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