Travel Myth #1: Travel is only for the young and single.
In our youth we all want to head off and explore some far-flung region of the world. Or near-flung, however I’m not sure of the terminology of that one. Yet as we get older we slowly give in to the constant ..advice..of our peers that it would be prudent to do it later. Career first. There will be time for that when you are retired.
These things are normally said by the same people who will then reach their peak travelling years and say that travel and adventure is for the young. Do not be fooled, it is simply a way of putting things off. Travel and adventure are for everyone of any age, ability and size – there are plenty of blogs that go to prove it as well!
Travel Myth #2: You can’t work overseas.
How easy this is going to be depends on where you are from and where you are wanting to go to. If you are, like myself, from an EU country then finding work in another EU country will be a breeze – going further than that will require a bit more effort. Although there is some truth in the saying “whether you think you can, or you cannot – you’re right”.
I’m currently writing this from Poland where I have worked in several different places teaching English – both private language schools as well as universities. I have been offered a few jobs in normal companies as well so it is not just a case of having to speak the local language. I know plenty of other expats who own their own companies or who have normal 9-5 jobs abroad, problems aren’t solved with resources, they’re solved with resourcefulness.
Travel Myth #3: You can get by with just English
Although this seems somewhat antithetical to the last piece of advice just give me a second to explain.
My day-to-day life in Poland requires me to speak no Polish. I could quite happily live in my expat bubble as I also can just speak English at work as well (teaching English, so this probably isn’t too much of a shock to anyone). However, personal pride compels me to say that I do not simply do that and I am learning the language and it has led to some fantastic situations as well as getting me out of a lot of trouble.
It depends what you are looking to get from your trip. If you want to get friends then picking up some of the language is going to be necessary – depending on where you are going to. Incredible experiences also tend to require you to know your way around the basics etc.. If getting-by means literally being able to eat and drink then sign-language will do, but I am going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume that you would like a bit more than that.
Incidentally here is a list of the languages spoken in all European countries – as well as the percentage of English speakers here:
Travel Myth #4: It’s not safe to travel abroad
If you’re from a big city then it’s highly likely that you live in a more dangerous place than the one that you are going to be visiting. If you are from the countryside then the capital city where you live probably has just as bad of a reputation as the place you are going to.
I highly suggest that you go onto google and have a search for “how safe is (insert your city here)” – For 20 years I felt safe wandering the streets of London until I started reading that. Essentially it’s mostly scare-mongering. Do all of the same behaviours that would keep you safe in your capital and you will be fine. At the time of writing I have been to almost every country in Europe as well as in some of the more “dangerous places” for tourists and haven’t had anything stolen (fingers crossed).
For a bigger discussion with lots more statistics on the subject then click here:
Travel myth #5: You can’t keep a stable job while travelling.
As someone who is currently doing this it’s a rather weird thing for me to hear people say, although I know of many people who were put through this. Most likely you won’t be able to waltz into any job that you so fancy and work there for the rest of your life, depending on where you aspire to be in life, of course.
I was lucky enough to know that I wanted to do a lot of travelling and made sure that I started my career in a job that is flexible. Originally, I graduated as a lawyer and then started working towards being a diplomat before realising that there is a difference between going to countries and actually seeing them. It wouldn’t be going too far to say that if you are serious about travelling and part-time then you will have to either carve your own niche, create your own business or switch career. No one said it was going to be easy to travel the world for months on end, but nothing worth having ever is.
Travel myth #6: You can’t settle down and keep travelling.
This one is probably our area of most-expertise as we are married and own a home in Poland whilst travelling the world.
If you know that you are serious about travelling the world then find someone who is equally as passionate about it – I don’t think it’s as easy as “getting it out of your system and then come back to start your career”. Settling down to us is about being with a specific person rather than in a specific place – as corny as that sounds. Well, I say that, I would have thought it was corny and impossible not all that long ago, yet here I sit tapping away fully believing it to be true.
The funny thing about settling down, other than it being a socially acceptable way of a family telling their adult children not to leave home, is that the settling down is always located in close proximity to your place of birth – why? I think once you answer that question then you will have loosened a thread that, if you choose to keep pulling, will unravel the whole thing.