With the WWW we can travel to all points of Earth, and even beong.
We should always be grateful for the many cultures and peoples of the world.........
If you’re anything like me, you left school, graduated uni, got a job, and started to settle down into what the rest of your life might look like.
Only, you’re not quite sure if you’re ready for that yet.
You’re getting itchy feet.
You dream of far-flung beaches and nameless mountains.
Of long-haul flights and backpacks, of air that smells different, voices that sound different, places that make you feel different.
You want to travel.
Your soul is begging you for it (and dreamy pictures on Instagram and Pinterest definitely don’t help). But should you travel? Could you, even if you wanted to?
In December this year, my boyfriend and I are leaving our comfortable jobs and steady incomes and cosy Surrey flat.
We’re trading it all in for a full backpack and a plane ticket, road tripping across the USA before working in Canada (for up to two years), then working our way back over Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Since I’ve shared my plans, I’ve had so many questions.
Some from people who are just curious – most from people who are dying to do the same thing, but don’t feel like they can.
How do you feel about taking a career break?
Why did you choose the destinations you did?
How can you pack when you don’t know how long you’ll be away for?
How can you afford it?
When will you get around to buying a house and having kids?
Are you not terrified?
In this post I’ll be sharing why we decided to go travelling (when, how, and where), and how you even get started on planning on a big trip like this.
Should you go travelling?
While I’ll probably always say yes to this question to anyone who asks me (I’m a huge “travel-enabler”), no one can really answer this question but you.
Yes, travelling brings so much joy and experience and horizon-widening lessons, but it’s not right for everyone.
It also depends what you define as “travelling” (when I use the term in this post I’m generally referring to longer-term trips of 3 months +) – a week away in a new destination might be enough to scratch that wanderlust itch.
If you are teetering on the edge of making the leap into long-term travelling though, it could help to ask yourself these three questions:
- What’s holding me back?
Whether it’s your job or someone you’d be leaving behind, think about the reasons why you haven’t booked that plane ticket yet.
Examine whether these are valid reasons, or whether they’re born from fear.
Working through your obstacles will help you realise whether travel is a valid future plan for you.
- What do I want out of my trip?
This was the point of no return for me.
I started thinking about what I wanted from travel. When I realised that I felt starved of new experiences and felt like time was slipping away from me, I knew I had to go.
Like me, you might want to go in search of experiences and stories and wring every last drop from every one of your days.
You might want to learn a new language, meet new people, get new skills. You might want to volunteer for a worthy cause.
Figuring out why you want to travel will not only reveal how important it is to you (justifying the things you give up to make it happen), it will also help you figure out the kind of trip you want to take.
- Are you willing to make sacrifices?
Internet, with all of its inspirational quotes imposed on sunsets and glamorous travel blogs, might have you thinking that packing everything in to travel is wonderful, easy and simple.
It really isn’t.
It can be scary, hard, and sad.
You have to say a lot of goodbyes, make difficult decisions, turn your back on the life you’ve made – everything that’s normal and safe.
But that’s what makes it so, so worth it.
How to get started
If you’ve decided you want to travel (GO YOU!) then the exciting part is just beginning.
Your next few months are likely to be filled with maps, plans, booking confirmations, a lot of jumping up and down, and moments so exciting that you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this before.
But there’s a lot to do, and it can be hard to know where to start. Here are the first things we did when we knew travelling was a certainty.
Decide when to go – the sooner you have a solid date in your diary, the sooner travelling will feel like a tangible plan and you can start working towards it, booking things and telling people.
Decide where to go – mapping your route across the world is the best part of the whole process. But with so many places to go and things to see, it can be tough to narrow it down.
We chose places we’d never been and always wanted to go.
We also have a lot of family in the USA, so knew we would be able to get free accommodation for a lot of the trip (and also have someone to share Christmas with!).
The USA is expensive to travel, so we’re just spending three months there.
This is also how long you can spend without needing to apply for a visa.
(We do have esta visas in order to be able to stay for 90 days).
When it came to Canada, Phil and I were just aligned
We like the sun but aren’t really hot weather lovers or sun-worshippers (my skin is the colour of snow so I never tan!), but we love snow, cosiness, wilderness, log fires and winter sports.
We fell in love with the idea of Canada right away.
The next stops (Australia, New Zealand, Asia) were all places we’ve briefly visited but are keen to see more of.
Set a realistic budget – where you go, how long for and whether you’re planning to work will all influence what this budget should be. Do some research and tot up your costs for transport, accommodation, food, travel-specific items you need before you go, and activities. If you’re planning to work, factor in the time it will take to find a job.
When I went to New Zealand aged 18, I took £4K for 5 months, which was tight (mainly because I wanted to do EVERYTHING).
This time I’m taking around three times that, and plan to be working after about 4 months.
You don’t need to have tons of cash to travel.
Just make sure your budget suits your trip and that you’ve got contingency for unseen situations (which will always happen)!
Decide who to go with – Phil and I were always in the same boat when it came to travelling, so there was never a question that we’d go together.
But it’s not always that clear cut.
I went alone at 18, because no one was really wanting to do the same thing I was, and that was great too.
You meet so many people when you travel that I never actually felt alone.
Think carefully about who you travel with. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with them and in potentially stressful situations, so make sure you’re confident your friendship will survive the trip!
Once you know where and when you’re going, and with who – your plans will start to snowball.
Before you know it, you’ll be sitting in a near empty flat with your flight out in less than six weeks’ time (like I am right now).
In coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more about my trip and how you can plan yours: including money saving tips, how to balance travel with a career, and the things you HAVE to do before you leave.
Have you been travelling or are planning a trip? Are you travelling right now? Share your tips with us!
In a brief discussion with a friend this morning I made the statement "Why go, I can experience the World on my computer".
My friend James mentioned the awe when he saw in person the structures in Rome.
You an actually, with a bit of immagination, feel and experience of that ancient civilazation.
Not so on a compuer still shot, however YouTube can bring you up and personal.
Les look at a few different destinations.
We will start with Rome, Italy..........
Lets drop by the Netherlands for a light festival..
How about the 10 Top Music Festivals in the World, hmmmmmmmmmm
DID someone say SHARK...................
How to travel on a budget:
Our 9 best tips
Exploring exotic places doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you certainly don’t need to win the lottery to travel the world or study abroad – not if you know how to watch your pennies.
’ve complied some tried and tested tips to help you plan a holiday on a budget.
1. Come up with a plan
Travelling spontaneously is great, if you have the luxury of time and money to spare.
But if you’re travelling on a budget, the first thing to do is come up with a plan.
don’t have need a tight, hour-by-hour itinerary, but you should at least have an idea of how long you’ll be spending in each city or country, and know the route that your epic adventure will take.
Leaving less to chance means less unexpected spends; last-minute flights and accommodation are often far more expensive.
2. Travel out of season
Avoid trips during the school holidays, this is when the travel industry hikes up prices to take advantage of families who can only travel during these weeks.
The best time to visit your intended destination, and then travel just before or after these dates.
This is called the ‘shoulder season’, where you’ll still have a great trip but maybe the sun won’t shine quite as brightly (and, on the plus side, it won’t be quite as hot.)
Hotels and airlines lower their prices to attract customers during this time.
3. Be accommodation-savvy
Trade expensive hotel suites for dorm rooms in hostels.
Sharing a room naturally divides the costs and communal bunk rooms offer the opportunity to meet people who might be keen to explore with you
Other great alternatives are websites like AirBnB and Couchsurfing, where you simply book a spare room in a local person’s house or apartment.
It’ll halve the price and allow you an authentic snapshot of real life in the city. Consider your host your very own, personal tour guide, filled with insider-tips for the best eateries and tourist spots in that neighbourhood.
You could even stay with family or friends.
Reach out to people you know or plan a trip to somewhere that a long-lost cousin or school friend now lives – this could take you to visit places you’d never have thought of before.
4. Pack properly
Make sure you bring everything you need so that you don’t have to shop while you’re away (apart from a few souvenirs).
No matter where you’re heading, take at least one pair of long jeans, warm hoodie and waterproof jacket for unpredictable weather incidents
For some in-depth advice, check out our ‘Travel like a pro’ guide to packing for every kind of trip.
5. Book flights in advance…
Especially return flights; running out of money abroad without a guaranteed ticket home is never ideal.
Airlines ‘release’ their flight seats up to a year in advance and the closer you get to your departure date, the more the prices increase, especially in the last month.
6. …and be smart about how you fly
Opt to travel on a Tuesday.
Midweek travel prices are lower as a premium is added to weekend flights and you’ll breeze through shorter queues at airport check-in desks and security.
Fly economy too – there’s no need to upgrade, no matter how nice Business Class looks.
The money you save on cheap seats can be spent on food or accommodation when you arrive.
Low-cost, budget airlines are fine for short flights and regularly have cheap deals. If you’re planning a weekend trip try to pack light and use only hand luggage, saving yourself a bit of money on hold luggage.
7. Embrace public transport
Buses and trains are cheaper than planes.
It’s that simple!
A journey on an overnight train also mean you have one less night in a hostel to pay for…
8. Don’t eat away your cash
Cheap lunches can be bought in a supermarket or even a local fresh food market, rather than in an overpriced cafe or restaurant.
Aim to wander around before choosing a place to eat dinner too; if you just pick the first restaurant you see you won’t know if you’re overspending.
Drinking beer with every dinner soon adds up – both your wallet and your waistline will thank you if you opt for water instead sometimes.
Alternatively, hostels and spare rooms often let you have access to a kitchen if you want to save a little money by cooking for yourself.
9. Earn while you travel
Working holidays are a brilliant way to afford to spend several months of the year (or more) living the travel dream: Teach skiing on a winter season, take care of holidaymakers travelling to the Mediterranean in the summer, or earn by teaching a language in Thailand; you could even freelance while traveling if you’re able to work “on the go”. The opportunities are literally endless.
Can you feel the chill of actually being there, the fresh sent of the air, the history, the local festivals and fun people you will meet.........
Check out these pictures.............smile.
Don't forget the United States, you can travel and meet so many different culures right here at home:
and hunderds more places to see, do, experience.
A personal tip: get involved i the city you live in right now. There are hundreds of events wher you can meet others, dine on seasonal foods and experience that sense of "community".
Happy travels to you.