How I Travel the World at 19
Asia, Africa, Europe, America...
Traveling the world is a dream. Well, what if I told you it could be your reality? That you could keep your job, and still travel, still have a family, and still have amazing adventures?
I've been to 30 countries already, and granted, I have been very lucky to have parents who have taken me to a good few of them. However, the biggest change I've made, which has let me travel around the world, particularly in the past two years (whilst at uni) is my mindset.
The main difference between me and the average person is probably the fact that I'm a university student. This means I'm money poor, but time rich. So how on earth do I manage to travel to at least three new countries per year?
Last year I went to 14 different countries, including inter-railing and a trip to Asia. If you'd like to get some tips on how to increase your travel time without decreasing all your income, read on!
1. Pick your top 5 places that you want to visit in the near future.
Let yourself dream! When I get something in my head I just go for it. It's never easy, but eventually all your stars will align, and you'll be out there living your best life. I promise you, it's never impossible, there's always a way.
2. Be determined and motivated.
I wasn't sure how to summarise this point. But overall I do think this is the key to travelling the world. Decide you are going, and point all your actions towards that. Can you pick up more shifts, or start a side hustle to earn a bit more money? Could you get a job like teaching English, which you could do whilst you're away if you're planning to go for a longer travel period? Could you visit more than one country whilst you're out there, to save the price of flying out there twice? There are so many ways to save money whilst you get out to the country, you just need to trust that you can do this!
3. Work out how you can make it happen.
Look at price, logistics, flights/travel, and see how difficult it is to get to the location, as well as how much it costs to eat/stay out there. There are thousands of blogs (I will be posting some individual country recommendations soon too), YouTube videos and books about traveling, and tips and tricks. Lonely Planet is a classic book/website, but there are tons of options you can go for. Another great way to learn about the country is to speak to someone who's been there.
I use Skyscanner to find flights, then booking.com/trivago to look at recommendations/hotels. Also "Airbnb" is a great city break accommodation finder, which will leave you money to actually see the city too!
4. Check if you need any visas to get to the country/how long you are legally allowed to stay there.
This tip isn't sexy, but you can't pretend it's not required to visit a new country. It's worth bearing in mind, even if just to work out how much money you need for the trip itself. Visas often need pre-arranging or require cash in a set currency, so its worth a quick google so you don't get caught at the border!
5. Save up some dollars/pounds/euros.
This correlates with my previous point about taking up extra shifts/side hustles, or even teaching a skill that you have, and earning a bit of money from that. If you calculate how much you currently earn, can you find a way to budget better, so more of it can be saved up towards traveling? I like to have a separate bank account, which I pay into whenever I work so that I am always saving up for traveling. Could you invest your money and earn interest? Could you stop buying pointless new clothes and coffees at Starbucks, and instead buy charity shop clothes/re-wear yours, and make coffee at home? It seems silly, but I promise you it all adds up. There are also plenty of apps that can help you budget too.
6. Get excited, and plan what you're going to see out there.
Why do you want to go to that country? Is it to experience the culture? Or to immerse yourself around other people, and learn more about yourself? It could simply be because you've seen a gorgeous beach or city, which you know will take your breath away. Whatever your "why" is, hold onto it, and make it your reality. Plan where you want to go roughly too.
7. Just Book It!
Tell your friends and family so it becomes real. Then book your flights, make a rough plan of action, and get out there! You've gotta believe in yourself. I always panic thinking, "I can't afford this," or "I don't have time to plan this," but ultimately if traveling is your dream, then life will be that much better when you get out of your comfort zone, and step out of your home.
Lots of love.