8 years ago when I was studying in the US, I found myself without any plans for the week-long Fall Break. I would’ve been perfectly content to take a 2-hour bus ride to Manhattan and pig out on Chipotle.
Luckily, I had a couple of friends who had a MAJOR thirst for adventure.
Just as I was about to book my bus ticket to Manhattan, my friends called me and said, “Yo. We’re heading to West Virginia for a 2-day whitewater rafting trip on one of the toughest rivers in the world. You’re coming with us.”
In college, you learn never to say “No” to ridiculous suggestions. This is terrible life advice, but in this case, it worked out.
We had an amazing time rafting through the Class V rapids. Once, the side of our raft hit a rock and all of us fell out of the raft, leaving our exasperated guide to rescue us. At night, we camped out, drank beers, and ate best steak I ever had under a blanket of stars.
From that moment on, I wanted experiences like these – stories that I would remember for years and years. And so I figured out a two-step process to help me get more of them.
Step 1: Think About What’s Possible, Not What’s Practical
When your friends ask, “Hey, how was your trip?” How would you respond?
Would you say, “Yeahhhhh it was okay…”, or will your eyes light up as you show them some crazy pictures on your phone?
Too many of us fall into The Practicality Trap: We find the cheapest flights and end up going on the same massage-shopping-food trips over and over again. There’s nothing wrong with a simple getaway, but today I want to challenge you to think about what’s possible.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go on a crazy skydiving-backpacking-adventure. Your “dream trip” could mean:
- Laughing over cheap beers and visiting 10 European cities with friends you met at some random hostel
- Having high tea at Harrod’s and enjoying front-row seats to your favourite Broadway show in London’s West End
- Getting chauffeured to the airport, sipping free champagne in the lounge, and sleeping on a full-flat First Class bed
What qualifies? Think about what lights you up. Think about what you see when you close your eyes when you’re having a bad week.
Your dream trip will likely evolve over the years: When I was in college, it was all about backpacking through Mexican markets. Now, it’s more about staying at nice hotels and eating delicious tapas in Spain.
Most importantly, be honest with yourself. If you want to enjoy a full-body massage at the Thai Airways First Class lounge in Bangkok, say it! There’s no right or wrong answer – the world is large enough for our imagination.
Step 2: Get Ultra-Specific
“Oh, I wanna see the pyramids and backpack around the world and help kids in Africa and fly Business Class and bungee jump!”
And in the end, they never do anything about it.
If you’ve been paying attention for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been asking you to stop dreaming and get specific. In other words, yes, you have all these awesome dreams, but now let’s figure out the EXACT steps to get you there!
In fact, I’ve already laid out the plans for two of such dream trips for you:
Notice how these involve clearly defined steps with specific timeframes: You can achieve them in 1-5 years, often less.
In short, the whole point is to be ambitious about what experiences you want, and then work backwards to figure out how to get there.
Help Me To Help You Get Your Dream Trip
Most people don’t do this because it’s scary. What if I come up with a dream trip that I can never achieve?
It’s far easier to sit there and fantasise about taking a trip someday instead of actually doing something to get you there.
But not you. I know you’re excited about going on adventures: whether it’s hiking through Mongolia or sipping champagne in a bathtub in Lufthansa’s First Class lounge (complete with a rubber ducky!)
As you know, I’m working on creating some brand new content about travel and travel hacking. But before I create it, I wanted to hear your thoughts so that I can make it even more valuable for you.
Would you take 2 minutes to complete a short survey below?
Click here if you’re viewing this on mobile and the survey form is being lame and un-scrollable.
I really appreciate it!