"I'd been living in the house about a week when I noticed that the mailbox belonging to Apt. 2 had a name-slot fitted with a curious card...It read: Miss Holiday Golightly; and underneath, in the corner, Travelling. It nagged me like a tune: Miss Holiday Golightly, Travelling."
Truman Capote - Breakfast at Tiffany's
This post is for anyone who has been thinking about going travelling but is still having doubts! It's such a hard decision to make, just deciding to pack up your bags and go - Trust me I know! I lived in America for a year working at Disney World and have also travelled round Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. It was terrifying making the decision to get on the plane but it was also the best thing I have ever done. Some of my best friends now - and my boyfriend!- are people I met when I was living in America, it was so insanely life changing and it's crazy to think that at one point I had doubts about going!
I thought I would address some of the main concerns many people have about going travelling and ways around them.
1. Worrying about leaving your job
When I applied to Disney it was on a bit of a whim, like a last minute day before the application closed type thing. And then I got an interview and I debated whether to go or not - it was in London, I was living in Scotland, it seemed like a bit of a trek for job I wasn't even sure I wanted. I eventually decided to just go and got totally sold on the idea basically from the minute they showed the introduction video and was delighted when I got offered the job several months later.
The only problem was that I was in a pretty good job already. It wasn't my dream job, but I liked it enough and having been out of uni for a while I felt that I should really start getting on the career ladder. I mulled it over for ages and came to the conclusion that this was a once in a lifetime chance and that I should just go for it and I'm so glad I did. I remember my mum saying to me "You have the rest of your life to find another job" and she was so right.
I mean, if your current job is your absolute dream job and you love every second of it, by all means think long and hard before quitting, but if it's something that is basically just taking you from day to day just remember that we weren't made to spend all of our lives working 9-5 in a office, day in day out at the expense of seeing wonderful sights and experiencing completely different cultures.
You will find another job and, even if it takes a while, it will be so worth it.
2. Worries about missing home
One of my biggest concerns about going away was the worry that I would miss my family and friends too much. The thing is, I did miss them but after a few weeks I was having too much fun to think about it! I hope that doesn't sound heartless but you meet so many new people, experience so many new things and are generally just too busy to have time to think about home! It's also so easy to stay in touch these day, most places where we stayed had wifi so I just bought Skype credit and called home using my phone!
It's important to remember, all of the people and things that you miss will be there when you return. I was away for a year and when I returned everything was exactly the same. Plus maybe they'll visit - people are always dying for an excuse to go on holiday!
3. Not having anyone to travel with
When I went to work at Disney I went on my own, but I had already met up with some future colleagues in the UK and I knew I was guaranteed to meet people because I would be working and living with them! When I travelled the world I went with my boyfriend and three of my best friends. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't experienced this worry first hand, however I have seen so, so many people travel on their own.
When we travelled to Australia one of my friends stayed behind and went to Cambodia on her own, she was terrified but she met so many people and had an amazing time. If you're travelling by yourself just know that there will be literally hundreds of people doing the same thing. A lot of hostels are purposefully set up for individual travellers and organise tons of evening events to let everyone get to know each other. Just know that you might leave the UK (or wherever you live, shout out to anyone reading this who's from further away - comment and let me know where you're from!) on your own, but you won't be alone for long!
4. Worrying you won't have enough money
This is a legitimate worry, you need to make sure you have enough money to eat and live from while you're away! Depending on where you go you can potentially get a job when you're there. I know a lot of people that went to Australia with about £800, got a job on a berry farm and saved tons of money! Some of this work is seasonal so just make sure to check before you book your flight if there's somewhere you can go that's currently offering work. (There's usually some kind of harvesting going on all year round in Australia, so you'll most likely find somewhere!)
If the idea of going somewhere and not having a guaranteed job is a bit daunting, look into doing a programme abroad that sorts out a job for you. There are so many of these! Disney is one, there's also travel rep jobs with most major travel companies, jobs in ski resorts or other hotel/customer service programmes for America!
If you don't want to work and would rather just travel the good news is that places like India and Thailand are really cheap so once you save up the initial money for the flight you're well on your way! At one point we stayed in some jungle huts for £3 a night. £3!! (And they had hot water in the showers - result!)
5. Worrying it's too much planning
It can seem like so much work trying to organise everything but it doesn't have to be. There's a wealth of information out there that can make things easier. We booked our flights through STA Travel and they were great. Everyone that works there has been travelling themselves so they're all full of useful advice and they helped us plan our route and organise our multiple flights around where we wanted to visit.
Also bear in mind one of the great things about places like Thailand and Malaysia being so cheap to travel raound is that you can basically make up your schedule as you go along. We had a vague idea of where we wanted to end up and then played a lot of it by ear - you'll meet so many people doing this and you never know, you might make some new pals and end up tagging along with them for part of your journey!
I think the important thing to remember is that you only live once and that you should grab every opportunity with both hands and never let the fear of what might (and probably) won't happen stop you from chasing your dreams.
The one thing I've learned is just to go for things, throw yourself into the unknown and see where life takes you because in some ways that's a safer option than just sitting tight and watching your life go by.
This post has turned out a lot longer than I intended! I hope it was useful to anyone who's ever thought about heading off somewhere! Please feel free to email me or message me on twitter if you have any questions or need any help!