Get me outta here – when to take off travelling

the colosseum in rome

In Australia there are 52 weekends in a year, 8 national public holidays, and 4 weeks of annual leave. That means there are 132 days off work, 132 days of travelling, and 132 new things to see and do in ONE YEAR. Every year!

Granted they’re all in separate little chunks, but travel isn’t just about big overseas trips. Weekends also provide the perfect opportunity to visit those places close by that are often overlooked, and long weekends (hello Easter!) give you extra time to make the most of your trip.

With the expansion of low-cost carriers on both domestic and international routes, travel doesn’t have to be the once-a-year special trip that it used to be. You can take a trip interstate (or internationally in Europe) for less than $100 for a return flight if you’re savvy with the timing of bookings. Or if you prefer driving holidays, there are loads of national parks or seaside resorts within a few hours drive from wherever you are, where you can escape from the city and get some clean air into your lungs. Go for a weekend, or a few weeks.

If you’re dreaming of an overseas jaunt for a few weeks or even a few months (or years!), you don’t necessarily need a good excuse but there are some circumstances that just provide the perfect timing for an extended trip.

The “gap year” for new graduates before they properlyjoin the mundanity of 9-to-5 life is the traditional time people to spread their wings on their first big overseas trip. South-east Asia and the east coast of Australia in particular see many frisky backpackers on their search for sun, cheap booze and plentiful, random sex. After being sheltered in their parents’ home for the first 21 years of their life, these kids learn to fend for themselves in a foreign country, trying to maintain a diet that is cheap enough to subsidise their alcohol consumption, all funded through the hard physical labour of fruit picking.

Another prime opportunity for jetting off and discovering the world is after a relationship breakup. It’s a much healthier way to wallow in grief and forget about the ex compared to cannonballing 10 tubs of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and a dozen bottles of red wine, even if it’s a bit more costly. And who knows, you might be lucky enough to have some holiday flings that boost your self-esteem or even meet a new flame.

You may also want to escape your home shores when you are in between jobs, if you want to rekindle the romance in your relationship (or just keep the romance alive), to search for the world’s best wave or most amazing powder snow, or just because you’ve seen Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love and want to have the same intimate experience with pizza and gelato.

And if you think that 4 weeks of annual leave or 132 days off work just isn’t enough to fulfill your travel ambitions, quit your job! It’s a lot easier than you think. Our minds always throw up obstacles when we think of delving into the unknown but you can find a job when you get back, you can pack up all your belongings in a storage unit, Facebook and Skype allow you to keep in touch with all your loved ones from the other side of the world.

Whether it’s a weekend escape or a year rediscovering ourself, you just have to decide where to go and make it happen. What are you waiting for?

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