Do you have a list of places you really want to visit? I know I do – it’s a long list.
The other day I was thinking about the fact that if I visit one new country per year for the next 40 years, that won’t even bring me close to crossing off all the places I want to see. While a mild panic set in, I realized that if I am ever really going to make my travel dreams happen I have to actively work towards it. I have to set goals, make a plan and turn it into reality, because nobody else is going to do it for me.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg Reid
Turn Your Dreams into Goals
As far as travel goals go, it isn’t enough to make a bucket list or a wish list. While it is an amazing start, and can help to focus and inspire you, it won’t happen if it stays a dream. I use my bucket list as a high-level overview of all the things I want to do in my life, then I use that list to prioritize and identify what to do next (i.e., to set goals). A trick I use – I see my bucket list as a “to-do” list and not a “wouldn’t it be nice if…” list. It helps me turn my dreams into reality and it will help you too.
The easiest first step to turning a dream into a goal is to set a date: I will travel to (insert your oh-so-awesome destination here) by (insert month and year). When setting your date make sure you have made a goal that is feasible for you. Setting the goal of seeing every county in the world in the next 2 months is unattainable, even to the savviest of travellers. Once you have your goal, I find it is helpful to write it down. Seriously, add it to your calendar – make it official. Share your travel plans with friends and family and even social-media. This will help hold you accountable during those moments when you want to give up or “postpone” your travel plans for the 100th time.
Turn Your Goals into Plans
Once you have a goal (or many goals – good for you!! Go get em, tiger), you need to make a plan. What’s the different between a goal and a plan? A plan is a series of steps that you need the take in order to make that goal happen. For example, if I want to go to Oktoberfest this year (goal), I need to take the following steps (plan):
- Find out when Oktoberfest is (ummm, October I think…)?
- Figure out what my budget is ($$$).
- Check out availability for hotels/hostels/AirBnB, etc. (book it!).
- Check out flights to and from Germany (book it!).
- Take care of the “details” (P.S. making a to-do list of details is very helpful).
- GET EXCITED!
Turn Your Plan into Action
This seems like a no brainer but do you know how many people write down their goals, make a plan and then……do nothing. Action is the key to everything. For me, booking something (a flight, a tour, a hotel, etc), really helps me commit to my plan and move things forward. Like most things in life, it may seem like there is never enough time or enough money to make your travel dreams come true. I can tell you from experience, if you wait for the perfect scenario (you got a month off from work, and your bank account is overflowing with cash) you will never go anywhere. So go, do it now. Seriously, stop reading this article and go – I’ll understand.
Make Your Dreams Come True
This is the best part. Your actions, no matter how scary they seem (yes, booking a flight still scares me almost every single time) are making your dreams come true. How awesome is that? Once you master this process, you will realize that you really do have the power to make your dreams into reality by following these steps.
So, where do you want to go next? Dream big, set a goal, make a plan, take action, and make it a reality! You got this!
SEE THE WORLD, MAKE IT BETTER
~ Earthly Traveller