It’s all good reading about someone’s trip to Ghent, or an adventure to a library in the middle of nowhere– but what if you’re sitting there, wishing you could do the same? Reading page after page of someone’s adventures, wishing you could embody them in those beautiful moments… to snap back to the reality of you sitting on your sofa, now holding a cold cup of tea as it rains outside. You wish you could do the same: fly out to somewhere in Europe, try a local delicacy and marvel at the surrounding architecture. If only you could travel more and experience it yourself. You are, in fact, the classic representation of an Armchair Traveller.
(n.) Someone who talks or reads about being a traveller, but does not have any real experience of doing it.
And I am too. In fact, I tend to keep away from a lot of travel writing to skip out on spontaneously booking a flight. The more I read, the more I realise that these people have so much travel experience and insight… and I don’t.
But here’s the important thing.
Currently (as much as I hate to admit it), I have very little experience in travelling. Sure, I’ve been on a plane more times than I can count- but I have only ever booked two of those flights myself. What’s more, I have only been abroad without my parents on those two occasions. I lack the experience needed for travel writing. And this fact alone is why I have been inactive on my blog for the past few weeks.
I want to bring readers value, but I’ve realised that I can’t properly give any due to my lack of experience. I could compile accounts of other people’s experiences and adventures, and theorise what to do in different situations- but if I were to do that, then you may as well go and read their blogs. With this horribly infuriating fact weighing down on me for the past few weeks, I’ve therefore decided that I will be writing more about the process of getting to that end goal. The end goal being, of course, to write articles that inspire, inform and entertain readers whilst immortalising my memories and adventures.
There are some facts that I need to make clear, both to you and myself.
I am a twenty-year-old uni drop-out, part-time worker and aspiring travel writer. I live with my parents and need to start driving lessons. I’ve moved house more times than I can count, and spend a stupid amount of money on transport between Exeter and Birmingham. Concert tickets are immediate purchases, and the occasional new outfit is pretty refreshing. I’m a sucker for biscuits and sloth plushies, and there honestly isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t question why I’m so damn tired. Amongst other things, in six months time, I plan to travel consistently for four months.
How the hell am I going to manage to do that in my current position?
This, is the Starting Point.
Because in all honesty, I have no clue how to reach that goal. But this is why I’m writing this. This is the start of the long journey to get there. Hopefully, my words and experiences will inspire and show you that anyone can do this. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what situation you’re in right now. It’s possible. And I’m here to prove that.
Working. A lot.
I have a habit of asking for overtime when it comes to work. It’s not unusual for me to be working six days per week, with shifts ranging from four to eleven hours. I try to be as flexible as possible so that I have every chance to earn some money. It’s tiring and a lot of effort, but opening my banking app at the end of the month to see a sudden increase in money makes it worth the while.
Every month I transfer £250 into my savings account. Since moving house I’ve cut down massive amounts of money on both food and leisure (thank god), and the only money I really spend is on bus fare. As lonely as it sounds, I don’t have many friends here in the countryside, and that has definitely helped me save money and focus more on work, whether it be my part-time job or my blog. Days out at the cinema and eating out are saved for when I travel back to Birmingham. Cafe trips and going out drinking are reserved for those couple of days in Brum. Even with my necessities being paid out each month, I can afford to put aside money for those four months of travel.
Focusing more on time management.
I waste a lot of time watching endless videos on Youtube or staring out the window to daydream. There are 24 hours in a day and we spend half of that either asleep or procrastinating. Although I tend to have a pretty big lack of energy, I want to be able to work 18 hours a day. This means balancing both my job and working on this blog and everything it could be. I know that sounds crazy in the grand scheme of things. When we hear someone taking on an 11 or 12-hour shift we flinch at what that means for them. Working for that long is exhausting both mentally and physically… but have you ever heard of anyone who has made it big without racking up countless long shifts?
Holding on to that restless feeling.
For the past few years, I have been travelling by bus to most places. At some point, you end up being sick of the same bus routes. When you catch a bus most days, nothing seems to change. Everything goes past in a blur, and you end up seeing the same familiar, glum faces of early morning travellers. It’s in these moments, especially where I feel the most restless. I feel the need to keep moving, to see somewhere new, to experience something I never imagined myself doing. Travelling is my escape from the same, mind-numbing routine of everyday life (although the only times I catch a bus nowadays is to go to work, so I guess I’m stuck with the same views for a while longer).
Starting up a side hustle.
Usually, side hustle means doing something to earn you some extra cash whilst doing your usual job. For me, this is my blog. Admittedly, it isn’t earning me money at the moment, but that’s not why I’m setting all of this up. I want to be able to gather a community of people who have and haven’t travelled; a community of people who need to travel. I want people to be able to give me honest feedback on my work and to spread my words across the globe so that I can show people that this mission is possible. Hopefully, in the near future, you will find my articles not just on this platform but on others too. For now, I’m already mentioned in Gadsventure’s blog, as well as photographer Point and Perceive’s website. It’s a start, to say the least.
Reminding myself that one day, I will die.
We’re all short on time. Although I’d rather not be alive for the upcoming robot revolution, I do like the idea of being that crazy old grandma with brightly coloured hair, waving her fist at a rock concert and telling the kids some questionable stories. Anything could happen: in the next hour, tomorrow, next month, 10 years down the line. Anything could happen that could stop (or at least delay me) from travelling and achieving my goals. I need to act fast, and with precision… the sooner I travel, the better.
Overall, it’s a lot to take on. Commitment and determination are key in making this happen, and after a month of brainstorming and wondering about the countless paths I could take this blog on, I’m ready to start working hard to get it. It’s time to stop reading about other peoples adventures and putting in the effort to create my own.
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