Whether it be fleeting weekend visits or explorations that stretch over a couple of years, travelling seems to be at the top of most people’s bucket lists, New Year resolutions and 10-year plans. The attractiveness of the unknown is often very welcoming, appealing to those seeking to find a landscape full of undiscovered cultures and ways of life. Almost as important as carving a flourishing career or scoring that First Class degree, experiencing life somewhere on the other side of the world has arguably become a right of passage (to the absolute horror of many well-meaning parents.)
Travelling, for me, has been always something I craved to experience, if not only just to join the Elephant print trouser wearing clan. With my rose tinted spectacles firmly positioned, in the space of 4 months I had secured my Australian visa, booked flights to Brisbane and looked at one too many Pinterest boards. With the obvious doubts entering, and swiftly leaving my mind, I was more than keen to say goodbye to the dreary November days of England, and begin the transition into an ultimate travelling goddess. With wanderlust overshadowing the need for some long-term financial stability, our first week in Australia offered an unwelcome surprise for our savings. Though beginning our travels in a hostel and resisting the temptation to try out every brunch spot in the city, the rate that the dollars dwindled was pretty terrifying. The days of eating any food more exotic than a can of tuna were long gone.
After flying to Melbourne, the pressure was seriously on to find some sort of income. With some doubts slowly seeping in with numerous job applications unanswered, my perfectly formulated travel plans were beginning to unravel. A bitter reminder that adult’ing was still a necessity when trying to set up camp in unknown territory. Finally after many attempts, and a couple of urges to run back home to the welcoming arms of my family and a great cup of tea ignored, I managed to gain some work at a local cafe. Despite my Bambi legs ensuring I had a few spillages and an unfortunate coffee explosion, this remained my main source of survival for a month until the festive period.
A couple of months and a couple of jobs later, finding a consistent flow of cash is undeniably harder than I had ever anticipated. As whilst my time has mostly been filled with awesome days of discovery and exploration, the reoccurring fear that plagues my freewheeling time away is the anxiety of finding sufficient funds. For many backpackers if a balance between embracing the wonderful travelling life and securing a healthy looking bank balance isn’t reached, you will most likely have to pack your bags and say “Farewell lifelong travelling dreams, you were super swell for those 3 weeks.”
Though 3 months in, and a few “I’m screwed” moments down, the glory of sailing through the amazing, and the not so amazing sides of travelling is a pretty exhilarating experience. It would be a lie to allow social media to do its thing and paint a picture of absolute bliss 100% of the time, yet, I feel it would be equally unfair to ignore the luck I was handed in having the resources, and opportunity to pack my bags and secure my own sense of discovery. With many unforeseen curve balls moulding my experience so far, it might be argued with a little more preparation, I could have prevented some unwelcomed stress. With that said, the lack of structure and unpredictability that often comes hand in hand with travelling can often act as an undeniably challenging, yet refreshing remedy to the routines of everyday life. In a world where forgetting your good fortune and focusing on the negative is a painfully easy mindset to fall into, it seems deciding not to lose perspective is imperative when deciding to undertake the adventure of globe-trotting.
Photos are not my own.