Sundays are my day to reflect on where life has taken me and write something that can hopefully inspire others to escape the rat race and get out and see the world. It doesn’t take much. I understand some people are happy with a generic 9-5 Monday to Friday job, a few weeks holiday a year and paying endless bills, but I’m not and you don’t have to be. Michael Palin, Richard Branston, George Best, Noel Gallagher, these are all people I aspire to as they’ve been in the game a lot longer than me and in different games at that. But they’ve all travelled the world because they were good at something. They don’t buy this “generic 9-5 shit” and neither do I. I wanted to share my personal 10 easy steps to travel the world.
My budget might be lower than these dudes mentioned but hopefully this fact alone can be enough to inspire you to get out and see the world. Normal everyday people can get out and see the world easily as I constantly prove. You don’t need to be a rock star, a footballer or an actor. Or Albert Einstein. Barmen and farm workers can do it.
A few quick facts about me here from my nomadic lifestyle:
– I haven’t paid a bill in about 5 years.
– I haven’t signed a fixed contract for a flat in over 5 years.
– I haven’t been out of work in 15 years.
– I haven’t been in a high salary earning job EVER.
– I’ve spent less money than most people who stay in the same place and yet I’ve travelled all over the world.
– I’d been to every continent by the age of 30.
– I have visited around 165 recognised countries.
The shocking truth of the matter is that it was easy. It was easy for me, which means it’s easy for you! These are the 10 easy steps to travel the world. Steps that I took, I still take and you can take. Anyone can do it. Anyone can do it. That’s right – YOU can do it.
1. Be Limitless
Don’t set ridiculous limits on yourself. I’ve heard it all before. Believe you can do everything. I got an e-mail recently from someone that said they wanted my advice on moving to Hong Kong “as long as they didn’t have to work in a pub”. Well there’s the problem. Set no limits. I live a lifestyle with NO limits. I believe I can and will do anything I want. I don’t use the word can’t, I don’t say no to new opportunities and I am fearless, boundless and limitless. This means your travel lifestyle is limitless too – you will go anywhere. If someone asks me to feed hyenas at dusk in a remote African city suburb, I’m up for it…
2. Work Hard
Nothing comes for free my friends. Nor should it. Work your ass off whatever you do. Work hard and eventually you’ll get recognised for it. Working hard brings its rewards. Whether it’s promotion you want or the ability to live your dreams. If you don’t work hard you won’t be invited back. Remember that. Through working hard, you can get a job easily, anywhere in the world.
3. Have Self Confidence
Again – be confident in yourself. Believe you can do something. If someone says you can’t do something – go and do it. Prove them wrong. Believe in yourself and have supreme confidence. There have been endless times in my life when I’ve needed that bit of confidence. It takes nothing to smile, be happy and friendly and be confident in yourself. I was confident I’d visit 50 countries and all 7 continents by the age of 30 and I went and did it. The world is yours for the taking. Do you think Obama lacks confidence? I think not…
4. Talk To As Many People As Possible
Don’t become a boring twat that gets on a train and reads a newspaper. Speak to the people around you. Talk to everyone. Talk to the guy in the local shop. Talk to the old lady at the bus stop. Talk to as many people as you can. Most people are nice. Most people will reply and talk to you. You will learn some new things. In fact you will learn a lot of new things and you will meet cool people that will inspire you. I still talk to randoms. I’m not done with meeting new people yet and neither should you. These people you meet will be from all over the world and you can meet and make friends with countless nationalities. Travelling the world now means you have local contacts almost everywhere you go.
** You will learn at least one thing from every single person you meet. (my thanks to my ex-girlfriend Emma Halstead for this inspiring truth – I remembered this and have lived by it ever since)
5. Never Say No: Be The “Yes” Man
Someone asks you to a house party say “yes”. Someone asks you to stay in work to cover someone’s sick leave say “yes”. Be the “yes” man. Be the reliable guy that’s always willing, always there, always available. Your local football team aren’t playing and you’re invited to watch the enemy – GO. For fuck sake don’t say no. You’re asked by your boss to work in a different pub for the night, head to PJ Gallaghers in Drummoyne and enjoy yourself! People e-mail me daily now due to the increasing number of viewers on this site. I always try my best to reply to every e-mail and as honestly as possible. I’m here to help. I rarely say no to things. If someone invites you to a random wedding in some far flung destination – GO. If your mate wants you to go backpacking in Iraq – GO. Be the “yes” man (and of course within reason 😉 ).
6. Respect Those Who Have Been There and Done It
Whatever it is you want in life, whatever you aspire to, you have role models. As a kid I wanted to be a footballer and my early heroes were Norman Whiteside, Gary McCartney and Teddy Sheringham. I respected them and wanted to be them. Alas they had the skills and I didn’t. Now as a global backpacker and nomad, I look to those above me who have been there done that and got so many t-shirts they had to give some of them away. These days you’ll see me respecting global travellers Matthew Kepnes Gunnar Garfors,and Wandering Earl (see how cool that was – I’ve now interviewed all three of them on my site as part of my World Travellers Series!). I’ve also met up with a load of people I aspire to, went for tea with Nomadic Matt with recently.
7. Don’t Waste Time
It’s not the 90th minute of the League Two Play Off Final and you’re not 1-0 up taking the ball to the corner flag. Time is precious. Time goes by so fast my friends. Think about it – you’re only young once. Make things happen now. You will never be this young again. You are never as young are you are tonight. Nothing comes to those who wait…times running out the door you’re running in. ACT NOW. Or at least once you’ve sized up the putt. Easy tiger…
8. Don’t Waste Money
I’ve never bought a TV, a bed, a wardrobe etc. I don’t waste money on stupid things I don’t need. A backpacker doesn’t need a TV. Everytime you see something you think you need to buy – ask yourself – do you really need it? Normally you don’t. Spend money on only the things you need. Don’t splash out on expensive phones, don’t sign long term rent contracts. Don’t get tied down to paying bills or joining contracts or clubs. Look after yourself moneywise first and foremost. And if you can crack the whole “don’t waste money” part then you’ll have entered a new routine, now known as “saving money” (I occasionally class this as “budget backpacking” 😉 ) Thanks to this refusal to waste money, I made it to Antarctica. OK so I borrowed a mattress to sleep on, along the way…
9. Don’t Believe the BullShit From Others
The reason you shouldn’t believe the bullshit from others is because it’s exactly that. It’s bullshit. You can smell it a mile off. Other people will try and interfere in your travel dreams with this sort of shit:
– what if you can’t get a job abroad?? (Bullshit – you can work anywhere – remember?)
– it might be dangerous (Bollocks, even Michael Jackson’s album with that title wasn’t dangerous)
– you might run out of money (Bullshit – you’ve learned from point 8 not to waste money haven’t you and because you work hard you’ll earn it back)
– you’ll miss your family (Bullshit – I just Skyped my Mum and Dad and worst case scenario – they’re only a flight and a ferry away!)
– you’ll get lonely (Bullshit – you’ll meet LOADS of new people. Even if you don’t just bring an Alan Partridge DVD with you)
If someone tells you it’s dangerous to go backpacking in Iran tell them “Sorry that’s bullshit. Jonny Blair has been and says it’s one of the safest places on the planet“. If someone tells you there are “no jobs available there” (as a few people have even said to me before!! – The next day I went and got a job in the place they said there were none), prove them wrong. It’s all lies – once you get out and see the world you will realise how easy it is.
10. Book a One Way Ticket
Last but not least once you’ve cracked the previous nine, get that one way ticket booked. When you arrive on the other side, you’re ready to start a new life. You’ll have the confidence, the attitude and the willingness to succeed. “Don’t look back cos you know what you might see”
This is my travel lifestyle blog and I love writing on it. If my passion doesn’t show – meet me for a beer somewhere along the way. I’m human remember. Cheers and good luck!
PS – You can also download my travel Podcast on Love Affair Travel for free.