As some of you may know, but some of you not. I started traveling 7 months after I graduated High School. Which was the biggest, and the best decision of my life. It was not even a decision, it just happened. I took every opportunity I got to go and see the world. Since then I've got different questions, even still 'til this day about my journey and my way of traveling. And I just thought I could answer some of those questions here.
And there for I want to go in a little bit deeper how everything happened, from the start 'til this day. So prepare for a long blog post. I'll try to do a quick version. For you guys that already know about this (I have a Youtube video where I talk about this on my channel as well) jump down to after the third picture! If you have any questions, just drop a comment!
I worked. I worked almost everyday since I graduated High School. I had already decided that I didn't want to go to Uni straight away and that my goal was to save money and go and see the world. How, when and where I had no idea of. I had a boyfriend at the time, so my dreams was still there but was a little bit put to the side. After I've been working so much I got a bit depressed and started looking around what I wanted to do. So me and my friend found EBS, and decided that we wanted to go to Phuket and do the course down there. So we just booked! I was terrified, but excited at the same time. And Me and my boyfriend broke up just before we left Sweden, so it was really good for me to get away and do something different.
My course, EBS Phuket February 2015
This was my first time I'd been away from home for so long, and so far away. I was away for 6 weeks. Did the course and went for a trip to Phi phi islands and then home. Just after like a week or so at home I got an offer to go to Greece and work at EBS Kos headquarter club and work as a bartender. So I did for 5 months.
Picture from a boat trip in Greece
It was not far away from home, but that was then the longest I've been away from home. And season job is hard, but amazing! And you know the season end at some point. Here, I didn't tell anyone, but I found the add for the Event Manager for EBS in New York. And ever since I did my course I've said that job is something I really wanted to do. A dream job. So one day when I came home from work I sat up until 10 am and wrote my CV in English and just sent it. I thought I wouldn't get an answer but just a couple of days later I got an answer from EBS Care that the posistion in New York you had to be an American citizen for, but asked if I was interested in the same position but in Sydney? I said yes. And of course the process was a lot longer then that. But I flew home to make some money if I would get the job (the season was coming to an end anyway!) and after a few Skype interviews I got my Working Holiday visa and booked a ticket down to Sydney.
EBS Sydney February course 2016, a year after I did the course myself!
So my plan was to stay and work for EBS Sydney for 6 months and then head home. Because that's what I had been doing so far. Go travel and then come home and save money for the next adventure. But I ended up staying in Sydney for 7 months, and during that time I realized I wanted to stay after 6 months, work even longer for EBS and then travel in Australia. So I ended up doing farm work for 100 days and here I am today! If you're wondering anything about my farm work or second year visa just drop a comment because I wanna do another more deeper post about farm work. But if you have more serious questions: check the Australian goverments website!
Seems pretty easy when you put it like this. I just bought a ticket and all of the sudden I was a traveler. But the thing is, this is my oppinion and I just want to put it out there: I'm not a traveler yet, what I have been doing anyone can do. I have moved from one place to another. The traveling is stil yet to come. But during my time in different places I have come across different questions that I wanted to write about.
How do you dare travel alone?
I have never dared. You see, before my travels, I had a lot of anxiety and panic attacks about the smallest things. My friends knew about it, but it wasn't something I mentioned to everyone. And I am talking about the girl that could start to cry because she had to call the pizzeria and order food. (A big phobia of mine, that I actually still struggle with sometimes, to talk to strangers on the phone) Getting anxiety and panic attacks about being alone in my room with my own thoughts. I have never dared to take that step. But after a while I realized I had to put myself in situations when I do not have a choice. So, the bartender course, just book without even questioning it. And I was going with a friend, and I didn't want to let her down so I just had to do it. I thought so many times that I wanted to cancel, but felt like I couldn't because I wasn't going alone and couldn't let her down.
When I got the opportunity to go to Greece. I just said: I can't. I can't. My mom said: What is the worst thing that can happen? That's that you have to go home again, nothing worse then that. So I booked the ticket with her, without any insurance or anything so I did not have a choice. I walked upstairs, and started crying. Again I did not have a choice, of course this was what I wanted but I thought I wasn't brave enough to do something like this.
And in Greece I grew much as a person and I worked so much on doing stuff I didn't dare to do everyday. This helped me so much. It's about doing the things that makes you so scared.
It was the same when I got the job here in Sydney. I knew that this was what I wanted. More then I could have ever wished for. When my future boss asked me at that time if I wanted the job. I just thought to myself: If you say yes, there is no going back. So I just said yes. Ran downstairs and told my mom. Super happy, and again she told me: the worst thing that can happen is just that you go home again. And I knew that she was right. This time I was a lot stronger than before Greece, but again I went upstairs and burst out in tears. And I thought: Why am I always doing this to myself?
The answer: Because I know I want to. It's about doing the stuff that makes you scared. Today a new adventure still scares me but not in the same ways like it did 2 years ago. You grow while you travelling. And all off the sudden the scary thing is not as scary anymore. And I can also tell you, there are a very few moments you are actually travelling alone. YOU ALWAYS MEET NEW PEOPLE ON THE WAY. If you go by yourself, you have to make new friends. You have to talk to new people and put yourself out there. And these people may end up being you best friends for life. Don't think, just do it! No one is not scared at all of going out in there world alone.
How can you afford to travel this much?
How I started off, was to work for several months. That's how I could afford the bartender course. And I said no to going out when a lot of my friends was. I worked or stayed in. I never went in to town for shopping or anything. I kept my money spending to a minimum. And that's how it's been every time I've come home for a little while before I head off again.
But In Greece and Australia I have been working, so that's something you can do. You work a little bit and then you head off until you need to sop for money again. To go for a full backpacking trip in Asia for 6 months is a different kind of travel and nothing I've done. But hope to do one day. But the thing is, most travelers or backpackers really lower their standard. I don't go to a restaurant every day, for a while I was so broke I ate noodles all day everyday for a week. And that's how it is. Sometimes you have more money, sometimes you don't have any. I can go out every weekend because that's my job. I get a lot of things for free with my job. But the last year I've come home and made money for the ticket and some pocket money. And then made some money during the way.
I would say, question yourself if you need to see everything at once. Or can you travel slower? I would say the travel slower option is cheaper, since you work a long the way. And if the 48 hour plane ticket is 400 dollars cheaper then the one for 21 hours then book the cheaper one. You make it work by lower your standards. And you put more value in experiences and adventures then things.
Don't you ever get homesick?
Of course I do. I have never been a homesick person. I love my family, so don't get me wrong. I have just never been the homesick type. For short time travels. But when you start to be away for a longer time everyone gets homesick. I know I put up a happy front on my social media, everything is about happiness and everything makes me so happy. And it does. I love traveling and to live in a different place and make my own home. But I don't put a status on facebook when I'm crying in my bed because I miss my family. I would say I don't really get homesick as in I do not miss the place Sweden, sometimes but not very often. (It would mostly be food in that case, urgh!!)
What I miss the most is family and friends. And I've always said when people have been asking me that friends and family will always be there when you get back. But after almost a year away from home you realize, that all off your friends is not there anymore. But then again they probably weren't your friends from the beginning then. And your family will of course be there, but things can happen. Specially if you spend a longer time away. And to be completely honest it is very hard. It's just something you don't show to people. Of course I cry like a baby because I can't call my mom spontaneously because there is a time difference. Or that I can't attend my brothers graduation next year or that I can't run over to my cousins apartment when I'm having a mental breakdown. Or when one week life is shit, like life is sometimes anywhere traveling or not and you just want to be in your parents house hugging your parents. Everyone gets homesick.
I didn't have the nerves to travel, to do my dream job, or the money to see the whole world at once and I cry about missing my family so much I can't breathe sometimes. But here I am, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. The experiences and memories that I have now is more important than any amount of money. And to live on noodles and live in a hostel is worth the money I save so I can make more memories. Missing my family makes me realize how much I appreciate and love them, and for how lucky I am to have them. Which I know I took for granted before I left Sweden. Travel gives you perspective on things and it's amazing what it does to you. I am the same girl that cried over calling the pizzeria but today can stand in front of 50 people and hold a presentation and only get a little bit of hand sweat. Travel made me dare to travel more, to do my dream job, to realize I value experiences more then things and what a wonderful family I have. If you have been thinking about going traveling, don't think twice. Buy the ticket, and it will leave you with no choice. We only regret the choices we didn't make. And remember that the worst thing that can happen, is that you just go home again.