The Best Time to Travel: Around the World in 80 Years

Hey guys! I just got off the phone with an old friend that I haven’t seen in several years… and we had a really fascinating conversation that I wanted to share with you today. We talked about traveling the world, and about the big question – when is the best time to go?

You see… back when we were both still in school, our friends all had very different ambitions and dreams. Some wanted to stay at home and have a good career, so they could make a lot of money and their biggest goal was to start a family, buy a big house and drive a Mercedes.

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Others, like me, were never really all that interested in mansions and fast cars. Sure, it is important to always have enough of it, but we believed that life was made up of time, and not of things… and that no amount of material wealth could ever replace a rich life, full of interesting experiences… if given a choice between a car and a round-the-world plane ticket, we would choose the latter without blinking an eye.

Well, so far, so good and I think both of these choices are absolutely valid. Being a “digital nomad” isn’t for everybody, and some people don’t really feel the desire to see the world and that’s fine. I think the most important thing in life isn’t to travel, it is to follow your heart. And if your heart tells you to stay at home and raise a family, that’s what you should do. And if your heart demands you roam the planet having adventures, then you should do that too.

There was, however, a third group of people that had a dilemma. They felt stuck somewhere in the middle between the other two. Yes, their biggest dream was to travel the world but they were scared to take the plunge. They wanted to experience great adventures, too, but they were also afraid of messing up their CV, and of ruining their chances for a good career in the future. They wanted to go, but they wanted to go when the time was right.

This third group is the one I want to talk about today, because this group often falls into a very common trap: the “someday, maybe” predicament. And if you have ever procrastinated on anything, if you’ve ever put something off for later, you know what I’m talking about and who hasn’t? We all do it sometimes.

The problem with putting off our plans to travel, however, is that there will always be a very compelling reason not to go NOW.

  • When we’re in school, we say: “I’ll go after I graduate.”
  • After graduation, we say: “Now I’m in a relationship… I don’t want to leave my love behind.”
  • Two years later, we may be single again, but now we’re stuck in a three-year rental contract.
  • And once that contract is up, we’re just about to start a new job.

And on and on it goes, year after year, decade after decade. Thus for many people, “someday, maybe” becomes the bane of their existence because the time will pass, whether you do the things you want to do or not and eventually we will all be looking back on our lives, thinking about the things we’ve done or thinking about the things we could have done.

So the big question remains… when IS the best time to travel the world, Frank?

The answer is, there will never be a time when everything is just perfect, and all the conditions are just right. Leaving your entire life behind will always involve sacrifices of some sort.

Believe me, I know how hard that can be because my own situation was no different. When I first left my home country with nothing but some clothes in my backpack and burning wanderlust on my mind, I had to leave my entire life behind!

I had just finished renovating the apartment I was living in; I was playing in a rock band that was just becoming more and more successful; I had a girl-friend who had to finish her degree before she could travel, and of course I had friends and family back home that I wouldn’t see for at least a year!

Honestly, it really wasn’t a “good time” to go. I had a good life back home, and leaving would surely mean giving up a lot of good things that I had been blessed with.

But here is the good news, guys: Once you’re on the road, life will more than make up for anything you had to sacrifice. Sure, you have to say good-bye to your best friends, but you will make more new friends on the road than you could ever imagine right now. You will make experiences that you would not trade in for a million dollars and you will go places and see things that you will remember fondly until the day you die.

One night, about two years after I first started traveling, I was sitting on a beach in Spain, on the marvelous island Formentera in the Mediterranean Sea. With the sand dunes behind us and the vast waters ahead, I saw two falling stars that night and I didn’t even make a wish. I only remember thinking that I was as happy as I had never been in my life and if I was to make a wish, it would have been for more adventures like the one I was living right that moment.

I know I promised you guys to tell you more about how to make money on the road, and to give you some specific tips about jobs that pay you to travel and I will share these tips with you in my next article.

But today, I just had to share this conversation with you, because it was such an eye-opener for me when I first heard about the “someday, maybe” trap. And ever since, I’ve come to one conclusion – it’s always better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven’t done.

So in answer to the question – when is the best time to travel the world? I will have to say the answer is “never” and therefore, the answer is “NOW.”

I will be back next week with the promised post about jobs that pay you to travel, but in the meantime, feel free to join the discussion on the forum or leave me a comment below, I read and reply to all of them.

I look forward to hearing from you, and always the best.

Cheers,

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Frank Florida

Frank Florida é professor de idiomas desde 1994 e fala oito línguas. Viajando o mundo por 11 anos, ele visitou umas 300 cidades em mais de 50 países. Ele se graduou da High School nos EUA, se formou em didática na Austrália e é criador do site Fórmula Fluente.

39 comentários

  • 05/08/12  
    Mihh diz: 1

    I’ve just read the three articles and… OMG! You have the life that I’ve always wanted! I always dreamed with something like that… live the whole life travelling, knowing differents cultures, that’s so amazing! But I’ve never imagine that it’s possible in this way that you do and I’ve made plans like after I graduate I will work in another country (just to begin the travel) in my field, so in my vacations I come back to Brazil for visit my family and travel to other places and finally when I’m retired I will go to many other places around the world, till, you know…
    I think this will be the right time to travel to me (taking this article, haha). I really want this! But, first, I have to finish my graduation, so I will read your tips here, before I go to anywhere. You seems to be very friendly and I liked your writing way, so this will be nice.
    Sorry for my English (and probably many errors) and the big commentary, haha. Cheers.

    • 06/08/12  
      Teilor dos Santos diz:

      Frank!

      I have read your articles and I’m very impressed about what you know and write. You, really, read my mind about this subjects and help who are want travel around the wolrd, like me! :)

      Cheers

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Mihh, thanks for your comment! That is absolutely awesome… congratulations on your initiative and that you’re already making plans for your first trip! Working abroad is a very good way to start this journey, because it automatically solves the financial problems many people have when they start out. But I’ll have a lot more advice about these things in upcoming editions… keep reading, and let me know how it all goes for you… I’d be curious to hear about your success story. :) Cheers,

      ~ Frank Florida ~

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      @Teilor: Thanks for the kind words my friend! Yes, many people are on the fence about leaving everything behind and living life as a crazy travel adventure… but I’ve never met anybody who said… “I really regret traveling the world, I wish I had spent more time in my cubicle!” :D

  • 06/08/12  
    Giovana diz: 2

    Frank, thank you very much for your inspiring article. I’m going through the same situation now; I’m at college and I’ll only finish my graduation course in 2 and a half years from now. This is the main thing that is “preventing” me from travelling abroad for the very first time in my life. I want to go to the US in order to work and study as an Au Pair, and I have almost all the requirements to do so, but I want to finish college first, no matter if I get all these missing requirements before it. Anyway, especially after reading your article, I promise myself that as soon as I finish it, nothing and nobody else will prevent me from making my dream come true but God’s will. At least I’ll have time to reach the other requirements I still need (driver’s license, saving money and more, more and more experience with children). Thank you very much once again. You helped me to keep on believing that I can do it and that I must do it, because this is what my heart tells me to. :)

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Giovana, it’s good to hear from you! Yes – iIn your situation, I absolutely recommend to finish your degree before you leave… unless you can finish it abroad, or maybe do a semester or two in another country. But it’s always good to have something to “fall back on”.

      That said, I also agree that you should absolutely stick to your guns once you graduate and not delay your adventure any longer! It sounds like that’s really what you want to do with your life, and if that’s true then you should absolutely do it… and with a diploma in hand and fluent English, you are unstoppable. :)

      Good luck and let me know how it goes for you… I’d love to hear your story!

      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    Jose Antonio Schneider diz: 3

    I accompany your comments some time now and follow its guidelines, l would do the same things, althroutgt l have sixty years age.
    l agrre that life is made of time and not things…hugs, go ahead.

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hello José, thanks for your comment! You are more experienced than most of us, so I’m glad you agree! :) You know, my parents were a bit skeptical when I started traveling the world instead of pursuing a career back home… but once they saw that I was successful and also very happy with the choice I had made, they gave me their blessings… and now they often tell others my story. I guess I got really lucky that my parents are so supportive. :)

      In any case, if you do want to travel, I’m sure there will be some advice in my future articles that is going to help you as well… no matter how old or young you are. ;)

      Cheers and stay in touch,

      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    sandrom diz: 4

    One more great post by Frank.

    Thanks English Experts for putting all these people together in order to share thoughts, lives and knowledge.

    Travelling is one of the best ways to learn language and culture, and to enjoy life as well.

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Sandrom, thanks for the compliments, I appreciate it! And I agree… as the famous St. Augustine quote goes, “Life is a book and those who do not travel read but one page.” No school could ever teach as much as a journey…

      Best,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    Felipe Haag (felipeh6) diz: 5

    Hello Frank!

    Awesome post man! And let me say, there’s a fourth group! And I’m on that fourth one. I mean, it’s the group where you can rise a family and at the same time you can travel around the world working. As a export salesman you can “have” both! It’s wonderful!!! And all of this, thanks mainly to English Language.

    Congrats once more!

    felipeh6

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Felipe, thanks for the props! Wow, it sounds like you’ve really found a wonderful way to make two big dreams a reality. Only goes to show, anything is possible, if we really want it and make it happen instead of just wishing for it. Congratulations on your life style my friend! :)

      Always the best,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    Leonardo diz: 6

    Hey Frank, do you have a blog where you share your trip adventures?! I’d be grateful if you do.

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Leonardo, yes I do… this blog right here haa! :) In all seriousness, I haven’t started a blog of my own yet, though I am probably going to do that in a couple of months (got a lot on my plate right now). In the meantime though, you can read my articles here or follow my journal on the English Experts forum:

      http://www.englishexperts.com.br/forum/around-the-world-in-80-years-travel-journal-t25866.html

      I’d be happy to hear from you there! :)
      Cheers,

      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 7

    Frank, praising your texts is utterly useless; everyone has done it already! So let me just take this chance to thank you for giving me the chance to learn two new words: bane and wanderlust. Wonderful! I’m always looking forward to reading your next article! Thank so much! And congratulations!

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey João, thanks for the compliments, and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying my articles. :) And you’re welcome… if I can help with anything, just get in touch on the forum, it would be nice to hear from you!

      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    elayne diz: 8

    Hi Frank, I really enjoyed your article. Thanks!

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      You’re welcome Elayne, I’m glad to hear that and thanks for stopping by!
      Stay in touch, :)

      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    Gustavo Viegas diz: 9

    I love traveling around the World!!!

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Gustavo, isn’t it awesome? I’m absolutely addicted haa! Drop me a line on the forum some time and tell me about your travels.

      Best,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 06/08/12  
    Laryssa Tavares diz: 10

    It is a really great article and is nice to hear about people who leaved some home country to meet many many other places getting experiences of life!!!!!

  • 07/08/12  
    Gil Gomes diz: 11

    Awesome article Frank. I’m in the third group of people, but for now I’m going to think what I really want and stop to wait the real time to travel.

    • 07/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Gil, glad you like it! :) Keep me posted and let me know how it goes… if you ever need any advice, just drop me a line on the forums.

      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 07/08/12  
    Frank Florida diz: 12

    Thanks Laryssa – I’ll be sure to tell you a lot more about this life style in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned! ;)

    ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 07/08/12  
    Tammy diz: 13

    Hi Frank!!
    You’re right about making up excuses now and again…
    By the way, I just stopped by to say that after starting reading your posts, I finally got encouraged to plan my trip to Peru!! Hints are very welcome :)
    Take care

    • 08/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Tammy… yup, we all do it… and I’m no exception! Procrastination is THE biggest dream-killer. I don’t think anybody is completely immune to it… but it’s definitely something we can work on!

      I backpacked my way through Peru a long time ago, and I’m sure you’re going to absolutely love it! Though I’m probably the only gringo who ever went to Cuzco and skipped Machu Picchu! Haa… it seemed a bit too touristy for my taste and so I went to see temples elsewhere. Tikal in Guatemala and Angkor Wat in Cambodia I thought were amazing too.

      You’ll like Peru… it has a lot to offer, from the old Inca culture that is still very much alive in parts of the Andes to the coast with the famous Nazca lines (do you believe those were made by Aliens? ;)) and some nice beaches up in the North… don’t forget to drink a Pisco Sour for me and also don’t miss the night life in Lima!

      Any questions, just let me know on the diário de bordo on the forum… Always glad to help a fellow traveler out. :) Cheers!

      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 08/08/12  
    augusto monteiro diz: 14

    i’m the one in a third conditional…. rsrsrs

    • 09/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Augusto, haa – yes, a very common place to be in, a lot of people have that problem. If you need some inspiration, feel free to drop me a line! :)

      Cheers,
      Frank

  • 08/08/12  
    Dauton diz: 15

    hi frank! nice post!

    well, I am traveling to New Zealand next year…have you ever been there?

    if the answer is afirmative, I would apreciate if you give me some hints like best jobs and places to stay..

    thanks very much, pal :)

  • 10/08/12  
    Frank Florida diz: 16

    Hey Dauton, what’s up? Thanks for your comment… yes, I’ve been to New Zealand, though only for a couple of days. I was working on a cruise ship at the time, and the ship stopped in Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland for a while. It’s a beautiful country, I can tell you that much – you probably know that the “Lord of the Rings” was shot there, and that it’s one of the most famous countries for the outdoors and extreme sports in the world. Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about jobs and hotels, as I was working and sleeping on the ship. :)

    If you have more questions, feel free to drop me a line on the forum!
    Cheers,

    ~ Frank Florida ~

    • 24/08/12  
      Dauton diz:

      yep *=* I’m pretty addicted in LOTR – both books and movies heuheehu

      but thanks for your help anyway Frank, I love your posts..they’re very helpful :)

      http://www.facebook.com/dautonn

  • 10/08/12  
    Flávia Cohen diz: 17

    Hey, nice article Frank, I completly agree when you say that “life was made up of time, and not of things… and that no amount of material wealth could ever replace a rich life, full of interesting experiences”, that’s true, in my opinion too. But, how can you spend so long time on the road far away from people you love the most, your closely family and friends? It’s just a curiously question from who has just came back from Israel a two weeks ago and after almost a year there I conclued that life is too short to live far from who we love the most! One day we can be regret for hadn’t being around them and miss those moments. I looooove to travel, its the best way to have great experience, but not back home its someting that I couldn’t do. How you do so?! ahahah Anyway, I appreciate your courage and your release (desprendimento, i dont know if this is the best word in english, correct if Im wrong, please :)
    I’m fan of your blog! Keep going with pleasure!
    Take care!
    Flavia

    • 15/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Flávia! Thanks for your comments… wow, you really bring up the most difficult topic for travelers. That is the one big disadvantage, for sure… I spend 99% of my time far away from my family, and from my friends in my home country.

      But you know what? They are now maybe 2 or 3% of all the friends I have around the world. After 11 years on the road, I have many friends in almost every country I might ever want to visit… and at that point, going home would ALSO mean being far from many of the people I love the most. In Brazil, for example, I have a family… a “second mom” so to speak. :) And some of my best friends are right here in Thailand… so no matter how I slice it, I will always be far from many of the people I’m closest to.

      I do try to visit my family at least once a year though, and spend a week or two with them. You know that saying – “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? That is very true, and I’m now closer to my family than I have ever been before. It’s actually kind of nice to come home and have a dozen people fight over who gets to pick me up from the airport and who gets to take me out for dinner first hehe. :D But in all seriousness, I’m so glad that we have the internet today, and Skype of course… with a good connection, a webcam call helps to “matar a saudade”.

      So yeah… this IS one of the hardest parts of traveling, and especially if you want to get into a relationship, you better pick a fellow traveler! But in leaving your friends behind, you also make 50 TIMES more new friends in other places… many of whom will end up being the closest ones. So I feel like it’s enriching my life more than it is taking from it.

      Hope that helps, and thanks for reading… feel free to get in touch if you ever need travel advice! ;)

      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 11/08/12  
    Fabíola diz: 18

    Thanks so much Frank for this post!!
    There was a good time I was question myself about it: “When is the right moment”.
    You are right: is now :)

    • 15/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Fabíola, thanks for your comment… you’re welcome, and glad you agree. The time is now…

  • 13/08/12  
    Mariana diz: 19

    I loved this post!! I’m in the third group of people and I’ve always had doubts about travel abroad, mainly of being away from my family…but now I’m going to think better and I intend to travel to US next year…you’re right… the time is now!!

  • 15/08/12  
    Frank Florida diz: 20

    Hey Mariana, thanks for that! :) It’s surprising how many people are in that third group… I definitely know some folks who don’t want to travel at all, but I noticed something interesting yesterday – a friend of mine took a picture of a plane ticket and posted it on Facebook. That picture must have gotten over 50 likes! So I think the travel bug is more common than we think. ;) In fact, there is a theory about us humans still being nomadic deep down, something I read on the website of the Lonely Planet once… hmm, maybe I should write a post about that. Interesting topic for sure. Anyway, I’m glad you’re taking the plunge, and also check out the reply I wrote for Flávia above, she asked about being far away from your home and your family.

    Cheers!
    ~ Frank Florida ~

    • 16/08/12  
      Mariana diz:

      I think the most people feel like traveling abroad but they don’t have a courage. I read the reply you wrote for flávia, you’re right when said: “But in leaving your friends behind, you also make 50 TIMES more new friends in other place” and also “absence makes the heart grow fonder”… I’ll overcome this fear of being far away from my family, after all “it’s always better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven’t done”…… thank you for your advices =]

  • 17/08/12  
    Felipe Ferrugem diz: 21

    The answer is NOW! Thanks Frank!