Deciding that you want to travel is easy, and most of us get to that point relatively quickly! The difficulty comes in determining what exactly to do next. Over the coming weeks, I will be posting a series of travel tips aimed at helping you when planning a big trip.
When you read through the blogs of other travellers, it soon becomes apparent that there is no rule in relation to the question of “where to begin”. Everyone has different circumstances, reasons for travelling, and their own story. The one consistent theme is that everyone had a plan. I’m not talking about a plan that requires a novel’s worth of detail and strict adherence; I’m talking about a focus to build your travels around.
Nate from Yomadic had a plan to travel the world indefinitely, and spent a good year setting himself up to be able to do this. Where he has travelled, how long he has spent in each city, what he has done in each city, and where he is going next are all very fluid things, however the initial plan to travel the world indefinitely provided the focus needed to get things started.
Earl from Wandering Earl decided to travel around South East Asia for 3 months after graduation. After the 3 months had passed, Earl had well and truly caught the travel bug and has been travelling continuously for over 12 years! The life that Earl lives now is a life that he couldn’t have imagined when he first left the USA for South East Asia, however it was that initial 3 month plan that gave him a focus – something manageable to kick-start things.
As for myself, I’d known that I’d wanted to explore the world beyond the confines of my hometown Perth since the 7th grade. As I reached my university years, a solid plan to move to the UK after I graduated from law school developed. I would live and work in London and use the UK as a base from which I could explore Europe. Perhaps “Australian moves to London to work and travel around Europe” isn’t the most unique of stories, but it is my story. For several years, I worked full time and studied full time, knowing that I had this goal in mind. 2 months after graduation, and one way ticket in hand, I was on a plane to London.
The 3 stories above are all different. From a plan to go to South East Asia for 3 months, to a plan to move to London and see what happened next, to a plan to indefinitely travel, the one common theme is that there was a plan. The plans were all flexible, and all lead onto things that were not planned at all. What having a plan does is to provide you with a focus. It makes your dream tangible, gives you something that you can work towards, and is the first step towards making things happen.