Luxury vs budget, beach vs jungle, solo vs group…travel comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles. When you choose how you travel, is your choice really your own? The influence your friends or social group have over your life can be strong. You could find yourself under pressure to travel a certain way or visit a certain destination.
Caring what others think could be influencing you to travel the way you think you should, instead of the way you want.
Pushing your authentic self away leads to hollow experiences, while embracing your travel style makes it fulfilling. Being confident in yourself isn’t easy, but once you completely embrace your travel style you’ll be learning to love yourself – and your travel.
First, figure out which travel style appeals to you. This might be tougher than it sounds, because it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re something you’re not.
Ask yourself: if you had no expectations, no responsibilities, and no judgement from anyone, what kind of traveling would you do? Do some serious thinking about what travel means to you, what you want to get out of it, and why you want to do it.
This gets you in touch with your inner voice, your “authentic self”. That’s the “you” inside you that knows what it wants and doesn’t care what other people think.
When you have a clear idea what you like about travel and why you do it, you’re one step closer to traveling the way that truly makes you happy, not the way you that should make you happy.
Knowing you like “luxury” travel or “budget” travel is a great start, and the next step is to figure out what exactly you like about a certain travel style. Get specific, and turn what you likes the most into goals for your next trip. This helps you make an unshakeable foundation for why your travel style.
It helps to use the SMART goal framework, which not only makes your goals clear, but can also be motivating by giving you something to aim for. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.
Each of your goals should have the qualities in the SMART framework. Having specific goals will help you make a clear vision for your travel style, one that you can easily picture in your mind.
When you like what you see in your vision, you less likely to be shaken by nay-sayers or pessimistic views.
Your travel style might not resonate with your friends or family, making you a target for negative feelings. You could be holding back from embracing your travel style because you’re afraid of their judgement.
Time to be brave. You’re traveling for you, not for anyone else, and that thought can lend you strength. Rather than trying to escape nay-sayers, let them speak their mind and thank them for their advice.
Your travel style is your decision, and it’s guaranteed that someone won’t agree with it. Instead of dodging negative feelings, face them head on.
You might even be surprised with the support you receive, when you were expecting negative reactions.
Find kindred spirits
So your friends all love adventure travel and you’d rather kick back at an all-inclusive. Time to get support from people you have something in common with: kindred spirits.
Finding people who shared your travel style can be as easy as joining a Facebook Group, following a Twitter feed, or subscribing to a blog. Ask questions at work or in your neighbourhood, and make some new friends. You may not have to look far to find supportive people who like to travel the same way you do.
Whether you make friends on the internet, or in your very own neighbourhood, embrace what you have in common. Inspire and support each other. Encourage people and you’ll receive encouragement back.
Keep your mind open
Feeling an unshakeable confidence in your travel style is good, but be careful not to cross the line into arrogance. You’ll know you’ve crossed it when you find yourself preaching your ideas to others.
Or worse: belittling their ideas.
Your travel style is right for you, but it might not be for everyone. It’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking “my way is the best way”, but that doesn’t make it true.
People who are truly at ease with who they are don’t need to convince others to be like them. There are differences between everyone’s travel styles, and none of them is better or worse than another.
Keep an open mind: it’s not your job to convince people your travel style excellent. You already know that.
Live without apologies
Be true to yourself and remember that you don’t have to justify your travel style to anyone. Whether you choose voluntourism or an indulgent resort for your next vacation, travel the best way for you.
Listen to your inner voice, think through what you love about travel, set goals, and find your kindred spirits. Don’t apologize for traveling the way you love.
Once you’ve learned to embrace your travel style your confidence will grow, and you’ll be happier knowing you’re being true to yourself.
Learn more about living authentically in 5 Easy Ways to Use Travel to Discover Your Authentic Self