10 things I didn’t need to pack

What not to pack for long term travel

When you’re facing the prospect of an indefinite amount of time spent travelling the world and living out of a backpack, it can be daunting to know what to pack. I spent the weeks before I left England trawling the internet looking for the advice of fellow travellers: should I pack a raincoat (yes), would I need hair straighteners (no), would my childhood teddy bear be too big to fit in my hand luggage (sadly, yes) Whilst I managed to effectively condense the pile of potential possessions from ridiculous to manageable (sense prevailed in the end, and I decided that I didn’t really need all four beach towels) there are still a few items that unnecessarily made the cut. For those interested in what not to pack, here are 10 things that you should probably leave at home…
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Rehoming my dogs to travel

Leaving your pets to travel the world

How I made the heart-wrenching decision to travel the world and leave my pets behind I love dogs. I always have. I love all animals in fact but, at a push, I’d call myself a dog person. When I left home for university and endured a 4-year dog-free existence, I decided that enough was enough. It was time to fill the puppy shaped hole in my life. Choosing which breed to go for was easy enough; I loved big dogs but knew it would be unfair to have one whilst I worked full-time, so wanted to find a compromise, something with small enough legs that it didn’t need long rambling walks twice daily, but a huge personality to make up for it. Enter the pug.
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Me no hablo (clearly) – trying and failing to speak Spanish abroad

Learning to speak Spanish

With a couple of languages at just-about-passable A-Level standard under my belt and a healthy collection of stamps in my passport, I’ve always considered myself fairly adept at communicating abroad. I dub myself a ‘language person’ and charge brazenly into a range of foreign dialects with a whole lot of gusto (but not a lot of finesse or understanding surrounding the finer details of irregular verb conjugation) When it comes to travelling, I’ve always upheld the motto that “it’s better to try and fail, than to fail to try”, and have thus far gotten by with an armoury of basic phrases and an impressive range of facial expressions wherever I’ve been.
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Planning to travel – funding the trip of a lifetime

How I can afford to quit my job to travel

How much it’s costing me to move abroad, and how I can afford to travel Have you ever gazed lustily at sunset-filled Instagram feeds or devoured action-packed travel blogs whilst sat at your desk, and wondered to yourself – how do they afford that? That was me a year ago. The notion of doing something as insane brave and exciting as quitting my job to travel the world was little more than a seed of an idea that had yet to flower. It wasn’t purely lack of courage or conviction that was stunting its growth, it was a very practical inhibitor – I didn’t have any money.
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Planning to travel – moving out of rented accommodation

How to move out of a rented property if you want to travel long-term

Planning to travel is stressful, there’s no two ways about this. You may read stories about inspirational people who have simply bought a one way ticket to somewhere obscure and just hopped on a plane, but I’ll bet that it’s not actually been that simple for them, that most of the time they’ve had a few more boxes to tick before they can simply venture forth. That’s why I’ve written a series of Planning to Travel posts – about the more mundane, administrative aspects of travel that you’ll need to battle through before you get to reap the rewards of a life of adventure. One of the most practical of these is sorting out where you’re going to live. Or rather where you’re going to stop living in search of a whole new life. Whilst many travellers choose to slot travel around a more traditional working schedule, factoring in holidays and city-breaks around their day job, some of us are after a more long-term experience. If you’re planning to up and leave your hometown for an extended period of time, there’s going to be some planning required when it comes to sorting out your current accommodation situation.
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A very English goodbye

Moving abroad and saying goodbye to England

5 things I’ll miss about the UK Tomorrow, I step onto a plane from London and leave England behind with no immediate plans to return. This is the culmination of a year of planning and what has proven to be a very busy, very emotional month. It’s only now, as the countdown to leaving life as I know it behind has reached its hiatus, that I’m starting to realise what it’ll mean to say goodbye. In an effort to pay England the respect it’s due after years of happy inhabitance, I have spent this last month partaking in the most British of activities that me, my friends and my family could concoct. From afternoon teas, roast dinners and bottomless brunches, to long walks in the rainy countryside and picnics in the park, I’ve painted an indelible image of Englishness on my mind that will serve as a mental postcard should ever I want a snapshot of home.
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Planning to travel – selling vs. renting out your home

Selling your house to travel header

Planning to travel is stressful, there’s no two ways about this. You may read stories about inspirational people who have simply bought a one way ticket to somewhere obscure and just hopped on a plane, but I’ll bet that it’s not actually been that simple for them, that most of the time they’ve had a few more boxes to tick before they can simply venture forth. That’s why I’ve written a series of Planning to Travel posts – about the more mundane, administrative aspects of travel that you’ll need to battle through before you get to reap the rewards of a life of adventure. In most circles of life, owning a property is something to be congratulated on. It’s seen as a marker of stability, maturity and financial good sense. However, for those that wish to travel (often because they’re in search of a lifestyle that is neither stable, lucrative or particularly “grown up”) owning a property can be a bind. If your dream is to leave your hometown with a one-way ticket and no specific plans to return, your lovely home can quickly become a shackle to a lifestyle you’ve grown out of.
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Planning to Travel – the stressful bits that no one likes to talk about

The difficult bits that no one talks about

Want to know a secret? Planning to travel isn’t easy, cheap or quick, it’s actually really quite stressful. But it’s worth it… For anyone who’s ever dreamt of throwing in the conventional day job to travel the world, it can seem like a daunting prospect. You’re really up for the sunsets, the hikes, the lazy days on the beach, but you’re just not quite sure you have the wherewithal to get there. Perhaps like me you’ve spent hours drooling over fabulously exotic Instagram accounts with a mingled feeling of inspiration, apathy and envy: how on earth did they make that happen?
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7 easily forgotten travel costs

Easily forgotten travel costs header

Whether you’re going for a two week jaunt to a sunnier clime, or a round-the-world, open-ended backpacking adventure, travelling can be an expensive affair. Any avid traveller will preach to you the difference between cost and worth, and I’ve yet to meet someone who believes that their hard-earned cash was wasted on travel, but it’s important that you prepare yourself financially before you leave, not least to prevent you running home early with your tail between your legs because you’ve burned through your savings in half the time you’d budgeted for.
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Quitting my job and moving abroad is a great idea…right?!

Travelling the world is a great idea - right?!

Losing Control This week started badly. I spent the weekend trying to grapple with the numbers surrounding this venture – how much will it all cost, how much should we put into our contingency fund, how long will it take to sell the house and how many days notice should I give? It was all starting to sound like a complicated maths problem that I’d struggle to solve:
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