Dear Fellow Traveller
Are you one of those lovely ladies who talk about travelling “one day” or saying “I wish” as you sigh over yet another beautiful destination photo as it pops up in your Facebook feed?
Yes, is that you?
What can I do to help you travel?
To experience those inspiring destinations.
What can I do to stop you sighing and get you out there?
You must realise that life is not indefinite and there will come a time when you can no longer chase your dreams. The things your heart yearns for day after day.
The ones that fill your dreams, but never your reality.
There are a lot of reasons people don’t travel.
Reasons that involve money. And family, and relationships and work. The list could go on forever if you let it. Maybe you don’t have anyone to travel with.
And travelling alone? Well, come on! That just seems silly. Or is it?
Are you scared? Do you think you will hate it? Is your family against it?
I get it. My mother cannot accept that I want to travel alone. It is baffling and confronting to her that I would do that. It does not even enter her head that I am a 49-year-old woman who is more than capable of looking after myself.
So what then?
You could go on a tour.
There are lots to choose from. But maybe that’s not your thing. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I mean, really? One hour to check out a new place before getting back on the bus. No thanks! Not my kind of travel at all. Is it yours?
So if not a tour, then what. You’re back to square one wanting to travel, and no one to go with.
Or maybe something else is stopping you?
Is it guilt?
Guilt over leaving the family behind to travel yourself? Spending money on yourself?
What is it with women and guilt?
Were we born to feel guilty or do we learn it? Regardless of where it comes from, we are damn good at it.
Guilt in all shapes and sizes and over anything we can think of. Guilt, guilt, guilt. It’s tiring!
Does this sound like you? Are you tired of feeling guilty all the time?
But even if you got over your guilt, you still may not have anyone to travel with. Your husband or partner might need to look after the family or can’t get away from work. Your girlfriends can’t go – no time, feel guilty, no money. It could be anything.
So now you’re back to the tours. But they limit your choices and let’s face it, independent travel gives you so many choices. And it’s a lot cheaper too.
Too many reasons to think about. They make your head spin. And sometimes it’s easier not to think about the dreams being pushed aside. Until the next picture or the next work colleague who comes around to tell you all about the trip they just got back from.
So, I have been thinking (oh bloody hell! I sound exactly like my mother – “now, Cindy I was just thinking …” )
I want to take you travelling.
You might be thinking, “Of course, you do, you organise travel groups”.
But it’s more than that for me. Travel changed EVERYTHING for me and I want to share that with people like you. Travel is magic and I want to sprinkle that shit everywhere!
With all my heart I want to take you, and other women, travelling. Not just to share the joy of travel, but to show them what they are capable of.
What YOU are capable of.
At the moment you CAN travel with me. Easy. Join me on one of my tours (or join the waiting list so I can let you know when new trips are released) and we can go travelling. But then you’re just joining another tour, although I have to say my tours are much better, more like travelling with friends (sorry, shameless plug).
But there’s more to it.
I want to show you how you can travel independently.
I mean how do you learn to do that, unless you bite the bullet and go yourself? But how do you get past the fear and anxiety if it is paralysing you?
And I get it. I totally understand. Anxiety and I coexist in a manageable relationship. But that wasn’t always the case.
How do you learn to plan your own travel if you haven’t done it before? Yes, of course, you can go to a Travel Agent (and I can recommend an amazing one), but how do you know what you will like if you’ve never travelled independently.
Too many women I know have compromised.
Don’t you get sick of compromising?
Don’t you just want to do something the way you want to do it?
Those women told me they hated the time restrictions. They wanted to see more, do more not jump back on the bus so they could head to the next destination for another hour. And then another hour. What the hell can you even see in an hour in a new place?
Do you think tours are for you?
What if they’re not?
I had an idea for a different kind of tour. A trip really.
Look, I will be upfront and say that I can’t host them for free. I have to pay my bills too and eat. And I’m not a Travel Agent, I’m a Travel Planner, and I don’t get paid commissions. I charge fees.
But I think I can do something to help.
I want people to experience travel because it’s a life changer. And the life-changing part doesn’t come from having all the bells and whistles.
In fact, less money and more “no frills” can lead to awesome experiences. More authentic experiences.
“But travel costs money”, I hear you say. Yes, it does. And the tours I currently offer are not affordable for everyone, although they are great value and jam-packed with heaps of amazing inclusions (another shameless plug, sorry!)
I would like to offer an alternative.
What if you could have a say in what you did and how you spend your days?
What if the cost was more appealing?
What if you could be independent AND have support and companionship if you wanted or needed it?
What if you could try independent travel, but have a safety net?
Me. You would have me. But only if you wanted my help. I could show you the ropes on how to plan travel your way, what to do when you get there (and things to help manage anxiety), be there if you needed companionship but gave you the freedom to do your own thing. If you wanted to.
Would you be interested?
This is what we would do:
- Join awesome free walking tours (paying a small tip, of course)
- Seek local recommendations on places to visit, where to eat and things to do.
- Experience life a little like a local by shopping at the local supermarket and frequenting markets.
- Walk more, to discover more of our destination.
- Slow travel – we would stay in fewer places, but for longer periods (although most of my tours are structured this way).
- You would pay for the things you wanted to do when you wanted to do them.
There would be no:
- Private transfers, I would help you navigate the train system.
- No meals included. Self-catering might be an option, but don’t worry I can cook and don’t mind cooking for a crowd.
- Accommodation would be cheap, but clean and I always look for good service. And NO, I don’t do hostels, so you can quit imagining yourself in a dorm with party goers.
What do you think?
I promise you this:
- To plan an amazing itinerary for as little cost as possible.
- Be your support 24/7 (if you need it).
- Cook if required.
- Be a travel companion if needed.
- Give you loads of ideas of things you can do.
- Assist you to organise your activities and even join you if you want me to.
- And I might even succumb to taking the odd selfie here and there.
So that’s it. Let me know what you think.
Even if this is not for you, and that perfectly OK, tell me what you think of the idea. A business can only grow from the feedback of its supporters, and that means positive and negative opinions. I only ask that you be kind about it.
Or is there something else holding you back from travelling other than money?
More than finding the right trip or tour to take?
Is it family? Is it your relationship? Maybe a partner who doesn’t want to travel, but doesn’t like the idea of you going on your own?
I don’t care if you don’t want to travel with me. I just want you to travel!!
Whatever your reason, it’s OK. I’m not trying to stir up trouble, I just know there comes a point in your life where you need to take stock and make a decision to pursue your dreams
It’s not always easy to make those decisions, but it is fulfilling and life-changing when you do. Everything changes.
And change can be scary. I know, I’ve been there. I survived, and then I thrived.
But at what point do you decide that your life, and your passions, and your dreams are important? And that you deserve to pursue them?
At what point do you stop putting everyone else first, including your children, and take charge of your life?
Now if you are a mother, and I have just offended you, before you start shouting me down about that you HAVE to be there for your children, and you SACRIFICE EVERYTHING for them and as a mother that’s what you MUST DO, stop.
I am not going to debate that point with you.
If that’s what you honestly believe then who am I to tell you differently. But if you are telling yourself that sacrificing your hopes and dreams makes you a better mother, then you might like to rethink that.
By sacrificing what we want we teach our daughters, and sons, that women come second. That a woman is not worthy of pursuing her dreams.
Children don’t want their parents sacrificing everything for them. They want you to be happy and confident and to show them how to pursue their dreams. You do that by leading by example.
We need to give up the guilt and always making compromises. Yes, some compromises are required, that’s life. But not all the time. And it doesn’t always need to be you making them.
How do I know all this? Because my adult children and I have talked about this, especially my daughter.
Can I share a story with you? I promise to be quick.
Years ago, a counsellor told me I had a carer’s nature (what woman doesn’t?) That I did everything I could to make the ones I love happy. I would sacrifice my needs for theirs. I thought that made me a better mother, a better person.
Until I understood.
My kids didn’t respect me the way they should have. They thought it was perfectly OK for their father to do all his things, but were upset when I wanted to do something for me.
It was no one’s fault, except my own. I had allowed the behaviour. Because quite frankly I had no self-worth and didn’t think I deserved any better.
How sad is that?
Are you making excuses as I did? Let’s stop.
Instead, be honest about what you want. Then take steps to change it. Baby step after baby step if need be.
So, again. What is holding you back from travelling?
Why do I keep asking this question? What is the purpose of this letter?
The purpose is to make you think. About you. Your dreams, your hopes and fears. To push you to take hold of those dreams and make them a reality.
Because if a desire, or a passion or a dream is ingrained so deeply within you shouldn’t you do something about it?
Maybe it’s not travel you dream about at all. That doesn’t matter.
For goodness sake, whatever your dream is, don’t give up on it.
Don’t get to the end of your life regretting the things you didn’t do. I have lost loved ones who waited too long to fulfil their dreams. There’s no do-over.
We all deserve to live a fulfilling life.
You deserve to live a fulfilling life.
So, my friend – If not now, when?
With much love