Where are you going?

First up are the city breaks: San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Reykjavik, London and Istanbul. Then Eastern Turkey, wherever the wind blows through the Middle East, China, Mongolia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, assuming I don’t just decide to go on a major shopping spree in New York. For more information, see my route rtw.

Where have you been?

Over the last five or six years, I’ve been fortunate enough to see more of Australia than most people my age have (and most people older than my age), getting around at various times by plane, train, automobile, hot air balloon and boat.  I spent two months backpacking through Europe when I finished university, followed by a few weeks in Vietnam, work trips to the US and New Zealand, a few more weeks in Thailand, Vietnam again and Cambodia and most recently, a confusing but beguiling Christmas in Nepal and India.

How long are you going for?

As long as the money lasts, and for as long as I can bear it!

How much is it costing?

Excluding my initial airfares my average budget ranges between $35 and $120 a day (AUD). Over a year, it should average out to around $60 a day. Hopefully.

How can you afford it?

I lived with my parents. I started using public transport more often than my car. And in the last couple of months, I made no non-essential purchases (okay…maybe a a new pair of jeans). I took my lunch to work every day and adhered to an incredibly strict budget. I also became a total recluse, only venturing out if it was pre-planned and I’d budgeted for it. Luckily, a few of my friends have purchased homes in the last year and they were saving too, so it wasn’t as hard or as antisocial to live cheaply as it might sound.

You’re going on your own?! Won’t you be lonely?

I think loneliness will be inevitable (as one close friend said to me, ‘you know there’s going to be days where you’ll hate it and you’ll cry and cry and want to come home, right?’!). But by and large, I enjoy my own company immensely and I find myself an incredibly fascinating travel companion. I never find it difficult to fill my time, even when I’m on the road.

And besides, I won’t be alone – I’ll be meeting up with friends along the way, and even travelling with one for several weeks. And backpacker hostels and guesthouses are notorious social hubs.

As a single woman, aren’t you scared?

Not really. People tend to look out for women travelling alone, and already in my previous travels I’ve come across those who just want to make sure I’m okay. The most important thing you can do (whether you’re travelling alone or with a partner) is be aware of your own surroundings and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home. If you wouldn’t walk on the streets alone at 2am in your own city, why on earth would it be a good idea to do it in a foreign one?!

What do you do all day on the road?!

That remains to be seen. But usually, I like to soak up the atmosphere of a place, get up really early and take pictures, see the sites and spend time in cafes watching the world go by.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to explore exactly what it is that backpackers do all day, read William Sutcliffe’s fabulous and hilarious novel set in India, Are You Experienced

Want to know more?

Have a question for me that’s not answered here? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll do my best to help you out.