There’s one phrase I hear all the time, and if I’m completely honest with you, it really winds me up.
“You’re so lucky. I wish I could do that”
I mean, yes, I am. I’m a little bit of a leprechaun when it comes to luck, and I always seem to land on my feet. The annoying thing about this phrase is the context in which I hear it so often. “You’re so lucky”,”that you can go to all these places”,”that you get to travel so much”. It’s probably one of the most common things a traveller gets to hear from the non-travelling muggles. Here’s what I tend to respond with.
What I do, and where I go has absolutely nothing to do with luck (aside from the luck which landed me my current job that funds my excursions) and is completely down to my will to do these things because that is what I REALLY want from life.
The things that prevent people travelling (from my perspective, mayhaps you might disagree) are their willpower and their commitments. Essentially you could even consider these one and the same.
Granted, I don’t have children (but there are travellers who get out a lot more than I do, that do, so your excuse is invalid), nor do I have to pay a mortgage. Despite having a company car I also pay out for my own personal vehicle for various reasons, and what seems to be a pretty important point; I’m single.
The point is, it doesn’t take any amount of luck to do what I do and go where I go. It takes the will to do so, and some careful planning.
Assuming you buy a coffee twice a week before work at £3 each, thats £6 straight away, x48 weeks (because you might not do that whilst taking your annual leave) and you’ve got £288 already, simply by cutting out some coffee. £288 will fund you a trip to Ireland if you budget it right. If you buy a coffee every day and you’re saving £720, which is enough to get you to Australia if you pick the right flights and times (As at 15/01 there are flights UK to Melbourne for £651 return in October).
This travelling lark isn’t as expensive as people would have you believe. Unless you want to go for all-inclusive package holidays in the summer months. But that isn’t what I do, and makes things more expensive, so it isn’t related to this.
The next point comes down to time. I save enough money that I could probably stay on holiday all year round and work from distance (though I wouldn’t be allowed and I’d miss my colleagues anyway (only those of you that feed me sweets)).
I managed my 3 week trip to Australia with careful planning and expending my annual leave to fit around the holiday closure that we have each year. That meant that I managed to get an extra 1.5 weeks off; careful planning gives you more time.
This year, as you might have seen, I’m planning to hit up 26 countries. But I still work full time and won’t be taking a year off work. I’m looking at doing it by flying out on a Friday night/Saturday morning after work, and returning on the Sunday evening. Sure, it won’t allow me to head off to South America or East Asia, but it allows me to get around Europe and North Africa quite comfortably; and even here there are some great destinations for low budget trips.
It’s no secret that flying on Friday and Sunday evenings are not the cheapest, most cost effective method of travelling. The thing is, as people that work full time we need to work and travel within our means. That means that we can’t leave until after work on a Friday, and usually we will need to be back in work the Monday morning. By all means go for a Saturday/Morning morning flight plan, if you feel that would suit you better, I just prefer to fly in the evening 🙂
If push comes to shove, you can always take some unpaid leave from work. Assuming you save well enough to accommodate for it. Personally, I’d rather work through it and have the extra spending money to do some exciting stuff during my trips.
To cut a medium story short, if you really want to travel more all you have to do is
- Cut back a little to save more money to fund it
- Plan carefully and utilise your weekends and long weekends
That’s quite literally all there is to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be permanently on the go and make travelling my main source of income, but right now I’m not ready to pursue that route. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that right now, I don’t want it enough to make it reality and that’s really the bottom line.
Now if I’ve missed something glaringly obvious that makes life easier to travel for someone working full time, please let me know, I’m always open to having a little extra input and an easier time making arrangements.