After months of planning, stressing out, saving and organising I can finally announce that I am leaving my job to go travelling in three weeks!
So how did I come to make this decision? In honesty, I never really had a plan for what to do after graduating from university. Last year I found myself just going with the flow of working 9-5 to save up money to buy a house. Around Christmas last year I realised that for me, buying a house just didn’t feel quite right yet.
As I’ve probably made clear by now, I love to travel and visit new cities and countries. Until now, I’ve only managed to be able to ‘travel’ on long weekends or when I can get a few weeks off work at a time. As someone in their early 20s without a mortgage or children, it dawned on me that this is probably the best opportunity and time in my life to see more of the world.
Once the idea “I want to go travelling” is in your head, it has a funny way of growing into solid plans. If you’ve already got this idea, you’re likely past the point of no return! Of course there may be many valid reasons you don’t want to go – a great career, mortgage, relationships. Only you will know whether the things keeping you at home are worthy, long-term investments that travelling would jeopardise.
Luckily for me, my boyfriend decided he wanted to come travelling with me. We’ve been planning (I’ve been an obsessive, organisation freak and he’s put up with it) ever since. The first leg of our trip is making our way through Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia for three months. We’ll then arrive in Melbourne, Australia to travel and work our way up the East Coast. We’d love to visit New Zealand and Fiji whilst we’re over that way but only time, and our bank accounts, will tell for now. So how to you even start to go about going travelling?
If you do decide you’re going to take the plunge and travel abroad, one of the first things you need to do is put together a fairly comprehensive budget of what everything you want to do will cost. I gathered this information from the experience of other bloggers and looking up accommodation prices in each country online. You’ll need an accommodation budget as well as a spending budget for transport, food and entrance fees into attractions. For South East Asia, my budget is roughly £15 for accommodation and £15 for spending costs per day. Bare in mind I’m splitting some of those costs with my boyfriend though, it will be slightly different for a solo traveller. In Australia however, I’m looking at about £50+ a day for all my costs excluding any tourist attractions. Each country is different.
Route and Dates
After your budget is done you’ll now have a month in mind of when you can realistically afford to leave, so the next job is browsing Skyscanner for the cheapest destination to start with and the cheapest date.
Our South East Asia route is a bit of a strange one, but it worked out to be the cheapest. We’re starting in Bali and doing a loop back on ourselves through the countries we want to see, ending up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Then it’s on to Australia!
You might want to do some research into the countries you want to visit and whether it’s viable to go from one to the other continuously. Unfortunately you always have to leave places out due to time or budget restrictions. The internet is your best friend when it comes to planning where you want to go; forums and blogs are full of great advice on the best ways of getting from X city to Y city, the best places to eat, and the best places to stay in the area. They’re often the best travel websites due to the real experiences and advice from the author. We’re lucky we live in times where you can easily become your own travel agent at a fraction of the cost.
Another consideration for you is whether you’re happy to work abroad. For us, we need to work in casual jobs in Australia to be able to afford to tour the country. For this you need a working holiday VISA, which can be completed and submitted via Australia’s immigration website. The VISA costs around £300 each and allows us to work and travel for up to a year upon entry. If you’re looking to travel purely on a tourist basis, you’ll need to save a lot more money before you go.
Travelling Preparation in the UK
Now you’ve decided when you want to leave, where you want to go, and worked out how to fund it all, it’s down the the difficult part of leaving the roots you’ve laid down in the UK.
Leaving my job was one of the scariest parts of deciding to go; I’m lucky that my employer was nothing but supportive with my decision. If you love your job and can see a long career ahead of you at your company, perhaps you could sit down and discuss your plans with your boss to see if there’s scope for you to return to your role when you’re back. By no means let the daunting prospect of that conversation put you off going though, I bet it will turn out better than you expected.
Things naturally become more complicated if you have a house/flat, pets, a car etc. I find the best way of making tasks seem less daunting is to separate them out into separate lists of steps to take and tackle them one by one. I use an app called Wunderlist to make my lists and keep myself sane! Half of the work is working out all the things that need cancelling, selling or sorting out before you leave.
Hopefully this post has helped you work out the kind of things you need to consider in order to go travelling. If you keep in mind you’re probably going to need a few months to save up before you leave, you should have plenty of time to sort things out.
I only have three weeks left now! I think I’m most looking forward to visiting Singapore. I was last in Singapore in 2009 and can’t wait to see how it has developed; Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands weren’t built in 2009 and are now two of Singapore’s most famous attractions! Thailand is somewhere special to me too, after our amazing holiday there last year; visiting the Northern part of Thailand that we didn’t have time to see last time will be great.
If you are considering going travelling, or you are already completely determined to travel the world, please feel free to ask me for advice! You can follow me on social media (links in sidebar) to see how my travelling goes 🙂
Pin for later…