I was at work on Saturday morning, chatting to one of the other teachers before our lessons started, and the topic of travel came up. He was saying that he hasn’t seen much of Poland because we only get one day off per week. The thing is, I get the same amount of time off as him, but I travel around. That’s when it struck me. You know, the fact that it’s an excuse, a story we tell ourselves which stops us from doing things. I had been doing the exact same thing until recently.
There are many things that can stop us from doing things we want, and lack of time is one of these. When I first started working in Poland, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything. I just worked. I was teaching and, when I wasn’t doing that, I was working on my blog. When it got to Christmas, I was ready for a break. I went back to the UK to see family and friends and to rest. The thing is, within a few days, I was itching to go places. So, I travelled around, going to places I either hadn’t been to in a while or had never been to. These were mainly day trips. When I returned to work, my boss commented on the fact that I hadn’t been anywhere since arriving in Poland, yet in a two-week period in the UK and I had been here, there, and everywhere. So, why was that? Lack of time was my answer.
At that time, my working week ended at midday on Saturday, and restarted on Monday at 7am. Over the Christmas and New Year period, I knew things had to change. I needed to get some balance back into my life, and start travelling more. That was my New Year resolution because all work and no travel makes me a very dull person. During a Skype call with my parents, I remember saying, ‘I have absolutely nothing to talk about’. It was that bad! I like telling stories, but I didn’t have any to tell.
It all changed when I went away for the two-week winter break. I was determined to see as much of Poland as I could in the time I had. It was tiring, but energising, and it gave me the desire to discover more of Poland. Once again, I had something to talk about, things to share on my social networking sites, and more content for my blog.
That’s when I realised how important travelling is to me. It still took me a while to start travelling on my one day off. It was easier once I didn’t have to start work at 7am on Monday mornings. That gave me a few extra hours.
I decided to travel to places that were no more than 2 hours from Krakow. As it is, I live just under an hour away from Krakow by bus, so I would have to factor in that extra time to my trips. I started off close to home to test out the possibilities, sussing out the buses and so on. Then, after being egged on by one of my work colleagues, one weekend, I ventured a little further and stayed away overnight. That was great because I realised the possibilities even with such limited time off.
I had initially thought about going on day trips or overnight stays once every couple of weeks. However, I’ve been away every weekend for over a month now, which included going to the Czech Republic when we had four days off for Easter.
Although I don’t have a lot of time off, that wasn’t what actually stopped me from travelling. I had been stopping myself. I believed that, because I had only one day off, I didn’t have the time to go anywhere. However, I have proved to myself that it isn’t completely true. As Henry Ford quite rightly said:
Getting away for the day or for a night has done me the world of good for lots of reasons. I now appreciate my time off more than I ever did before. My time off is precious, and it’s amazing what you can do in such a limited amount of time. I know now that travelling is a must for me. That’s another thing. If I don’t go anywhere, I don’t feel as if I’ve had any time off. So, for me, travelling is a must. As Tony Robbins says, we need to turn the shoulds into musts to make changes in our lives. When we do that, we find a way to make it happen. I have done exactly that.
I am often tired when I finish my working week on Saturday afternoon, and think about not going anywhere. However, once I’ve made a decision to go somewhere, that’s it. The tiredness disappears, and I’m off.
One thing I need to work on is being a little more organised. You know, take some time to think and plan where to go rather than doing it half-cocked as I have done so far. That would be a more effective use of my time off. All in good time, I suppose. In the meantime…
Have your say
What stops you from travelling? Do you also have a limited amount of time off work and believe it is stopping you from travelling?