Prepare to Travel with The Fly Away American
Our fifteenth installment of our ongoing series, Prepare to Travel, is with Jessica of The Fly Away American. Jessica is an American expat, originally from Texas, now living in a small fishing town on the coast of England. She has been in England for over two years, after living in The Netherlands for three years. Her blog, The Fly Away American follows her journeys as both an expat and world nomad. Next year she’ll be taking her dream trip to Everest Base Camp! Join us as we learn how to prepare to travel with The Fly Away American!
AfterGlobe (AG)- We hear again and again, how people can’t believe that others are able to travel the world in abundance or long term. Many can’t even imagine doing this. What travelers did before they left to travel always seems to be a hot topic. Would you agree? Do you get a lot of questions about traveling and how you are able to do something so many consider a luxury?
The Fly Away American (TFAA): I moved to Europe five years ago and consider myself, more or less, a permanent expat of the world. Although I originally left America for love, I have had a passion for travel as long as I can remember. I find it really funny when people ask me how I afford to travel around so much because until recently I was a stay-at-home mom on a very tight budget. I travel a lot locally, and take advantage of public transportation. I take the bus instead of the train, and am open to visiting anything and everything. I think when you are willing to make small sacrifices like comfort, nothing can stop you from seeing the world but yourself.
AG- When did you first start thinking about travelling? What changed from dreaming about it to actually making it happen?
TFAA: I think high school is when I ‘decided’ I would travel the world. In college I studied abroad in China and The Netherlands, and met a lot of wonderful international students (including my fiancé) which opened up the world even more. These days it isn’t so much a decision, as it is something I just do.
AG- Once you decided you were going to travel, what did you do to start working towards making it a reality? Did you make a plan or budget?
TFAA: I am not one for plans, and never had enough money to budget. I have always been in the mind that if you can get your flight, and have enough money for a hostel, everything else will work itself out. Probably not the best way to travel, but it hasn’t failed me so far. I enjoy the unknown.
AG- When you finally decided you were leaving to travel, how long was it from that point and the day that you actually left to travel?
TFAA: I had planned on studying in China since I was 16, I haven’t really stopped since I made that dream come true.
AG- What happened with all of your belongings? Did you sell everything? Were there items that you kept and put it in storage? What was your thinking behind what you kept and what you got rid of?
TFAA: Haha. I have belongings everywhere. As much as I love to shop, I don’t put a lot of sentimental value on things that I own. I have sold things along the way, thrown them away, or left boxes with friends and family promising to one day take it off their hands. I always keep my journals, and my ridiculous collection of Buddha statues. I don’t think a person really needs much in life other than their family and great friends, everything else can be put in storage.
AG- Many times when reading travel blogs, we find ourselves thinking that we need to buy a bunch of things to be able to travel. Did you experience this? What things do you now realize that you didn’t really need? Any recommendations on what really is needed?
TFAA: I never buy anything. I find all those accessories a big waste of money. I use to travel with one of those giant money wallets under my clothing, but haven’t even thought about it in years. As long as I have my computer, a good backpack, and my passport- I am good to go. I would recommend travelling light, if you need anything on the trip you can pick it up locally.
AG- What did you find was the most difficult for you while preparing to travel?
TFAA: I don’t tend to have any difficulties leaving. I usually have the hardest time when I have returned from travelling. Beware of the reverse culture shock.
AG- Do you have any additional advice for those who want to travel the world, but haven’t?
TFAA: Stop making excuses and just go! You will never get anywhere day-dreaming on your couch.
Thank you very much to Jessica of The Fly Away American for doing a Prepare to Travel interview with us today. Be sure to head over to The Fly Away American to read all about Jessica’s adventures on her travels. What do you do to prepare to travel?
All photos provided by The Fly Away American.