How I Plan to Afford My Year Abroad

I’ve learned a lot about travel over the last year.  I have learned where to find the best travel resources, developed my own list of top travel apps, earned free flights using travel reward credit cards (thank you, Southwest!), and experienced the post-travel blues.

After I returned from Italy, I found myself constantly thinking about where I would go next.  I purchased Lonely Planet guidebooks, scoured the blogosphere for ideas, entered every travel contest I could find, and even sent emails filled with potential travel dates and desired locations to friends (Iceland, anyone?).  Through all of this research I believe the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that while travel can easily become quite the expense, there are many ways to make it more affordable.

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The Decision

I’ve decided to take a career break to live, work and travel in Australia for up to a year.  There.  I said it.  Unlike a friend of mine who wrote a terrific post about why she did not quit her job to travel, I am adding my name to the ever-growing list of female travelers taking on the world rather than the cubicle, wedding ring, or baby carriage.  Don’t get me wrong – I want all of those things – I’m just going to get to them a little later in life.

2015 marks my 30th year in the world and, as I rang in the New Year, I spent some time reflecting on who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.  It was easy to feel a bit inadequate.  Here I am, about to turn 30, single, and by societal standards, off-track.  I’ll admit that when I was younger, I expected I would be married with kids at this point in my life but this is not the hand I’ve been dealt.  I decided I had two choices: 1. Feel sorry for myself and wait for my “prince” to find me or 2. Do something different.  As you can reasonably infer based on the first line of this post, I chose option 2.

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