Traveler's Test

The greatest challenge on the road: give up something

The greatest challenge on the road: give up something

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Challenges are everywhere around you, and especially within you. You might want to see the Northern Lights, learn how to surf, walk through the jungle with gorillas, speak Swahili or Mandarin, swim with sharks and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu… but you’re terrified that one life won’t be enough to do all that. Sound familiar?

In fact you’re right: one life won’t be enough. Take this as the biggest challenge of all that you’ll encounter on the road. It’s important to challenge others and accept their challenges, but it’s just as important to understand that if you don’t succeed in something, it’s not the end of the world. Maybe you set one too many goals. Maybe you started too many things and left them unfinished. Or maybe you are investing all your energy into thousands of ideas instead of focusing on a few of the most important ones.

Saying no comfortably and without guilt requires you to really think about what you stand for. Why are you saying no? When you say no to unwanted obligations in your life or to a long bucket list, ask yourself what you’re making room for? Once you can identify and embrace your priorities and focus on what you want more of, you’ll feel more justified saying no in order to pursue those goals. It could be time with your family, a new exciting project or a cause you believe strongly in.

Remember, all this takes time. Be patient and mindful.

And while we’re at it, we’ll share another secret to checking off more dream destinations (or life goals for that matter) from your list: give a few of them up. When you stop pushing yourself beyond your boundaries, you’ll no longer live under the constant pressure of failed attempts and you’ll have more energy to concentrate on the essentials. Take your time when you visit a new place. Wander around, meet the locals, acknowledge the little things. Try not to plan too far ahead and focus on yourself, because travel happens as much in your mind as outside of it.

Have you given up anything in order to travel more mindfully? Share your story and a couple of photos at and become an inspiration to others