A lot of people write to find out how they can travel like me. “Where in the world are you today,” many will ask. While my first response is to share my tips for trips so they can have a similar lifestyle, there’s something else they need to know first. This craving to escape it all isn’t serving them. Moving cross-country or traveling Europe for months will not solve all of the deep questions my friends have about their position in the world. Trust me, I’ve done it.

One nugget of wisdom I would send myself back in time is, “Everything is fine the way it is right now. There’s no need to pick up or go anywhere until you figure a few things out.” I spent too much time checking excursions off of my bucket list to notice the real problem with my life was me. Understanding my appreciation of culture with environment only developed over trial and error that in retrospect I’d give anything to do over. Now I tell my friends nothing is better than the place they are because it’s where they are.

Master Getting The Most Out Of What You Have

Mastering the challenge of gaining a new perspective will prepare them for the biggest challenge in experiencing something new. There’s no need to buy that $1,200 ticket to Australia if they aren’t already creating a desirable life for themselves at home. It didn’t feel like I’d really gotten the benefit of traveling until I did it solo because that’s where my perspective was forced to change. Whether they realize it or not, traveling with friends is only an extension of what they’re already doing at home. That’s an important factor.

Meet New People

When I say new that means far outside of your current social circle. By practicing the art of story listening I’ve been enchanted in my interactions with anyone willing to share a bit of their history with me, whether domestic or international. Creating conversations with random strangers isn’t enough since the element of a deeper connection happens when time is spent carefully paying attention to culture and surroundings. By harnessing their own style here, the process naturally engages their mind for richer experiences local or abroad.

Pickup A Good Book

Escaping the grind with a book of any type is a gift few have the attention span to enjoy. If they find themselves caffeinated to the point of intense concentration, an escape into a travel short story, classic novel or historical writing will free the boundaries they place on themselves through ordinary weekday existence. Book reading is the ultimate form of story listening in a separate context and expands the mind into a fantasy without the time or money it takes to travel large distances.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Become An Influencer

Introverts don’t have to be super social to be an influence in their own unique ways. By becoming part of an existing social group, the pressure of being the center of attention is gone. This opens them up to challenging others in the group to share who they are through stories. Of course extroverts are loud but does that make them effective? Are they currently creating a buzz around what they value in life? All of us seem to be on the journey of finding likeminded individuals. If my friends seek a new class of people then adopt qualities like those they wish to meet. Traveling to an exotic location will only offer more of the same if they aren’t prepared to manifest this law of attraction.

Take A 36 hour Road Trip

Crowd funding is one of my dark secrets in travel. Finding a group of awesome adventurers through the former strategies to take part in their journey creates an out of routine experience at a third the cost. The best part is there’s no limit to where they can go once the mind is free. Get out of the mindset that 10 hours is too far to drive. It is not unreasonable to fly to New York City for a weekend. By traveling in short 36 hour snapshots I’ve seen a large amount of the USA which gave me the courage to complete my international journeys since.

Your city doesn’t suck anymore because you understand that the place you live is where someone else longs to visit. Somewhere else in the world they read a short story fantasizing about experiencing the life you try to escape. Hedonic adaptation creates a warm place for you to preserve your happiness. We slowly adapt to our situation in order to survive so the things that are unique fade away quickly with routine and this is often mistaken for complacency. Try on the new perspective and ask your city out on a date. You’ll be surprised at what’s hiding right next door.