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The power of a one way ticket

The other day I met up with a friend of mine from Holland that I first met on my travels around Australia in 2010. It was great to see him again and get to meet his partner, but the coolest bit was their story. How they sold their stuff, quit their jobs and bought a one way ticket out into the world. Yes, grown ups can do that too!

In fact, that’s exactly what I did back in 2010 and it eventually took me to Australia. I remember that excitement and slight fear of doing something unusual. More than anything it was very liberating to follow that instinct to live and explore. Even though I was 28 years old at the time and by many standards considered ‘too old’ to be a backpacker. 

So why don’t more people do it? I’ve talked about it before – a core need for a majority of today’s population is certainty. We want to know. We have expectations, standards and often feel like there is a certain path to follow. Sometimes that’s helpful, but often it also ends up holding us back. 

How then do you leverage the power of a one way ticket?

  1. Know the difference between certainty and control: One way tickets open up a door of great and not so great experiences. You can’t have control of exactly what’s going to happen, but you can choose to be certain that you can handle anything that comes your way. 
  2. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and only look forward. I often find that the ‘fresh start’ can be a bit of an illusion, but sometimes the one way ticket can be a great launch pad for something different. 
  3. The pull has to be stronger than the push. Be mindful that you’re not running away/avoiding, but rather choosing differently. Allow yourself to move towards your future rather than away from your past. 
  4. Your own values vs. the values of those influential to you. This is a big one. People will have opinions and advise on what you should/could be doing. Stay true to your values, not the values of those around you. If you live by other people’s values you will get resentful one day. 
  5. It’s probably going to be scary. That’s OK. Most things worth doing are a bit scary and unfamiliar. 

If this has resonated with you I’ll leave you with the 3 best tips that someone wise gave me before I set out on my big around the world adventure back in 2010:

  • Get help to get moving – you don’t have to do it all yourself.
  • Rely on a system – there are many products and services out there to help you. 
  • Stop waiting for later. Simple. 

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