Updated: 8/5/2019 (Originally published 02/21/12. Updated for grammar and links)
I poke. I push. I prod. I try to get people out of their cubicles and traveling the world.
That’s what I do.
Literally — that’s my job!
I do my best to show people from all around the world that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. That there is more to life than grinding the hours away at a job you hate.
I do my best to make sure everyone can find a way to travel cheaper, better, and longer.
I strive to show that your fears are unfounded. I try to be a living example of that.
After many years of blogging, and judging by the emails I get from people, I think I’ve been relatively successful at getting people onto airplanes and into the world.
But last month, I faced a fork in the road about what to do when my current trip ends: do I move to New York City right away or do I move to Sweden for six months?
Once you go down a path, there’s no turning back, and I was very torn on what to direction choose.
But I decided to choose Sweden.
I don’t want to be on my deathbed saying, “I wish I did…” and I think that if I didn’t move to Sweden, I’d always regret it.
What would life have been like if just for a moment I finally got to live in Europe?
What possibilities and opportunities did I pass up?
Those are questions I wanted to make sure that I could answer.
To make sure I have those answers — and no regrets — I’ll be getting on a plane to Stockholm.
I’ll stay there until January when my book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day is released. I’d leave sooner, but I have some conferences and plans in the United States that I need to attend in the meantime.
I’ve laid awake several nights thinking this over since I decided on my direction. In that time, I realized that if I didn’t move to Sweden, not only would I regret it, but I’d also be a hypocrite.
After all, instead of facing my fears and reservations, I’d be taking the easy road. Too me, New York City is easy.
I’ve lived there.
I have friends there.
I don’t need to worry about visas, languages, or anything else.
New York is the comfortable choice.
Instead of breaking out of my comfort zone, I’d be staying firmly in it.
And if I did that, how could I ever again tell people to break out of their own comfort zones?
All you have to judge me by are the blogs I write and the information I share. Based on what I present, you decide if I’m trustworthy enough to listen to.
I can’t tell people to conquer their fears, live their dreams, and travel the world if I won’t even do that for myself. With so many sketchy websites these days, trust is in short supply. All you have online is your credibility.
Late one night, I thought about all the emails I get from the people who have told me I’ve inspired them to take a trip. I thought about all the messages from the people whose fears I’ve helped vanquish. I thought of all the people who told me a blog post was exactly what they needed.
And then I thought about how deep down I knew I wanted to move to Sweden.
There was nothing I wanted more.
I want to learn the language, eat the food, meet the people, and explore the countryside.
New York can wait six months. I’ll miss it, but it will always be there.
Yet if there was no doubt in my mind, how come there was doubt in my mind?
Because I was too scared to make the leap and commit. That’s why.
It was easier to stay in my comfort zone. It always is.
But I realized that I’ve helped so many people take a deep breath, close their eyes, and just go for it that not doing it when it came for my own turn would make me a hypocrite.
And that realization removed my doubt and made me commit.
And so in July, I’ll move to Sweden. It may be great. It may be awful. I may come home early or I may stay forever.
But at the very least I’ll have practiced what I preached. I can wake up every day knowing that I did what I tell others to do: I seized the day, conquered my fears, and leaped into the unknown.
Because if I didn’t do that, I’d be a hypocrite.
And I’d never be able to look at myself the same way again.
Book Your Trip to Sweden: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to find a cheap flight. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Start with Skyscanner first though because they have the biggest reach!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay are:
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Sweden?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Sweden for even more planning tips!