At 28 years old I decided to quit my job working within Commercial Property Sales to go backpacking. That was 18 months ago. Many questioned my rational.
What you going to do for work? You can’t just quit your job? What you going to do when you get back? What about settling down and growing roots? What about your boyfriend?!
Admittedly, it was a scary prospect leaving my career, family and friends to go backpacking. But I was adamant and nothing and no one was going to change my mindset. Travel was something I had wanted to do for years. I wanted to stretch myself and really experience immersing myself in another culture outside of England.
Don’t get me wrong, my job facilitated my 3-4 holidays a year. Staying in 5 star hotels and envious locations such as the Maldives,Dubai, Cuba… but that is not travel. It’s a short snapshot holiday. I can’t tell you anything about the political issues or social issues of those countries. Or more importantly anything about the locals what keeps them awake at night or what gets them out of bed every day.
I applied for my Working Holiday Visa 417 for Australia and jumped on a plane straight to Melbourne. Whilst backpacking I met a lot of travelers all of which were different ages and backpacking in different ways. What I was surprised about is that there are a lot of older travelers. Those in their late 20s straight through to 60s.
The best way to describe these travelers is to put them into groups. There were the long-term visa holder backpackers 30 and under. Or you would have the short career break travelers usually nurses, doctors, teachers, managers that had decided to take 3-6 month sabbatical. Then there were the environmentalist PhD Research travelers usually mid to late 30s. Then the Australian born backpackers who had modest camper vans/ 4WDs traveling their own country in the age range of 30-45. Then the flash pimped out all singing all dancing motor home travelers owned by the silver campers 50+ travelers.
I realised that traveling is not ageist, it’s not sexist and it doesn’t discriminate. Self doubt is a disease that can attack any dream. There will always be a million reason as to why you can’t do something. But don’t let age be an excuse.
My biggest regret is that I didn’t travel sooner. Click below to watch my latest video!