A question I get asked a lot is if I ever get scared. The simple short answer is yes. I am a young female of colour travelling the globe solo. But I don’t let those genres cripple me in continuing with my travels. The more people say ‘but you can’t.’ The more I interject with ‘but I can’.
Was it scary quitting my job? It was petrifying. I had doubts if I was doing the right thing. I was in the process of buying a house and when a cash buyer jumped in. I decided to use the $20,000 deposit to travel instead. I was so consumed with the 9-5 lifestyle counting down the days until hump day. Planning ‘life for the weekends.’ Planning getaways to make the 9-5 more bearable. Paying bills, which never seemed to have an end date insight. Looking at my payslip and thinking is that it.?! I honestly didn’t know there was another way to live and earn.
Some people thought I was stupid for quitting my job and flying to a place that I had never been. But I felt the fear and did it anyway.
Traveling is amazing and having the freedom away from an employer and the whole 9-5 lifestyle is liberating if done properly. I emphasis properly. I am still finding my balance. I found that whilst traveling Australia I had a more disposable income and saved more than I did in the UK. Every country has a different process. But I wasn’t paying bills, I couldn’t apply for credit so I was not in danger of spending money I didn’t have. I spent less money on frivolous fashion items because I couldn’t physically carry them. A lot of the time I didn’t have to pay rent through family friends working remotely. The majority of tax I paid was given back to me because I am not a permanent resident of that country and I could release my pension. Living in Asia was a similar deal although I was not traveling there but was an expat. Taxation was 2% and wages higher than the UK so again financially I was far better off than I was in my home country.
Do you get scared traveling alone?
I never see myself as traveling alone because I always seem to make friends and the more friends that you make in the traveling world the more likely you are to be going to places where you know at least one person. But initially it can be scary and it is hard. I have been in locations where I have to build my network again. There is no mum or dad at the bottom of the road. No friends that can pick you up if you get into a pickle and breakdown.
Do you worry about being black?
The more I travel the less it worries me. The less I become concerned about being ‘different.’ Or encountering racism. I have encountered racism on my travels and have taken it on the chin. Likewise I have had many good encounters and a lot of curiosity. Traveling around Asia especially China you will see that its unusual to see any other ethnicity. I have always been a ‘minority.’ Living in the UK black is a minority although England is very multicultural compared to other countries I have traveled.
Do I get scared being a female?
My family fear for me, more than I fear for myself. Being a female I instantly stand out. When I was in Delhi the stares and questions were intense. ‘ Where’s your family? Are you married?’ The people there could not comprehend why I was alone and why I was in Delhi. Being a female can be terrifying at times. I don’t know martial arts and the females in a lot of countries are second-class citizens. At times I have felt uncomfortable and at times I have been in unsafe situations. But it is all a learning curb
One of the scariest things is the not knowing. Not knowing if I picked road A what would my life look like 12 months from now compared to road B. But the not knowing is what makes life exciting.
If you want to travel feel the fear and do it anyway.