I always did that.
Scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing one of your college friends set off on some kind of once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure, or maybe just an incredible trip, you can’t help but feel the envy that rises. It didn’t happen, a two-week vacation in the sun.
I think I’ll go again next year. There were too many things going on. I couldn’t afford it.
Because when you think about it, it’s easy to postpone your trip and postpone it to next month next year. We’re all supposed to be doing our own thing, right?
Of course, there are some real, practical reasons why travel is not possible at this time. But if you’re on the fence about whether or not to take that leap, today I’m going to make the case that travel should be your priority, use myself as a case study, and share my experience with my boyfriend of over two years. I would like to share my itinerary and (hopefully) inspire you all!
My long-term travel itinerary
The USA road trip – 8/12/15 – 03/03/16 (3 months)
We saved like crazy, planned every detail, and left on December 8th.
our first destination was New York. Two reasons: a.) You start off with a bang, right? b.) I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford to have a good time here later on. Over the course of three months, we visited the following cities:
- Washington DC
- Houston, Texas (to visit family for Christmas)
- texas, dallas
- Breckenridge, Colorado
- salt lake city
- jackson hole
- Utah, Nevada, and National Parks – Bryce, Zion, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Grand Canyon
- Las Vegas
- san diego
- San Francisco
- sequoia national park
Vancouver – 2 months (March 16th – May 16th)
Exhausted after three months of changing cities every few days, we hopped on an Amtrak train and meandered to Vancouver. Over the next few months, we lived in Kitsilano, got to know the city, skied in Whistler, and made plans for the summer.
Summer volunteer – 3 months (May 16th – August 16th)
We decided to spend the summer woofing (aspiring organic farm workers) around British Columbia. If you’re not familiar with WWOOFING, it’s an exchange labor program where you work 5-6 hours a day in exchange for free food and accommodation. I went from being a waitress at a guest lodge to plucking chickens and sleeping next to a crate of garlic in a barn.
This seemed like the best way to step outside of my comfort zone, see a little of the “real” Canada, and save money at the same time. Here’s a rough outline of what we did.
- Sunshine Coast – Ruby Lake Resort. This is a gorgeous little lodge where we had our own little “woofer house” with some wonderful friends. We dug a vegetable garden, planted potatoes, cleaned a hut, and I helped waitress in a restaurant. After work every day, we went to the lake to play, paddle board, and ride the rope swing!
- Squamish – Paradise Produced. We lived with a charming couple, Ian and Claudia, in a house they built from scratch. We were fully immersed in an organic and sustainable lifestyle. We worked in the garden, helped take care of the goats, and polished wood for our cutting board business.
- Williams Lake – Bell Wellness Center. With the beautiful caribou in the wild, we spent two weeks searching for medicinal plants in the forest, building paths in the herb garden, and interacting with the hosts.
- Kelowna – Sunridge Farm. We picked pounds of blueberries during the day in the blazing sun and sold them on the roadside in the afternoon. We also harvested and hand-washed thousands of garlic heads and camped next to the barn.
- Qualicum Beach (Vancouver Island) – Seabreeze Acres. We lived in a cute little barn and helped run this fruit and vegetable farm. In the morning we fed the animals (pigs, cows, horses, chickens, turkeys, etc.), and in the afternoon we picked raspberries, strawberries, peas and potatoes highlight? Eight puppies that I helped care for for two weeks.
- Duncan (Vancouver Island) – Wilder Farm. We camped under the stars in Robin and Caleb’s (and, of course, 1-year-old Benji) huge backyard. This was a great farm, especially after a week of serious weeding techniques.
Living in Vancouver – 1 year (August 16th to August 17th)
Although we were dirty, tired, and sunburned after working outside during the summer, we were ready for a bit of a return to civilization. We plan to live in Vancouver for a year to really experience life in Canada (of course, taking advantage of basically everything Vancouver has to offer: beaches, ski slopes, hiking, etc.). I would love to visit this island again while I’m here. And she can even spend a week in the Yukon to see the Northern Lights.
We rented an apartment in Kitts and while Phil worked at a coffee shop, I started freelance writing full time again. It’s a sweet life.
Singapore (December 16th)
We spent a week in Singapore in December. We checked out Gardens by the Bay, had drinks at Marina Bay Sands, shopped at Orchard Road, and ate lots of food at the Hawker Center. We are very impressed by Singapore’s sustainable and progressive vision.
We returned home for Christmas and visited Surrey, London, the Midlands and Edinburgh to gather as many people as possible and have a fun festive time. It was wonderful.
Iceland (August 17)
In August we will leave Vancouver and return to the UK again for the wedding. I’m planning a long trip to Iceland on my way back to Canada. This is one of the countries I definitely want to visit, so I’m already excited.
East Coast (August 17th – March 18th)
After Iceland, I will fly to the east coast of Canada to obtain a Canadian visa for the remaining two years. We will be visiting Toronto, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
Asia – 3 months (TBC)
After saying goodbye to Canada, it’s time for a backpacking trip through Asia. I haven’t even reached the planning stage yet, but I definitely want to go to Japan, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Australia/New Zealand (TBC)
After some backpacking, we conclude our trip in Australia and New Zealand. Huh!
We have loved our trip so far. Here are eight top reasons why I’m so glad I actually went on a trip instead of putting it off.
- Making the most of your visa impact
Many visas have age restrictions, so if you travel now you don’t have to worry too much about timing.
- I was able to take my work home
I had just become a freelancer when I went on the trip, so while I was busy, I didn’t have to disappoint too many people when I left.
- Traveling without any responsibility
I’m not saying you shouldn’t travel when you have responsibilities. Of course you can travel. But for us, now was the right time, no kids, no mortgage, no pets.
- the ass stimulation I needed
My biggest dream in life is to write a book, but I’ve always had setbacks along the way. The trip, and all the amazing and inspiring things I saw along the way, was exactly what I needed to complete the first draft.
- freedom to choose
Since there was no time limit for traveling, I was able to try out different travel styles without committing to one thing. Luxury hotels, city hopping, farm life…
- I’m learning a lot moving forward
I’m glad to be able to travel at this stage of my life. Because I’m learning a lot to move forward. I wouldn’t be where I am today without travel, and I can’t wait to see where I become.
- Just before all my friends got married
I am 26. In the next few years, many of my friends will be getting married and having children. Traveling now means getting back in time for it all!
- You can go on a trip with your best friend
I was lucky that Phil and I were on the same page about itchy feet and wanderlust. Packing everything up and going on a trip was one of the best decisions we made as a couple.
Are you planning to go on a trip? Have you been procrastinating? What’s holding you back? Let us know in the comments!