On finding out I was pregnant at 16, I received a lot of knowing looks, coupled with the phrase ‘your life is going to be very different from now on,’ which is a very polite way to say ‘your life is over.’ Being the stubborn teenager I was, I decided this would not be the case.
5 years later, my stubbornness has seen me through. I’ve studied law at University, lived in South America and raised a brilliant (if slightly sassier than I intended) little girl.
And now, the biggest recipe for disaster yet.. I am backpacking with my 5 year old daughter. If this insane idea appeals to you, here are some helpful pointers on how to make ot happen.
1. Drop everything
It’s so easy to get into a mind numbing routine, and this is true for everyone. But if you want to take your child backpacking you have to be willing to break out. Although a trip like this takes planning, if you want to make it work you need to set yourself a time scale to leave and stick to it. Contact your landlord, contact the school, make it impossible for yourself to put it off.
2. Sell everything
And I mean everything. I sold all my books, clothes I owned when I was 15 and even used makeup. I moved out of my house and lived at my grandmother’s’s for a month whilst I did this. The costs of childcare and rent in England make it difficult to save if you’re a single parent so I was very lucky to have a rent free month to get everything in order. Although it was difficult at first to part with my beautiful possessions, every time I sold something it felt like one of the strings holding me still had snapped. Now I can fit everything I own into one backpack and it feels amazing.
3. Workaway is everything
Workaway is a website that allows you to volunteer all over the world in return for full board. You pay a small fee to join for the year which covers everything. If you’re travelling on a budget then workaway is essential. I have tried similar websites and this one is the best, (I am not a spy for workaway, it is genuinely great website.) Like a relaxing bath and everything else, it is more difficult with a child. Luckily workaway gives you the option to type in keywords like ‘family’ when looking for projects. Families with children are more likely to say yes, and many will be grateful for the chance of a language exchange. You don’t have to apply for a family project, apply for anything that interests you, strawbale builds to surf camp. There are so many amazing projects in every corner of the world and workaway is an incredibly openminded and friendly community.
Do you have any tips for travelling on a budget?
What are your opinions on travelling with children?