How To Start Traveling Full Time
Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist
“Where do I start?” is a question I hear a lot.
One of the toughest things to do when you’re working full time, and you know you want to travel full time, is figure out where to start. There’s planning, there’s work, there’s logistics, there’s your home….it’s easy to get caught up in the many things that you’ll need to do and to lose sight of making it actually happen. Here are a few tips to help you figure out where to start:
At the Islas de Rosario, Colombia, in 2019.
Copyright, 2021. Heather Markel.
1. Determine The Duration Of Your Travels
Getting some understanding on the amount of time you want to travel allows you to put other areas into perspective. From here, you can determine what kind of travel this is, how much money you need, and some of the other logistical pieces. For example, if you’re planning shorter term travel, you might not have to deal with what to do with your current home and stuff. So, figure out travel duration first. Is it weeks, months, a year…?
2. Figure Out The Type Of Travel You Plan To Do
Now that you know how long you want to travel, you can more realistically decide if you’re taking a career break, finding yourself, recreating yourself, or something else. Feeling like the travel has a purpose can help you take those first steps towards making it happen.
3. Determine Your Work Options
If you plan to travel for a year or less, you might be able to get unpaid leave or a sabbatical, and return to work when you’re done. This is a great option to remove the stress of “what will I do next?” if that’s on your mind. If, however, you want to travel indefinitely, and you want to generate income while you travel, the world is so much more open to remote work than ever before. So, you could see if your current job will allow you to work remotely. If not, you could begin applying for another job that does. Or, you could become a digital nomad and pick up other types of work as you travel. Or, you may want to focus on traveling and not work at all – it’s important you know this to figure out your budgeting options.
4. Get The Map And Make A List Of Places To Go!
This, actually, can be the toughest decision you’ll make! Once you can travel anywhere in the world, you’ll realize there are a lot of options. Are you going to a faraway place you’ve dreamed of but was too far to go for vacation? Are you going someplace you’ve been on vacation but wanted to stay longer? The world is your literal oyster.
Cape Town, South Africa. Copyright 2021, Heather Markel.
5. Commit To A Timeframe
Now you can determine when you want to go. This might be down to weather – do you want to do summer or winter activities, or something inbetween? Is there an event in the place you’ve chosen that you want to be in time for? Is there a class you want to take that has specific dates? Is there a volunteer project held only certain times of the year? Figure out the priority and your timeframe becomes clear.
6. Write Down The Biggest Things (Fears) Holding You Back
Normally, what stands in the way of traveling full time, besides money, are our fears, or questions about the future, or what other people will think. List yours out. Write them down on a sheet of paper. For example, “I’m afraid I’ll be lonely,” “I’m not sure I’ll find food I like,” “How will I tell XXX I want to do this?” “I’m afraid of letting go of routine, what will I do each day?” once you know your fears, you can turn them into questions, and research the answer.