Doing it while I’m young

I embarked on my largest and most adventure-filled trip to date on Saturday. The first part of which will see me travelling from Edinburgh to Beijing without taking a single flight. After months of talking about it, a few unexpected jaunts through Europe in the mean time, and much umming and ahhing about whether I am even capable of doing this, I’m finally going. There is no going back.

I’ve travelled a lot in my short years. At just 22, I feel like I’ve had so much more life and travel experiences than most people I seem to come across my own age. I’ve been travelling solo on and off since I was 17, when I jumped on a plane to Australia. In my first 2 -3 years of adulthood I’d worked more jobs than most people have in a lifetime. I went to college for a couple years, and then dropped out to start my own business – as a travel blogger. I’m now very lucky to be earning a full-time wage from my business, which has so far been increasing month by month.

I’ve also made  a lot of mistakes in my life, some worse than others. I was too young when I started travelling to really be given any lending, which I am very thankful for, as I was terrible with my money back then. I’ve also made a lot of mistakes with friends, family, and relationships, but despite all of these things, the one thing I am so glad of is that I started travelling young. I can see now, how much more difficult it must be for people who have relationships, children, jobs they’ve worked there way up in, or elderly parents they have to look after, how much more difficult it can be to travel. At 17 all I had to think about was me. I was too young to have any of those things to worry about, or to potentially limit my travelling. At 22, I still don’t have many of those concerns, but the ones that may have propped up I’ve managed to avoid or mould into what I’m doing now simply because I started young.

For instance, having started travelling so young, and been doing it for a while now, I’ve been able to pick a profession that involves travel, and allows me to be location independent. If I’d been 35, and had worked 15 years in one job up the promotional ladder, I might have been to scared to lose that “security” to ever have gone. If I ever do decide to get into a serious relationship with someone, it will most probably be someone who likes or wants to travel a lot too, because no-one else would be able to put up with my current number of jaunts unless they travelled too! Also, they know what they’re getting into. I’m not just suddenly springing it on a partner. They’d know that this is what I do before they even got involved. Children is not something I plan to think about for a very long time, but I’ve seen examples of people who do travel with kids, and it’s given me huge confidence that if I do ever decide to start a family, travel could be a very good option for both me and them. My parents are also still reasonably young too, but by the time they are older and need a bit of help, I’ll have done a lot of travel by then so maybe it won’t be such an issue to stay home a lot more? Who knows what the future will bring? The only thing I can be certain of is that I have all of these advantages because I started young, and if you’re reading this thinking about travelling, then I urge you to start young too!

Even if you are a lot older than me. Say you’re middle aged, or even a pensioner, it’s always better to go sooner rather than later. How can you guarantee you’ll have your health later on in life? How do you know your bank won’t go bust (which is actually more probable these days than it was in previous years due to the current economic climate)? How can you guarantee you won’t have elderly parents to look after, commitments with your children, or something else prop up where it just seems impossible for you to get away?

I would say don’t be scared, but the fact is, everybody who travels was scared before they left! Especially on your first trip. Even I still get scared. You just learn with time, and each trip that you go on, to put that fear to one side, and concentrate on what you can gain from the experience. I hate to sound like a broken record as I always say this, but you could get hit by a bus at home, or have a car accident. You could have some other health problem which prohibits you from travelling, or have something else terrible happen while you are at home. The only difference to being at home there is to travel in that respect is that you don’t think about stuff like that when you’re at home because you know the likelihood of that happening is slim and weighing it up you’d rather live your life than stay cooped up the house the entire time!

So there you go. My motivational post for the day! Do it while you are young! Travel now! It will be so much easier.

2 Responses to “Doing it while I’m young”

  1. Toni says:

    GREAT post Jane. Well, I like all your posts but this one really stood out for me. I left it a little later than you to get going – 5 years later to be exact after stumbling into a relationship that I now realise never should have happened by hey ho (life experience and all that jazz). I did 3 months solo around Asia last year and will do 7 countries in 6.5 weeks through Africa in August; to say my wanderlust has been awokened would be an understatement. Now I’m in a perfect rush to get to Oz/Nz before I’m 30 (since I’m about to turned 25) and do at least a year in each before having a family on the road. Like you there is inspiration everywhere =)
    Can I ask (a pretty big question) – how did you start turning your blog into a money maker? Where do you think is the best place to start?

    • jane says:

      Hey Sammy, if you’ve just started out I’d recommend getting a copy of Matt Kepnes’ (NomadicMatt.com) ebook “How to make and monetize your blog”. You’ve already got a blog – which is great, but there’s a lot in there too about the basics of making money, what to charge, and how to build traffic etc.

      I just checked, and your blog is a page rank 3 site. That’s great news because even if you don’t have a lot of traffic, you can start selling ads on your site right now for sround $30 per month! Make sure to add an “Advertise Here” page to your blog (I noticed a big increase in the amount of advertisers contacting me when I did this), and start going around other blogs that have similar stats to yours and seeing who’s advertising on there. Then contact those advertisers!

      I’ve only been blogging around 13 – 14 months, but I’m now making over £1200 (GBP) turnover every month! If you keep at it, post regularly, and work on building traffic there’s no reason why you can’t make enough money to pay for your travels.

      Janeee

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