This is post #3 in a new series of guest posts called “Dream, Dare, Go.” In the series, I feature stories from people who overcame their fears to pursue their daring travel dream.
This next post is by Laura, a travel blogger and female solo backpacker from the UK. Unlike the previous two guest posters, Laura never settled into an office job. Right after she graduated from college, she went straight for a life of travel! Find out how below.
Guest post by Laura the Explorer
I’ve wanted to travel for as long as I can remember, maybe as my dad travels a lot with work and was always coming back with crazy stories and bizarre gifts. But from the time I was a kid I’ve always been trying to scrape together some money to go somewhere, anywhere, whether it’s popping over to Spain for the weekend, or taking an epic road trip up north to Newcastle.
The trouble is, the more short-weekend-away trips I went on, the more I wanted to go travelling not just for a weekend here and there but a proper epic adventure to explore some of the countries a bit further afield, but I just didn’t want to go on my own. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it by myself. So I waited and waited hoping that one of my friends would decide to travel, so I could finally get going, but the truth is my friends just weren’t that interested, and they definitely weren’t interested enough to start saving money towards a trip. I was never going to go if I waited for someone to come with me.
So I decided to finally take the plunge, and I made the decision to go even if I was going on my own (although I was still desperately trying to convince anyone who would listen to come with me). I booked a one-way flight to Australia, with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur (a place that, naively enough, I had never heard of).
As the time to leave crept closer, I was just waiting for the nerves to kick in, waiting to suddenly be petrified—but it never happened. I knew that I would love it, and even if I didn’t, what’s the worst that could happen? I could fly straight back home if I really wanted to badly enough.
Of course I landed and instantly fell into the backpacker routine, met a ton of people, and started my traveling. It was so unbelievably easy that I was left wondering why I was ever scared of traveling on my own. You always meet people, and the more you travel, the easier it becomes to strike up a conversation with a random passer-by.
So a year in Australia turned into a three-year adventure, and I’m still going strong. I’ve traveled across Australia and New Zealand onto Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Iceland, Thailand, the list goes on, and I still have no plans to go back to the UK anytime soon and sit in a boring office job I hate!
I support myself mostly by occasional work, stopping in places long enough to save up enough cash for another traveling outburst. Even when you’re stopped and working, you’re working in a whole new city in a whole new country; everything still feels like an adventure!
There’s no looking back. I don’t regret a single thing I’ve done or decision I’ve made, and I feel lucky to live my life every single day.
So how does Laura make money to fund her travels?
Amy: It’s a question I keep getting from my readers–and with good reason! Many people think they have to be rich to travel, but that’s just not true. Laura was gracious enough to go into a bit more detail about how she saved up enough money to travel and how she continues to fund her trips. Here’s what she said:
“I worked from when I was 15 and constantly saved up towards going traveling. But in all honesty, anyone can save up enough to travel in a year. If you want to travel, all you have to do is stop spending money on alcohol, pizza, new shoes, etc., and just start saving it up for bungee jumping, flights, trekking, etc.!
While traveling, I’ve worked as everything from:
-customer services (boring office job, but it was temporary!)
-fruit picking: living in an old old caravan, in a field in the middle of nowhere, often sharing the caravan with redback spiders, mice, and at one point several kittens! The stars sure were beautiful from out there though!
-Sales: standing in a supermarket selling Woolworths credit cards, not the funnest!
-other than that just the normal waitress, promo work and odd jobs!”
Follow Laura’s Adventures
Be sure to read the other guest posts from daring female travelers!
Post #1 by Kaycee Lagarde: I Left My Job to Be an Au Pair in Spain
Post #2 by Kimi Sugiyama: Quitting My Job to Travel the World Solo