Why do you want to travel the world?
Don’t worry, we don’t want to make you doubt your decision! Not at all. What we want is to really make you think what it is that you expect and promise yourself from your trip.
We can literally hear you thinking “duh, isn’t that obvious? Traveling is the best, it makes me happy!”
We couldn’t agree more BUT yet we want to nudge you to be more specific.
You’re planning to leave your home and everything you know for a long time. It’s a long time to grow and experience all the amazing things our planet has to offer. However, it is also a long time to… well… get lost, if you don’t set your expectations right.
- Did you have a couple of tough months at work and you wish nothing more than to let loose and relax before you return back to normal?
- Are you thinking about changing your career and would like to use the time off to reflect on the right next steps for you?
- Do you have a bucket list of things you want to do but never get the time to in your regular busy life?
Whatever it is, make it clear to yourself.
Because setting conscious intentions for your trip will help you avoid getting lost and will set you up to make the most out of your trip – emotionally, financially, and career wise.
Stick with us to know why goal setting is so crucial for planning a round the world trip you won’t regret, and how you can set powerful intentions.
Travel as a time to reflect & rewire
If you ask longterm travellers why they left everything behind to travel the world, they often answer that they are on a journey to (re-)discovering themselves and their priorities for the future.
Travel is a very effective way to self-reflect. It creates the necessary distance from our daily routine to think more holistically about the bigger picture.
Even though traveling has frequently the purpose being a period to take time off and focus on nothing other than bringing some well deserved rest into our demanding millennial life, truly, it is much more than that.
You might not realise it right now, but your round the world trip will be the start of a new life. And, like with every big change in your life, your new travel life will come with a ton of challenges, doubts, and questions.
But here comes the important thing.
Every day is the first day of the rest of your life and being mindful of how you can use the time you are given in the best way, is what will determine over your happiness every single day.
Why is it important to set intentions for your trip?
Let’s recap. We were talking about travel being a period of self-reflection and happiness as a result of spending your time right, but how is this relevant to setting intentions for your trip?
If you only take away one thing out of this article, make it this:
Your trip should not be an escape from your daily hell, it should be a conscious journey towards a life that doesn’t need an emergency exit.
A common problem of millennials returning from traveling longterm is falling into massive post travel blues. Coming back from a trip full of adventures and freedom to the same old routine can be quite daunting – especially if this good old routine makes your stomach turn.
Here’s the solution. Create a routine that you don’t NEED but WANT to repeat.
Avoid suffering from post travel depression by creating a daily life you don’t have to feel anxious about returning to. Because you are actually looking forward to this next phase. Because you are excited about your work. Because you designed it to be your best life. Because you are in CONTROL of your life.
Define your Happy State
What is the secret of highly effective and happy people?
They don’t complain about how incredibly stressed they are or how everyone has it better than them. They take things in their own hands by being PROACTIVE about the things in their life they have influence on. Yes, that’s right. Your work, your routine, your hobbies, and health – these are all parts of your life you have an influence on. Use it!
Because we as millennials tend to be overwhelmingly busy and stressed in our everyday life, we make a common mistake that makes our situation even worse.
We tend to focus on the URGENT items on our TO DO lists, and tend to procrastinate the not so urgent but highly important items. While we are extinguishing fires left and right to take care of all the urgent items, we neglect the less urgent but most rewarding parts of life.
This is why we postpone looking for another more fulfilling job. This is why we don’t sign up for that dance class. This is why we don’t take that bucket list trip. And so on.
In our article about habits we’re talking about how you can actively use habits to get closer to your big dream of traveling the world by creating new good habits that bring you closer to your goal and eliminate bad habits that hold you back.
It’s time to focus on yourself! Make yourself a tea, turn off your Instagram notifications, and give yourself a couple of minutes only for yourself. It’s time to dive into the inner YOU and set powerful intensions for your trip! Read on to find out how!
How to set powerful intentions for your trip
We stressed it earlier. Think with the goal in mind. How does your ideal Day in Your Life look like?
Let us take you through.
To set powerful intentions for your trip, you have to ask yourself 4 crucial questions.
1. What are the stars and frogs in your daily life?
To start off, we suggest you go through a first exercise of reviewing a current typical day in your life. Here we guide you through how you can evaluate which activities in your current routine give you high positive energy (the STARS) and which parts of your day drain energy from you (the FROGS). Your goal is to do more of the good energy items and reduce the bad energy ones.
2. How does your perfect day look like?
Now it’s time to be your own boss! Your life’s a play and you’re the director. If you could direct the perfect day in your life, without any limitations, how would it look like?
Think of a regular day and map the activities from morning till dawn. Here it is important to be as specific as possible. Don’t only think about general items such as “being at work”, but describe how your ideal work day should look and feel like.
We encourage you to use as many adjectives as possible. For example, you might want to say something like “I can decide about my working hours flexibly based on how much work I have to do. I feel fulfilled in my role because working on projects that truly matter to me gives me a sense of purpose. I am working in a beautiful office and with colleagues that I like spending time with during and outside working hours.” Boom!
3. Which gaps need to be filled?
Now that you have a thorough description of your ideal day, you’re ready to identify the gaps. Which items in your ideal life do you currently miss partially or fully? Focus on those!
Following our example above, maybe you currently work in an office in which you don’t like your co-workers. Now you know that you need to scout for roles in teams that share your interests. Or do you currently work on projects that you couldn’t care less about? Start thinking which organisations you can relate to, or perhaps if entrepreneurship is something for you.
4. How can your trip bring you closer to your ideal life?
This is where it all comes together! As a boss of your life, you can now set goals for your trip.
Take a piece of paper and write down all the items you wish to change in your current routine, all the gaps you have identified in step 3.
Now define for each step what you can do during your trip to come closer to achieving your goal. Challenge yourself to define SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. The aim is not to put pressure on yourself during your trip, but to be mindful and in control of spending your time right.
Day in My Life goal:
Have flexible working hours instead of a rigid 9-5
Write down 3 possible and interesting roles that would allow me to organise my time flexibly 2 months before the end of my trip, so that I have sufficient time to send out applications.
Setting intensions will not only help you to start tackling the items on your list to build your best life. Writing them down for yourself will also give you peace of mind.
Of course elements on your list might change during your trip and you might not be able to reach all the goals you defined. This is not a problem as long as you keep on reflecting and re-prioritising the ones that are important to focus on.
Key take away
Your trip is not only a time off to enjoy and relax but it is also the beginning of a new life. Being intensional about how you want your ideal daily routine to look like and set smart intensions for your time away will help you to make the most out of your trip, and prepare you to return to a happy and fulfilled life without suffering from post travel blues.
To define powerful intensions for your trip, you should 1. go through an exercise of reflecting on the stars and frogs in your current everyday routine, 2. define your ideal Day in Your Life, 3. identifying the gaps between your current and ideal state, and 4. Define smart goals of how your trip can bring you closer to your ideal life.
Do you feel like this article is speaking to you? Share your story by taking a short questionnaire at generationnomads.com/survey or write us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently working on our first book (a big deal for us!) and we would love to have you in it!