Why “Travel More” is a Bad Goal (and How to Make a Smart One Instead)

Hey fellow wanderluster. Are you caught in the cycle of dreaming about long-term travel but feeling stuck when it comes to how you could ever make it happen? You’re definitely not alone. I remember that itch to see the world but feeling like it was completely out of reach. All you want is to travel more. I’ve got what might be an unpopular opinion here: “travel more” is a bad goal! (Like, a seriously crappy one.) Let’s unpack why and explore how to turn your crazy dream of quitting your job to travel into something realistic, actionable, and achievable!

A solo female traveler sits in a cafe in Istanbul

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Why Travel More is a Bad Goal and a Common Pitfall

It’s the most common travel goal out there, so what’s wrong with wanting to travel more? It’s true to your desire, it’s optimistic, it carries the promise of adventure in a seductively simple way. But I’ve learned that simplicity can be a double-edged sword.

Without clear direction, you’ll aim at nothing and, inevitably, hit nothing. That desire to travel more is a ship without a rudder, floating aimlessly on a sea of possibilities without ever making landfall. Less poetically: it’s a dream, not a goal!

a Black solo female traveler overlooks a Mediterranean coastal landscape on a life-changing adventure

How to Make a SMART Travel Goal Instead

To transform this nebulous desire into a tangible plan, we turn to SMART goals. This tried-and-true framework from the business world can breathe new life into your aspirations.

The exact letters in the SMART acronym sometimes vary from source to source. These are the ones I use: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timed. Here’s how that breaks down for travel goals:

  • Specific: Define where you want to go, what you want to experience, and why. This clarity fuels your motivation and guides your planning.
  • Measurable: Setting benchmarks or milestones will help you understand how successful you are. How many countries or continents do you want to visit? How much money will you need? Metrics like this aren’t the only important element of travel but they will help you track your progress.
  • Actionable: Break down your goal into small steps you can achieve. From saving a certain amount each month to applying for visas, actionable steps pave the way to that one-way ticket you want to book so badly.
  • Realistic: Dream big, but stay grounded. Consider your financial resources, time constraints, and personal commitments. A full gap year might be amazing, but plan within what’s possible for you — maybe your life-changing experience is 3 months in Southeast Asia rather than an all-continent affair!
  • Timed: This is the biggest piece of advice that helped me successfully quit my job to travel: Set a departure date! Without a deadline, it’s too easy to keep putting your dream off. A set timeline creates urgency and commitment.

When you examine “travel more” against this framework, it’s so easy to see where it falls short! It’s not specific at all. You have no way of knowing whether you’ve achieved the goal. You haven’t considered what steps are required to make it happen. It’s just too broad!

a solo female traveler reads a map

My Personal Favorite Travel Goal to Set

So we know “travel more” is a bad goal. And it’s cousin “quit your job to travel” is still in dream mode in my book. Instead, consider planning a round-the-world trip! Round-the-world trips capture that essence of adventure perfectly. They’re more than a vacation, but they’re not forever — it will have a specific start and end date. And you’re not just traveling more; you’re embarking on a global journey that explores multiple continents, cultures, and the very core of your being. This goal passes the SMART test with flying colors, offering a clear, measurable, and timed framework for your travels.

a solo female traveler sits overlooking a beautiful mountain view during a hike

How to Make Your Long-Term Travel Goal a Reality

Step One: Save

Begin with understanding your financial needs. How much will your round-the-world trip cost? How much can you realistically save? Will you sell belongings or work while traveling to supplement your savings? Start your journey with a clear target in mind.

Step Two: Plan

Map out your destinations. The beauty of a round-the-world trip lies in its variety and depth, offering a structured yet flexible path to globe-trotting.

Step Three: Go!

Once you have the plan in place, you can focus on preparing for your departure. You’ll consider how this journey affects your job, living situation, and relationships. And you’ll take care of all the nitty gritty little details like insurance, taxes, phone plans, and more that make taking your life on the road possible.

It can really be this simple! The steps entail a lot of hard work, but following a streamlined process like this, which I detail further inside my program Round-the-World Roadmap, can help you focus on one thing at a time, taking the right steps in the right order.

Ready to turn your travel dreams into actionable plans? Let’s embark on this journey together, one SMART step at a time. Click here to book a free Explore Call with me. We’ll chat about your travel dreams, figure out which type of long-term travel is best suited for you, and determine whether Round-the-World Roadmap is a good fit for you!

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