Did you hear about the new mother who used her maternity leave to travel the world, baby in tow? (If you haven’t click here). I always thought that my backpacking adventures and travel have come at random times in my life, but in actual fact, most of the times that I have travelled have coincided with specific turning points in my life.
If you are thinking of travelling there are of course the obvious times: A gap year before university, post-university, a sabbatical, retirement. But there are so many other times in life when travel really is the answer.
When is your best time to travel?
Whilst leaving room for spontaneity (those trips are always the best!), this is when you should seriously consider popping your routine on ice and grabbing your passport…
8. You’re Mid-Way Through University
Yes the Gap Year is great, and everyone is doing them, but if you fancy getting stuck straight into university then don’t worry. Travelling during your summer holiday in your second year is a great choice. Not only will it reset you for your final year, but you will be that little bit older than the gap year kids, and will probably have picked up a few friends that will want to do it with you.
But how can you afford it? I hear you cry! It is surprising how much you can save just by putting away loose change and saving a small amount per week. Rather spending all your money on drinking and clothes (resist the temptation!) do a budget – You’ll be grateful that you did.
Trust me. I took two months out to solo travel part way through my studies and it was the BEST decision I made. I came back refreshed and ready to focus. Unlike after my gap year when the last thing I wanted to do was start studying afterwards!
7. You Want A Change In Career
In our generation it is likely that we will have so many different careers over the course of our working lives. Ask yourself:
Feeling like switching it up and trying something new?
Or maybe you just feel a bit deflated at work?
Well this is the perfect time to take time out to travel! Not only will saving for a trip help you to refocus in your current job, knowing that the harder you work the more you can save, but also it is a great way to reset and be more than ready to launch into something new. Once you are working in a career you love, it can be so hard to take a lengthy amount of time off. So use this as your opportunity. You won’t regret it, but you might well regret NOT doing it.
6. You’ve Worked At Your Job For 10 Years
You hit a milestone, congratulations! It might just be the right time to seriously think about taking a sabbatical. Most companies offer these for long term employees, (and if they don’t then you should think seriously about how much the company values your precious time anyway). After this point in a job there aren’t many people who can continue to see their day to day lives with fresh eyes and excitement. Seriously consider taking six to twelve months off and go backpacking, and reap the rewards when you do return to work. It will give you a new sense of adventure, and make you reevaluate everything you have back home. The likelihood is that you will get stuck back into work with a new spring in your step, or, it might make you change in such a positive way that you want to try something new. Either way, make the leap and go for it.
5. You’ve Just Had A New Baby
If you’ve read about travel mad mum Karen Edwards who I mentioned above, then you will already be on to this idea. But as much as the media grasped on to her story, it is not a new phenomenon. I was very surprised when I was travelling in Colombia as to how many young mothers with babies that I saw travelling too.
Is travelling with a new baby really the best time to travel?
Think about it – as soon as your child starts school your travel time is very limited. All a baby needs is YOU. As long as you prepare well, have everything you could need in case of emergency – plus enough money to get you home if needs be, then it is a perfect time to travel. The baby may not remember much, but will have a worldliness and gain major benefits that you won’t even be able to foresee! If not for baby, do it for you.
4. You’re In A Stagnant Relationship
We’ve all been in some kind of relationship at some point in our lives that was headed nowhere. Or maybe one that seemed great from the outside, but something just wasn’t right. Heading on a solo trip can really help you grasp what might be missing, reevaluate the entire relationship. It will also give you some space to concentrate on yourself for a while. As well as giving you some much needed time apart without just pulling the plug, travel can actually bring you closer together.
By bringing travel into your relationship – discussing your plans with your partner, focussing on something new, and keeping a level of contact whilst you are there, you really can both benefit from this new adventure. And if your partner isn’t supportive of the idea of you going travelling alone, then maybe the answer was there all along.
3. You’ve Become Too Dependant
Whilst sharing your life with someone else is an amazing thing, and I understand it may not be as simple as jetting off when you have a partner to consider, if you have become too dependant on that other person it might be time to have some time to yourself.
This is not only beneficial for you, but for the other person in the relationship, too. The key to long lasting love isn’t living in each other pockets, but in living complete and fulfilling lives along side one another. Solo travel can open up so much inside ourselves that we never though we had. It can give us confidence, independence, and a new view of the world. Now just might be your best time to travel. Find your self again, be independent, and be ready for anything that life throws at you.
2. You’ve Been Through A Divorce Or Tough Time
You should never travel as a means of running away, as your problems won’t go away – you’ll just put them off or return to them. However, if you have been through an ordeal or a tough time in your life, travel is the best cure to get yourself back out there and restore your confidence.
Solo travel is perfect for having some alone time and an escape where you get your head together and deal with your emotions.
A negative or difficult time in your life is always going to be a turning point, and will always change you in some way. By travelling you are controlling how this effects you, and can make the turning point a positive thing. Books like Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert are stories of women who did just that, and will definitely get you reaching for your passport.
1. You’re Bored
No one should ever be bored with their lives.
I’m going to sound preachy now, but you only get one life! If you feel bored with your day to day routine, or have somehow fallen into the mindset of ‘this is it’ then you definitely need to get out there and see the world. The truth is, the world is amazing, and if you can’t see that they you definitely haven’t seen enough of it’s wonders. Look for inspiration for where to go online: Pinterest and Instagram are great tools for enticing wanderlust!
Once the travel bug bites it very rarely stops itching until you submit and go for it!
If any of the above fitted you, then it really might your best time to travel. You will never come away from travelling regretting it. There is always a lesson to be learnt or a new way of seeing your world that you will adopt, and sometimes it really is all we need to get us back on track and reset our minds!
Go have an adventure!
Remember – My purpose for this blog is to inspire people to travel, and to show that you don’t have to have thousands saved in the bank to travel comfortably or luxuriously. If you are thinking of going it alone, read my tips on solo travel here, and don’t forget to sign up to receive monthly emails!
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