Real Talk

How do I… realistically put my dreams of living abroad into action?

23 years old and country hopping like there is no tomorrow.

My story

I’ve caught the travel bug and oh yes, I’ve caught it hard. How did this all go down you may ask? Well, here is a quick rundown of my story. As a little 19-year-old I decided to defer my studies after a year of university to travel. Europe was always on the cards for me and when the opportunity to live in Vienna as an au pair came up, I jumped at the chance.

Adventure number two took place in 2017 where, after two years of planning and saving, I hopped on a plane to begin my party in the USA. I made the University of South Carolina home for six months (go Gamecocks!) and gained credits towards graduating. And finally, here I am in London, straight out of university and following my career, making England lucky number three. I know, I know, the title says four, but yes, I am counting Australia in the mix  because home most definitely counts. 

You’ll be happy to hear that I didn’t sell a kidney to afford these amazing life experiences. I managed to study, work and save simultaneously, whilst having a social life. It’s possible, I promise. The thought of saving can be daunting, especially when you feel like you don’t have a lot of money coming in. But it IS possible, I promise…

Working holidays or study abroad

You’ve heard my story, so you know it is possible. There are opportunities for working holidays worldwide which allow you to work and vacay in overseas destinations. If you are a student, Study Abroad is one of the most affordable ways to live in another country. Many universities offer scholarships or grants to incentivise exchange programs. These do take time to put into motion though, so if you are keen get on it ASAP. 

High interest savings accounts

Bank accounts. Probably not the most thrilling of these tips, but certainly one of the most important. Every bit counts, and interest can add up… if you are using the account properly. Personally, I change the name of this account to reflect my current savings goal, such as the destination in mind. That way when each pay comes in I’m contributing money directly to say the ‘London fund.’

Sell what you no longer use or need

This one worked extremely well for me. I am a massive shopaholic – the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? By utilising Facebook selling pages and local markets you can cull your belongings (let’s be real, you can’t take everything with you anyway) and gain some much needed funds in the process.  So, it is time to be cut-throat. Get rid of anything and everything. 

 

Take advantage of discounts

Many companies out there take pity on those of us in savings mode and hook us up with killer discounts. Businesses such as Groupon have deals for all users. Alternately, those lucky enough to be students can use sites such as Unidays that bring student discounts together into one place. 

Cut vices

This may be one of the most challenging, but most worthwhile. Whatever your addiction may be, whether it’s coffee, chocolate, clothes (guilty!), wine, gigs etc. Resist the temptation. These harmless (in moderation) guilty pleasures can set you back.

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