It is many people’s life-long dream to one day just pack up, get on a train or plane and see where their feet take them on the other side. The rational side of the brain then kicks in and reminds you about your responsibilities, and the amount it would cost, and you force the thought to the back of your mind and continue on with your day. However, continuing that same cycle and never looking into the possibility of actually packing a bag and heading off to see the world, could be something you regret not doing as you enter old age. The main reason anyone wants to see the world is to experience different ways of living, different cultures, different cuisines that the rest of the world has to offer. See how people live outside of the country you know and love. You don’t need fancy hotel rooms, and lavish first class travel to do that. To really experience a country you have to live there – a couple of weeks, months, years if you want to – but it takes more than just a quick visit, laying on a beach reading a book.


Tie Up Loose Ends

You will either need to take a long leave from work, or leave your employment altogether. That may seem scary, but if you are going to do this, you may as well do it right and spend quite a long time travelling. It is possible to see somewhere like Europe in three weeks, but not really possible to experience each and every country you visit. If you still live with your parents, apart from convincing them to let you go, you won’t need to do much on the homefront. But, if you live in rented property you may need to end your contract so you are not paying rent on a property you are not living in, or negotiate with your landlord to see if he can rent it out for the duration of your travels, so you know that you have a home to return to. Either option will require you to store your belongings in either a storage container or a willing friend’s or family member’s garage/loft. If you own your home, you can either arrange a sitter, or you could rent it out while you are gone. This will give you a monthly income, take care of your bills, and allow you to rest easy at night knowing your home is secure and safe.

Pack Less

A typical problem for any backpacker is overpacking. You get sentimental or underestimate how much stuff can actually fit inside your North Face and are left shoving things in till the point stitches can be heard popping. There is a simple trick to ensure you are not taking unnecessary items. Lay everything out and go through all of your items twice asking – do I need this? Most cosmetics like shampoo, conditioner and shower gel be sure to take the bare minimum as you will be able to buy most things whilst on the road when you need them. Make sure you are packing for the weather – if its boiling hot you’re hardly going to need your big fluffy coat, and if it’s freezing cold you will not be wearing high waisted shorts. Remember not to pack too many valuables as these could get lost, or potentially be stolen by an opportunist pickpocket so be careful.  

Work As You Go

Unless you have saved your entire life for travelling, you will probably have looked at your budget and realised you have insufficient funds. The advantage of immersing yourself in the culture around you is you can work and earn money to fund your travels on the road. You may be thinking that a language barrier will cause a problem, however depending on where you’re travelling the culture will usually be so diverse that English is a commonly spoken language. Or, you may find by being surrounded by the native language you pick it up a lot easier. It’s one of the main advantages of staying in place a long time, you will pick up bilingual skills, opening up employment opportunities both whilst you are travelling and when you return home.

Try To Live In Non-Tourist Areas

You may find when travelling through the higher traffic tourist areas everything is just that little bit more expensive, and that there are more people speaking English than the native tongue. If there are more people taking selfies and pictures of things than actually looking at them with their own two eyes, you may catch yourself doing the same and not be living in the moment and truly experiencing what’s around you. Stepping away from the typical attractions, and getting a train to the outskirts or outside of the famous destination cities, will help you to immerse yourself in the actual culture, not just a fabrication of it for spend-happy tourists. Living just outside in a rented accommodation like those found on, you may find serves you so much better when it comes to learning the language, cooking local cuisine and meeting the locals. This will also open up so many opportunities for you, as the locals can show you their favourite parts of their hometown and you’ll be able to see it through their eyes – not just a tourist’s camera. Make sure to always stay safe wherever you travel, and not to put yourself into any situation that may be dangerous.

Take Alternative Modes Of Transport

Try not to just fly to the different countries you want to see. This will not only take a huge amount of your budget but is also quite an unsociable way of travelling around. See if you can plan a route between all of your chosen destinations that incorporates trams, trains, and boats to get from country to country. Maybe even see if trekking is an option if you like to walk. This way you’ll meet other backpackers who may be able to give you hotspots to visit in your destinations and advice on where is cheap to stay and eat. It’s always good to know someone on the road, and you never know, you may make lifelong friends from just a conversation struck up on a train in the middle of nowhere.

If you really want to see the world, try to give yourself no other option. Really commit, do your research, save up and have what could be the best experience of your life. You’ll be thanking yourself as you look back on all the memories you’ll make and all the photos you’ll undoubtedly take.