When we first went travelling together all the way back in 2005, it was the thing to do at that time in our lives. We had just graduated from University and most of our friends were also packing backpacks for an exciting nomadic adventure. After years of hard work and study we can understand why the majority of British students take gap years before diving into the never-ending world of work.
It felt good to be part of that majority.
Fast forward 11 years and it’s all changed. We’re still on the road, living our dreams, but all our friends who we once shared that travel affection with have gone. No longer can we meet up with them on the other side of the world, share travel stories or join each other for a crazy experience.
Where are they?
They’re all at home, buying big houses, having babies and advancing in their successful careers. They’re living normal lives and we’re certainly no longer part of the majority. In fact, still travelling in our mid thirties puts us in the very small minority.
So why aren’t we back home in the UK living “normal” lives? Why are we still travelling in our mid thirties? We’re glad you asked!
We Can’t Settle Down
We’ve tried, but we just can’t settle down. Once we had experienced that initial year-long Australian backpacking adventure in 2005, our lives would never be the same. We returned home in 2006, excited to see our families, but after a few weeks of normality we had this aching urge to get back out into the world again. We had well and truly been bitten by the travel bug.
Since that return home we have continuously been packing our backpacks for multiple year-long trips around the world. We can’t stop. Each time we return we think maybe, just maybe, this time we have got it out of our system.
But no. We’re now on our latest exciting exploit. Earlier this year we bought a one way ticket to Asia with no plans to return home anytime soon. We’re travelling using our largest savings pot yet and plan to hopefully make some money along the way. We’ve accepted the fact that travel is to be part of our lives forever and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Related: 30 Ways Travel Changes in Your 30’s
Life is too Short
It’s a cliché, but we feel life really is too short. Too short to be living in one place for your entire life. Too short to be caged in an office, working 9-5 (or longer in our case) in a job you don’t enjoy. Maybe working in that job year after year after year. Or worse, FOREVER!
We couldn’t live that way. Not when we now know what else is out there. Travelling has opened our eyes to so many other possibilities. To other types of lifestyles we didn’t even know existed.
It’s a morbid thought but nobody knows what’s around the corner. Tomorrow we could be hit by a bus or develop a fatal disease. If that happens then we don’t want to be sorry for not doing the things we wanted to do together. Even if we’re lucky enough to reach old age, we don’t want to be sat in our old people home with those same regrets. We’re making the most of our able-bodied years before it’s too late!
The World is too Amazing to Stop Exploring
Armchair travel through the watching of documentaries or the reading of blogs isn’t enough for us like it can be for others. We all live on an incredible planet and it’s simply too amazing not to explore for ourselves.
We’ve enjoyed some awesome experiences together. From a jeep safari at the world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia to sleeping under the stars in India’s Thar desert. From island hopping in Thailand to driving the Great Ocean Road in Australia. We still travel now to gain more memories of these once in a lifetime experiences.
It’s not just the landscapes that are amazing. There are some amazing people in the world that are a joy to meet. Fascinating and friendly locals who live totally different lives to those in the western world. The highlights for us include Sri Lankans, Fijians and the wonderful children in Cambodia. Without our ongoing travels we would not have the pleasure to meet these amazing and welcoming people from different corners of the world.
Food has become a massive part of our travel enjoyment. We haven’t always been foodies but travelling the world has opened our taste buds to some amazing dishes. Browsing bustling food markets, touring tempting street carts and finding a hidden local chef is something we enjoy immensely. The vast amount of diverse and tasty food around the world means we never miss the classic British fish and chips or a full English breakfast.
Our Travel Bucket List Keeps Growing
The more we travel, the longer our travel bucket list seems to get. Over the past 11 years we’ve travelled to the following counties:
India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, United, States, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Morocco and of course England, Scotland and Wales.
So far our favourite country has to be Sri Lanka.
Sure it’s an impressive list, but you should see the size of the list of places we still want to visit! We can’t stop now.
The House, Babies and Career Will Have to Wait
We’re both too aware that we’re not getting any younger. We know that time could be running out if we want to have a family. In a way, travel is our baby. We love it and devote our lives to it. Maybe this will change over the next few years but for now we love living our lives this way and having children is not something we currently want.
The big house and the career? Well we couldn’t care less for those. We know we’re the happiest when we travel, so what can be more important than that?!
You Can Travel Too!
A lot of people give up on the idea of travelling because they think they don’t have enough money or can’t seem to save. Both Shelley and I have never been in high paying jobs. In fact, for the majority of our time working between trips we were earning fairly low salaries when compared to the London average.
Even then we have still been able to save for multiple year-long trips while living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
It hasn’t been easy but what we’re trying to say is that with some hard work, commitment and by making a few sacrifices, you too could soon be booking your flight around the world.
Our friends and family regularly quiz us about how we save so much money in such short time frames. We’re living proof that ordinary people with ordinary incomes can save enough money for epic travels.
We’re firm believers that if we can travel the way we do then anyone can. Even if you believe you’ve missed your chance because you too are in your mid thirties or older. You’re never too old to travel. It’s never too late. Join us! 🙂
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