Two Travel Strategies For Impatient People

A lot of people think I saved up a huge sum of money before I started travelling.

Truth?  I didn’t.

It wasn’t even possible.

The idea of starting my travels in Australia came about at the very beginning of January 2010.  I left England in June 2010. Six months is not a lot of time to save money.

I know some people who have saved for years to go travelling.  They work hard. They sell everything they don’t need, they take extra shifts at work if they can, they sacrifice luxuries, they walk instead of taking a cab.  You get the idea.

My first day in Sydney

My first day in Sydney – still smiling, clearly jetlag hadn’t set in yet……..

They end their saving mission with a big chunk of cash and start travelling the world.

I kind of had other ideas because, well, I’m a little bit impatient.  Ok make that a lot impatient. Once I get an idea in my head I kind of just like to run with it.  I struggled to wait 6 months, let alone years.

In truth, I did do what a lot of people do to earn and save money before they start travelling; I used ebay to sell everything I didn’t need anymore, I drove slower to save money on petrol, I bought cheap shampoo instead of the luxury brand, I went on fewer nights out, I lived with my parents for a year beforehand and I worked harder at work to earn bonuses.

All of this helped but, in 6 months, I still couldn’t save much more than £ 3,000 ($4,800USD at the time of writing) which wouldn’t really get me far if I really wanted travel indefinitely.

Work and Travel

If you haven’t got the time (or, let’s be honest, the inclination) to spend years saving money then one of the easiest ways you’re going to be able to see the world sooner rather than later is to work and travel at the same time.

Working holiday Visas

Getting a working holiday visa means you’ll be allowed to work in a country to supplement your travels which gives you a great opportunity to live abroad temporarily while saving for your next adventure

Teaching English as a foreign language

Completing an online TEFL course before you leave for (or even during) your travels allows you teach English as a foreign language in many countries around the world.  Depending on the country you’re teaching in most TEFL jobs are relatively easy to come by and well paid.

Me in Airlie Beach

Taking a break from working – Airlie Beach, Australia

To date I’ve travelled on working holiday visas in Australia and New Zealand and at some point in the future I’d really like to finish my TEFL so I can teach English in Thailand one day.

The money I saved before I left England is long gone but because I’ve been able to work in Australia and New Zealand (two of the most expensive countries to travel around if you aren’t earning the local currency) I’ve been able to see a lot more, do a lot more, experience what it’s like to live in these countries and most importantly for me; travel slowly.

For someone as impatient as me that can sometimes be a bit frustrating but, as I spent 3 years travelling in this way, I’ve come to realise that there isn’t any rush.  I’m not worried  about how many countries I have or haven’t been to.

It’s really not a competition.

I love that I’ve lived in Sydney, in Melbourne, in Auckland.  I’ve been able to make friends and get experience in jobs that I probably wouldn’t have considered at home.

So if you’re getting itchy feet and you qualify to travel on a working holiday visa scheme or teach English as a foreign language, I’d definitely recommend using either of these two strategies to start travelling as soon as you want to.

Where To See Australia's Wildlife In The Wild
A Slight Interlude


  1. says

    I totally agree. Working abroad is a great way to experience different countries. You just “get” the country in a different way than you normally would. Great post! :)

  2. says

    Completely agree. I didn’t plan to save up before travelling as well. Instead, I chose to work and travel – working with an NGO based in Europe which helped with my seeing that continent as well

  3. says

    Great post. My husband and I saved for about a year and half before we depart in 4.5 months. We own our house, so as of now we plan on returning and who knows maybe selling and return back to traveling! We were looking at TEFL, can I ask what is your college degree in? I have an accounting degree and he is engineering so not sure the likelyhood of us getting teaching jobs with those degrees.

    Wish we only planned and left in 6 months! Just too many loose ends at work and owning a house! But congrats to you! We will be in Thailand a few times on our RTW trip, first time Dec 13, what city you in?
    Hannah @ Getting Stamped recently posted..Taking Sparting RisksMy Profile

  4. Jo (The Blond) says

    I didn’t realise that you can do the course online! Need to check it out! Any website recommendations?
    My English is rather fluent, but it’s my second language (I also have British citizenship). I wonder how hard for me it would be to get a job?

  5. Carmen says

    Agree!! I’ve experienced a working holiday in the UK and Europe for 15 months. As time passed, I’ve found it hasn’t been long enough and I haven’t care how many countries I’ve been to.

    And I am now with another working holiday visa, this time the destination is New Zealand!

  6. says

    I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t stand the thought of saving for years to go travelling so I saved enough for 3 months in Asia and then went straight to Australia to find work. Even if it isn’t your dream job it’s still well worth it!
    Monica recently posted..I’m going to Mexico for the weekendMy Profile

    • says

      Yeah exactly Mon, any job’s better than nothing when you’re getting to live in Australia or New Zealand! :-) I wouldn’t say I was doing my dream jobs over there but it was worth it just to be there instead of sitting at home scrimping and saving to go and travel without working.