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How do you get out of a no-travel rut & start traveling again?

I was on the road with a band for 10 years, and we played all over the USA.  After our 10 year anniversary, I called it quits. Adjusting to anything new can be hard and I have found it particularly hard being home 24-7. My wife even says that I need to get away for a while. Recently I have no outlet and am stuck in the 9-5. Something that I have been looking into is tour guide work out of the USA.  

Has anyone had any similar experiences and have any ideas or advice to share?

9 Answers

answered by
Michelle from Melbourne

It's probably not accurate to say I stopped travelling but I didn't fly for eight years after a bad experience. I desperately wanted to head out of Australia again but even seeing a plane fly overhead gave me sweaty palms.

A number of things had to change: I got some help to deal with the phobia, I had to acknowledge that if I didn't fly, it meant my husband wouldn't see a lot of the world he'd always dreamed of and I picked something I really, really wanted to see - in London.

To start travelling again, I'd recommend you look for something that's on your bucket list or, given you're into music, maybe going to see a band or artist you've always wanted to hear live. Travelling all the time can be a real grind. I had a job where I had to travel from Melbourne to Sydney every week and less than 3 years later, I was just exhausted. Now, I travel for something I really want to experience and I love it. I still don't love flying, but I've come to accept it as a necessity.

In terms of work, if you can mix drinks you'd probably find something to do almost anywhere you could communicate. Doing it on a more structured footing could be tricky; most work visas require specialist skills or a company to sponsor you for the appropriate documentation.

2 thanks

answered by
Amelia from Des Moines

Many people hesitate to take action-I say pick a direction and then go for it! If it turns out to be the wrong direction you can always change your plans, but sitting still you will never be happy. Decide what you want to do (travel to sightsee? another band? a new career?) then research what you need to do to get there and focus on that.

If you want to be a tour guide where do you want to work? Learn about that place, visit it, talk with the guides there and see what is needed. One thing I have heard of if you're not really looking to make money at it is to organize and plan a trip and get other people to pay X amount for you to do all the legwork and lead them through it. You set the price so that you are covered and travel with them for free.

You could also start with travel closer to home, whether you are leading tours or sightseeing or maybe connecting with other bands. Maybe start a business related to music, such as marketing for smaller bands? There are so many options, it's really up to you.

My family is currently preparing for a move out of the U.S. to live in CozumelMexico for a year. Yes we have bills, yes we have kids, but we are going to do it anyway. Too many people are afraid to chase their dreams...don't sit home wondering, just get out there and try it!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cozumel (island)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Philip from Ottawa

tl;dr: Look at the cities near you and go from there, traveling further and further as you desire change.

For a bit of backstory: I had lived in Winnipeg for 24 years, since I was born. I had never travelled outside the province during that time. After graduation at 25 I got a job in Ottawa that required me to take a plane for the first time and that’s when it began.

If you’re not familiar with Canadian geography, Ottawa sits between Toronto and Montréal – 4/5-hour drive to the former, 2/3 for the latter – and sitting near the east cost of North America. Given how easy it would be to travel between Canada’s financial, government and culture hubs, I started getting used to going between these cities. Eventually working my way to travelling to NYC, which is about an hour by plane away. That eventually gave way to traveling to the UK and finally to the other side to the Philippines.

I had managed to work out a deal with my employer at the time to work from the Philippines during my 1-month stint there, despite the time difference. I was pretty lucky with that arrangement but traveling to cities that are only a few hours away should definitely be doable while still holding down a 9-5 and only having time to venture out on weekends and holidays. Take an extended leave, in terms of distance, when you got some vacation days blocked out.

Hope this helps.

1 thanks

answered by
Andy from San Francisco

I recommend reading Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. It's not a typical travel book. It goes into details about the vagabonding lifestyle, which focuses on long-term travel on a minimal budget. It's more about the experiences you have and not the places you go. 

I read it while I was traveling and it made me appreciate being on the road and all the unique experiences (good and bad) I was going through. 

1 thanks

answered by
Elliott from San Francisco

Like you, I travelled extensively, then got into family and kids and mortgages and the 9-5.  I snapped out of it by setting goals that I can accomplish.  My first goal was to get into physical shape.  As I tried doing this on my own, lethargy and lack of motivation took over and I stopped.  So, I hired a trainer who works me out Tuesdays and Thursdays relentlessly.  This has become so successful, my wife and grown kds also participate (a win for family dynamics).  

My next goal was to ride my bike more.  I accomplished this by getting rid of my car!  That forces me to ride or take public transportation or beg,borrow or rent a car.

Finally, I made goals for travel.  I looked at books and magazines on the best places to visit, hike, sail, bike and started compiling my list.  I then set realistic dates to make it happen.

I think we all can get into the habit of day-in, day-out and stop thinking about living.  In my mind, Travel is ...“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” – D. H. Lawrence

1 thanks

answered by
Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Ross!  I feel your pain!  I have, what I refer to as, a "gypsy soul."  Dang near every morning I wake up, and multiple times throughout the day,  and have the itch to go somewhere.  Obviously most of us have constraints.  No money, no travel really.  I have a "seasonal" job I have been doing for 20 years that allows me to travel around the U.S.  It keeps me busy for about six months a year, mostly spring-fall.  While I work 80-90 hour weeks with this job, it allows me six months to do whatever I please, when the work slows down. While I don't get to pick and choose where I work, it at least it allows me some freedom of movement, while earning a paycheck.  I don't always enjoy the work I do, but it's a great feeling knowing my next vacation is only a month or two away.  Hope that helps!

1 thanks

answered by

I work as a freelance tour guide worldwide and has been working in more than 30 countries over the years.

It's a very free life but you have minimm security in the job too.

That suits me fine, but might not suit everyone.

I just finished working 10 weeks in Portugal Azores and Madeira and that saved me enough money up to go cycling 7 weeks through Malaysia and Indonesia where I am now.

I have a blog post about working as a tour leader on this link

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portugal (attraction)
  2. Azores (island)
  3. Madeira (region)
  4. Malaysia (attraction)
  5. Indonesia (attraction)

answered by
Billy from Chicago

I think the solution to this is simple, but not easy. To break free from the pattern you have to break the pattern. I would ask yourself, why you think it's important. That will help you to continue to work on a plan. If you have a strong enough why, you can move mountains.

What about just starting small? Do a weekend getaway and see what excites you about it. If you treat it as an experiment it could be kind of fun to see what you find. 

answered first by
Ashley from Calgary

I think that is the dream! 

Teaching English is the closest thing I've ever been able to find that is realistic employment abroad. It's pretty hard to come in as a foreigner and get a job as a guide, that would be pretty high demand in many places.

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