Just Buy the Ticket

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Filed Under:   Goals & Priorities, Travel

I just got back from one of the most amazing trips of my life. My wife and I spent 30 days in “the land of smiles”–beautiful Thailand. The trip served many purposes: part-vacation, part-medical procedures, part-personal retreat, and part-business.

Some of the highlights were playing with full-grown tigers, staring down a poisonous cobra from 4 feet away, getting licked by giraffes, riding elephants, looking at the mountains from our rooftop pool while drinking ice cold Diet Coke, receiving LASIK eye surgery, shopping until our feet hurt, and waking up with my gorgeous wife knowing there was no where to go and nobody to bother us.

Pool in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Living the dreamOur rooftop pool in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I think a lot of people want to do something like this; they dream of traveling to a distant land, exploring the world. But they don’t because of all the different excuses why it’s impossible (excuses I also had).

Excuses like:

  • I don’t have enough time for that.
  • It’s too expensive. I need to work more first to get more $$$.
  • Where will I even go, anyways?
  • I don’t speak that language.
  • I have too much work to do.
  • What if I get sick overseas?
  • I have no idea about what to do or where to stay once I get there!

I always thought traveling overseas with Elisabeth in some exotic location would be fun, and I knew the window of opportunity might be closing soon since we had begun talking about children. But with a modest salary, not enough vacation time, and a thousand different projects with my name on them at work, I wondered if it would ever happen.

But the truth is, those reasons were all cover-ups…camouflage for the real assassin of my dream: fear. It is really scary to do something like that. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I let someone at work down? What if my pregnant wife gets sick and has to go to a strange hospital? (that one actually happened)

With so much uncertainty, it was enough to paralyze my dream before it ever had legs to run.

But everything changed on a cold winter evening in January. Why? Because I bought the plane tickets.

Not all of them, actually. Just the most expensive one, from JFK to Bangkok. I threw my hat over the fence, burned the ships, or whatever “commitment” metaphor you prefer. But I made the decision to not let fear stop me.

It’s funny how when you commit, things find a way of falling into place. This positive inertia starts and just gets stronger. I had the time because I made the time. My bosses gave me special permission to go. Our frugal spending habits made it financially possible (more on this in an upcoming post). We found the right locale with a low cost of living and excellent health services.

I certainly didn’t have all the details worked out (we actually didn’t know where we were going to stay upon arrival until the day before we left). Not to mention we found out my wife was pregnant with twins only 2 days before the trip! But we made it there and had the experience of a lifetime because there was no other option. The tickets were bought.

What dream have you been too scared to pursue? Buy the ticket. Find out how resourceful you can be.

Thailand Adventure