HOW DID I MANAGE
Do you think it’s possible to travel to 45 countries on your own when you’re just 20?
What do you have to do for that — have a lot of money, be very lucky or to be very brave?
Maybe all of the points mentioned? I would love to share a personal story about my traveling addiction and why I don’t want to stop.
Maybe you will get inspired and start exploring this endless, borderless world.
Don’t be afraid
Unsuccessful ultimatum from my parents
So how did it all start? As a child, I used to dance in a Ukrainian folk-dance group. We were traveling in Europe and giving performances in various places — from a school in Slovakia to a luxurious Opera Theatre in the centre of Vienna. My parents used to take me to beach-vacations in Turkey or relaxed holidays in the west of Ukraine. But the more I was growing up, the more I felt that there is something more about traveling abroad. Maybe I needed more adventure? Some unexplainable desire to explore hidden places, to know the cultures you’ve only read before, tp dive into the landscapes you can’t find in your own country…
At the age of 16, I’ve attended a lecture from a girl who was conquering the world with a very new strategy — no fancy hotel, no all-included meals, no tour guide. Anastasia Сhmil was traveling from Ukraine to India by hitchhiking, volunteering, and Couchsurfing. She didn’t need a lot of money, but what she needed was courage, certain set of skills and the willingness to enjoy and survive. Her eyes were shining with life, and this girl inspired me like no-one else.
A few month later, I told my parents that I am going for my first trip completely on my own. When I asked my father to give me some money for the trip, he refused to sponsor this «venture» so I won’t be able to travel to the nearest country of Slovakia. And as soon as I was earning my own part-time money by working as a portrait photographer, I still decided to go for the trip. And…. Not only I didn’t die, but also learned how adventurous and cool wondering to new countries can be.
Nothing would be possible without punch of braveness and a tone of help
When I just got on my journey of adventurous travel I couldn’t imagine how helpful the world can be. Not only marriage and children I was offered, but also food, clothes, an enormous amount of sincere smiles, friendship, information and shelter. In every single country I’ve been I’ve met amazing people who welcomed me with an opened heart.
From the north of Norway to the border with Afghanistan. Zero exceptions.
Start from small
There is no need to aim for New Zealand or Australia when you have no prior travel experience. Nobody became a very skilled traveller after one trip, nobody covered a complex destination in the blink of an eye. Even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point; something which begins with one first step.
Go to the nearest country, which borders with yours. Take a friend and plan your trip together.
Start small, and the big will come.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Famous Chinese proverb
Don’t get stuck in Europe — the world is a way bigger
It’s a great point to start exploring the world right after the border of your own country. Yes, do start from the villages in your own motherland, and explore the nearest cities. But don’t get stuck in your «travelling comfort zone». It’s easy to go around the countries which have a similar culture to yours. At a certain point, maybe it’s time to go for courageous more?
Work work work work work
Unless your travelling strategy is dumpster diving, taking endless advantage of human kindness and being a freeloader, you do have to take care of your finances. So you should save up some money. Another option for being a nomad is having a remote job or finding the income source in the place you’re located (which can be quite a challenge, though there are lots of volunteering and teaching options).
It’s not vacation anymore, it’s a lifestyle
Despite being just 20, I realize — I ain’t gonna stop. My goal for the nearest future is to become a full-time digital nomad by working on the websites and sharing the beauty of the culture I would be located in.
The world is full of diversity. Can’t help NOT exploring.