Advice needed from experienced traveller

Travel Forums General Talk Advice needed from experienced traveller

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1. Posted by saintlysim (Budding Member 3 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Advice needed from experienced traveller

Hello forum,

I need some advice from an experienced traveller, who may have been in my situation once.

Im now 28 and getting to that stage in life where I feel I must grasp lifes wonderful opportunities with both hands, before im too old!

I have no real commitments and have been saving some cash recently and would like to take a year or so out from the daily grind, maybe end up somewhere amazing and see what happens.

Im no big traveller and have never really been out of Europe before. I like to meet new people but also could be happy spending time on my own.

I really want to have a life changing experience, do things I have never dreamt of before and have experience that will stay with me forever.

I guess I’m after what most people are, when they consider this sort of thing.

My problem lies in the fact that I have no friends who also feel this way currently, so Im looking at doing all of this on my own. Like I say I’m not an experience traveller, I have never been off on my own before and the prospect of doing this alone is slightly worrying for me, but not enough so to put me off.

I have a budget of around £2500 at the limit, this includes money for everything. Not sure how far this would get me, or if I would have to work whilst I’m travelling, something I would be willing to do and guess I might have to do.

Any ideas or a good place to start are most welcome.


2. Posted by kombizz (Full Member 1416 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Welcome to the only forum.

I reckon the best place to travel would be the other parts of the UK and then travel to Europe for a while. Then you could travel further based on the experiences you would get them tru your first trip.

3. Posted by saintlysim (Budding Member 3 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Quoting kombizz

Welcome to the only forum.

I reckon the best place to travel would be the other parts of the UK and then travel to Europe for a while. Then you could travel further based on the experiences you would get them tru your first trip.

Thanks Kombizz

But I want to get out of the UK and probably want to go further than Europe to be honest.


4. Posted by bruntonal (Respected Member 26 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

You would benefit going to somewhere like South East Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam etc..) as your money will go alot further. If your money does'nt include tickets you could easily get by for about 4 months or so. There is alot of other travellers who visit the listed countries, so you wont feel alone. Happy planning!!

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5872 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I'd consider lack of friends who want to come along to actually be a plus; it means you're totally free to follow your own instincts and desires and spend the time exactly as you want to spend it.

I guess a lot depends on what kind of life-changing experiences you're looking for. Do you have the guts to hop into a totally alien Asian or South-American culture for your first trip out? (I didn't, though I'm jealous of those who do and come back with tales of awesomeness.) The money will last forever, but wow, what a change of scenery that'll be.

What I did, and what I can highly recommend (although I can't compare it to) is to stick to a language and general culture I'm familiar with, and have the life-changing effect come purely from the traveling lifestyle and the gorgeous scenery of New Zealand. That's a country where you can very easily get around as a backpacker, and there's a huge amount of infrastructure to make your life easier - without being quite as over-the-top backpacker paradise as Australia is. And the nature, and the landscapes, the mountains, the forests, the rolling green hills and everything... wow, just wow. It was so totally unlike everything else I'd ever experienced in life.
That - and a second year spent in Australia - changed me in many ways. There was no single earth-shattering moment, but rather a constant development. I've gained more confidence in myself than I ever knew I was lacking. It's shown me the sillyness of working for a boss when you can be self-employed and make your own rules and live very well with plenty of time for traveling left. It taught me about true beauty such as I'd never imagined.
Most important was always being out on the road though, meeting other travellers, sharing experiences - and then heading out on your own again, climbing a mountain, cresting a hill, sitting at the edge of a lake with a book and being lost to time for hours.

If New Zealand would be the country of your choice to go to, 2500 pounds works out to almost 7000 new zealand dollars, which'll probably last you four months and a bit (living on supermarket food, staying in four-bed dorms in hostels and travelling to a new destination by bus about once a week; although of course with the plane ticket subtracted from the cost, you'll be lucky to hit three months). That's about average for people heading to New Zealand though. A working holiday visa is ridiculously easy to get, and with that you can earn enough to survive in the country for the entire year (although you'll never be offered the cushy jobs that you can actually save up a lot of money with).

If New Zealand won't be your country of choice, at least heed the following advice: whatever you do, don't rush. You won't have life-changing experiences unless you allow yourself to sit down and observe. If you spend less than a week in a single location, you won't know the location at all. You'll have seen the scenery and "been there", but you'll have been a stranger, passing by. Sit down, breathe, observe, immerse yourself in what's happening around you. and if you find a place that resonates with you, a place that you really like, don't be afraid to throw your planned itinerary out of the window and stay there for a month or two.

6. Posted by saintlysim (Budding Member 3 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Fantastic last reply,

Thanks very much for taking the time to do that.

Some great advice there too.

NZ certainly sounds like one to consider near the top of my list.

And perhaps with some work thrown in, I could spend a year there too.


7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 5411 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi simon
i would highly recommend NZ too - i went alone when i was 28 as i was in a similar situation to you - no friends who had the money/ inclination to do it etc, and it was the best thing i ever did-i ended up staying in NZ for 15 months. you could apply for a whz for oz too, to give you the option of working when you get there. SE asia would be a great, cheap option either at the beginning or end of your trip ( or a bit of both). all these places are well trodden from a backpacker point of view, so you will have no problem meeting people.

8. Posted by jacabchris (Inactive 4 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hello saintlysim,

Welcome to the Forum,

All the Suggestion are fantastics.. Last year I went to Turkey for my honeymoon. I got there decent weather and all thing like luxury rental cars, and stars hotel and lot of beautiful places for visit, so i will recommend to all for this place that want to go for holiday....



[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please... ]

9. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

First off, I'm with Sander that going it alone is probably more of a plus than a negative. You have plenty of time for that later in life and travelling alone is incredibly liberating and will teach you a lot about yourself. It sounds rather 'adult', but it's true

I'd second the NZ suggestion, although Australia would be a fine pick too. The benefit of both those countries amongst others is the English language. The people are friendly, you could work side jobs in both and you have a good mix between staying in cities or in the middle of nowhere. If you are really worried about travelling alone you could always go with a group for the first few days; there's a lot of companies that offer a starter package type of thing where you get all the basic info upon arrival and some nights in a hostel plus some basic help trying to find a job.

One other thought I had was perhaps something like teaching in China. It's a bigger jump culturally speaking, but the Olympics are coming up which always gives a great buzz to a country (ah, is it 8 years ago already that I was in Sydney :( ). And it would certainly be a life altering experience! You'd get paid too and salaries can be quite decent, especially considering the cost of living.

10. Posted by clancy_of_ (Full Member 15 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hey mate, I'm probably a lot younger than you but I'm sure I can help you out in a couple of ways. I had the same issue as you when I finished school and wanted to head off round the world working my way around, seeing as many cultures, learning as many languages and meeting as many exciting people as I could, however as expected at 17 none of my mates had the money, drive or get up and go to come with me for such a long time. So 2 weeks after my 18th birthday I bought a one way ticket to the UK from Australia and another a week later to Morocco, I had no accomodation booked, just my surfboard, my backpack and the world in front of me. I can tell you that almost 7months down the track and from this little youth hostel in Tunisia that it was definitley the most amazing decision I could have evr made, and I'm sure that as a 28 year old it will be just as rewarding. LIke the others said Australia and NEw Zealand are sweet choices, I've always said that somedays I wish I wasn't Australian so I could travel it with the same wide eyes that most foreigners do. Travelling by yourself always has it's downsides especially in country's where you don't speak the language, but this will lead to the best parts of your adventure aswell. The best thing about travelling solo is your ability to take advantage of every oppurtunity that comes your way without having to consult a travelling partner, like if a girl invites you to her place in California, you can say "why not!" and just head over. Plus it's amazing how much more you will learn about yourself and mature along the way; just from seeing other peoples way of life, from the Berbers of Morocco, to the Girls of St Tropez; middle class people from Sydney; your bound to learn at least one thing from each of those lifestyles that will better your own life when you get home. Working in another country is also an amazing experience; travelling around in youth hostels is all about fun, your surrounded by loads of people all doing the same thing, ready to share experiences of travelling, and hte usual "where the are from and where they are heading", but when your actually living in a share house/apartment in a town in a country thats not your own, you gain so much more. You no longer have those 'instant friends' that usually come with hostels; you literally have to set up a new life, find work, make local friends, work out where the best places to shop are...ect. ect. and once you've achieved that, even once, you get an enormous sense of achievment and you quickly realise that you could go almost anywhere in the world and set up a life for yourself! definitley a sweet thought!...well I hope that helps you on your adventure...definitley look at Australia and NZ as destinations, but also think about the dramatically different places nbot far from Europe, like Southern Morocco, Northern Tunisia and Turkey, all within 'budget' airlines reach to help with the cash;
Get out there! and good luck!

Garrett in Kalibia; Tunisia