We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

opinions on my long term travel plans

1 post
1 review
opinions on my long term travel plans

hello everyone, this is my first post and was wondering if i could get some advice from travellers.

i'm Karl, nearly 30 from the UK and i'm unemployed. for the past few years i have wanted to travel it's all i think about. i have never travelled outside of the UK before but i just wanna see the whole world.

my plan (has been) to get a job which i haven't had since i left uni 5 years ago. i'm not hugely fussy about the job but i don't want a job i would hate. retail, admin or call centre operative is what i'm looking for. I will work for 5 years and try to save as much as possible, i was thinking £20,000 (i live at home and don't have a car or anything) i have less then £1000 debt exc student loans but only have to pay that back when i earn a lot more money then i expect to be paid before the travel happens so could save more then a lot of people.

i would go to college at night doing photography/writing classes. so when i do go travelling i could start a website, take a year to build up and hopefully become a professional blogger earning money.

i know it will be hard work but it's been my dream for a few years, i create documents/folders for all the countries i wanna visit with attractions and what i'd like to do. so basically all i'm after is as many opinions as possible as whether this could be done or whether maybe i'm too old now or whether this sounds like a good idea. just any advice basically. thanks in advance.

Level Contributor
9,090 posts
1. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

I don't know how many people make a living running a blog. That's the only thing I'd worry about. Have a blog because you enjoy it but the world is full of underpaid writers. Oh and the old joke about photographers.

How does a photographer make a million? He starts with two.

How does a photographer get rich? He marries well.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,486 posts
1 review
2. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

whats the saying about the person making $$ of his passions.....

im not a blogger and writing isnt my forte. So that would be the last thing i would do to try and survive on.

im not sure how the job market is in the UK or EU. But many people see a "job" just as a "job" and maybe a stepping stone to something else.

have you looked at any job(s) out there where you can put your skills and your uni knowledge to use? There maybe jobs out there where travel is part of the "job description". you wont be doing it for fun, but since you have not traveled at all, getting paid to do your work and travel would be 1 step forward. Then if you think you can juggle it, blog what you do too and see how that works out.

my job is just a job. The saying....do you "work to live or live to work" is in my mind day in and day out. I work for the $$ and the vacation time. I get 5 weeks now for holiday and its rare in the USA so i take advantage of it. all of my hobbies are put aside and i save for my trips now. thats what important to me. im saving for this years trip and also trying to save for 2 more just in case my job goes away (overseas). I figure if i can get 2 trips once the job goes away, it will keep my happy until i can find another job.

What you may not realize is that you are situated in a way better place to travel to Europe. I have to spend at the minimum 1300 USD and i loose 1 full day just to be where you are now.

You may want to look at getting some job just to pay that debt. I dont know about you,but i detest having debt over my head.

research wont cost you alot either. why not spend some of the down or unemployed time researching things like .....

- getting from where you are to where you want to visit?

- look at logistics such as Air, boat, bus, train. whats fastest, whats slowest. Does slow = cheap? does fast = expensive? what about bicycle around? i notice people take their bikes on the trains? it may not be fast, but it could do for short trips.

- Camping. If you bike, you have someplace to carry your camping gear.

- since you have Europe in your backyard, you dont have to go far to get out of your place. you can do short 2,3,4 day trips and learn how to travel on a "shoestring" budget.

- talk to others while you travel and get ideas.

- do some research on a short trip and if you have the $$$, go for it. see how close or cheap you can do it and compare it to your research.

- you should realize that many people WISH they can travel but when you ask why not, a common theme will be $$$, time or life. So you have something to write about. If you can travel for pennies im sure some people would be willing to read on how you did it.

good luck

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,637 posts
111 reviews
3. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

I will make two points. But, first, I do want to apologize for [rain]ing on your parade. It's what I do. It's who I am.

The first point is specific. Do not go to a university to study to be a writer. Maybe things are different in the UK, but writing programs at major universities in the USA are worse than useless. They don't teach students how to write; they teach conformist thought. At least in the UK and Europe you won't end up with the massive student debt load that you would in the USA. If you want to be a writer, write. Don't "study" writing. Write. And read. Nothing teaches you "how to write" better than reading quality writing. Read the great travel writers: Mark Twain, Herman Melville. John Steinbeck.

My second point is much more general. The worst advice people give is "follow your dreams." That piece of advice is equal parts cruel and stupid. And it's a whole lot of both. Yes, people who achieve at a stunning level of success in the creative fields and commerce did, of course, "follow their dreams." And we hear about it. But what about a thousands who tried to follow their path and become great artists or writers or actors? Maybe you can become the one in a thousand, or the one in a hundred thousand, or the one in a hundred million, to succeed in your dream life.

Life is short and middle age comes quickly. Very very few get to truly "follow our dreams," but a lot of us can earn enough of a living to visit those dreams for a few weeks or more a year. For the dreamer, I've just painted a vision of hell. We all bring our own perspectives to this world. But compared to the abject misery of life for most people who have lived on this earth for the last several millennia, "visit your dream on occasion" is not a bad life. Beats the hell out of not having any money and never being able to taste even a crumb of your dream.

Level Contributor
5,434 posts
154 reviews
4. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

I suggest that you get a proper job now and stop this silly dreaming. Why are you still living off your parents? Your present writing suggests that you need to learn a fair bit about grammar and punctuation, never mind style.

Register with a good employment agency and the jobcentre, start writing letters to every local employer possible with a good cv. Meanwhile find some sort of voluntary work to occupy your time properly, learn some people skills and add to your cv.

If you want to go to evening classes at your local college - and Blackpool College is good - learn something that makes you more employable.

Just get on with it.

Level Contributor
10,363 posts
81 reviews
5. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

Reality check#1 you have not had a job in five years, what makes you think you are going to waltz into one now with a resume that is very thin. What have you been doing for 5 years?

Reality check #2, Destination folders have already been done by many people and many tourist offices,

Reality check #3 . Pay off your loans first, Dreams come second in life,

Reality check #4 Ditch the word wanna - it is not going to look good on any professional blog site,

Edited: 01 May 2017, 21:45
England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,975 posts
111 reviews
6. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

Hi Karl, welcome to the forums. It's been a bit of a rough ride for your first post but most of the advice is good.

Improve your writing anyway, not with a college course which is a waste of money. There's stuff online and free books from the library which will give a start. Find the blogs that appeal to you most and work out what it is that appeals. Find a group that does creative writing so that you can get a critique of what you have achieved - or not - so far and listen to what is said, see if it applies.

Look for a job. This is going to give you the money and opportunity to do the travels you have prepared. The way you write your CV can make a huge difference to whether you get an interview. If your writing skills are improving then this should too. There are simple ways with words and which ones to include or not include that can make all the difference. This will be part of your working towards a sucessful blog.

There are thousands of travel blogs out there. A few make some money but none enough to live on. Also bear in mind that even people who do a job because it is their passion eventually find the shine wearing off as they are obliged to do the same thing year in, year out. This is a fact of life.

The usual thing to be doing in your 30's is to build up your finances, buy a property and a pension. Believe me being poor and old is no fun. But there is no reason if you put your mind to it that you can't work and travel in holidays. Even work and take the next time you have a break in employment to travel if you keep your travels cheap. Learn how to bag the best prices for flights and accommodation. Follow the flight sales. Find good but cheap family run accommodation. Check how to get good value train tickets via Seat 61.

All this practise you can do while you are searching for a job then the first chance you get with a bit of money behind you you can nip off on one of your trips.

You could also practise your travel skills by exploring near to you. You are in an ideal location for Scotland & Wales or nipping over to Europe. There were some trip reports by a lad who did trips in 24hrs and was working his way around Europe like that. He lived near London so flights were easy. Off at 4am back at midnight (the cheapest flights too) with an amazing time inbetween. So you don't have to zip off for months or years to see the world. Just be organised

But earning to travel via a blog. No. Or we'd all be doing it instead of hanging around here writing ;-)

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3,842 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

I have been out of work long term in the past, and I think you should seriously consider taking any job, even ones that you think you might hate. Having experience of any sort on your CV is better than none, and you earn money, though it may not be much. There has been only one job that I hated so much that I quit it. I did not have another job for 14 months, so I regret having quit it so quickly. But many of the lower paying jobs that I had in the past I actually liked more than I expected. You do not know until you try.

As for blogging, I know of some blogs written by full time bloggers. Only a small number make a living from it, and they are not making a fortune. In fact this link is from a blog by someone who is a full time blogger. She gives her perspective on how she did it. If this is really what you want to do, then I am sure that her article would be useful.


Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,815 posts
141 reviews
8. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

@karl.....it's good to have a plan, but you don't have to be a slave to it.

You say you haven't worked in the 5 years since leaving uni. Some people would find that very demotivating. But you are looking ahead, which is a positive! .

Due to your lack of skills and employment record, I'd agree with the advice given by other posters; undertake voluntary work, take any job, even part time, or even two jobs. Your avatar says you come from Blackpool, which itself is a tourist destination, so you may be able to get seasonal work too.

However, I don't think your plan to save for 5 years and then travel, is realistic, or even desirable. That's a very long time to defer your ultimate goals. There's a real risk that you'll give up on your plan before the 5 years are up, or talk yourself out of travel altogether if you can't reach your savings goal.

If you set yourself smaller goals, you're more likely to achieve them, and these achievements can act as the incentive to setting more ambitious plans for the future.

Perhaps you could...

a) Save less money but travel for shorter periods to convenient (and cheaper) destinations, and

b) Travel off season when prices are lower and crowds are fewer, and .

c) Build up an employment record and then contact travel companies to investigate work with them, particularly as a seasonal rep.

If you are looking to improve your employability and gain additional skills (particularly if looking for work in the travel industry) I'd suggest contacting your jobcentre for courses in ITC, first aid and possibly swimming/life saving.

Courses in photography and writing are all well & good, but these are expensive solitary undertakings. You may end up draining your travel budget, or creating a distraction from your main aims. Such courses won't do much to improve your social life or employability either.

If you need advice on bargain travelling, I'd recommend reading the info items in the Bargain Forum, from their "Know How To...." series. Topics include accommodation, travel insurance, air fares etc. They can be found in the Top Questions box, and you'll need a pc/laptop/tablet, as the trip advisor phone app is just to limited to show the full website content.

Good luck.

9. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 30 May 2017, 03:35
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
18,290 posts
189 reviews
10. Re: opinions on my long term travel plans

MattBurnsTravel: The reason I've reported your post is that you link to your blog - and your blog advertises personal products and services, which is against forum posting guidelines. Self-promotion is never allowed. The fact that you wish to "teach" others to do the same, on this forum, is also off-limits for those posters. Sure, you can discuss ideas, but just not use the forums to post links. All posting guidelines can be found in the Help Center.