Here some of the resources I’ve used to prepare myself to travel abroad. I want my own fairy tale life, and I’ll do what it takes to get there, writing the story along the way. Travel certainly isn’t the only way to live a fairy tale, but travel definitely is a fairy tale way to live!
There are many tales of joy, adventure and suffering in the links below. Everyone pursues their fairy tale for different reasons, with different hopes, different dreams. Here are a few starting points to spark your interest. Please feel free to suggest other resources as I hope to dramatically improve this list over time.
Inspiration Videos and Talks
- Legal Nomads – On Taking Risks, Long-Term Travel and Finding your Path in Life, Truly Inspiring talk covering most aspects of what to expect, what to fear and not fear, and why following your dreams is always worth it.
- Answering Oliver – Someday is Today. This one is likely to induce the dreaded “Leaky Eye Syndrome”. You can always make the money back, but you can’t get the time back.
My favorite travel blogs
- Legal Nomads – Former NYC lawyer traveling the world through food since 2008 while learning not to sweat the small stuff. “I am a former lawyer from Montreal currently eating my way around the world, one country at a time. Marshmallow enthusiast and volcano climber – and also a geek. Traveling since April 1, 2008.”
- Johnny Vagabond – Seriously cool sense of humor, with extremely frank tales. “To me, traveling low to the ground, taking ground transport where possible, and traveling as the locals do is the ideal way to experience a place.”
- Never Ending Footsteps – “I’m here to show you how not to travel. Since I’ve been on the road I’ve been “poked” during a massage in Bangkok, punched a scammer in Shanghai, been attacked by monkeys in Bali, sat next to a dead woman on a boat in Laos and so much more.”
- A Little Adrift – Shannon is a former actress and author of “The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook” and really endeavor’s to get to the heart of the countries she visits and in which she volunteers. Her writing is thoroughly enjoyable and her resources extensive.
- Answering Oliver – She’s a “25-year-old writer, runner and aspiring photographer who quit a well-paid advertising job to travel the world on a budget. I’ve traveled through New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and am now back home in Seattle, looking to balance fulfilling work with occasional travel.”
- Nomadic Matt – Author of “How to travel the world on $50 a day” and a blog filled with host of great advice. To quote his about page “I finished my MBA, quit my cubicle job, and, in July 2006, set out on an adventure around the world.”
- The Everywhereist – An absolutely amazing writer. She will have you laughing no matter the subject matter. For instance “WTF Wednesday: I have a brain tumor. I’ve name it Steve” (Plot spoiler: It turned out fine).
- Adventurous Kate – “My goal is to show YOU how you can travel the world on your own — easily, safely, and adventurously.”
- Almost Fearless – “Drinking on the Job since 2008”. A woman traveling the world for years with her husband and child+
- Backpacking Matt – Offering “budget conscious travelers and backpackers destination specific advice, stories of adventure and exploration, travel reviews, and inspiration to get out and travel the world.”
- Alex in Wanderland – A New York native who says after a year “I still feel like I’m on the greatest trip of my life. It has no end date, no solid itinerary, and no real backup plan. Just adventure, adrenaline, and a lifetime of globe-trotting daydreams to fulfill.”
Article Hubs or Site with many authors
How-To Life Hacking
- The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau has been “Challenging Authority since 1978” and defines non-comformity as “a lack of orthodoxy in thoughts or beliefs” or “the refusal to accept established customs, attitudes, or ideas.” He’s also the founder of the World Domination Summit.
Where to start?
Is it worth it?
- 71 travel experts address the “I’d love to travel but ______” excuse. At “Extra Pack of Peanuts” they tell you why your excuses are all BS and what to do about it. This is also a great place to find great travel blogs you didn’t know about.
- 100 Countries or an SUV – Chris from the Art of Non-Comformity compares the price and value of traveling to 100 countries versus the price of an average SUV.
What kind of money are we talking?
- Legal Nomads long term travel resources. Scroll down to Section 3 for the money part.
- NeverendingFootsteps monthly travel summaries. 18 months and counting of fairly rapid travel with detailed breakdowns on expenses.
- Johnny Vagabond budget section including detailed cost per day analysis.
- The Cheapest Destinations Blog – Everything you can imagine related to keeping costs low.
- Skyscanner.com Amazing site for finding budget flights. No one site is definitively the best but this is a great start for any part of the world. I personally can play with setting the destination to “Everywhere” for hours, just for fun.
- Indie – BootsnAll multi-country flight planner. I haven’t used it much myself yet, but it looks awesome and I respect BootsnAll.
Safety while traveling
- Legal Nomads – Revisiting the Solo Female travel experience. A very detailed, well thought out, expert traveller’s perspective on women traveling the world alone, based on 4+ years of travel, in response to the murder of Sarai Sierra. Also links to many other female traveler blog posts on the topic.
- Legal Nomads original article on female solo travel: Solo Female Travel, Trust and the Art of Fitting In
- Almost Fearless – The Women Traveling Solo Question
- Matador Network – Travel safety isn’t a gendered issue
How can I reduce costs and/or help the locals?
- Couchsurfing – Stay with a local, make a new friend, get far better incites than any travel guide
- WWOOF’ing – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Work 4-6 hours a day on a wide variety of organic farms and ranches around the world in exchange for free accommodations and food.
- HelpX – Volunteer work in almost unlimited ways. From the site “organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.”
- Matador Network – 10 Volunteer Opportunities for Free Travel
- Duolingo – This is a great way to learn one of the supported languages. Combined with local language classes to help you get off the ground and talking to the locals as much as you possibly can, you should be able to learn your target language pretty quickly.