When I first left home in 2007 and went to Australia I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know how to plan things, I didn’t know how to research places, I didn’t even know what language they spoke in Australia. Not really, they speak Australian!
My first stop was in Singapore where a friend and I stayed in a hotel, walked about a mile radius around it and decided that Singapore was shit.
Then we flew to Cairns, went scuba diving in the Great Barrier reef and blew our whole (£1000) budget in 3 weeks getting drunk. Then we heard there were jobs in Sydney, so we bought two flights, one to Brisbane and then on to Sydney. In Brisbane we went to the Steve Irwin zoo (obviously), walked about 100 metres from our hostel and decided Brisbane was shit. We then got our flight to Sydney and managed to get ourselves some jobs. I spent 8 months working in an internet cafe then finally planned a trip down the East coast of Australia for when Aimee arrived. That was when I first experienced travelling; new places everyday, new faces, new accents (Other travellers not Australians!) and new adventures.
Living out of a bag is one of the most liberating things you can ever do. Imagine moving house but instead of renting a truck for the day you can just pack a bag and move on - too good! Since then I have become a much better traveller and this trip so far with Aimee has been the best 15 months of my life. We’ve experience America, Japan, South East Asia, Australia and a bit of New Zealand. What I’ve learned in the last 15 months is as follows...
The Best Thing That Travel Gives You Is Time
Time to go for a walk. Time to read a book. Time to enjoy music. Time to have a beer in the sun. Time to swim. Time is literally the best thing that money can buy. No routine, no 9-5 job or boss or stress, just all the time in the world to relax, centre yourself and become your best you. Shit that was deep. But it’s so true; the more time you have the more you can get to grips with what you want in life. Your thoughts become clearer, you begin to see your life from another point of view.
You can go ANYWHERE in the WORLD
Think about that. Look at a map. Point to almost anywhere on that map that is green and chances are you can go there. Of course the only thing that might be stopping you is money and a job. But we had a job, which earnt us money, the trick is to stop spending it! If you are determined, you can visit any place on planet earth. You can. It’s that simple. All you have to do is set your mind to it and make it happen. That’s what we did. Aimee always wanted to go to Japan so we went. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii to see the waves so we went. As cliché as it is, the world is your frikkin oyster kid!
Travel friends are the best kind of friends
One of the most dreaded thoughts of new travellers is ‘am I going to make friends?’. The answer is YES! The best friends you will ever meet in your life. Most of the time the people you meet in ‘normal’ life are people you work with. I’ve been super lucky in all of my jobs and have met best friends for life. Most of the time in jobs you make friends based on a mutual hatred for the job itself. When you’re travelling you make friends through a shared desire of open minded goodness and a lust for newness and travel. When you bond with someone in these circumstances the friendship you build is so much deeper and more meaningful. There is no rushed conversations or who’s been to better places, its an exchange of interest, and more than likely over a beer or ten. We met some of our life long friends on the road, and the beauty of befriending fellow travellers is that they’ll never see you as a ‘go off’ or stop being your mate because you want to explore your world some more. They will always be there whether you travel together again or you don’t see them for years.
You Can Change Plans Whenever You Want
When you’re on the road, chances are you’ll have a schedule. One of the best things you can do is not be regimented. One of our favourite times was in Bali where we had 5 weeks and no plans. We moved about when we wanted with no stress. If we loved a place we’d stay, if we weren’t so fussed we’d jump in a taxi and move on. Travelling allows you to determine your own long holiday. If you book a 2 week holiday to Magaluf and you don’t like the hotel, guess what? You’re staying there lad. When you’re travelling you plan a few days ahead, it’s such a scary thought for some people but routine is the source of all evil. Your brain needs freedom, your soul wants excitement.
You Can Always Make Money
Once you have saved up for that ticket for your big adventure there is nothing stopping you. You’ve got your passport, you’ve got a bank full of casheesh and you’ve prepared your feet and your liver for a pasting. Don’t worry too much about running out of money. What a lot of people do is plan a trip to South East Asia, then end up in Australia or New Zealand to do a working holiday visa. What you’ll find on route is that there will be plenty of opportunity to work for accommodation or even some cash in hand. especially in Thailand. We met so many people who had stopped on one of the islands and started working at a bar or in Laos working on the river. There is plenty of opportunity to do that, if that’s your gig. I myself would rather chew my own knees off than work in a backpacker bar but if you fancy it there’s loads of opportunity to drink yourself into oblivion with other like minded nut jobs. What you have to remember is that £1 in Asia goes a lot further, so make sure you budget so you don’t have a shit time.
Like the saying goes, you can always make money but you can’t always make memories #YOLO
So what are you waiting for. PACK YOUR BAG YOU GIMP!
All my love,
PS. Before you go make sure you pimp yourself out with some Kinging-It Clobber so you look sexy AF on your travels: