Have you ever reached a point in life where you have achieved your goals, but you still feel like something is missing? You have a stable job, good friends, a nice place to live, maybe even a great relationship – but there’s also a craving inside you that you need to satisfy, a scratch you need to itch. That’s where my story began.
Back in 2015, in my old life in Hackney, East London, I was happy in all areas of my life – I had a stable job, great friends, a wonderful fiancee and I wasn’t in debt for the first time in a long time (I could buy Topshop clothes that weren’t on sale!). I was set up for a good life in London, to keep working hard and one day have a nice house, a good car and have a family. Except the problem was that I wanted more – not even more, I wanted something entirely different. I wanted to travel and see the world – but getting what I wanted most meant giving up everything else in my life that made me happy.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. The challenge is letting go of it.
Travelling long term was something that Tim and I talked about a lot, but in that hypothetical “wouldn’t it be mad if one day we just gave everything up!” kind of way. It never really seemed like something we could do, but it always sat there like an unanswered question hanging in the air – would we ever really do it?
My first trip to Asia was a turning point. Tim was still paying off his student loans and had absolutely no money but I was so desperate to go there that I used my annual bonus to buy us both a trip to Japan and Thailand. The flights took up all of my cash and I had nothing left for accommodation or spending money, so over the next few months I set about planning the cheapest trip possible. I was so new to London that I couldn’t even get a credit card, so there was no other option.
I trawled backpacker sites, read countless blogs, scoured forums, devoured books, and spent hours on hotel booking sites finding the cheapest possible hostels that didn’t mention bed bugs in the reviews. This was where I realised how cheaply you can actually travel in Asia – even in Japan! We managed our three-week trip on the tiniest of budgets and I fell head over heels in love, both with backpacking and South East Asia. I walked onto the flight home feeling lighter, happier and more at peace than when I arrived, and I felt like something had changed in me – something that I couldn’t change back.
For the next 3 years Tim and I would use the bulk of our vacation days to go on one 3-week trip together, twice to Asia and once inter-railing around Europe. As time went on, we got better and better at travelling and my budgeting skills improved. I realised that once we could afford the flights, we could fit our trip into even the smallest budget with the tips I had picked up. We ate cheap supermarket food, drank local beer at happy hours and stayed in some very questionable rooms, but we were able to travel and we were having the best time!
On each trip the conversation would inevitably turn to our dream of quitting it all and seeing the world, and as time went on it began to seem more realistic – which was more frightening than it was exciting. Money had always been the biggest hurdle but now we could see how cheaply we were able to travel, especially in South East Asia. Time after time we would shut the conversation down as soon as reality (the fear) started kicking in, but eventually we needed to bite the bullet, stop the daydreaming and ask each other the question..
Are we really going to do it?
As a hypothetical question this was easy to answer, YES! But the reality took a lot of thought; following our dream meant leaving everyone we loved, giving up our job security and saying goodbye to our home. It was exhilarating, exciting, scary and nerve wracking to think about, but all I knew was that no matter what happened I wanted this so much that I could never regret doing it. And there’s no one I would rather go on an adventure like this with than Tim.
One night we went for Japanese food (a nod to our first trip to Asia together), drank a lot of sake to calm our nerves, and we talked about everything – our fears about leaving, our dreams, where we wanted to go and when we wanted to leave. By the end of the meal we booked a one-way flight to Bangkok – it was finally happening!! Now we just needed to save enough money for 2+ years of travel, oh and pay for a wedding!
We spent the next year saving incredibly hard – we lived off my salary and put Tim’s straight into savings. Going from two salaries to one was difficult, and seriously depressing at times, but we powered through and kept reminding ourselves of why we were doing it. By taking the tips we had learned from backpacking and applying them to our day to day lives in London, we got better at budgeting and finding cheaper ways to do things.
Eventually the time came to leave. We packed up our flat, resigned from our jobs, said goodbye to our friends and family, and left London with two 15kg backpacks which contained everything we owned. There was no going back… and I was so excited!
Our Trip So Far
Since that day we have made it to 26 different countries around Asia, Europe, Australia & New Zealand. We spent 10 months backpacking around South East Asia without staying in one place for longer than a week, then spent 10 months living & working in Melbourne, and after a few months travelling around Malaysia & the Philippines, we’re now living in Bali since June 2018.
We’ve seen so much, experienced so many new things, met some incredible people, and had more than a few hiccups along the way! It’s been the trip of a lifetime and I’ve learned more about myself, my relationship, and the world than I ever would have by staying in my old life.
When I first started travelling I was determined I would never write a travel blog. I wanted to be able to fully enjoy my experience without worrying about posting schedules and remembering every detail of my trip to write about later. There were so many other great travel bloggers out there and I thought there was nothing different that I could offer. After a while I began to realise that there were so many people who were in the same situation as I had found myself in London. They wanted to travel, but they had no idea how they would do it.
The reason I created this site was to make you feel more confident about travelling by sharing all of my experiences and advice. There were so many things I didn’t know before I left, things that would have made the first 6 months a lot easier. Like what to pack, what to do when something goes wrong, how to beat jet lag, how to find cheap flights, and how to be a good backpacker. I want you to leave this site thinking “I’ve got this”, and ready to hop on that plane or book those flights.
So if you’re dreaming about planning a trip of your own, but are scared to take the plunge, take a look through the site and find out everything you need to know about travelling the world.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me here!
Thanks for reading!