This past weekend, one of my best friends from high school came into town to help me celebrate my birthday. It was an amazing visit, and I’m SO glad she came. The ticket wasn’t cheap and she had to use days off, but it was 100% worth it. Her stay got me thinking about travel and maintaining relationships when your friends are scattered across the country. It’s so easy to say, “Oh, we should plan a trip!” yet you all get busy/have no money/don’t have as much time off as you’d like and that trip never happens. Then you stop and think about it and you realize it’s been six months or maybe even a year since you saw people who really mean something to you and who make your life fun.
When Kristy and I first started planning this trip in January, it seemed ridiculous to nail down flights and dates right away. There was a lot to think about it and we knew we had months and months until she was going to visit. It seemed like we could just push it off a few weeks until we were less busy and had more time to plan. In reality, I’m so glad we started planning when we did. The time between January and May seriously flew, and I know that if we had kept procrastinating, she probably wouldn’t have ended up coming. It’s way too easy to put off booking until tomorrow, and then the trip falls by the wayside.
Here’s the thing: if you want to find an excuse not to travel, you will. We’re all poor. Days off are sacred. We have too many things to worry about and we don’t feel like sitting down and planning out the details of flights and connections and arrival times and whatnot. But when you get past those hassles and issues, you end up having a visit with a friend that leaves you feeling refreshed and reconnected. Particularly if it’s been too long since you’ve seen that person, make it happen. If you want to travel and go check out a new city, start booking. If you can’t find anyone who wants to go with you, go solo. Don’t just keep dreaming about how fun or necessary it would be to take that trip; start making the arrangements and do it.
Let’s be honest: at this stage in the game, you’ll probably never have enough money or free time or days off. Travel anyway and keep those connections with the people you care about strong. See new places and do things you wouldn’t normally do. Because one day you’ll look back and wish you had done it when you were young and flexible enough to be able to do so.