* Not literally, obvs, but planning a RTW is hard! I had second and third thoughts before I even stepped foot on a plane (let alone another country). I pulled it back though and that’s the important thing, but nevertheless, I found that I had a bit of a wobble a few months before my trip…
So, okayyyy, in the big scheme of things, a year or two spent travelling is a drop in the ocean, but when you’re in your twenties, a year is a long time. A whole lot can happen in a year (and often does) and that scared me, I thought ‘sh*t am I wasting my prime years?’. The answer to that is ‘no’, because like Jennifer Lopez, I will not reach my prime until my early 40s which leaves plenty of time for globetrotting.
Financially travelling scared me too, this is because prior to actually committing to a year of travel I was a bit ignorant of the costs. I knew about flights and making sure that I had enough cash for somewhere to lay me head each night, but the unexpected costs kept creeping up and adding to my already huge budget.
I’ll level with you, I’m the worst saver in the world, money just flows through my hands like water – that’s the way it is, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that dosh doesn’t stick around long with me. So changing the bad habits of a lifetime and saving was a very difficult adjustment… I don’t think I quite ‘got it’ until 4 months into my saving period and I’d saved the grand total of nothing.
The concept, as it turns out, is simple, don’t spend £200 on a new dress and go to Nandos 4 times a week if you’re saving up. It just took me longer than most to figure out that trick. Once I did figure it out, I became super-organised and created a document detailing all the visas, injections and kit I would need for my expedition around the globe. That quickly added an extra £1000 on to my target savings goal. Queue freak out.
I managed to fix that problem by being very dedicated to making extra cash, so I got on eBay and Depop, sold a lot of clothes (that I didn’t need). I also took on freelance blogging and writing gigs and chased up any money I was owed. This soon added up and I felt like I was back on track.
Also, I visited my Asthma nurse to talk to her about my trip because I was becoming increasingly concerned I would die in a jungle somewhere – this won’t happen, of course – but I’m unlucky and I have an illness that can attack at any time. We worked out a plan that involved getting a huge supply of inhalers and some emergency antibiotics and steroids. All good.
While at the clinic I enquired about my vaccinations and immunisations, turns out, I needed more than I thought because I’d somehow missed a lot of boosters like Measles (typical), BUT I had budgeted £250 for my immunisations and as it turns out, I could get most of them for free! This saved me over £150 so it’s definitely worth asking your doctor, I know it varies nationwide but do check.
I think the most difficult adjustment was that when I decided to travel I had to leave London, because I just couldn’t afford to save with rent, bills and travel costing £1000 a month. All in the space of a month I quit my job, handed the keys in to my house, left the city I had loved for 4 years and all the wonderful friends I had there.
It was a lot of stuff in a short space of time and though it took a few months for it to sink in, when it did, it hit me hard. My whole life was completely different. And yes, way more sh*t. I was back at home, living with my Mum(who, to be fair, is a lot of fun), in a small town where I knew no one. I felt like I’d gone from an enviable and fun lifestyle to, well, no lifestyle.
However, this was my decision, I chose to sacrifice a few (or a lot) of things to pursue my dream of travelling. That doesn’t mean to say it was easy, it was f*king hard. Working at a boring job, saving like a demon and not having much in the way of a social life was just next-level boring.
I combatted the mundane routine of my life by becoming a travel blog obsessive, I would read 100s each week, and reading other people’s tips and seeing all the amazing experiences they were having around the world spurred me on. I also started loosely planning things I wanted to do, and top 10s for each country. Packing lists, playlists – anything that kept my goals in sight.
I’m not quite there yet, there are few weeks before I leave, but these past few months of saving, planning and preparing for my round the world adventure have tested me in ways I never thought possible. Knowing that I overcame the struggle, saved every single penny by myself through sheer hard work and made it through the other end is going to make this trip so much sweeter.
For the rest of 2016 I’m not going to have to go to work, I’ll see more beaches than I have in my entire life, I’ll get to experience different cultures and go to places I’ve dreamed of going my whole life. YASSSSSSSSSS QUEEEEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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