When you discover your love of travel you soon realize that you don’t much care where you go. But when you have an opportunity to go, you go! People who don’t have the same love of travel don’t understand that. They often hit you with the questions like, “Where are you going now?” “When do you stay home?” I don’t want to stay home. I want to go, go and go some more. Even when that somewhere is Enid, Oklahoma… by way of Newkirk.
My cousin Melina has a slight obsession with the singer Babyface. To say that she is a fan would be an understatement. She travels to see him as often as she can. She recently returned from a trip to Mexico to see him perform. I’m convinced he has her on some kind of watch list with his security staff. So, a few years ago when she told me that she had tickets to see him at the Seven Clans Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma — which is a short 3-hour drive from her home in KCMO — I knew I was down for the road trip. Then we figured out that Newkirk was only 80 miles from Enid, our mothers’ hometown, we were really excited about the adventure.
Again, people kept asking us why we wanted to go to Enid. Why not? I’d being doing family history research for years but hadn’t found out too much about this side of my family. Our family moved from Enid when her mother was 11 and my mother was 9 months old and as far as we know had never really been back. Neither one of us had ever been. So why not go? Why not take this opportunity not only to learn a little bit about our family but also to see Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma while we’re at it? This is exactly why we left our traditional jobs and started our businesses. We LOVE being entrepreneurs. We love having the opportunity to take off on a random 36-hour road trip through 3 states to spend 2 hours in a cemetery looking for our great-grandmother’s grave just because we wanted to. And why shouldn’t we? We drove through Bois d’ Arc and Rock and Arkansas City (Ar-Kansas) and Ponca City and Blackwell, just to name a few cities. I bought a Powerball ticket at a gas station and the attendant told me I’d be entered into a drawing to win a free tornado shelter. Sure! Why not! Life is about having experiences, meeting people, and doing things you’ve never done before. However random they may be.
“How can you afford all this travel?” That’s another question friends like to ask. My mother always told me that people find the money to do what they want to do. I want to travel. If I have a passport, a credit card and income to pay the bill I will travel. One misconception that people have about entrepreneurs is that we are broke or always struggling for money. I can’t speak for everyone, but for most of us, we work! And we thought long hard and planned extensively before quitting our jobs and starting our businesses. And for some, the road to start-up was rocky. But for people who had a proper plan in place — meaning they cut back on expenses, had enough in savings to live on, had a good business plan, etc. — we actually saved some money by quitting our jobs and things worked out well enough. When you know that you have a love of travel, a desire to travel, a need to travel, you work that into your budget just like you do a car note or healthcare payment. That wanderlust is a part of who you are. It is unfortunate that people in your life can’t always understand that.
I read this great article How Traveling Made Me Unpopular by Alyssa Ramos. She talks about how since she’s started travelling, she’s noticed a steep decline in her social circle. People stopped inviting her to parties because they just assumed she wouldn’t be in town. She realized that friends were jealous of her travels by the passively negative comments they would make to her. But it also made her appreciate the friends that she does have and cherish those true friendships.
Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug it’s hard not to give into that desire. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thinking about my next trip. This is what want I do. Some people shop, play bridge, golf. I travel… and I shop on my trips. I love and appreciate my friends and family that I can travel with (because you can’t travel with everyone).