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STA Travel Blog

Get a life!

Ever wanted to make a change? A BIG change. A shake-up so big it will change your life. Yep, me too.

For me, that wishful thinking involved daydreams of boarding a plane with a one-way ticket to Australia/New Zealand/Thailand /Vietnam (the destination changed pretty much on a daily basis).

So in the end, I made a decision. And I decided, there’s no time like the present. So I saved like I’d never saved before, I negotiated 3 months off work, and one cold January morning I boarded a plane to Bangkok, ready to start my Asian adventure.

And you know what? It was everything I hoped it would be. My home became a hut on a beach in Koh Samui; a $2 a night hostel in Phnomh Penh; a friend’s apartment in Beijing. I learned to dive in Koh Tao, ride motorbikes in Cambodia and cook Vietnamese food in Hoi An. I made countless new friends, from all walks of life, who were all travelling or living abroad for different reasons, but the general idea was the same: they wanted to do something different. They wanted to make a change.

Sound familiar? Now ask yourself, what’s stopping you making that change? Too expensive? Scared of going it alone? Worried about your career? It’s ‘not the right time’? Just stop right there. There’ll always be a multitude of reasons to stay where you are, going along with the status quo. But sometimes, you just gotta jump into the unknown. And I guarantee, you won’t regret it.

Leap of Faith - Mana'o'i'o

Take the plunge | Image by Justin Ornellas

Whatever you want to change, be it where you live, what you do for a living, who you hang out with, or what you do in your spare time, I bet you that going out there and finally living your travel dream will help you make that change.

In fact, I’ll do better than bet you – I’ll show you. Read on, and see how going travelling can change pretty much every aspect of your life, if you want it to. Now, what are you waiting for? Go on, get a life!

What do you want to change about your life?

New House

We’ve all heard the line, there’s no place like home. But that doesn’t mean that home has to be in the same country your whole life. And the world is quite literally your oyster.

When you walk out of your front door, the view that greets you could be the white sands of Thailand, the blue waves of Bondi Beach, the lush greenery of the Amazon, or the awesome skyscrapers of New York City.

We’ve got cheap accommodation and offers on free nights in hotels all around the world, so if you fall in love with a place, you can afford to it your new home for a bit longer. Or for something completely different, you could hire a campervan and make the open road your home for a while.

This could be the view from your new home

New Job

Say goodbye to the 9 to 5, people! And say hello to an array of exciting alternatives. A TEFL qualification means you can teach English abroad, pretty much anywhere. Even better, you can do a TEFL course from only £99 – bargain.

Not up for teaching? You can do basically any job you want with a working holiday visa in Australia, New Zealand or even Canada. A ski season in Whistler doesn’t sound too shabby now, does it?

How about spending your summer in the states? You can head to the USA and work in a summer camp, Beaver Falls style, and if you’re still at uni – lucky you! You’re eligible for a 4-month working visa for the USA, so you can spend your summer working on a ranch in Texas doing an internship in New York, or anything you fancy, really.

New York from the new waterfront bike path in Brooklyn

This could be your home for the summer | Image by ericskiff

New Friends

Solo travelling is one of the easiest ways to make new friends. You’ll find yourself striking up a conversation with someone on a hop-on hop-off bus, and travelling with them for the next month.

One of the best ways to meet like-minded travellers is on an adventure tour – just check out our competition winners’ accounts of their time spent on a group tour to see how much fun you’ll have with your new mates. Excitingly, we’re offering 25% off adventure tours right now.

It’s not all about making friends with other travellers, though. Taking part in a volunteering project could see you meeting local kids, whole communities, and wild animals, to name just a few or the awesome projects that are available all around the world.

These guys could be your new friends

New Hobby

One of the best things about travelling is the chance you get to try something completely new. You could give your brain a workout and learn a language. Not only will you be able to speak with the locals, a new language will give your CV a boost and give you a bit of an edge when you’re looking for a job. It’s the thinking man’s hobby!

For something with a bit more adrenaline, a bungy jump cannot be missed. Especially if you’re heading to New Zealand – check out Queenstown, the home of the bungy.

Bungyyyyyy!

For a truly out of this world experience, I can’t recommend scuba diving enough: the feeling of weightlessness, the peace, the things you’ll see – simply amazing. I reckon Thailand or Australia are the best places in the world to learn, so if you’re thinking of heading there, get your PADI course booked up.

If you want a taste of the sea air, then learning to sail on Australia’s Whitsundays has to be up there with one of the best experiences in the world. Or if you don’t mind getting a bit wet, then learning to surf at Byron Bay is the way forward. You could even get really good and become a surf instructor – who said that hobbies had to stay hobbies, anyway?


Feeling inspired to make that change? We’ve got absolutely everything you need to make your life the envy of all others – check our our latest offers now. Have you made a big change in your life? Tell us about it, and inspire your fellow travellers, in the comments box below.
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Showing 16 Comments

  1. I TOOK THE PLUNGE!

    Earlier this year (May to be precise) I decided enough was enough, I couldn’t put off my dream of travelling anymore, so after only a year into my dream job in children’s publishing, I decided to quit, leave Bath for living with the parents, get a job cleaning to earn a bit of extra buck, sold my 2year old car and a load of my things, and I leave on 29th October for 2 months in India, 6 months in South East Asia, Malaysia and Bali and then a year in Australia with a working holiday visa, the rest of my trip is undecided but I’m thinking after working and getting some more buck in Oz, it’ll be New Zealand, fiji and either China or S.America or N.America – wherever the wind takes me!

    I booked everything with STA – flights, tour in India, accomo for first few days, insurance, money card. Got myself a lonely planet and a backpack and now I’m just waiting to hit that savings mark before I set off. Best decision I ever made and I urge anyone else who’s making excuses to just do it!! I made excuses for 4 years and that was far too long!

    After all Mark Twain said it right: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    1923 days ago
  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Christina! It’s really inspiring to hear when people have stopped just talking about going travelling and started actually doing it. Hope you have an aweseome trip – let us know if we can do anything else to help you with your planning.

    1921 days ago
  3. Sometimes you have to just shake up your life and go for the type of life you have been dreaming about. Traveling is the dream for a lot of people. Its a lifestyle that is possible, whether its short term or for the longhaul. I started making small steps every month to make my dream of a life of travel a reality.

    1920 days ago
  4. Helen Hill

    I have always wanted to travel, but somehow found myself in my 20′s buying a house with the wrong man and setting down to a life of domestic ‘bliss’. After much soul searching, I left him, sold the flat and am using the money to go around the world for 5 months, starting in October, and taking in 15 countries. I cannot wait to see Angkor Wat at sunrise, sail down the Mekong, spend Christmas on the beach in Australia, bungy jump in New Zealand, dive in Fiji, dance in the carnival in Rio and ride out into the pampas in Argentina. Life is too short is an phrase often quoted, but it’s so true. BRING IT ON!

    1919 days ago
    • Amazing, Helen – I love hearing stories like this. You’ll have such a good time, make sure you come back and tell us how you got on!

      1919 days ago
  5. Vikki lunn

    I’m 36 n I have just taken the plunge , handed my notice in and heading to Australia next week, it’s never too late. Bring on being me again n not being defined by a job role n no blooming daily alarm clock … Bliss in itself

    1919 days ago
  6. Maria

    I’m doing it too and can’t wait!

    In 3 weeks from now I will be off to South America for two months with my husband. We are going to do the Southern Cross tour booked with STA, starting in Lima and travelling across to Rio de Janeiro. After that we are going to Australia for a year on a working holiday visa – after that who knows where we will end up!

    We were very lucky to go travelling around South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and USA about six years ago. When we came back life seemed to happen and we ended up getting married, buying a house, getting settled into jobs. However, we both were bitten once again by the travelling bug so earlier this year we booked our flights, we both quit our jobs and are about to rent out our place.

    We are really excited and it is now or never for us because we are getting old(er) and won’t be able to get a working holiday visa if we wait too much longer!

    To anyone thinking about travelling – just do it! Life is too short!

    1919 days ago
    • Rachael

      Hey Maria
      How easy did you find sorting rental out on your house? Thinking of doing same thing – renting out house and getting away asap!
      With you on the lifes too short!
      Thanks
      Rachael

      1917 days ago
      • Maria

        Hi Rachael

        It was quite easy to rent out. I didn’t want too much hassle so contacted some estate agents and asked them how much they would charge for full management service. With my place being fully managed, they will do everything and I can just concentrate on travelling and hopefully won’t have to worry too much about it.

        I would recommend if you want to get the maximum rental income that you talk to estate agents asap – I got in contact about 3 months before and then they marketed my place about 2 months before I wanted it rented out. We put our property on the market and 9 days later we found a good tenant.

        You can do it a lot quicker than that but you might not get as much rent.

        Hope that helps! Good luck!

        Maria

        1915 days ago
  7. Francesca

    I have got my heart set on travelling next year as I’ve been wanting to do it ever since I graduated 2 years ago but ended up in a job which was only supposed to be for 6 months but got far too settled here! I want to go on my own but am scared as it’s such a big thing to do! For your round the world trips is there any way to start off in a group as I’d feel a lot more confident about my travels then! Hoping to go away for 4-5 months, can’t wait! :) x

    1914 days ago
    • It may seem daunting, Francesca, but travelling on my own was one of the best things I could have done; you meet so many people as a solo traveller. A group tour is a great way to get started, though – you’ll meet loads of like minded people and potential travel buddies! I did our tour Roam China on my travels, and it was absolutely brilliant. You can take a look at all our adventure tours here: http://www.statravel.co.uk/tours.htm

      1913 days ago
      • Christina

        Hi Francesca

        Don’t hold out on waiting for people to go with you. I’m going on my own for 2 years and I know people who have too, and I agree with what Emma says above, and my friends all said it’s actually much easier to meet people and team up along the way solo than it is in a group/pair! I’m doing a tour in India to help me get started, I’d say do the same in your start country, get yourself on your feet, meet people and then you’ll have bags of confidence to send you on your way! xxx

        1912 days ago
  8. Steff

    After doing an 8 month round the world trip i can only say the one problem i found with the life of a traveller – you just cant wait to do it again!
    My trip consisted of Thailand – Malaysia – Singapore – Australia – New Zealand – Fiji – USA (L.A, Las Vegas & Miami)
    Each country was so different but there was one thing they all had in common – FREEDOM! Every day was a new adventure, where it was MY CHOICE as to what i got up to.
    I partied in bangkok with lots of ladyboys, i swam with elephants, stroked tigers, I dived with sharks, i swam with giant turtles, i snorkelled along the great barrier reef, i bungee jumped from the 2nd highest bungee jump in the world (and cried like a baby may i add!), i climbed a glacier, a took a mud bath, i sat on the grand canyon, i gambled like there was no tomorrow in vegas, i partied in the VIP areas in miami (they LOVE the english there, free vodka and redbull all round!)

    The above doesnt even begin to cover the amount of things I did whilst i was away but the most important thing i did when i was out there was learn about myself. I met some of the most amazing people but i also learnt how happy i was to do things on my own! Which lets face it guys – before you can be truly happy in life – you must first be truly happy with yourself.

    Ive now been back for a year – got a diploma in the subject that will enable me to become a paramedic so i can then go back out and really do something helpful in the deprived areas of the world. My trip made me realise what i want from life – to help others and it was my travels that opened my eyes to this.

    When i book my next trip, it will most definitely be through STA, they helped me every step of the way (especially with the amount of flight changes i made!!).

    My tip to anyone who is going to do/already doing their travels – DONT PLAN too much!! it is never going to go exactly to plan, youll find you love some places, and not so fond of others, youll meet people who inspire you and probably go off the route you thought you were going to take – but this is all part of the joy of it. Dont stress too much about it, STA are always there to help!

    1909 days ago
    • Steff

      Oh, and for anyone who doesnt believe that travelling can’t push you to your limits – take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1ZY67EqY98

      And this is from someone petrified of heights, but did it anyway!

      1909 days ago
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