What I Learned From Traveling For 2 Months, and Why You Should Immediately Book a Trip


I wrote this post shortly after returning from Australia, and neglected to post until now. If you travel, or if you’ve always wanted to travel, I think you’ll enjoy:

Several months ago I bought a one way ticket to Australia. I didn’t know when I’d return. I packed up my bags, left my place in Austin empty, and headed to the airport. I didn’t have a specific reason to go to Australia. I’d never been, and thought it would be fun to check out another country for a while. Getting a return flight didn’t seem to make much sense to me. If I was having fun, I’d stay. When I felt like getting back to Austin, I’d just book a flight.

It was funny to hear the comments from people when they realized I didn’t have any set return date.

“What about your place?”, “Won’t it be more expensive to book last minute?”, “What if you don’t like it?”, “What if someone breaks in to your apartment while you’re gone?”, “Don’t go in the water, there’s lots of shark attacks!”, “There’s poisonous spiders and snakes everywhere, don’t go outside!”.

It was like every reason why it was bad to live without a plan was presented to me, even bringing potential death into the situation since there wasn’t actually a logical reason not to do it.

Most people stay so busy trying to make money that they forget the whole point of life is to enable you to do things you want to do. If you don’t have the freedom to do that, money loses a lot of it’s value. I wouldn’t be able to do things like that without money, but more importantly without freedom. I see so many people in good situations financially who are doing nothing more than racing towards death, since they don’t have the freedom to put it to use.

That’s why being “ForeverJobless” is so important. It gives you the ability to actually live, spending time doing things you want to do, with people you want to do them with. I see so many people who go to work in a job they don’t enjoy that will never provide them the life they want. It either doesn’t give you enough freedom, doesn’t give you enough money, or both. If you’re too busy working to live, you’re doing it wrong.

A lot of people consider traveling as a ‘vacation’, something they get to do two weeks out of every year. Most people trade their lives away for weekends and vacation.  That doesn’t make any sense.

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life” – Steve Jobs

If you’re not spending your time doing what it is you want to do, don’t wait for someone to give you permission to change your life. The person in the mirror is the only one capable of giving you the command, and chances are you’re too “busy” to realize it.

Getting out of your normal routine also presents you with new opportunities. While I was in Australia I learned to surf, met some cool people, lived on a cliff next to a famous actor, swam above a shark while snorkeling, made some really unique investments, and oh… negotiated a book deal.

It made for a much more interesting life than if I had just stayed in my normal day to day routine, and exposed me to things I wouldn’t have been exposed to had I not done it.

“Ya, but it sounds so risky to just pick up and travel!”

“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary” – Jim Rohn

If you are living a life you don’t enjoy you need to realize it’s the only one you’ve got and time is ticking on it as we speak. 

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs

How to be productive while traveling:

“I’d love to travel but I need to work”

You can still get your work done while traveling. Here’s what I recommend for productivity:

Stay focused on your priority goal and knock out your main task around that first thing in the morning. If you keep your priority goal your priority, traveling won’t affect you accomplishing any goal you want.

I realize when I travel I actually do a better job ignoring irrelevant tasks, because I want to explore and enjoy the new surroundings.

I can remember surfing during the middle of the day, or sitting on our cliff reading and realizing I was able to because I was only working on what was actually important, and not busy work like most people consume their time with.

cliffreading

This is one of the most important skills to improve at, but very few people even realize that a lot of their “work time” is wasted time because it was work that they shouldn’t have been doing in the first place. Your time should be spent on the most profitable activities or on increasing your knowledge, which will increase profits even further. This gives you freedom, which allows you the ability to spend your life doing things you enjoy.

This is something I continually try to improve at, and is one of the most important things you can do. I realize I significantly improve at this while I’m traveling. It’s forced focus, since if you are visiting another country you’re not going to spend all your time indoors doing ‘busywork’. It becomes much easier to disregard those tasks, and you realize eliminating a lot of those tasks doesn’t negatively impact your life. All it does is give you more time to do what you want to do.

Also, stay somewhere long enough to get into a routine. When I was in Bondi Beach I stayed for a month, so it was easy to get into a routine. Work in the morning/early afternoon, hit the gym and the beach, and walk to a handful of restaurants that had healthy food nearby. I even had a meal delivery service deliver some of my meals to try and stay on track with my fitness goals. It was very easy with this setup to get the work done that I needed to do. Still had plenty of time to explore outside of that routine.

When I traveled to other places such as Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, Manly Beach and Byron Bay, it was a lot tougher to get into a routine since I was usually there about a week, so that by the time I learned my way around, discovered healthy restaurants, a good gym, etc… I started the process all over in a new place. So, I was substantially less productive when I was moving around all the time.

I normally get all my meals delivered which is one of the biggest productivity hacks I recommend. I realized when I was traveling in cities that I didn’t get meal delivery service in, I would often unintentionally spend 3-5 hours/day just on food. Walking around a city to find food + sitting and eating in restaurants consumes a lot of time. It’s obviously enjoyable to explore and check out new food spots; it’s one of the cool things about traveling, but if you’re also needing to be productive it’s probably the simplest ‘hack’ you can have for productivity while traveling. 

A few very clear benefits of traveling:

As with most things in life, people tend to worry about the potential downsides of trying something new, but fail to factor in all the upsides.

Less Stress

Many people feel stressed in their day to day life, so getting out of that environment helps bring you to a new state of mind. Because of the ‘new experience’ and new surroundings, you tend to be in a happier, less stressful mindset.

New Friends

You also tend to meet a lot of new people since you aren’t in your normal environment. This is something else that boosts happiness. Potentially long term happiness as well, since most people don’t tend to do a good job of meeting new people when they’re at home in their normal routine since they already have friends and family they spend time with; so in being more open to meeting people you’ll often find friends you get along with even better than the usual people you hang out with. Reason being, you’re only exposed to people in a very, very tiny section of the world. A lot of people only spend time with people in a little 10-25 mile radius. This is kind of comical when you think about it. It’s mathematically improbable that you are with your ideal group of friends or that you will meet your “soulmate” within your little bubble. Yet if you remain in that little bubble you’ll continue to incorrectly assume it must be true.

New Business Ideas

For any entrepreneurs, I guarantee you will come up with new business ideas from traveling. Why? Because you’ll be exposed to new things. New ‘things’ or experiences will translate to new ways of thinking for you, and you’ll discover new opportunities because of this. There were dozens of new ideas while I was there I never would have thought of if I hadn’t been exposed to something new. Traveling is a great idea generator. If you do enough of it and learn the correct mindset for profitable ideas, you’ll come up with more ideas than you know what to do with.

This post isn’t about starting profitable businesses or making money though. It’s about living the life you want. Most people say one of their dreams is to travel, yet they don’t take simple steps to just go do it. Becoming “ForeverJobless” is easier than you realize, and not taking action to create the life you want is costing you…well… your life.

Most people fund their work with payment of their life. That’s not a good exchange. Fast forwarding through life waiting for two weeks of vacation. If you do it right, you can fund your life with your work.

Living your life around your work is the wrong way to do it. 

Work doesn’t have to be your life. It should fund the life you want.

Set your life up in a way that you can work on what you want, when you want, from wherever you want.

great barrier reef

It’s great to focus on making money, but make sure freedom comes with it.

Travel. You’ll remember the experiences.

Book a one way ticket. Don’t list out all the reasons why you can’t, list out all the reasons why you should.

Like in life, most people have already booked their return ticket without even knowing if that’s what they’d enjoy most. They plan the itinerary of their life as if their goal was a race to death. They just want to get there.

Don’t spend your life waiting to do all the things you want to do. You can’t buy your time back later. 

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”

Leave a comment below and tell me where you plan to travel next. If you’ve been putting it off, what are you going to do to make it happen?





27 Responses to “What I Learned From Traveling For 2 Months, and Why You Should Immediately Book a Trip”


  1. Rich

    Perfect timing, I booked a one way ticket to Bali this morning.

    I went on vacation for a month in Australia over Xmas, before quitting my job. I brought my surfboard and a few things that would fit into my tiny backpack. That’s it. I went completely alone with only a hotel booked for the first night and knew no one in Australia. I ended up having the time of my life, surfed everyday and spent Xmas day partying in a penthouse suite with a bunch of great friends I made. Everything in your post echoes what I experienced.

    Take the leap of faith and you will work it out.

    Your podcasts have helped change my life. Keep up the good work Billy!

    Reply
    • Billy

      Might be in Bali soon myself Rich!

      Thanks for letting me know about the podcasts, really glad to hear that. Means a lot!

      Reply
  2. Josh

    Comfort Zones are meant to be broken. Love the article man.

    To quote Osho: “Life begins where fear ends.”

    Hitchhiked from LA to Portland over my Christmas Break… Solo-Road tripped from Montana to LA now with the goal of saying thanks to those who helped me while hitchhiking….

    Now I have 1 month to work on my project and push some comfort zones. Still planning on working with you in the future man. I have a concept that will likely be able to benefit you greatly. Lookin forward to it.

    Enjoy the day.

    -Josh

    Reply
  3. Andrew Miles

    Love this post, Billy. Totally agree with your reasoning – and I’ve experienced all the negative chat from others that you mentioned too. Reason being that myself and my fiancé have booked one-way tickets to Thailand for October.

    It’s a big adventure for us, but the way we see it is that we can’t afford NOT to do this, given that this life is short, and precious, and all we get.

    We had both being putting off travelling for ages – both as individuals before we met, and for a little while after we got together. I’d originally planned on getting away one year after university – that was 3 years ago now.

    What finally got us off our backsides was actually buying the damn tickets! We bought the tickets, had set dates, and were committed. This made a HUGE difference to my mindset in particular, and I found it a lot easier to work hard in my day job and on my blog once I knew my time in the UK had a deadline.

    Reply
    • Billy

      “we can’t afford NOT to do this”

      Yessir. Your whole post is spot on- as with anything, “life” gets in the way. Committing fully is 99% of the battle, then everything tends to work out. Have a blast in Thailand.

      Reply
  4. Chaka

    Thank you for this post! I am currently working a 9-5 and trying to work on a website to get into what I really love. This is motivation because I always wanted to have the option to work from anywhere in the world! I just started listening to your podcasts about 2 weeks ago and it’s very motivating. Along with your podcast I am reading the Power of Habit.

    I have always wanted to own several businesses and realized I spent so much time trying to create a Plan B to find Plan A and when I looked back I spent so much money on Plan B that I could have invested it in plan A.

    One good thing I did was purchase a 3 family home. But hoping to pay off my credit cards and invest in other properties while building my website to eventually have the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world!

    Thank you for this post!

    Reply
    • Billy

      Glad you are enjoying the podcasts!

      Yes, as long as you have a good plan A, don’t spend too much time worrying about plan B. Spend the time up front to make sure plan A is good, and then commit.

      Reply
  5. Mohit

    I am all for one way tickets and last minutes bookings!
    Just booked another one way ticket to yet another country.

    Reply
  6. Chris

    Great post, Billy. Flying out to SF from LA in two weeks without a return ticket, and I’m encountering a lot of pessimism from friends and family. Don’t really understand why some people are so negative about doing anything outside of routine? Anyways, hope you’re doing good, Billy, and hope to see some more posts/podcasts soon; you’ve really impacted my life since I started listening/reading.

    Reply
  7. Albert

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! It is easy to forget this when you are all day working in front of your computer.

    Reply
  8. Atridge

    im planning to travel to Cape Town. i been saving some money for the trip. im also searching for online jobs or freelancing so i can spend my whole life travelling the world

    Reply
  9. Rickey

    Wonderful article! I actually just became a travel agent so this was like an affirmation of my decision. First big trip, Cali or New York. Thanks.

    Reply
  10. Louise

    Just finalized 6 trips for the rest of 2015! Hope you’ll come join us in Chiang Mai at the end of this year.

    Reply
  11. Dave

    Spot on Billy.

    In January this year I bought a one-way ticket from Perth to Vancouver (via Melbourne, because I love Melbourne).

    I didn’t know anyone here and it was the first time I’d done something like this, and you’re right on so many of these points.

    I was surprised by how much time I spent on getting food, whether going out or shopping for groceries and cooking—using a meal delivery service is a great idea. I came up with a concept for an app and started learning Javascript and Meteor so I can build it. I’ve made new friends. I took a spontaneous trip to New York, my first visit to the US.

    Suddenly more things feel achievable. I’m not in a bubble anymore. Now that I’ve taken this big step, what else can I do?

    Maybe I’ll move to Spain for a while…

    Reply
  12. Ilya

    It’s all good but the ultimate freedom that you’re looking for is not possible unfortunately. We can’t just do whatever we want. We are constrained by the morals, traditions of our group. We owe our life to our family, we owe to society we owe to our country. I guess the internet does provide an alternative way of living but even that might go away as it becomes more regulated. And somebody has to do the more traditional job which is important for society. Although i do agree that they suck a lot of the time. I guess it just depends which way you look at it.

    Reply
  13. Russ

    Hey Billy,

    2014 was the first year we did this. Did a Transatlantic cruise and then lived in Barcelona, Spain from May-July. It was awesome.

    Last fall, we took off in November on an epic road trip, flew to NOLA, spent a week there, then went on a week-long Caribbean cruise, and then, spent a month in a rental car doing TX, Route 66, and driving up Hwy 1/CA coast. Also amazing.

    A couple of months ago, we headed out to Bordeaux, France to live at a winery for a month. After that, we spend a few days in Disney Paris (why not?), then rented an apt in the center of Paris. We’ve been here since June, and will head home end of July/beginning of August.

    Completely agree w/you, Billy. Doing these trips has been the best thing we’ve ever done, as a family.

    Now we’re even starting to talk about how to travel full time!

    Life is good. 🙂

    -Russ

    Reply
    • Billy

      Awesome Russ! Glad to hear from you, and glad you’re living it up.

      Eat some french macaroons while you’re out there!

      Reply
  14. Chris Gillespie

    I will be going to the Olympia in September and then after that to California for the first time. I live in Utah so it will be nice to see something different. But unlike you I haven’t got my business up and running yet so I’m still working for someone else I know exactly what you are saying and I can honestly say I’m working on it. I’m getting my following up on Instagram and trying to get sponsors. Get paid from that and I’m building a clothing brand. Why because that the only thing I know enough about to start on. And one day I will be forever jobless.

    Reply
  15. Sam

    Fantastic post!

    Three years ago, I booked a ticket to visit my sister in Australia (I live in the UK), I originally planned to visit for a month.

    13 months and five countries later I returned after one of the best years of my life!

    Thinking I may go travel again in a years’ time to South America for 4 months.

    Sam

    Reply

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