At 19, i left life in my small Aussie town behind. I was going to travel the world and that is exactly what i did.
I have been abroad for nearly six months now and it is the best decision i have ever made. In this post i want to share with you how i did it and how you can do it too. The title of my blog “Living on Now Time” means living in the moment, not waiting for “someday”. You have the ability to choose now as your “someday” just like i did.
Reasons (or excuses) why you can’t travel now:
You don’t have enough? You will have enough when? Two years maybe even three? You can have enough now! Priorities. It is a simple as that.
If you want to travel the world but you also “need” to buy a $5 coffee each day and also lunch, your priorities are wrong. Think of your travel plans as a “need” and that over priced food you buy as a “want”. Avoid wasting money! Everything you buy takes from the amount of money you could spend on your trip.
When i decided that i wanted to travel the world i knew that i had to make some sacrifices in order to save enough money. I couldn’t party every week because i knew that meant one less party that i would be able to afford overseas. I cancelled my gym membership, i stopped buying coffee everyday, i packed my lunch from home and i chose to live a far less materialistic life. I made these sacrifices so that i could travel the world. If travelling the world is something that you want to do then you will probably need to make some changes…
Minimalize your life. I once loved my overflowing wardrobe and my huge book collection but at the end of the day, they were just materialistic possessions. Clothing was definitely the hardest thing for me to minimalize – i love fashion. There was a time when clothes made me so happy but i began to realise how wrong my priorities were. Having a one season item hanging in my wardrobe didn’t help me to travel but instead, made me waste money. I began to sell everything i wan’t going to need for my trip. I created an Instagram page, i posted on Facebook and i held a market stall in order to sell all of my pre-loved goods. I made money that i put towards my travels and i decluttered my life. If you are looking for any extra resources on minimalism i suggest checking out “Amanda Round the Globe” (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvs9qpKEYJ66PLgtFN505_w) . Her videos really helped me with my journey towards minimalism.
Another tip i have is to save at least double the money you spend. Now this does sound difficult but trust me, it is really achievable. I worked two jobs in the months before i left for abroad. I did double shifts working day and night. I knew the harder that i worked the more quickly i would be able to achieve my goals. Any extra money you can put into your savings is going to be very helpful. Extra jobs that you can easily pick up include: babysitting, waitressing, lawn mowing, tutoring – use your imagination.
When it comes to saving money, create a tight budget and stick to it! Take a step back and see where your money is going and how you can make more. Have a realistic plan as to how you can accumulate as much money as possible in the least amount of time. The quicker you’re able to do this, the quicker you will be on that flight.
To travel the world or to go to university? That was and is one of the hardest decisions i have had to make and will have to make. I got accepted into my dream course at university – something i worked very hard to achieve. As for right now, i have deferred and have taken a “gap year”. I based this decision of the fact that i wanted to wake up every morning with no regrets. I am living with the motto “life is too short” because we never really know what is around the corner. Now, if the worst was to happen, i know in myself that i have lived life to the absolute fullest. My choice was to spend my time adventuring rather than studying because i wanted to feel happy and satisfied every single day.
Study is always going to be there. It is now available online making it so accessible. There is now no reason why you can’t study and travel abroad provided you have internet connection. You can also begin studying as a mature age student, as long as you live it is going to be possible to study. Choose how you want to spend your time and pick wisely because you have one life on this earth.
Family and Friends
You don’t want to leave them behind and that is very understandable. I’m lucky in that i have a very supportive network around me. The people closest to you should support you and love you unconditionally. Their desire should be your happiness. Real relationships will always last the distance. Your family and friends are only ever a phone call away, keeping in contact is easy with the internet. When you say goodbye, you know that you will see them again! It isn’t the end! Go and live the life those closest to you should want you to live…
It is crippling. Everybody lives with fear but not everyone can overcome it. Obviously to defeat fear you need to have a strong mindset and it is pretty easily done. The power of positivity, mindfulness and manifestation are very useful when it comes to overcoming fear. At the beginning of my overseas travel i would often say, (not out loud because i’m not totally crazy) “it’s going to be okay”, “You’re strong and brave”, “Do not let fear hold you back”. And i listened to my thoughts, which completely changed my mentality. Fear can stop us from doing a lot of things from going to the supermarket to travelling solo around the world. As i have said before, life is way too short, you can’t let anything hold you back, not even fear.
What to do once you’re out travelling the world:
It doesn’t grow on trees! To be able to stay abroad for a lengthy period of time, you should always have an income. I chose to base myself in Italy and work as an au pair. This way, i am living with a family, working with children and earning a small income read my story here:
This is not the only way to earn some money abroad so if kids really aren’t your thing, never fear. Other options include: waitressing, retail, tourism and english teaching. Websites like Craigslist and Indeed are very useful in order to pick up these kinds of jobs. Now these jobs will usually be minimum wage but hey, it’s a job right? There is no reason why you won’t be able to travel the world with this money and still keep your savings in the bank.
The more money you have in the bank the longer you will be able to stay abroad.
University and Study
Life abroad is an education in itself. There is thing this called “life experience” and the ironic thing is you have to actually live life in order to gain it. You will definitely find yourself immersed in different cultures, foods, ways of life and of course, people. Embrace these experiences and learn from them.
Independence! AH that good old thing you never heard the end of as a young adult. Well now you will be out in the world, this is what independence is. You will learn how to deal with all types of situations and you will certainly gain an education like none other.
Education doesn’t always mean reading a textbook!
Family and Friends
While travelling you will inevitably meet different people from all over the world. Some of these people become like family and others, great friends. You are never alone. There will always be people exactly where you are (given you don’t end up in the Sahara Desert).
Start a conversation! Say hello! Smile! This is the way we meet people. It never hurts to put on a brave face and put yourself out there, here is one of my stories:
I was off on the very first leg of my adventure, flying from Sydney to Rome. I sat in the middle of two people and i was petrified. I was alone. I didn’t know anybody. The lady to my right was Israeli and she could barely speak a word of english. Although, we still managed to communicate, i’m talking a lot of hand movements. When the flight was over, i helped her to find her next gate. She was so grateful, i knew this despite our ability to communicate by words. She had tears in her eyes as she kissed me goodbye and we parted our separate ways. The Australian man to my left had been travelling the world for the past two years. He sold everything and began travelling full time at the age of 30. He gave me heaps of tips for the adventure ahead. We chatted for hours of that flight.
My advise is to tackle every situation with happiness, kindness and positivity. This is how you would make friends in your everyday life and this is how you will make friends abroad. If you are still struggling to meet people the “old fashioned” way, don’t worry! Websites like:
- Facebook sites… Simply search “expats in …” join the page, write a post and start making friends!
Making friends abroad is super easy! Everybody who is travelling is usually carefree, easygoing and wanting to make friends. Put yourself out there!
I am a self-funded 19 year old Aussie female travelling the world. I wanted to make my dreams a reality so i did. I stopped looking for excuses. I worked very hard to achieve my goals. Currently, i am living on now time and you can be too. Choose today as your “someday”.