“A journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step“- I just love this saying. Over the years I have wandered the globe and I am just about to embark on my next big trip. This time I thought I would blog about my adventures, so here we are – my first step of travel blogging. I want to share my travel experiences with the world and help other fellow travellers with their trips. I am starting right at the beginning of mine - the planning stage.
The first few steps are deciding: where to go, when to go and for how long? Once that is sorted the rest will fall into place.
Where to go?
Travelling is a disease, the more you travel, the more places there are to visit. For this trip my rough plan is to visit Kathmandu, Nepal to study TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). I have discovered the only way to really get to know a country is to live and work with the local people. I am hoping if I get my TEFL qualification I will get this wonderful opportunity. The only downside for the world, coming from South Wales, I speak Wenglish. In a few years there may be some lovely Nepalese people speaking English with a very strange accent.
After my TEFL course I am going to spend a bit more time in Nepal, not sure exactly what I am going to do: maybe some teaching, some conservation work, or even venture over to Tibet. I will see how the mood takes me after the course.
Finally I am heading to Europe. I am landing in Frankfurt to hopefully visit my wonderful German friend, Kirsten, who use to live in Sydney (still waiting confirmation – she’s as flighty as me). At some stage meeting my parents in the South of France. They don’t understand my need for travelling and they always worry when I give up a “perfectly good job” to satisfy my wander lust. However, I blame them entirely!!!! I was very lucky as a teenager, my parents had a caravan and every Summer we toured around Europe. I remember my first trip to France, it was magical. The strange language, new foods, wonderful markets, aaaahhhh!!!! Yep I blame my parents!!!
TRAVEL TIP: So that’s the rough plan, but the nature (and the fun) of travelling, things will change. Even if you plan to the n-th degree, something will throw your plans up in the air. Be open to change and enjoy the ride.
When to go?
This all depends on the type of trip you are doing. My last big trip was over 4 years ago, so I am just dying to get a break from the 9-to-5 norm. The soonest I could get away was March (I booked tickets sometime last year to a concert, which some friends have told me I have to go).
Due to the nature of my Nepal trip (i.e. no trekking), I do not really care about seasons and weather patterns. March-June will be Nepal’s low season and could potentially get quite hot in June; however out of season there are generally less tourists and accommodation prices can be lower – so not always a bad thing.
I will be in Europe June-July, hoping to catch the start of the summer. However, the world’s climate has gone mad, so who knows.
TRAVEL TIP: You probably do not want to be visiting Alice Spring at the height of Summer or India in the monsoon season, so do your research!!!
How Long For?
This all depends on how much time you can take off work, how much money you have saved for your big adventure, which countries you are visiting, etc.
I live to travel, so my life has adapted over the years to allow me to wander when I like. I chose to be a contractor 5 years ago to give me the flexibility to travel when I like. So I am lucky I can easily take 4 months out of the 9-5 world. Not everyone has that flexibility, however don’t be afraid to ask your employer for unpaid long term leave. Another good friend of mine, Sharon, has managed to get her company to agree TWICE to take 6 months off for her and her husband’s ramblings across Thailand.
I have saved hard for my trip. It is going to be expensive especially the flights, the TEFL course and the Europe stint. How much money you have saved will dictate how long you can be on the road for (unless you can find work along the way, but don’t rely on this before you pack your bags!!!). My very first long trip, I came back with a large credit card bill and no job. It was tough, I became a couch surfer between friends, but there is only so long you can do that before you out stay your welcome. I would strongly recommend when you are working out your budget and how long you can travel for, to allow for living a month in your own country when you get back.
TRAVEL TIP: Quote from a great friend, “If you never never go, you will never never know”.
Well first blog over, hope somebody reads it and finds it of interest,