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If you’ve been following me on social media, especially Instagram, you may have noticed that I have been hinting about a change in my life and I’ve been a bit cryptic in some of my captions. For example on my last day of being 27 a few weeks ago, I posted a photo of the gorgeous Caribbean ocean stating that Antigua was an amazing way to spend my last week being 27 and that I plan to see a lot more water this colour in my 28th year on this planet. That’s because I do and hint, it’s not going to be whilst making the best use of my annual leave from work!
But first, let’s look back because this is also my 8 Years of Travel post.
I love the summer, because well, it’s summer, but also because for 3 months I get to think, this time in 2010 I was in the USA working at a Summer Camp and this is where my love and addiction to travel really started.
I wrote a 5 Years of Travel post which explains what I got up to from 2010-2015 (it was an awesome 5 years!). I loved reading this post back recently, especially the end where I summarise what I want the next 5 years to bring. It’s safe to say that some of those things have happened – seeing more of Asia, some of them didn’t – I nearly went to New Zealand twice on a working holiday visa and didn’t both times meaning I lost my visa (you can read more about that in Calming the Addiction to Leave), some are yet to happen – India, Canada, and some have happened in different ways because that’s life and that’s fine.
Since I wrote that post, I finished off 2015 just as amazingly as I started it- I scratched the surface of the Middle East and then headed back to my beloved South East Asia with 2 of my best friends. We had such a good time in Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand, having more fun than I can even write about on the internet! 2016 started pretty amazingly too in Thailand before going to the Philippines for 2 short, but incredible and hilarious weeks.
After 4 months of backpacking I was pretty tired, I was craving routine and instead of moving to New Zealand as planned I flew back to the UK and moved to London straight away. I had a rocky start living in London, I had a flat in a beautiful area but I was doing rubbish jobs and it took me awhile to really settle and enjoy London. I also quickly realised that just because you have lots of friends who live in London, it doesn’t mean you’ll see them! If you want to read more about my London moaning’s, have a look at The Reality of Living in London.
Anyway, nearly 2 and a half years later, I’m still in London, I settled into life here, I got restless and then I seemed to settle again. I also experienced all of the positives that London gives- an unlimited amount of things to do, the potential to meet new friends, quick and cheap flights to Europe and lots of opportunities for blogging.
I’ve been on 26 trips outside of the UK in 28 months whilst living in London which I actually counted for the purpose of this post and I can’t believe it’s been that many! Although I know Stansted, Luton and Gatwick airport like the back of my hand so in some ways I can believe it’s been that many! I give more details of those trips in my 2016 & 2017 roundup if you wish to have a look.
Some of these trips were booked and paid for by myself and some have been press trips which makes me really proud because when I first moved to London I had no idea how press trips worked and no idea that I would be able to work with brands and tourist boards from my blog!
When I wrote my 5 Years of Travel post this blog was literally just a journal and a space to share information from my trips in the hope that a few people would read it and find it useful. I popped on here now and again, wrote some bits, posted on Instagram and that’s it. However since moving to London, and especially last year in 2017 my blog has grown and my desire to work for myself has grown along with it to the point where I may or may not have handed in my notice at work and just worked my last full week for another employer!
Spoiler alert, that has just happened!
Let me rewind a bit. I always knew that I wouldn’t stay in London, I knew I’d be here a while but I never knew if it would be for 1 year, 3 years, 5 years because I knew I would go off travelling again. There is still so much of the world I want to see and I’ve been very determined to make my 20’s all about travel! With 2 years left of my 20’s, money in my savings account, a desire to learn more and grow my blog I decided a few months ago that I needed to quit my job, leave London, go travelling, and that’s exactly what I’m doing!
I officially finished full-time work on Friday. I did hand my notice in completely but I was offered the chance to stay at my job for 2 days a week until I leave London, I saw this as a sign, an opportunity that I couldn’t decline so I will continue to do my 9:00-5:30 2 days a week until the end of July. My other days will be spent working on my blog, exploring and making the most of London because at the end of July I’m moving all my things back to my mums house in Northamptonshire!
August is looking pretty good, I want time at my original home to work (which I hope will be productive as there’s not much else to do around there) and I have a few trips booked.
That will lead me nicely into September which is when I plan to leave with my backpack packed on a one way flight. I’m not actually sure where I’m going first. India is my priority but I kind of feel like I want to go somewhere first as a ‘break in’ to India and into the backpacker life, right now I’m thinking Sri Lanka, but if you know me, you know I change my mind a lot so we’ll see. I’m not booking any flights too far in advance.
I will be in India towards the end of the year though. I’ve had the biggest, burning desire to visit India since 2013 but I’ve never wanted to rush going or rush my time there. My perfect scenario for India has always been to be on no time constraints and guess what.. that’s the exact situation I’ll be in! Plus, I’ve become so interested in Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda in the last year which shows me that the universe does work in the most amazing of ways because I’ll be able to learn much more about these in India and that now is the right time to go.
There are so many other places in Asia I want to visit too- Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Thailand again (for the 7th time yes!), Indonesia again, the Philippines again and wherever else takes my fancy. And in true me style, I don’t just want to visit the major tourist places in these Countries, I want to go off the path a bit and explore further and deeper.
Central America is also very high up on my list! As soon as I left South America in 2015 I have been wanting to go but I know I don’t need to rush it, and I’m not going to rush there either, it will happen when its right. Canada is up there too as people constantly tell me that I’ll love Canada and I have 3 years left to get a 2 year working holiday visa for Canada which might work out pretty well, who knows!
I do think that long-term travel requires a purpose, especially when it’s not your first long-term trip, and for me this is not my first and it is going to be pretty long, so my purpose whilst travelling is to take this whole blog thing full-time and make money online which means I want to and will be travelling slowly, slower than I have travelled before, because I will be working and creating content but I don’t want to miss out on all the goodness of backpacking or burn out from moving around too fast and not enjoying the experience.
On this note I really want to stress that although my blog is doing well (in my opinion) – my page views are increasing each month, my audience is growing and I have made money from my blog in the last year. I am by no means able to quit my job and know that I’ll be able to support myself from this blog whilst I travel. I have savings which will last me for a while but I do need to work on and for this if I want to live the ‘digital nomad life’, which I do. I have lots of idea’s going around my head but it is scary.
I’ve left so many jobs in the past to go travelling so that doesn’t scare me, I’m pretty over London now so leaving London doesn’t scare me, but having to rely solely on myself to make money to keep travelling and live, does kind of scare me, I’m not going to lie.
But it’s also exciting, I’ve been wanting to do this for so long. I’ve loved the idea of being location independent ever since I knew it was a thing about 5 years ago and i’m determined to make my dream of being able to travel consistently and live in any place I want a reality, rather than doing trips that need to stop which is what I have been doing for 8 years.
So expect to see a lot more content on here, a lot more videos on my YouTube Channel because this is going to be a big focus for me and if you aren’t subscribed yet I would love you to subscribe here, potentially a podcast as this is something I am seriously thinking about, posts on Instagram that may make you hate me #sorrynotsorry, and a whole load of real talk because I know that sometimes I will be living my dream and sometimes it’s going to be really hard work and I want to share all of that with you because I know that there are a lot of people out there who want to do what I am doing and what I am about to do!
Another way to stay updated is to subscribe to my newsletter – Wanderings & Wellness Wednesday which I send every few weeks. I admit it’s been quite boring recently but I have a feeling that’s going to change and I think a newsletter is a great way to share the good, the bad and the ugly side of my future travels and life!
As a recap and as a note to myself to look back on in 2 years’ time, in no particular order, what I want to do is:
And there you have it!
Let me know what you think, if you’ve been in a similar situation, please let me know along with any tips and words of encouragement!
Love you guys and thank you for all the support you give me on here and on social media, it means a lot!
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
NOV-DEC: PROBABLY INDONESIA
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour.