Post written by Laura
Jump while you can!
For me, 2020 has been an acute reminder to make the most of opportunities while you have them and not to let them slip away until it’s too late and they are gone. I was hugely inspired when I came across the phrase ‘Jump While You Can’ when, over a year ago, as I read a post of the same name by Becoming Minimalist.
Pre-2020 I had often pondered and came to the conclusion the 3 main enablers for travel (in varying degrees) are: time / money / health
- Time: unless you are retired or are fortunate to have a big inheritance or you are a former rock star or author with royalties to live off, or for some other reason you don’t have to work, not everyone has the luxury of time. For most of us, this means having to prioritise and be creative in the use of it. For example, by making the most of the time you have whether this is weekends, annual leave, career breaks etc.
- Money: there is often a misconception that vast amounts of money is needed in order to travel. This isn’t the case and is really a matter of priorities. While more money means more options, even if you have a small budget, you can still have adventures. We’ve had fantastic times camping with friends or staying in cheap hostels and home-stays.
- Health: similarly, better health = more travel options. Staying fit and healthy opens opportunities for trekking mountains or snorkelling in tropical seas and being rewarded with fantastic views you would never otherwise see. Sadly as you get older and begin to lose your fitness levels, the doors to certain types of trips can begin to close.
All of the trips we’ve ever undertaken have involved a variable balance in each of these components and in general this is reflected in the types of trips we have been able to make. For example, as full time workers we have limited time, more money (than likely post retirement) and in theory and for the present time, better health. For 2017, 2018 and 2019 this translated into expensive, active, short term trips. We are both in our 50s and had been making the most of our fully functioning knees, ability to climb mountains and stamina for fast-paced multi-destination adventures.
During 2016 we had the luxury of time (well… one valuable year) to travel and while we travelled as widely as we could possibly manage and made the most of the time/money/health we had available to us, we balanced this with incredible experiences in a whole range of budget accommodations.
There is however a 4th necessary enabler… Freedom. We did have a lovely taste of reduced constraints in 2016 as we felt a blissful sense of freedom from work, household and caring responsibilities. We were set free! Our children had grown up and our parents were fit and able to look after themselves so we grabbed this opportunity to travel 🙂
But this obviously changed MASSIVELY in 2020… Never before have we seen such travel restrictions on a local, national or international scale. Never have we been unable to travel locally to spend time with our families let alone travel across the world to more or less any country we wished to visit.
Also very topical at the moment with just a few more days to go, Brexit also reduces our freedom to roam around Europe… roam in the sense that us Brits will no longer be able to spend more than 90 days in an EU country. This complicates any distant dreams of a future retirement of aimless European drifting in a camper van or migrating south to warmer climes for 5 or 6 months during the winter… There are probably many EU issues that will impact the UK traveller and coming out of the EU and the subsequent clamp down of boarders seemed nothing short of a backwards step in my humble opinion.
Covid restrictions have robbed us all, not only of a year of missed adventures and missed experiences but of the excitement and anticipation of a trip on the horizon. At the moment, we can no longer relax and look forward to anything without concerns about future lockdowns, travel corridors, Covid tests and so forth.
Spending time with family and friends is another ‘jump while you can’ again such activities being severely restricted during 2020. For most of us it will be a very different Christmas next week with low key celebrations… a “merry little Christmas” in the words of Boris Johnson!
Thankfully we have been fortunate in that over the years we have taken many opportunities to travel with family and friends and have countless precious memories of such happy times.
As soon as we re-gain our freedom… ‘carp diem‘! Seize the day… continue to go and explore as life is short and the world is big!