Travel… we all know it’s something I love. Whatever opportunity I get, I’m venturing off to places unknown. Unfortunately though, more recently, my travels have lessened and lessened. In fact, at the moment, they’re almost non-existent. So, today, I’m talking about the struggle of wanting to travel more but failing financially.
Everywhere I turn on social media, I’m always seeing the good old travel quotes. Quotes such as “travel now, worry later” or “travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work”. When, and how, did being young become associated with the ability to travel? To be in the position to; practically, financially and socially? Yes, I understand that travel provides experience and culture… something which money can’t buy. But, without money, how do you expect to get started on such a journey? Unfortunately, there’s not a lot in this world that comes free.
Don’t get me wrong, the best time to travel probably is while you’re young. Before you’ve bought a house; started a career; and settled down into adult life. But only if you’ve got the financial means to do so. If you’re going to put yourself into debt for it, is the stress and worry really worth it? Some people would say yes, but I bet most are probably with me on this one. Realistically, what young person is able to afford it these days? If you go to university, you’re in debt before you’ve even started any sort of career (and I’m not just talking student finance); if you decide to head down the apprenticeship route, you’re basically working for peanuts; and if you managed to get a job straight out of school, then you’re probably stuck on minimum wage. It leaves little chance to “travel while you should”.
Thankfully, I took the opportunity to spend a summer at university working at a summer camp in America; something that seems to be growing more popular among uni students. Knowing that it was likely a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I made the (best) decision to extend my stay and spend a month travelling before returning to good ol’ England. I booked myself a trip (through Intrepid) to spend 3 and a half weeks seeing the best America had to offer, safe in the knowledge that the money I earned through working at camp would pay for it. However, even with that, without the help of my AMAZING parents, I still wouldn’t have experienced half the things I did.
I’ll be honest, I’m glad I took that opportunity while I had it because, now, I’m a 23 year old graduate (of 2 years) with a full time job, a flat of my own and a car to pay for. I have rent & bills; I have responsibility; and I have limited holiday time. When, and how, will I get to do anymore (long-term) travelling? Realistic answer? Probably never. Unless, of course, I give up my job and become a full-time blogger… also unlikely (more on that another time). The reality of my life is that there isn’t a whole lot of money spare once all my bills are paid for. What is left goes towards getting out of my (arranged) overdraft, thanks to still recovering from both student debt and debt caused by situations beyond my control.
Right now, my focus (like a lot of young people’s) is to continue getting myself out of my overdraft (yey for January) and actually make some headway with my barely-there savings accounts. I mean, let’s face it, there’ll be a fund for future travelling somewhere along the line. For now, I’ll just have to count myself lucky that I’ve been able to see and experience the places I have. For every pretty picture I see, it’ll just be another place to add to my ever-growing destination list. I’ll get there some day and, boy, the wait will be worth it. I just need to stop being impatient. My time will come. Just as yours will too.
Do you have any places on your bucket list? Have you visited anywhere you absolutely loved? Let me know… I’m always keen to hear from you lovely lot.
Bye for now,