What Keeps You Motivated?

Not traveling anywhere this holiday made me realize that I actually haven’t travelled anywhere in over a year (says the girl with the travel blog).

Well…I did go to Europe during the summer, and Montreal several times throughout the year, but the last time I went anywhere that I can sincerely say “I’ve lived there and fully experienced the culture” was Australia, two years ago when I backpacked the country for four months.

I tell my friends this and they all reply with the same answer, which is, “don’t worry, you’re saving up for Europe.” (#firstworldproblems). While this usually makes me instantly happy as images of the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben engulf my thoughts, it doesn’t really make the “in-between time” go by any faster. Travel memoirs usually always begin with the writer talking about how they spent a year slaving away to work to save enough money to travel, and while in writing, this only takes about ten words to express, in reality, a year is a hell of a long time…

So the question for this week is, what is your “in-between time” therapy? What motivates you to not let your mundane job get to you as you slave away to save up for your travels?

Here are some of mine (if you’re curious):

– Watching travel related movies and reading travel memoirs. Then envisioning a spin-off of the story featuring me and a certain boy doing exciting European things like eating croissants and reading the untranslated works of Proust (of course he is European and fluent in French, so he probably already does this daily).

– Keeping in contact with my friends from abroad. This is also particularly useful when I need places to crash – just kidding!

– Buying travel guide books and reading them in public places. That way, everyone will envy you on the subway as you sit there engrossed in “Lonely Planet: Morocco”, while they are forced to read about Stephen Harper’s new flannel shirt purchase in the daily paper.

– Shopping. Reasons include: “when I move to Europe everything will be more expensive since it’s in Euros so buying this is actually an investment,” or “everyone is taller in Europe so I should…buy more heels.”

image source: atjeh-news.com



  1. January 12, 2012 / 2:30 am

    The in-between time is killer – but what I'm really finding difficult now is that since I live in SA I just can't seem to save up the money to go abroad anymore, and trust me, SA doesn't feel like a trip anymore, it feels like boring old home 99% of the time.

    So now I just read travel books and blogs and dream of the day when I will be rich and be able to travel all the time 🙂

    Good news though – a trip to Rwanda may be in my future in the next couple of months – crossing my fingers!


  2. January 13, 2012 / 9:13 am

    Hi Michelle,

    I stumbled across your blog recently, and it seems we have a lot in common. I also backpacked Australia, my next travel move will be Germany, and after that, my fingers are crossed for South Korea. In response to your post, What keeps me motivated? Well, I've worked the mundane jobs before, and now, I've vowed to live a life of travel, at least for the next couple of years. That way, there's never really an "in-between time." If you haven't already seen it, check out this blog http://www.ytravelblog.com about a family who works/travels their way around the world! Inspiring, to say the least.


  3. January 15, 2012 / 5:17 am


    Good blog! I sent you an e-mail BTW. Good to see the Lonely Planet book on New Zealand on the bookshelf in that picture.

    In answer to your question, there is no real escape from the pain of the mundane. For the traveller/adventurer at heart (such as myself), when I'm stuck in one place (like now), I'm just bored out of my freakn' mind. And the prospect of wage slavery isn't exactly appealing you know.

    Perhaps the only way to dull the pain is to plot ways to escape the conventional life for good. One possible answer is to develop a steady income through freelance work of some kind (work that could be done from anywhere, over the internet say), so you can set your own hours and travel and work at the same time. I managd it for a while. Not much job security though.

    Any way, keep up the entertaining posts! I have just finished reading many of your old posts with interest.

  4. January 23, 2012 / 1:44 pm

    Yes, travel guide books! I love them! And researching the place/places I'm going to/want to go to online! I have a serious addiction with google maps, haha 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.