We’ve recently written about various travelers who have become jaded by the status quo of working a nine-to-five job. If you’ve noticed the trend, don’t worry: we’re trying to give you some inspiration to travel, after all. Not surprisingly, Stephanie Yoder falls into this category.
Having graduated a few years ago, she is not content with the “normal” way of doing things, as she describes:
Most of us (particularly in the US) have been told our entire lives that there is a specific life model we need to follow: go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, work work work, retire and THEN maybe if you are in good health and financially secure you can do some traveling.
Instead of following these “rules“, she’s leaving for an around the world trip in September. First she’ll head to Japan, then China, Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe, and… it’s all up in the air from there. She says “I never feel as alive as I do when I’m traveling, which has been a major motivation for me during the past 3 years since I graduated college. I get a rush from wandering the streets of a new city that I haven’t found anywhere else.” While she’s not new to traveling, Stephanie has never done a trip this big before (you can read more about her itinerary here). We asked her what she expects to learn about herself, and she replied:
Travel is so great for self discovery. In the past it has helped me learn to be a lot more confident and comfortable in my own skin so I expect I will continue along that path. Part of the fun though is that I have no idea what I’m going to discover!
“How can you afford such a trip?” A trip of this nature prompts this question quite often. As travelers ourselves, we have been on the receiving end of this interrogations many times. Stephanie’s answer:
I’m not independently wealthy and I don’t have rich parents. I have college loans and an entry-level job like most any twenty-five year old. I am paying for this entire trip out of my own pocket. I’ve been saving for two years to make this dream a reality: mostly by living at home and putting away as much money as humanely possible (that was supposed to say humanly, but I’m leaving it as humanely- I think it’s more true).
While I’m abroad I’ll be trying to keep my living expenses as low as possible by staying in hostel dorms, eating street food and generally being a cheap bum. I’m estimating that I can travel for a year in this style for about 20K.
I built a budget by looking at a lot of other examples provided on the internet and doing some guesswork. I’ve also tried to include a cushion of money in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Twenty thousand dollars is, in our humble opinion, more than enough. But, she will be spending time in more expensive locations such as Japan, Australia, and Europe, so having a sizable cushion will be good.
Finally, Stephanie had the following advice for other potential travelers:
My number one piece of advice that I always give is that you should not wait to travel. There’s always a good reason NOT to go, but the rewards that come from traveling far outweigh the risks. You won’t regret it.
Stephanie currently writes for her travel blog at twenty-somethingtravel.com, where she’ll be updating us all about her trip once she leaves in September. You can also follow her on Twitter @20sTravel.