Lifehack is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
When I first started travelling in 2016, I packed way too much stuff. I was 17 going on 18, and was terrified I would be "missing something." Boy, was that a mistake. More than half of what I packed I didn't wear for the six months I spent in a little town called Pai. When July of 2016 came around and I went home, all the cute jumpers and shirts I "loved" to wear or shoes I spent far too much money on got thrown back into the closet, never to be touched again. I don't blame myself though, I was only 17, and still with my parents.
Who wouldn't be terrified to go to another country at that age, on their own? I did have some help with a trust fund, which I most certainly spent on drinks and things I didn't need.
It wasn't until the next time I travelled though, that it would be the last time I left my parents house. I just received my citizenship to the UK and was on my way back to Thailand. Ready to spend another six months in a Martial Arts Retreat hidden in the misty mountains, and then off to the UK where I am settled in a shared house, living on my own with a job.
It's a lot for a 20-year-old to do, but I'm asked every other day how I did it, and how I haven't shrivelled up in a hole somewhere. It was not easy, but it was certainly worth it. Being a dual Citizen did give me an advantage, but this can count for moving states as well!
I've decided I wanted to share these things that anyone my age can do, and anyone else who may be a bit older than me saying they wish they could do it. You can! Here's how...
1. Set goals.
I mean this financial, physically, and mentally. Everything needs a goal and a logical one with a logical plan. Don't set above and beyond to a world with unicorns, but don't forget that anything is possible. Ask yourself, what do you actually want?
I specifically travelled before going to University because I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I still wanted to learn something. From there, I narrowed it down, I wanted to become physically fit and mentally healthier. I wanted to help people but help myself as well. I find I drown in my own mind to a point where I'll sulk in bed for hours on end, so I went to a Martial Arts Retreat. To do this, I had to set a financial budget and goals that with it. I needed to create a working schedule that didn't kill me but got me what I wanted as long as I did it. Reminding myself it was for that goal, and not just some silly budget told me how amazing and fun it was going to be.
2.Expect the unexpected and plan for it.
After I went to the Martial Arts Retreat, the plan was to go to England to work and live, then return to the Retreat as a full-time Instructor. See some family, then do some work for accommodation at a hostel or jump around a few various family members and friends while I was in the UK. I have tons of family here, so It was originally set in stone and planned for solid 1-3 months. I had back up plans with couch surfing, money to the side for AirBNB, and a savings set up for my first rent!
What wasn't I expecting, but subconsciously planned for? Family members to have to go on sudden business trips. Others having to change plans due to family emergencies. Losing cash for big expenses. What I didn't realize was how mentally prepared I actually was. Most people would panic and this is actually a big reason I find that most people won't try moving due to this, let alone go and travel. I would say my actions are true examples that it is possible.
I stayed relaxed, I got offered by friends to stay longer. I met the greatest friends by meeting some on Couch Surfers because I had planned for the possibilities of flexible stays with everyone. I did some odd jobs and took my luck with online work. I let my trust expand into others, and I never stopped trying.
3. If you plan to find work wherever you're going, start applying before you get there.
Long story short, if you wait till you get to your set location, you will stress, and you will self-destruct. Start applying a few months before you get there. Test out résumés. See what works, and what doesn't. Don't get down if the interview date is a few days before you actually get there.
Most importantly, do not give up on that job search, and try everything. Giving up on it means quitting. That means you may as well go back to that place you possible hate and left for a reason. Remember that reason. Remember the goals.
I started early, and I am a Fully Licensed SIA Door Supervisor (Bouncer), which I got from a Company called FGH. I was lucky enough to get on to their festival season and get a license, which has now kept me with them afterwards because of security checks, and I think I do a good job at it!
Did I expect to get a security position? Absolutely not. Did I try it anyways? Absolutely! And I love it.
4. Pack Light
Who knows what you'll pick up along the way? Pack the essentials. Everything else you will be able to get there. In Thailand, I got my umbrella, light jumpers, and tank tops there for much less money than I would have spent in the States or UK.
I like to stick to the following:
- 2-3 Pairs of Jeans
- 3 T-Shirts
- 3 Long Sleeve Shirts
- 2 Jackets/Jumpers that coordinate with my upcoming locations.
- 1 nice pair of shoes
- 1 pair of trainers.
- Underwear, Socks, and other Hygiene Products.
I own a large Rei Bag. Th above items left me tons of room, and after living in the UK for just close to three months, I can fit all my travel clothing in it too!
If you're leaving your current location for good, see what you can lose. Do you really need those destroyed jeans that are definitely not going to keep you warm, covered, or dry anymore?
5. Don't give up. Follow what you want and do everything you can to make it happen.
Do you want to learn how to ride a motorbike and do the Mae Hong Son Loop in the Northern Mountains or drive throughout Southeast Asia? As someone, you trust if they can teach you (it's insanely easy.)
Do you want to travel the world and teach English Abroad! Look into that TEFL course again. Do it, and go.
If you're held back by something like a debt, or if you're too scared, see if you can get someone to go with you, or take that leap. Look for the loophole where you can possibly freeze that debt for a short time, even if it's a month.
Take up the extra hours or that second job and make your way to that specific goal, whatever it may be. That long, +10 hour shift/double will be worth it. If I can do it, you can.