As part of that we are lucky to have become part of a travel blogging community over the last few months and that community is one which is full of encouragement and support… so we asked some of our favourite bloggers and travellers to give us there “Best advice for first time travellers/ backpackers”….
TWO MONKEYS TRAVEL : There’s a world outside your box…
A few years ago, at a house party for my friend’s birthday and after many drinks, one of my good friends said this to me, ‘Do you know what Jon?
I feel like I’m trapped inside a box and I can’t get out of it.
As amusing as this memory is, what I only realised much, much later, some years later in fact, was that Cindy had actually perfectly summed up the problems that I (and I suspect many others) was having with my own life, only I hadn’t realised it yet. You see, we are all born with a box (metaphor alert!) and as children we fill our box with colours, shape, sounds, people, music…the list goes on. Our box is a sanctuary of amazement and wonder as we discover the world around us and interact with our environment. But as we grow and become adolescents, moving into adulthood, we start to close our box, limiting what we allow inside and over time the bright colours become stale and lifeless, eventually turning to grey.
P.S. Everyone in this story is now roaming the world, living exciting and fulfilling lives…and not a hint of grey in sight!
Jonathan Howe is British traveler, working his way around the world finding new and interesting ways to support a life of long-term travel. Born in the south of England, Jonathan spent much of his early childhood in Africa, before moving to the Lake District in North West England aged 13 where he acquired a northern accent and a love for lakes, mountains, waterfalls, black pudding and gravy. He loves tropical beaches, surfing, hiking, the outdoors, yoga, adventure sports and motorbikes.
SKY VS WORLD : Stop Being Afraid.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been pretending that you are completely excited and absolutely not concerned about anything even through you’re actually terrified. Whether that’s terrified of leaving your job or your family, fear of flying, worry about being lonely or, like me, general worry about everything from your first night in a new city to riding a bus to getting lost. There are so many unknown factors in travel. Things don’t always go as planned and sooner or later you’ll probably find yourself in a situation that’s a little scary. But don’t let that possibility scare you away from travel completely. You’re already ahead of the game by making the choice to travel. You know this is the right decision, regardless of external factors.
It’s normal to be nervous/scared/worried but don’t let that control your decisions.
Breathe. Relax. The world is not as scary as people tell you. No one is out to get you. You are about to have an adventure that most people will spend their entire lives dreaming about.
But, fast forward a few years and I’m boarding a plane to Guatemala with a bunch of strangers. First time on a plane, first time out of the country…first everything, really. I was terrified. Turns out sometimes doing things that scare you is a great thing.
married, buy a house, and have 2.5 children. No thanks! After 3 years of dreaming about travel I finally booked a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. I’ll be spending 2015 volunteering my way from Costa Rica to Mexico. It’s an adventure I can’t wait for, though I’m still pretty terrified.
PACK ME TO: Be prepared, but not overly prepared
Adelina is a globetrotter and food lover. Currently based in Vancouver, she has lived abroad in the Netherlands and Hungary. She loves telling stories, going on adventures, and eating her way around the world. You can often find her behind the camera lens or out exploring new places. Follow along as she decides her next adventure.
BLUE EYED VIEW: Pack your backpack wisely!
“The main reason a lot of people turn to back-packing is for ease and to shed a lot of unnecessary weight. Failing to pack your back light means you may as well have stuck to dragging a chunky suitcase, whilst hauling an awkward shoulder bag and a hefty handbag you question what the point of bringing it was in the first place.
To put it simply; when compiling travel necessities for your back-pack, keep it light!
Just imagine arriving at your destination, everything you need in one place (on your back) and the freedom to move around as you wish. No more having to worry about storing your belongings whilst you nip off into the city or standing out from the crowd as you locate your hostel. Choosing what to wear becomes less of a problem when you only have 2 choices and you will soon realise how dispensable ‘things’ become when you are travelling.
Top tip: be sure to pack a bar of soap – not only does it pass through airport security in hand-luggage but it will cost you only £1 and will last for weeks!”
I AM AILEEN: Think long term & secure your travelling future!
If there is one very important advice that I would like to share to would-be travelers who want to start a life of travel like I do, it is this: always think long term. As you travel or before you travel, start thinking of a profession or a business that can support your traveling lifestyle for the rest of your life. This seems very tough at first, I know it is, but I am telling you that it is very possible because I am a living proof to that.
Now of course, there are a lot of on-the-road jobs that can keep you going for years and it’s absolutely fine to do those at first; however, as time passes, it’s important to start thinking of living a more sustainable life of travel because you surely wouldn’t want to work for someone else forever. There are different ways to achieve this but the first and very vital step is to find what you’re good at or at least find what you are interested in doing.
As examples, some people have a vision of being English teachers abroad so that they can set up their own school or tutor company in the future, and then there are others who make use of their hobbies (dance, yoga, diving, surfing, etc.) so that they can set up their own establishments as they slowly gain enough capital and reputation for themselves.
But then of course, there are those who take advantage of the possibilities that the internet brings — people like me who become digital nomads, travel bloggers, or entrepreneurs. I actually started out as a digital nomad after I quit my corporate job when I was 21; it ranged from simple services at first like being a customer service staff and data encoder. But then it turned into more complex things like SEO, graphic design, and marketing. After a year of traveling and working remotely online, I have even found the inspiration from the jobs that I did to set up my online business today (‘Adalid Gear‘).
With all these and more, I think it’s safe for me to say that I have secured my future and I hope that you can do the same (which I know, you could!)
TRAVELLING BUZZ… Keep a journal
In my opinion the perfect memory “souvenir” is your own experience. Writing a journal will make you remember every single step you took during your backpacking trip. When you get back home, you can read everything and even publish a travelogue and share it with your family, friends and the world. Another thing I like to do when travelling is when I like a certain view, I sit down for a minute and breathe the moment, trying to take a mind picture and remember it forever. You can try that out, too.”
Advice from the Roaming Renegades!
For us we are at a transition between going from travelling via short trips to going off on a long term round the world adventure. That transition came about after we were brutally honest with ourselves and what we wanted in life. The truth of the matter is whatever way you want to travel the best thing to do is to be honest and to stop making excuses. You may dream of visiting a certain city or country, but you put it off because it’s outside of your comfort zone, it’s different, it’s scary… you make excuses because of work, family, money, fear… the list goes on. It’s easy to put things off, to be settled and just let these things be something someone else does. But life goes by too fast for excuses, get up, shake things up and get out there!