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Time to Travel | Joe Altaffer

Time to Travel

by Joe Altaffer

It’s ok to Spend ALL of Your Money to Travel!

Traveling is more than just simply booking a hotel room and a plane ticket to a place that is at least 50 miles away from your home. I could go the cliché route and talk about how travel is something that helps create “experiences that will last a lifetime” and things like that. However, in reality, traveling is a lifestyle. Some people get hooked to traveling to a higher degree, but nevertheless traveling is something that anyone can do, as long as they dedicate their life savings to it. Fortunately, new studies suggest that spending all of your money for the sole use of travel is not a bad thing.

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades has acknowledged how “we buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.” This finding reminded me of when I was a little child, even though in reality we are and will always be children at heart. I’d beg my parents for the new Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon and after I got it, I’d spend hours and hours building and playing with it. However, today, I don’t even know where all of my legos are. For all I know, they are probably in some bin that is going to be donated. Today, I would probably have preferred seeing a place like Fiji, instead of spending all of my money on legos.

I’ll admit that the travel community is rather affluent than most. Whenever I attend the Travel Century Club meetings with my father, everyone seems to be wearing Rolexes and have Gucci purses. Money is crucial in order to travel, however traveling cost effectively is way more easier than you think. More than likely you won’t be staying at the Ritz Carlton every night of your traveling career (unless that’s your thing), and that’s okay. The point of traveling is to get out of your comfort zone and discover how others live their own lives. Traveling can be done by anyone as long as the have the frugalness and ambition to travel.

More than likely, a person that travels around the world probably has more stories to tell than someone who hasn’t. After I visited North Korea, it was my go to topic to talk about. The people around me were interested in hearing what I had to say as well as I was interested in talking about it. You’re probably thinking “Does that mean I have to go all the way to North Korea to be interesting?” The obvious answer is no, because traveling doesn’t need to be exotic. Driving all the way to Julian still has the makings to be a great story even though it’s only 50 miles away. To contradict myself, constantly we are making experiences within our lives. Whether it’s just waking up or starting your car, it’s all experiences. Moreover, having interesting experiences can be achieved through traveling. Traveling is a gateway to learning and adventure, and many are starting to realize this. Thus, in my opinion, in order to live an interesting life, one needs to travel no matter the cost nor place.


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