तैयारी: Taiyaaree (Preparing) Vagabonding: pt2
February 10, 2019
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. JoyBell C.
Escape, run, flee, get away or go where the grass is greener; no, that doesn’t sound right, none of these describe my reasons for wanting to go vagabonding around the world. Its more about freedom: the freedom to just go. To put that backpack on and hit the road, to explore new places, new cultures, religions and meet new people, explore new minds.
But most of all to find myself and to grow; it seems like a spiritual thing.
Travelling alone is not easy; I think you have to be someone that is used to your own company. Months and months on the road is not for everyone. Creature comforts quickly go out of the window. You also have to be street savvy and aware of dangers and if you are a lone female vagabonding in strange new lands, extra care is needed and a network of contacts is always a good back-up plan.
But in my experience of travelling over the years, you are never truly alone. There is always someone you meet along the way, on a long train journey or on a bus, or walking the same path as you. Someone that you strike up a friendship with and end up travelling some of the way with them. Hopefully someone from a different country, culture or religious background.
Hostels and camping sites are also good places to meet fellow travelers. Before you know it you have arranged to eat with them that night or have a beer in a bar on the beach. The experience of meeting fellow global nomads on the road is a big draw for me; its fantastic meeting new people and another reason I am so drawn to take the leap and go.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Since making the decision to go long-term vagabonding, my preparations have already begun; 20 months and counting until take-off.
The first thing to do was to sit down with myself and ask: why it is so important for me to take this journey now?
How will I survive financially?
What if I fall ill or i’m attacked or robbed?
Will I miss my friends and family?
A couple of great books to help you work out these sort of questions are: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts and: Travel For your life by Chantell Glenville
Travel for Your Life: How to Quit Your Job, Travel the World and Transform Your Life
Travel for Your Life will show you how to quit your job, travel the world, and transform your life. Plus it will provide you with essential tools for when traveling, from staying safe to making the most of your trip If you have ever wanted to travel the world, the time to do it is now. This book will show you how to overcome the obstacles that are preventing you from traveling; it also shows what you’ll gain once you make the necessary changes so that you can travel, and gives practical advice on everything from safety to attitude for once you’re on the road. Chantell Glenville is an experienced traveler who quit her job in 2014 to travel the world. The information Chantell shares in this book has been gleaned through her own experiences and those of others, through trial and error and chance discoveries she has made whilst globe-trotting. In this step-by-step guide you’ll find out how you can make the changes in your life that will free you to travel the world too. Learn:
- Why you should travel now.
- How to travel by overcoming the obstacles that stop you from traveling: lack of money, work commitments, age, lack of a travel companion.
- Guidance for the solo traveler and why going it alone can be better.
- How traveling will allow you to take control of your life and start enjoying it fully again.
- Top tips on how to stay safe.
- Practical advice on how to plan your travels, pack perfectly, find cheap flights, and choose where to stay.
- Essential knowledge to utilise once you’re on the road; how changing your attitude will make travel fun no matter what happens, how to haggle, and advice on what to do on your travels.
This book is not a travel guide that provides information on multiple destinations; it is instead on why and how to travel the world, even if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking for travel guides to destinations around the world visit www.TravelForYour Life.com where Chantell shares the routes she has taken around the many countries she has visited and the time frames/practicalities of those journeys.
About those questions: For me the reason for wanting to travel long-term goes back many years, possibly to my childhood (as explained in my last blog post). Its been there, on my mind for years now and the wanderlust has consumed me. Its been a really natural phenomenon and an uncontrollable drive to travel the earth. To pack up and put my worldly possessions on my back and just go.
Since my last trip to India things have gotten worse. I sit at the computer in my job and I’m miserable; I say to myself “I don’t want to be here, I want to be on the Road in Europe and Asia”.
The wonderful thing is, now that I have made the decision to go next year everything I do has purpose, has meaning. The job I would rather not be doing is now the job that is paying for my travels and so I embrace it. The smaller flat I am moving to in central London will be a sacrifice I am making to free up funds for my vagabonding travels; so a sacrifice worth taking.
I am powered up and everything I do now is in preparation for the day I leave and that’s exciting!
In the book Travel for you Life, it suggests writing a list of concerns and worries, such as the questions I asked earlier and then writing beside each concern, the best conclusion.
For example: How will I finance my travels and have money as a back up?
For me, its all about planning and giving myself enough time. Save like crazy by sacrificing a few things now, giving myself enough time to have a sensible amount of funds. Open a second ’emergency’ bank account and pay in £1000 for any hiccups abroad and then leave it be. Also get a good bank card that works well abroad as your main money card but also carry cash in a secure money bag.
And finally be aware that if you want to travel long-term, you need to spend wisely on the road. This is what vagabonding is all about. Camp out where you can. Stay at cheap hostels and eat at street food outlets and from supermarkets. Dining out at restaurants and bars and clubs every night will quickly drain your funds.
of course its nice to do sometimes, otherwise wheres the fun but just be money conscious as no funds means – going home!
So, the clear message that I have taken from my research so far is to give it enough ‘time’ before setting off. Give time in order to plan and save up an adequate amount of ‘funds’ and to put a financial safety net in place in case of disasters and hiccups.
After thinking about these initial concerns I started to look at my chosen route, border crossing issues, visas and problems around booking visas for the next visited country whilst on the road. I will be writing about these initial planning issues next time but wanted to end today with my thoughts about having an end goal to your journey.
I had been thinking it might be nice to sign up for some volunteering at a slum school in India at the end of my travels. I have volunteered at a school in the past in the Gambia, Africa and had enjoyed it very much.
But then I started seeing the pitfalls of planning such a thing prior to travelling the vagabonding way.
First of all, to book a volunteering experience from the UK is very expensive; we are talking about over £1000. I thought about raising this through crowdfunding on Facebook but that sort of thing is never really received well and raising cash can be difficult.
I also think the key flaw in this idea is the phrase ‘planning on doing some volunteering’. In planning something there is a timeline. You have to be in such and such a place at a set time to start the volunteering which means your vagabonding travels would always be set to an agenda.
I want to travel completely freely, with no time constraints, so this idea of an end goal is a non-starter and besides, once I reach somewhere like India, if I fancied doing some volunteering then, I could pitch in with a local organisation.
Well, that’s about it for this week. My conclusions so far on this journey are:
- Give yourself enough preparation time.
- Plan ahead, especially around finances.
- Explore your reasons for taking on such an endeavor
- And keep following the dream.