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The honest truth on how I afford to travel

‘But, how do you afford it?’

A question I get at the start of every conversation regarding my travels.

I’ve been on the road for a while. I’m 22 and spent the last four years traveling extensively through Europe, Asia and Australia.

I’ve done and seen A LOT.

 

 

*10 minute read

Forever on the move, exploring new destinations, living a fulfilling and exciting life.

I have no plans, no end date, no expectations. Just me, my rucksack and my camera ready to take on the big wide world.

Guess what, I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Tokyo

There are many assumptions about my lifestyle. We all assume.

This has to cost right? Of course it does.

I will start with one thing.

I do not have any secret travel funds. I do not get paid to travel. I have no unique qualifications, no hidden help. I’ve not won any money, nor have I received an amount of money or any other financial help for whatever reason.

I finance my trips myself.

I want to travel. I want it badly, so… I make it happen.

If you are so determined to do something, 9 times out of 10. You can.

I have a lot less money than you think. A lot less.

There is a difference between happiness and having money. Some of the happiest people I have ever met have the lowest amount of money yet the ones with hundreds and thousands of pounds sitting in their bank, are the loneliest and miserable.

Traveling made me realise it’s not about how many fancy drinks I can have sitting on the beach, or how nice of a hotel I can find. Nor is it about finding the best restaurant in all of Indonesia and shopping whenever I want. That isn’t what travel is about.

It’s about finding the happiness in simple things, feeling grateful for the life we have. To create enjoyment from meeting people, seeing new things. I find experiences I love without breaking the bank.

I’m happy and surviving on sometimes the bare minimal. I have to make choices on what will enable me to travel. To create a life that right now, I am satisfied with.

Me: Food, Accommodation, Transport, Experiences.

People at home: Bills. Rent. Petrol. Tax. Transport. Insurance. Phone contracts. Memberships. Food. Shopping. Going out. Clothes.

Imagine if I turned it back around…

‘How do you afford to get your nails done every week, that must cost heaps’

‘How are you affording those new trainers, did your parents help?’

‘You must be loaded going out for drinks every weekend’

‘Where do you get all the money for all those new clothes every week?’

‘Having the latest iPhone will have cost a bomb’

‘You got a new car, but how an earth can you pay for that’

 

Once you escape paying for things you don’t actually need, you realise how much it amounts up too.

Where I am from, parking your car in the city for the day can cost £10. That’s 3 nights in a hostel in Thailand.

No one questions things like buying clothes, going out for drinks, getting your hair done and simply paying for contracts.

Money

I left home with £4,000 ( $7000 AUS) on 26th November 2015. Getting on a flight from Manchester to Bangkok on my own. I had worked hard. Prioritized saving and worked three jobs.

Bangkok 2015

I had a flight into Australia for whenever I was ready and that was it.

It’s now 3rd July 2017 and I’m still going.

Osaka 2017

I’m writing this while sitting in Osaka, Japan in a funky coffee shop feeling grateful for my experiences.  Going through the ridiculous amounts of photos I’ve been taking over the last couple of weeks experiencing the crazy Japanese lifestyle and exploring one of the most unique destinations I have ever been too. I’m happy, healthy and completely satisfied with my life.

Indonesia

Read more on my first year traveling the world solo by clicking HERE

I have not been in the same place for longer than 3 months since I was 18. I have a constant desire to explore.

The honest truth

If you really want to travel, you’ll make it work.

Let’s quit the bullsh*t.

I hear never-ending excuses to why people don’t travel.

People have secure jobs, mortgages and rent to pay. Commitments they feel obliged to follow.

I knew for a while I needed to travel the world, so from early on, I made the decisions to not overly involve myself within things that would stop me leaving – From jobs to relationships, contracts to commitments. I was careful with what I got overly involved in.

It’s not possible for everyone and I understand commitments need to be made, however, I am talking about how I afford to travel. If you are looking to head off on a long term adventure, have a think about what you can break away from.

Working

Like everyone else, I work for my money. Working at certain points of my time in Australia, where the hourly rate is double as to what I was earning in England. I saved my money I earned on the farm in Queensland and when I popped home for Christmas, I was working some crazy hours back at the cocktail bar.

Again, it’s getting the balance. I have never had a life where it’s only been focused on work and saving money. Work to live, don’t live to work.

Living basically

Despite a rich life with the experiences I have, the people I meet and the things I do. I live basically.

This was my home while I was living in Pai for a few weeks. £2 a night. This was luxury living as I was used to large shared dorms.

and this was my view….

When I travel, I often get little privacy, choose the cheapest accommodation which depending on where I am in the world, it could be anywhere between £1-£20.

I RARELY shop. I make use of what I have.

I’ve had the same pair of shoes for years and when I eventually really needed to buy some, I got fake converse from a Bangkok market and I love them.

God knows how many times I have worn the same outfit.

I almost never get taxi’s. Don’t have uber, use public transport everywhere or simply walk.

I barely drink alcohol.

I don’t overspend on things I don’t need.

Use my toiletries carefully, barely wear makeup so don’t need to repurchase anything.

I have no phone contract and had the same old mobile device for years.

If I do buy any clothes, for example when I arrived in Melbourne during winter, I went to the charity shop and spent $20 on jumpers.

It’s getting the balance.

£3.3o for a delicious iced mocha and vegetable toastie in the middle of Pai, North Thailand.

I spend my money on experiences.

On things I need to survive and get me to new destinations, and I am happy with that.

15,000 Indonesian rupiah for my boat over to Lombok

That’s less then £1 / $2 AUS (The same price as a packet of Oreos)

It’s not always easy or convenient, but that’s what traveling is really about. Making it work.

Finding the cheap & cheerful.

I spend time exploring new cities and towns with my camera. I spend quality time with people simply hanging out on the beach or playing cards. Things that don’t cost just to ‘do’.

Convenience.

People pay for convenience. Taxi’s to save the hassle.

Eating out instead of cooking. Paying for someone to take us places, show us things instead of finding out for yourself.

People pay for things we want, rather than what we need.

I have definitely spent my money on some really stupid sh*t in the past.

We pay for a life we feel we deserve filled with unnessacary and over priced things.

We pay for ease.

I sacrifice certain things to enable me to travel.

Walked an hour with my rucksack to save on a few pounds, slept in rooms with no air con and no fans in horrible humidity as it’s the cheapest option.

I normally eat street food, avoid any type of tour our travel agency as it’s always things I can do myself, for a lot less money. I’ve slept in dorms with over 20 people, people I dont know. Use a bathroom that the entire hostel uses’.

Like mentioned, I get little privacy, but as it’s the cheapest option, I can’t complain.

I’ve couch surfed, volunteered and hitchhiked just to save a little bit of money. All this saving adds up, and it’s all part of the travel fun.

Flights

Flying is the most expensive part of our travels. Once I am over in a country or continent, I can easily get around by cheap buses, night buses or affordable domestic flights.

I find the cheapest flights and transport, even if it takes double as long.

People want a flight that works around them and if you’re short on time then this limits the options. Some have a limited time to travel however I will take a longer route and take minimal baggage in order to save money.

Sometimes, I don’t overly have a destintion in mind, just look for the cheapest flights on Skyscanner on the cheapest dates.

There are perks of having no plans. I can work around prices.

I still need things to be convenient occasionally. I have booked my own room, payed too much for a cab just to get me somewhere and paid for the internet when I could have gone without.

Again, it’s getting the balance.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I treated myself to a Christmas starbucks and a tuk-tuk to the airport when I headed home for Christmas. I had payed for my flight home and back to Australia with the money I had made from working on the banana farm in Queensland. I deffo deserved this coffee.

Taking risks:

I booked my flight to Japan while I had $700AUS / £500 in my account during my East Coast trip in Australia. I was waiting for my tax rebait to come through and just had to hope I would get it back in time.

I made it to Japan.

I booked my flight leaving Australia into Indonesia with less then $300 / £200 in my bank.

I made it to Indonesia.

I left Asia and entered Australia to start my working holiday with $200AUS/ £120 to my name.

Byron Bay, Australia

I completed my full first year in Australia.

I got on a flight to Singapore with less than $400AUS / £250.

I had a blast in Singapore on my last few days in Asia

Some people could say I was stupid, I don’t have any major back up’s or savings.

I’m lucky to have friends & family to bail me incase of a serious emergency or get me home if I really needed too. I am lucky to have a family to head back to for when I get home. For that, I am grateful as many people don’t.

I had to trust it all worked out. I had to make it work.

Costs

This meal I shared on the idylic beach on Gili Air, Indonesia cost 150,000 rupiah. That’s £8.

This private beach bungalow directly on the beach cost 300,000 rupiah, which I shared with a friend. 150,000 each is £8.00 (Which was our treat for our last few days together)

My bike rental in Kampot, Cambodia for 24 hours cost £2.50 (Insurance included)

This yummy latte in a coffee shop cost £1 in Cambodia

This scuba dive on the paradise island in Malaysia cost £20

This incredible day cost me nothing

This meal in St. Kilda, Melbourne cost £2.50 / £1.70

My cat cafe experience in Bangkok cost me £4. That’s with coffee and cake included.

My motorbike taxi over over to Khao San Road across the capital city cost me 50p. Less than $1AUS

So many things are cheaper than people think.

Things are free. Yes, free.

Sunsets on the beach with my new furry friend – FREE

Wondering Brisbane – FREE

Checking out the street out in Penang, Malaysia – FREE

Meeting the wild wallabies on Magnetic Island – FREE

Checking out the views over Tokyo – FREE

Exploring Melbourne – FREE

Discovering abandoned Bokor City up in Cambodia – FREE

Meeting the locals and exploring the rice fields in Hoi An, Vietnam – FREE

Blog work

I received a few tours while I was in Australia in return for some blog work. This included a $500 AUS skydive over Mission Beach, Australia.. for free.

A Whitsundays tour on an amazing catamaran boat sailing over two nights which would have cost me $400AUS, a few surf classes and other bits and bobs. I guess hard work does pay off.

Whitsundays, Australia 

 I’m happy with fewer things. Less convenience, basic living. Experiences over belongings.

It enables me to travel and that is the richest I can feel.

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Being the girl that never stays.

Some might say I am brave, some may even say selfish. Maybe a little crazy or, simply intrigued at the world.

 

(3 minute read)

I could call myself a somewhat gypsy yet in reality, I just crave adventures and new experiences.

There’s an urge in me to meet people all over the planet and see for myself what the world has to offer.

I crave to witness all the different ways people live from all different ways of lives.

 

After life lessons you can’t teach by textbook, to learn things about myself in the most random and unexpected ways. I want to simply enjoy life.

 

 

Moving every three months since I was 18, I’m almost 23 and still going. Writing this on a one way flight up Australia’s East Coast with absolutely no plans and nothing booked when I land.

I’ve said my goodbyes, and I am off again.

 

For those at home, I‘m one of the few. When I’m backpacking different continents, I know I am among thousands of backpackers all over the world just after the feeling of freedom with a serious case of the travel bug.

I don’t need to follow the footsteps of modern world society or what my friends think is normal.

Go to uni, get a job, get a house, have my group of friends and just get on life. I need something different.

We are privileged.

I am able to have many choices in my life. I have a British passport. English is my first language. I have a home in England where family supports my choices. I have an education, a chance to act. Countless people, just don’t.

I realised I won’t be doing this for the rest of my life. I don’t want to.

Travel will always be involved with me whatever age. Whatever happens but I will want to settle one day. Have a base with a partner and they’ll be times where I will have to be at home, but for now, living out of a rucksack with an ever changing mobile number, address and new passport stamps becoming monthly, I’m satisfied.

 

I‘m on the go a lot and there is no stopping soon.

So, it’s really hit me recently how much I actually, never stay around.

Over Christmas, I let out a ‘Oh I need to get myself a boyfriend’ Truth is, I guess I would like one.

My friend replied.. ‘Maybe if you actually stay, you’ll find someone’

I’ve been thinking…

I’ve become so used to goodbyes, not getting too comfortable with people.

It’s becoming easy letting go of relationships and putting friendships virtually on hold.

Constantly packing minimal stuff and missing out important events at home. Not seeing people for months on end and this seems to have become the norm.

I’m getting used to not seeing friends and family and sometimes hardly being able to communicate.

I’m so used to saying goodbye and not having a clue when it’ll be until I see them again, which is now most people I ever meet.

I’m constantly packing my bags and hugging someone goodbye.

I’m seeing loved ones through a screen and sometimes struggle to crack the time zone sh*t.

I’m messaging people so I know what they‘re doing but i’ts turning emotions and experiences with people through a video camera.

I’ve become the one that never sticks around, forever on the move.

Knowing that saying goodbye to people, is never really going to get easier.

It becomes manageable. It becomes the norm to know I ain’t going to be able to around for long.

Even if I wish to be. I don’t always want to be on my own and had my fair share of experiences I crave having friends from home.

I want someone to come on adventures with me, I need to be around people who understand.

I’ve made a promise, and a lifestyle, something I am passionate about. It’s not all adventures and fun. It’s making memories with people you’ll never meet again. Knowing the relationships worth holding on to and seeing who still wants contact.

It’s being able to sometimes simply let go, know things aren’t going to be forever.

Never the less, it’s an adventure of the unknown, keeping an open mind and deep memories with the people that mean the most, it’s all pretty exciting, just not always easy.

The girl that never stays.

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5 ways to think if you really want to travel

Traveling is done in all sorts of ways. Short term, long term. Group, couple or solo travel. You could trek, fly, sail, catch trains or just drive across to different destinations. Anyone can travel.

If you’re really seeking adventures, you’ve caught the travel bug, you need to explore or just crave traveling the world, like me, I wanted to let you know in the ways I think, hopefully they may help.

 

 

I’m not trying to change your thought process, nor am I telling you what’s right and how you should think. I simply strongly advise a few things on the mindset of travel.

If you are serious about pursuing long term travel, or even just fancy backpacking some new destinations this year, here is what I think.

You need determination, an open mind, accepting a challenge, knowing its not all going to be easy peasy.

Have drive in yourself.

It’s designed to test and teach you, to open your mind to the rest of the world. No bullsh*t.

 Enjoy everything

Sometimes you just have to take things for what they are. See the good in everything and just enjoy yourself. There is no point finding fault. Keep your mind open and positive.

No, unfortunately this isn’t possible all the time, if only however try and keep a strong mind from the get go. Focus your attention on the good stuff that’s happening. Take in the moment.

While traveling you will see a variety of different things and feel many emotions.  Enjoy even the bad times, one day, they won’t seem all that bad. Let your life just work itself out and go with it. Trust me, it makes it all a lot easier.

 

Listen to your gut

Everyone should listen to their gut however when you travel, especially on your own, you have to listen and trust yourself.

It’s important to value your own thoughts and opinions as well as others. Try and feel a vibe from someone and be honest with yourself about situations.

As much as i’m really not trying to sound like some life guru, or even just your mother, seriously.. learn to listen to yourself. You have to be able to make decisions, make choices and be active on your own.

 

Do what you enjoy and do it with passion

I’ve always been quite strong in regards to what I want to do and why.

I’ve always been able to pursue what it is I love doing through massive amounts of support and self determination. I’ve had no hidden help or secret funds, just passion.

Traveling, dancing, photography, having new experiences, learning, blogging, bartending, exercising, socialising and simply going out for brunch are some of the simple things I love doing.

Guess what, I live my life doing that.

Whatever it is you enjoy, go and do it.

 

Get your priorities right

This really got me when I started working abroad at 18 in Crete.

I really learnt was was important to me. My family & friends who sustained their love and time. The people that genuinely wanted to support me in all sorts of ways.

I needed to decide what I wanted to spend my money on and what I didn’t.

I had to decide what I wanted for myself. I didn’t want to spend my time and money on booze or belongings. I wanted experiences and flights, adventures and new friends.

When you travel, you learn what your priorities are. You see the world at such a large scale you really how insignificant you are to the whole world.

Try and focus on what it is you really want for yourself.

If you really want to travel, you’ll make it work.

 

Be active

Monday morning dive • Malaysia

There is so much to do going on in the world. We all need to be able to chill, relax and rest, I’m all for that never the less go out and do things.

Legit, just get up and go explore. The fulfilment of experiences over belonging is unexplainable.

Spend your money on experiences and make memories. Not everything has to cost a lot.

 

So there we are. My 5 ways to think if you really want to travel. These are just my thoughts and opinions and any feedback is welcome!

Like this read? Make sure to check out my 18 helpful tips to traveling alone by clicking here!

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Dear British backpackers

I’ve heard a lot of British backpackers complaining about their country.

‘I never want to go back’

‘I’m staying away for as long as possible’

‘The UK is shit’

England definitely doesn’t have the places I’ve come to fall in love with all over the world.


England may not have the adventures Australia can offer, the streets of Paris or the laws (or lack) of Amsterdam, nor does it have crazy safari life in Africa or the beautiful ski towns over in Canada and it may not offer experiences us travellers crave but home will always be home.

BLOG-Home-is-where-the-anchor-drops1

There’s a reason I’ve hardly been in England since I was 18.

I have a constant urge to explore, a passion to travel, a heart full of wunderlust and I know this is what I have to do.

DCIM101GOPRO

Despite a lot of cold, miserable weather and a genuinely pretty dull vibe, I’m extremely lucky to come from such an established, clean, rich and supportive country.

indexEngland is filled with beautiful places, stunning countryside, a magnificent busy capital city and a large variety of things to do and places to go.

Leeds Festival. Mumford & Sons

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Working at Leeds Beer Festival

Ok ok, I understand – not everyone is as fortunate as I to have such support or a family waiting for them. People may not even have anything or anyone to go home to. However I can only go off my own experiances.

England is bloody brilliant.

We are lucky. I couldn’t travel as easy as I am if I wasn’t from such a developed country. I’m entitled to visas, the British embassy and great healthcare if needed. We have a stable security and political system. Men and women both have equal rights, we are able to freely travel and we are largely able to choose our own futures.

Language

Worldwide, the majority of information is in English compared to other languages. For many people around the globe, English is learnt as a second language and it takes constant effort and learning to speak it on a daily basis. However it is something I picked up as a child nactually living in England.

In rural parts of the world like Cambodia, Loas and Puerto Rico, there is limited acess to education and learning English. Given that most well paying jobs are centered around tourism (work which inherintely involves a sound understanding of the English language),  not having acess to this type of education can limit many locals to poorly paid and physically taxing labour work.