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13 Big Misconceptions People Have About Traveling Indefinitely

(a one-way ticket isn't something to be afraid of).

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1. It’s expensive.

Try hostels, couchsurfing, cooking your own food/going to markets, and using public transportation, walking, or hitchhiking as alternatives to hotels, eating out, and taxis.

2. It's a waste of time.

You can learn a new language, visit beautiful and amazing historical sites, eat awesome food, and meet amazing people. How is that a waste of your time?

3. It's spontaneous--and therefore frightening.

If leaping into the unknown isn't your thing, you can still plan out your meals, which museum you're going to see, what hostel you're staying at. Not knowing when you're coming home is liberating once you've jumped.

4. OK…so it sounds kind of cool. But eventually it will get boring, right?

That's entirely up to you! Take up painting, volunteer in any number of jobs, become a WWOOFer. Or just buy a one-way ticket somewhere else!

5. It's dangerous!

So leave that one-way trip to Syria for another year (or decade). Provided you don't play with fireworks, which is what I was doing in the above photo, you'll be totally safe.

6. It's lonely.

So bring a friend with you! Have your friends or family come visit you while you're abroad. And if you travel alone, make new ones! You'll be befriending complete strangers in hostels and pubs before you know it. Just don't come off as too desperate.

7. It's just an excuse to be lazy and irresponsible.

Who is defining what it means to be responsible? You are responsible for creating your own happiness, and maybe that doesn't involve working an office job and limiting vacation to a few weeks out of the year.

8. You'll lose touch with family and friends.

Set up Skype dates. Send postcards (I've sent a dozen or so to my parents, cousins, friends, and even an old professor). Email. Keep a blog so the people who love you know what you're up to. If you care enough about someone and they care enough about you, the distance won't change anything.

9. You must have a trust fund, own commercial real estate, or have rich parents.

No, you don't. You do need to work for a while to save up money. If you have loans to pay off, save enough to pay off the interest on them while you're gone. And it's not hard to find work abroad, as long as you're willing.

10. But partying every night is exhausting!

You're right! Who says you have to party every night anyways? Go to a concert. Stay at home (or wherever home happens to be) and watch a movie. Read a book. Do whatever you want!

11. All the museums/churches/battlefields/miniature doll collections/whatever it is you came to see will get boring.

No, not really. But if you do start feeling burnt out because that was the tenth van Gogh painting you've seen in an hour, by all means stop and do something besides look at van Gogh paintings. It's your trip and you're the one who's in control.

12. If you spend too much time out of the workforce while traveling, no one will hire you when you get back.

First of all, you might decide that after traveling the world, a "normal" job isn't for you. But considering that you'll probably be able to speak an extra language or two when you return, if anything your resume will look even better. Unless all these people are lying to you.

13. You will regret never doing it.

Yep, you read that right. Just about every travel blogger who writes a piece like this always says that your life will be defined by whether you did or did not go on a grand adventure with nothing but a backpack and a one way ticket. Personally, I'm ecstatic with myself for making that decision. But I acknowledge this sort of thing isn't for everyone. There are people who are content to sit back at home and go on their semi-annual vacations for a week to some island in the Caribbean or a cabin in the mountains. Good for them! Ultimately, what matters is that you have the simple presence of mind to ask yourself "Am I happy?" and know the truth. Happiness means different things to different people. For me, it started when I quit my job on June 1, 2013 and arrived in Iceland on August 8, 2013. I haven't looked back since.

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