Boarding PassYou say how much you long to travel, to see the world, to explore the planet. There are as many reasons why as there are travelers. Reasons don’t matter. What are you doing about your big trip?

1. The sum of the parts

I had a friend who was completing a documentary film. It was a full length study of the life of Indian master musician, Ali Akbar Khan. The editing was breath taking, the music thrilling and the whole endeavor took about six years to complete on a shoestring. How did he manage to put together such a complicated project, I asked? You break it down into parts, then keep organizing and segmenting until you have a manageable task. You work at it on a regular schedule. He managed, kept at it and the film eventually won awards.

Have you looked at where you want to go, what time of year and how long you want to be away?

Those are just a few questions to get you thinking. Now, add your own.

2. The return on your investment

I was working my dream job at a community radio station in Juneau, Alaska. It was fun, challenging and very rewarding creatively and socially. My boyfriend came home and announced that he was going to ask for a six month sabbatical (he was working in the state economics office) and suggested that I do the same. There were protests. I couldn’t, I had responsibilities, a job, although not that many bills to pay, I still had to manage my limited finances. BUT – the thought of actually getting off the continent, seeing some of the great cities of the world, getting close to wildlife and into major museums was tantalizing. Within weeks, I’d mustered the courage to discuss the idea with my manager. To my surprise he didn’t think long before agreeing, as long as I found someone to cover my position. I found two.

Soon the date was set. Those few months changed the trajectory of my life  –  for the better.

What happened to the dream job when I returned?

I’d dodged a bullet. The radio station was in nasty, edge of bankruptcy financial and emotional upheaval when I came home. Within a few weeks I was called into my boss’ office and expected to be let go. Instead he offered me the Program Directors position! There was so much bad blood after the bitter in-house battles that the current PD was leaving and they wanted me to step into the post. I hadn’t been in the fray and was fresh. It was a huge promotion and led to further adventures that I would never have experienced had I not taken my big trip. The surprising thing is that since then I keep meeting people who’ve either been offered great jobs once they returned or quit just before their current positions imploded.

So, set the date for your big trip.

Put it far enough out there that you can rest with it and dream. Let your sub-conscious work on the details. Listen deeply. Soon you’ll be organizing your life to create that reality. Keep building on the vision. Like my film making friend, chunk it out. Break the trip into segments, and those into further segments. For example, I long to go to Turkey but don’t know how or when. I’ve started collecting resources, blog posts, talking with friends, hearing about inexpensive lodging and the best time to go. I’m studying how to do overland traveling and amassing frequent flier miles. It’s going to happen, I’ve no doubt.

Your big trip will too.

When are you going?