I’ve asked a few questions to some fellow bloggers about how they got started travelling. In this mini-series, I’ll be sharing their answers as well as links to their pages so that you can follow along their journeys.
Our next stop is Tanya of Can Travel Will Travel.
When did you first realize the 8-5 life wasn’t for you?
My husband and I first realised the 8-5 life wasn’t for us soon after we got together, during several late night conversations about travelling and working abroad – maybe running a guesthouse. I’d finished a 15 month stint of travelling about 18 months before and Andy had also spent time in the past travelling and living abroad, it was during these chats we realised we both had similar dreams for the future.
One evening we mapped out a timeline on a huge piece of paper on our dining room wall, showing the steps we’d need to take to realise those dreams and when they might happen. It showed everything from buying a house or houses, to getting married, to renting the houses out, all the way to living in a house on stilts in a hot country somewhere. The only problem was it looked as if it wouldn’t happen for many years…maybe not even until we retired.
Fast forward a few years and we were really feeling stuck in a rut with our every day lives. We were both travelling alot in the UK for work and only managed to see each other a couple of hours a night – we decided things had to change and started to look at how we could speed things up and make it happen.
How did you begin the transition from normal life to the traveling life?
We first made a concerted effort to finish renovating our house, we’d started it as soon as we’d bought it but had only managed to do the lounge and the bathroom in 2 years. About 12 months later it was ready and we were able to re-mortgage it and put a deposit down on a second home with the equity.
The next step was to rent out both of these homes, to give us some security and peace of mind whilst we were travelling. One was rented very quickly and we made arrangements for the second ones tenants to move in a week after we left the UK. At the same time we began to sell all of our belongings on ebay, gumtree and as a last ditch attempt on a car boot sale. The rest went down the charity shop the day before we left.
It was then time to leave with all our worldly goods on our backs. We had a weeks villa holiday in Mallorca with my family the first week, before spending the next 7 weeks travelling across India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. After that we arrived in Siem Reap in Cambodia where we spent a month house and pet-sitting for friends and relief managing their guesthouse for them. This was the perfect transition into living and working in Siem Reap for the next year, as it gave us time to find a house of our own and a means to earn money to fund our living costs, side trips and onward travel.
How did your family/friends react?
As a whole our family and friends reacted really well; obviously they didn’t really want us to go as they’d miss us. However at the same time they were proud of us for making it happen and very supportive when they realised how much we wanted to do it. They were much happier about it after we reassured them we’d keep in contact and would be back for visits at some point. Some also were very keen to come and visit us abroad.
We did get some intrusive questions, mainly from people who don’t know us so well and who couldn’t quite understand it. We were asked things such as: ‘Why are you going?’, ‘How will you fund it?’, ‘But what about Children’, ‘What about your career?’, etc. etc.
Do you have any regrets?
The short answer to this is ‘No – absolutely not’!
Not at the moment anyway and we’re really hoping we don’t have any regrets. I mean we do miss family, friends and home, but we do our best to stay in contact and in all honesty we probably speak to some people more than we did when we were at home!
What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started?
Make sure you’re really sure that it’s what you want to do and I’d really recommend having a plan B, for example having a slush fund of money for emergencies or a house you can rent out. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Also ensure you do your research and plan properly before you go to ensure all the loose ends are tied up (feel free to reference this link which details what you need to do before leaving to travel, live and work abroad).
Oh and learn by my mistakes and pack as lightly as possible – it’s no fun lugging around big unwieldy bags!
More About Tanya
A qualified Data Scientist and Chartered Marketer from the UK, Tanya worked as a Campaign and Data Planning Manager until she and her husband Andy decided to up-sticks to travel, live and work abroad.
She currently works in Cambodia using her data, analysis and marketing skills to add value to a luxury tour operator while also concentrating on her travel blog Can Travel Will Travel.
If you would like a chance to be featured, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers to the above questions as well as a photo and short bio.