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Where do I get started??

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1. Posted by MicaelaFamilant (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

Hey guys! I'm new to this site but by the looks of it, I feel like I can get a lot of help from all of you!
I have wanted to travel ever since my junior year in high school, so for about the past 2-3 years. I understand that I am young and not very experienced but I'm more ready than you know to just pack up and leave! It is the only thing that makes sense to me! I started college because it was expected of me. But I'm not happy because i don't feel like I'm learning anything about myself. And that is why I want to travel! I'm giving myself about a year or two to save up and plan out this big trip but I honestly have no idea where to start!
This is where you guys come in. I assume most of you are experienced and can lend me some great advice. So, please help me! Money tips, best cities to stay in, what to see, books to read, anything! Any advice you can give me will be more than appreciated.
I really want to make this happen and I'm really determined to do it. No one but me wants me to because I'm "too young." While i get where they come from when they say that, i don't think its a reason i should hold myself back. Right now, I'm very impressionable and i think that by exposing myself to the world and the different people in it, I will find myself somehow and contribute something great before i die. So, please help me get started!! :)

2. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 813 posts) 1y

Hi, welcome to Travellerspoint! My advice: go out there and do it

Without any current plans or research under your belt I would definitely suggest browsing the community highlights. This will at least give you inspiration for a starting point so you can come back with more specific questions about destinations.

As for other tips, here's a few articles from the travel guide that might help you:
Travel Safety
Money Matters
Transportation

Best of luck!

3. Posted by MicaelaFamilant (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

Thanks so much! I'm just worried about how to actually get out and do it and if i need money! lol

4. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 653 posts) 1y

Hi.

Sure don't be put off by age, but also be realistic about your capabilities and resources. If you start small and plan an easy trip, and it all goes smoothly and successful, then that could convince your family and others who are against you travelling. With one trip under your belt you will grow your confidence for the next project.

What do you most want to see and do? Or is it a case of getting out of your home town and seeing the wider world?

As a starting point Europe is an option. Loads to see, more variety packed into a small space than anywhere on the planet. And whatever you choose to see there, if you miss something out you will always be back again. On the minus side, it can be expensive.

What appeals? History, culture, architecture, beaches, partying, landscapes, cities, people?

5. Posted by MicaelaFamilant (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

I want to see everything. I want to travel for the culture and experience something other than the life i've experienced here in America. I want to understand other traditions and people from all around the world. More importantly I want to travel to discover myself. Like I said before, traveling is the only thing that makes sense to me right now. And I plan on starting with Europe. I agree that there is a lot to see and a lot to experience in Europe. I just need help getting started. How should i start planning for something like this because I don't have the experience or many resources to help me. I'm sort of just figuring things out for myself. So, how do you think I should get started??

6. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 627 posts) 1y

Quoting MicaelaFamilant

........I'm sort of just figuring things out for myself. So, how do you think I should get started??

I think you should look into Work Holliday Visas for New Zealand and Australia. Both give you the opportunity to travel & work legally for 1 or 2 years. The cultures are different from USA but not so different & they also speak English, almost. On the way home you could call into SE Asia to experience more different cultures but working would be more problematic.

Volunteering might also appeal to you. Google volunteering for any country. Jump into the deep end & try India or Bangladesh - or AFRICA. Skip boring old Europe til you are ancient.

Whatever you choose you are going to need money, Save as much as you can by thinking about every dollar you spend. Was it really necessary? Could it have been cheaper?
Alcohol & tobacco can be a huge expense & at your age are easy to eliminate.

Go to your local library for all sorts of reference material and research places as much as you can. It's all free there.

Try to Imagine yourself going to a place, any place. India say. Now plot everything you would need to go there. Flights, Visa, accommodation. Transport. Sights that are interesting to you. Entry fees. Play around with Travelerspoint Maps & Planner & Accommodation. Familiarise yourself with the process of moving from one place to another.

Make lists of potential routes & places to see, things you need to travel with. Tear them up & start over. Lists are always good at helping to focus your mind but are never set in concrete.

When you get stuck, come back to these forums and ask specific questions. Someone is bound to have an answer but the vaguer your question, the vaguer the answer.

Oh - to be eighteen again!

Happy travels.

Steve

7. Posted by MicaelaFamilant (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

I think the WHM visa is a better track for me. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

8. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 627 posts) 1y

Quoting MicaelaFamilant

I think the WHM visa is a better track for me. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

Thanks for the thanks. Nice.

For those following your thread who might not know what we are talking about, this has a good description with some links, and there's also lots of stuff here on TP. Check the 'Groups' section.

Personally, my preference would be New Zealand over Australia.

I have never heard if the UK has a similar scheme. Maybe they do too, but that's for old folks.

Steve

9. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 653 posts) 1y

I'm travelling in NZ myself at the moment, my second time, it's certainly a great destination and I agree I'd choose it over Australia. The WHV scheme does get you past some of the money issues but it's not all fun. I've met people this trip who've struggled with it - saying things like the fruit picking work sounded good but turned out to be modern day slavery, and they lasted a day, or when they set out to travel they didn't want to spend a lot of their year cleaning hostel toilets.

The other downside to a WHV is you're going to mostly see one country, and it'll be one that has a culture a lot like home. It wouldn't be for me - I'd be bored stupid. But we're all different.

If it were me and my first solo trip, well maybe I'm a wimp but I wouldn't touch India or Africa. Both challenging and dangerous, and not going to win your family's support. Rather than putting off travelling for a year or two I'd do a summer trip Interrailling around Europe to see a heap of places with different languages, you can do this in your summer recess while you are at college and it gets you into a position where you'll know more what you want from longer term travel. It is also easy with the schengen visa and one return flight, maximum bang for your buck. The Inter Rail or EuRail passes give you full flexibility to go wherever you want next.

As well as the resources suggested on this site, I suggest you look up Wikivoyage, it's my first port of call when researching somewhere. Start with continent or country level articles (Europe or New Zealand) and read up on the Get In sections re flights and visas, drill deeper to the city articles to figure out transport and inspiration for what there is to see and do. Skyscanner gives you flight prices, Hostelbookers gives you hostel prices and reviews. Trip Advisor can be good for inspiration on things to see and reviews.

I'd also start writing a wishlist of places or experiences you want to try. Not all may make it onto your first trip but it's something to go back to when you need inspiration. Eg Venice, seeing the northern lights, the Soviet Union, climbing a volcano, learning to Samba in Rio.

There's no right or wrong answers. And sorry to be saying the opposite to Steve, I'm not trying to pick fights, honest! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Dec-2014, at 21:06 by Andyf ]

10. Posted by MicaelaFamilant (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

You all have been such a great help, thank you so much!!