5. The Dream of the Amazing, Life-Changing Trip You Don't Have Time For
Studying the northern lights of Norway or floating down the Mekong River to view the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia: Let's face it, these are trips that require three totally scot-free weeks, not to mention the four full days in flights, buses and trains. These are also trips that, perhaps, sitting in your kitchen or cubicle, you've built up in your mind as the one badass, awe-inspiring journey that will finally make you into the badass, awe-inspiring person you dreamed of being at age 19. It's hard to admit (trust me, I'm writhing on the floor right now making upsetting injured-kitten noises), but you are who you are, regardless of whether you've been to a surf camp in Morocco. And, honestly, who you are is somebody who needs at least one week of hard-earned vacation spent not at home trying to save money so that one day you can go where you've always wanted to go, but rather in some doable version of the dream trip, which may, in fact, be a fantasy designed expressly to keep yourself from ever being able to realize it. Shorten the length of your stay or replace the destination with a similar but more achievable goal that exacts no jet leg (say, Buenos Aires with Paris) and just go! The thing to realize is this: It's not any one particular geographic place that's haunting you; it's the idea of not being stuck in any one particular geography.