As I write this, I have a casual job (with full-time hours) that is completely unrelated to travel (and music – my other love). For the last couple of years, I have travelled in between work, using my annual leave (vacation/holiday entitlements). I do my best to take advantage of weekends and long weekends to travel within my own state or interstate. If I am short on money, I’ll wander around areas of Melbourne that I have never visited before, or revisit my favourite places that I will always find pleasure in seeing. In extreme circumstances (so far, I’ve done this twice), I’ve quit my job to embark on extended travel.
I’m really lucky. I live in Australia, a country where I can restart over and over again. In my personal experience, I have been able to find work, save my money, resign to travel, return home and do it all over again. As the saying goes, “work, save, travel, repeat.” However, I have found that this pattern works best if you’re single; you’re not picky with jobs and if you still live with your parents, like me.
Trying to fit in travel while working a full-time job can be challenging and sometimes exhausting. There are times when I just want to rest and do nothing except eat and binge watch TV, and that’s OK, it’s important to have a break. But when you want to travel bad enough, or just escape the daily grind, like I do, you make it happen. These days, every outing is an opportunity for me to take photos and turn it into a travel-like experience. My days feel so much more fulfilled than they used to.
As you can imagine, living with my parents helps A LOT with saving money (thanks mum and dad!). I don’t own a car, instead I heavily rely on public transport or simply walk, and I have reduced my spending significantly. At the beginning of 2016 I vowed to stop buying new clothes, shoes and accessories and keep cosmetics to a minimum. I’ve also reduced eating out and started preparing my own meals, which is extremely economical.
Right now, I have it pretty easy. I work, I save my money and when I reach my financial goal, or if I’ve had enough of routine, whichever comes first, I pack my bags and leave. I am not saying my method suits everyone, it’s all circumstantial. You do what works for you. This is just how it happens to work for me. It’s a little unconventional and I often question the longevity of it. Eventually, I won’t be able to get away with living this way. But I will do so for as long as I can.