Laden with a heavy suitcase and a carefully stashed stack of paper resumes, I got off the train at Hlavní Nádraží, the main rail station in Prague. I had no idea where I would live or what I would do, having just come off of an internship in Switzerland and a short but unsuccessful job hunt in Germany. I had fallen in love with Prague during a short visit two years prior, and knew right away that I wanted to try living there. Within a week of arriving this second time, I landed a job teaching German to Czechs and rented a room with a nice lady in her seventies named Ilona. “Křižíkova” was the name of the subway stop closest to the apartment, and that mouthful of consonants was my first crash course in Czech pronunciation.
I realized my dream of living in Prague thanks to a tiny tweak in my own thinking. Years before I actually boarded that train, I had already told my family and friends that I was going to live in Prague. But I never said that I would do it “someday” - instead, I just stated it as a future fact. Ever since, this small mindset shift has served me well in my life and travels.
Life is short, do stuff that matters
Maybe you are like me and are inspired to explore the world through travel. It takes more than inspiration, though, to lead a life well traveled. Here are three small mindset shifts that you can do now to plan for (instead of wait for) your travel dreams:
Eliminate the word “someday” from your travel-dreaming vocabulary. Change from saying, “I want to travel to Thailand someday” to “I’m going to travel to Thailand.” Someday can easily become never.
Add a date or timeframe, as in, “I’m planning to take a river cruise in France in the summer of 2024.”
Mark a date on your online or paper calendar for when to start the travel planning (6 months to a year prior to travel is usually ideal, depending on the destination and type of travel).
My year living in Prague was magical. I made friends, learned Czech, and felt at home along the Vltava River. Prague is my favorite city in the world to this day, and I ended up writing my dissertation on one of its famous sons, Franz Kafka.
We tend to make life more complicated than it is sometimes. I hope these small tips are meaningful to you, and inspire you to live what you dream. The world awaits us.
Happy Travels Always,
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Photos: Prague by Dmitri Goykolov on Unsplash, Thailand by Matthew Schwartz on Unsplash.