Life changes every day, especially so when you’re not rooted to one spot.
// February 2016 //
I contribute regular travel features to List For Life, an online network of writers and pieces focused on inspiring people to ‘Love What They Do’.
Here’s my most recent contribution, written in transit from Koh Phi Phi, Thailand to Bali, Indonesia …
Right now I’m writing to you from the ‘Ambassador Lounge’ of Singapore Airport. I’ve just come off the back of living and working on the paradise island of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand for the last three months. Having arrived in Phi Phi with ‘no plan’ and sure to let myself ‘see what happens’, I ended up leaving a couple of months earlier than I thought I might.
But this latest change of route has been one lesson I’ve learnt during my 2 years on the road; if you want to change something do it. Whatever your reason may be, that’s the freedom of being a traveller right there. You’re living a a life where you answer to no one. Dance to the beat of your own drum.
So… I’ve been away for a long time, flying around the world twice, visiting more places than I ever imagined possible before leaving London, spending a lot of money, doing things I never thought I could and meeting some of the best people I could ever wish to cross paths with. Here’s 12 more tips 2 years on the road has taught me.
1. Don’t go anywhere without medical insurance
You might think you are lucky and you’ll ”be ok” but no one can guess what will happen once you begin your life away. Pay extra for a ”no excess” waiver, this will cover everything and your family will have their mind at ease when you leave.
2. Leave money at home
It’s very easy to spend everything you have as life grips you in a different way every day … I did it, my friends did it. If you blow everything it essentially takes longer to build it back up. Be smart.
3. Trust yourself
It’s all well and good going with the flow but if something doesn’t sit well with you, don’t do it. Don’t be afraid to say no.
4. Work abroad
Australia, New Zealand, Europe? Wherever takes your fancy, do your research and immerse yourself into life like a local. Top up your travel funds and gain work experience that will help you when you are ready to pick your career back up again.
5. Carry a credit card
Use this for emergencies only. Various cards are tailored specifically for travellers. The Halifax Clarity card has been my good friend a few times before now.
6. Don’t share everything!
This one is rich coming from me, I have a bad habit of over-sharing online. If I’m happy, sad, partying the night away, homesick, it pretty much all ends up on social media. But that’s just me and I won’t apologise for who I am. But … the only trouble with this is you’re most likely to be on a time difference with home and you loved ones may end up worrying about what you’re up to. So that’s something you will just have to suck up!
7. Always be there
I have a habit of going out of my way to help others and always will, it’s not to expect anything in return, it’s because I see that everyone needs somebody to lean on sometime and you never know when you may need help yourself in an hour of need. Remember to keep other people’s problems private if they are trusting you to do so.
8. Log everything
Write, take photos, keep a diary. All of the above. I lost my phone at the start of my travels two years ago and travelled Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam without taking many shots (my iPad was too big to carry everywhere). As much as I have everything stored in my head I missed so many opportunities for capturing snatched moments.
9. Say what you feel
Think someone is great? Let them know! Once you part ways you may never see them again. You will find travellers tend to be very open people, don’t worry about ‘fessing up’ your feelings once in a while.
10. Walk away from trouble
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns when you’re away from home. If you see any kind of trouble that looks too risky to help out with, walk away. You never know what could happen and if something dangerous erupts you are best of out of it.
11. Make the most of every day
This one is a given. When you first hit the road you are in awe of everything, the weather, the cheap prices compared to home, the natural beauty of a foreign land. As you travel more, you get used to seeing unforgettable sights, but it doesn’t mean you should appreciate them any less. Never become complacent.
12. Be brave
Live with the ”I’ll try anything once” attitude as often as you can. There’s not much I’ve said no to in my life and I have very few genuine regrets – make your life one filled with as much experience as possible.
Check out List For Life for more inspiring pieces from me and a hoard of other captivating writers. I will be posting more List For Life features alongside my usual posts soon.