Traveling the world for months at a time requires hard work, patience and determination, but it is not as hard as some people may think!
I have always had this passion for travel and my ultimate dream was to travel the world by myself for a long, long time. I worked a full-time customer service job so I could fulfill this dream, and let me tell you, some days it just didn’t seem worth it. On those days, when it was quiet, I would plan my world travels to give myself extra encouragement. I would plan which countries I wanted to visit, what I wanted to do in each country and I also did copious amounts of reading on the do’s and don’ts of each culture.
I am naturally not a good saver, so it was incredibly hard for me to keep to a budget. Saving a lot of money in a short amount of time means you have to say no more than you can say yes. It means cutting down alcohol consumption, lavish nights out with friends, eating out and buying clothes and shoes (which is my biggest weakness!). I was also paying rent so I had to be extra careful. However, when you have a big dream you need to make big sacrifices and you just have to remind yourself that saying no to a night out with friends means you can say yes to a night out in Morocco.
In the midst of the constant working and saving, my life took a very sudden dip and I found myself in the fork of a huge crossroad. My job, my relationship with my then boyfriend and my living situation started falling apart and and I was faced with two decisions: stay for another year working as I had planned, or leave in a few weeks to travel the world. After much prayer, I decided to do the latter. It was the scariest, most exhilarating decision I have ever made in my life.
The very next day after I made my decision, I handed in my resignation at work after working there for only eight months. For the next three weeks after, I packed up my apartment and moved back home, I sold my car, I broke up with my boyfriend and I brought my travel insurance and a one way ticket to Bali. Within a month, I was on a plane to Denpasar alone with $10,000 in the bank. Little did I know how many amazing people I was going to meet on the other side of the world. Little did I know that they were going to be the most enriching, challenging and wonderful four months of my life. Traveling alone to eight completely foreign countries by myself (Bali, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Italy, Greece (twice), Croatia and Austria) made me realize that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: travel. There is no other way I’d rather live than as a nomad.
When you want to travel, your mind will present a million different reasons as to why you shouldn’t. Your possessions start looking a little nicer. Your bed starts looking a little more comfortable. Your job starts feeling like a very cozy security blanket. But all you need is just thirty seconds of insane courage to press “purchase tickets.” I also didn’t ask my friends or parents for permission or approval to travel the world. I brought my ticket and then told them. You need to do what makes you happy and no other person is responsible for or should have the power to stop that.
Of course, a lot of behind the scenes work goes in traveling the world and you need to be smart about getting your affairs in order before you step on that plane. I was lucky to have little enough commitments that I could leave in a matter of weeks. But I promise you, when you begin that adventure of exploring the world we call our home, nothing you leave behind will ever compare to the amazing experiences you will have and the incredible people you will meet along the way!