visit a country that up until this time you may have only read about in the newspapers (or on the Internet), then that is what you need to do!
Until you decide on a location that you are 150% excited about, the rest of the planning process simply doesn’t matter.
At this point in the planning stage, you can’t let others dictate where you should go on your travels. At this point, you shouldn’t be worrying about how or when you are going to get to your destination. At this point, don’t think about how much it is going to cost, where you are going to sleep, or who you are going to travel with.
At this point, all you need to do is DECIDE WHERE YOU MOST WANT TO GO IN THE WORLD.
So, where do you want to go? Let me know by leaving a comment below.