There comes a time when all of us get a bit sick and tired of our day to day lives. Maybe the office politics have become too much or you just can’t take staring at a computer screen anymore. But it’s not just people in offices who get tired of the day job. Maybe you’ve been running your own business as a tradesman and you’re tiring of the day to day slog and the thought of having to go and compare van insurance is making you weary.
If that sounds like you, you might just need some time away from the 9-5 to find out who the real you is. Here are our top tips for taking some time out and doing some travelling.
How long do I have?
If you’re a self-employed tradesman you have the luxury of not having to worry about annual leave, but if you’re away for too long you may start to lose the client base you’ve taken so long to build up – the decision on the length of your trip is really up to you. For those in employment to take the time you really need for some proper travelling, you’re going to have to quit (but if you’re getting itchy feet you probably want that anyway). If you quit your job, the world is your oyster.
Where do I go?
The short answer is anywhere you want. But this does require you to think seriously about what you want from the trip. If you just want sun, sea, sand and a party Australia should be perfect. Especially up the east coast you’ll find loads of people doing exactly the same as you – which means instant friends. If you want to test yourself a bit more, but still require the safety net of plenty of other backpackers Southeast Asia is a great place to start. For those looking for a little more diversity in terms of their adventure South America, China or India and Nepal will be perfect.
How much money do I need?
Depends where you go. Oz is expensive, whereas Asia and South America can be very cheap (not in the big South American cities though), so you need to plan accordingly. If you’re away for a while and don’t think your budget will stretch you can easily get working holiday visas in the likes of Australia and New Zealand which allow you to stay and work for 12 months (24 if you do your quota of farm work). Not only will this enable you to stay there for a year, saving some money will also give you the springboard to carry on your travels once the year is out.
What else do I need to plan before I head out?
Once you’ve decided on your destinations you need to plan a variety of other things including visas, travel money, inoculations and your kit (wherever you’re going, a good sleeping bag is essential).
Should I plan my entire trip before I go?
No, have a loose idea of the countries you want to head to, but the best thing about backpacking is meeting new people and listening to the stories they have. If someone tells you about a must-see spot you want the flexibility to be able to take them up on their advice. You can’t plan who you’re going to meet, or where you’re going to go before you set out.
Most of all, have fun – it beats working