Goal Setting in 2020: How to Make Travel a Priority
You always dreamed of journeying abroad, but you haven't yet put the pedal to the metal on your plans. Perhaps you haven't even started yet. If that's the case, why not resolve to make 2020 the year you pursue your passion?
International travel offers a world of benefits. You'll broaden your horizons and learn how to look at everyday situations in new ways. You'll adopt evolving habits and learn valuable tips to share with the folks back home. If you’ve always wanted to travel, this is your year — so what’s holding you back? Dreams only become reality when you set goals and take action. Here’s how to make sure travel tops your to-do list this year, with actionable goal setting tips
1. Talk to an advisor
It's challenging to know where to begin if you're unsure what your options are. If you've enrolled in a multi-year degree program, your university's academic advisor is an ideal resource for investigation. They can inform you about schools they have partnerships with so that you can meet your academic credit requirements during your travels. They can also connect you with career planning resources if you dream of one day making your trip overseas permanent.
If university wasn’t the path for you, local councils and libraries also have career and opportunity advisors, who have a wealth of knowledge to share with you.
2. Have a goal setting session
When was the last time you sat down and honestly evaluated your goals? Maybe you did so when you enrolled, or the rare New Year’s resolution you wanted to stick to — but you've evolved since then, and this is about more than school. It’s about your life.
Sit and write a list of all the things you want to do during the time you have to live. If "visit Angora" and "eat my way through Paris" appear, prioritize those travel plans! Goal-setting is critical to your personal growth and sense of overall satisfaction in life.
3. Start mastering fluency
If you're hesitant to travel abroad due to the language barrier, why not tackle it?
You can find a ton of language learning apps for relatively little money, and you can practice nearly anytime and anywhere. You'll feel much more comfortable heading overseas when you know how to ask where the restroom is and can order a meal in a restaurant. Plus, once you reach your destination, you can further enhance your fluency.
4. Make a realistic budget
How are you going to pay for your trip?
Whether you’re studying abroad, travelling via a summer camp or going solo, you need to budget for your adventure. Figure out how much you’ll need during your time away. Set a financial goal for travel savings, and put those funds in a separate account for your journey. Don't link this account with any others — that way, you're not tempted to spend your getaway fund on a whim when your general coffers run low.
5. Look for paid opportunities
Maybe you're thinking, "There aren't enough hours in the day to work as much as I need to save for my trip." Did you know that you can fund international travel by working at your destination? If you're enrolled, talk to your advisor about paid internship opportunities.
Even if you're not in school, you can find work teaching English overseas as an au pair or at summer camp. All of these opportunities are fantastic routes into meaningful travel, meaning you won’t just be ‘working’, but participating in cultural exchange.
6. Examine your inner detractors and confront them
What's genuinely holding you back? Maybe the only thing standing in the way of your international travel dreams is your self-doubt about whether it's attainable. Remember, if other people can actualize their visions, so can you. You may need to overcome additional challenges, but if you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
7. Think outside the box
Finally, get a little creative when it comes to funding your dreams.
Maybe you can't afford to stay in hotels for a three-month backpacking trip through Europe. Look into doing a home exchange, where you live overseas in another person's property while they stay in yours. Can you swing a hammer? Many hostels will exchange lodging for odd labor, so investigate that option too. There's nothing wrong with taking on temporary or low-wage work — especially when it lets you fulfil your travel goals.
Make International Travel Dreams Your Goals in the New Year
Travel isn’t just a far-off dream of “someday.” It’s an attainable experience you can have right now, but only if you set your mind to making it happen! Make good on your goal setting this year — and make travel a reality.
About the author
Alyssa Abel is a student life writer whose passions include travel inspiration, study abroad and self-development. Read more of her work on her blog, Syllabusy.