“You’re so lucky, you’re always travelling” is something that I am told regularly by friends, family, co-workers, strangers, basically anyone who has the misfortune of being stuck in a conversation in which I blabber on about my love for travel.
But is “lucky” really the right word? In some ways, yes. I am very lucky to have been raised in a wealthy economy and by a family who were able to support my childhood to a comfortable standard amongst other things. There are millions of people who through simply being born in a different part of the world will never travel and for that, I am obviously very grateful.
However, I do think that people I know using the word “lucky” is incorrect. Yes, I may appear to travel more than another person of the same economic standing, but that is because I make travel a priority.
There are a number of things that I have given up in order to travel as much as I can (well… as much as my job’s annual leave will allow in a year)!
This is in no way a “moan” or a cry for sympathy. I’m actually really interested/proud to see how much I’ve changed in the past few years – materialistic goods are completely out of the window and instead I really value experiences over tangible objects.
1. Expensive Fashion
Back in the day, I would have KILLED to have the most up to date clothing. In fact, I still have a very full wardrobe of things that were bought years ago and I need to completely get rid of as they just don’t get worn anymore.
Nowadays, I am much more specific in my clothing choices. Mixed with the fact that I seem to be fluctuating between sizes every other day at the moment, I just can’t justify having expensive clothes/buying clothes regularly.
By the end of this year, I want to have a complete capsule wardrobe of key pieces that will see me through any occasion! My inner minimalist animal is VERY excited at the prospect!
2. Beauty Procedures / Products
In a similar vein, I’ve scaled back my beauty regime significantly! Don’t fret, my basic hygiene is still in tact and I haven’t yet succumbed to letting my body’s natural oils do the job themselves ( although I do admire anybody who has done that with their hair – I have to wash mine daily or I feel gross, I am grease’s arch nemesis).
Forget the high-end expensive make-up brands, essentially there is always a high-street dupe that will do exactly the same job for half the price!
Regular hair cuts and manicured nails are also a thing of the past – now I’m just playing a waiting game for my hair to reach it’s old long and self-maintaining length again. As much as I loved my short hair, I don’t have the time/energy/funds to keep having it cut into the perfect style.
3. Luxury Accomodation
My family have recently become big fans of 2 week all-inclusive resort holidays and I now opt-out of those trips pretty quickly!
A week or two trip costing £1,000 – £2,000 to essentially sit in a hotel just isn’t for me. I’m all about the experiences and seeing the cultures, I would much much much rather spend my money on experiences than accommodation!
I recently booked a trip to South Africa and the price of the flights scares the living daylights out of me given I have been exploring Europe using budget airlines recently, but sometimes you have to splurge on flights in order to get to dream destinations and have the coveted experiences (safari, whale watching, canyon kayaking and cave exploring here we come)!
4. My Own Space
I still live with my mum and dad, despite being 22 years old and working in a well-paid industry since the age of 18. This is a conscious decision and I am often asked “so when are you moving to London Dan?!” but the answer is always “hmm, not right now”.
In a perfect world, I want to never rent accommodation if possible. Rents in the UK are extortionate and even though I do have to pay ridiculous train fares to commute to work, it is definitely the lesser of two evils at the moment!
I am saving up to hopefully buy a house as I am well aware that I can’t stay with mum and dad forever, but for now, I’m staying put and focussing on travelling!
You’re probably thinking “WOAH WOAH WOAH, are you telling me not to go to uni?” and the answer is absolutely not. There are some absolutely incredible benefits to travelling while at uni – let’s face it, you’re never going to get a few months off every summer plus a month or so at Christmas and Easter at any other time in your life!
However, there’s no denying that it is an expensive endeavour in the UK! I started working as an apprentice tax advisor at the age of 18. Now I am 22 and I am nearly a chartered tax advisor while others my age are just graduating university and starting out on the same career path – while it’s not the right choice for everyone, it has obviously given me a decent starting point for saving money to travel!
6. Being Picky
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get completely fixated with a destination and I HAVE to visit it – South Africa and Slovenia I’m looking at you!
But most of the time, I try to be super flexible about where I visit and that means that I tend to see a lot of places that other people may not consider – when £25 return flights to Ohrid (Macedonia) popped up, I couldn’t resist!
When I was also planning a trip to Vienna, I realised that the time of year and accommodation for 3 people were definitely going to blow our budget, instead of getting stroppy and giving up, I planned a trip to nearby Salzburg instead and we had the best time – being flexible can never go wrong!
What are your current priorities? What are you saving up for?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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