Every female nomad has her own travel style. Mine is deluxe backpacking on a budget; meaning I seek out the most comfortable ways to travel (think high-end hostels and first-class bus seats), as inexpensively as possible. I genuinely prefer the simple pleasures and camaraderie of budget travel, as opposed to indulging in swanky hotels, but I still want those occasional little luxuries that are going to make globetrotting just that bit easier.
It’s been two years and counting since I swapped England for a nomadic lifestyle abroad (or as my Dad says, to become ‘a modern day hippie’) and though I’m verging on turning 30, I’m committed to living this way for years to come.
Why do I live a nomadic lifestyle?
Without getting too deep, I’m passionate about breaking societal norms of how people, and women, in particular, measure life success. For so many of us, the milestone expectations required before you’re granted the status of being an official ‘adult’, like owning a car, buying your first house, holding down a forty-hour per week job, getting married, and making babies, simply aren’t what we all aspire to.
I have zero ambition to ‘achieve’ any of the above (well, except the marriage thing, but we won’t dwell on that because my boyfriend is probably reading this). That’s not to say I don’t have the work ethic! It’s just that I’m perfectly happy to remain a self-employed digital marketer and travel writer, earning enough to fund my travels and put a little aside in savings, with no more than a backpack of belongings to my name.
The lifestyle I’m advocating is often considered a dream; only for the incredibly wealthy; or a one-off bucket list trip to be enjoyed as a break from “the real world”. This perception is completely wrong. I’m not “lucky” because I don’t work a forty-hour week to pay a mortgage on a house I spend less time in than the office. I’ve made a conscious choice not to own a house, so I don’t have that financial commitment and pressure.
For the record, I have absolutely nothing against those that do live to work or those that measure their success by what they own, that’s not my point here. My point is, that success is subjective, and all I’ve done is chosen a less conventional route to achieve my own version of it.
Enough of the seriousness, what can you expect to read on this blog?
Aimee’s Compass exists to help inspire, motivate, and guide you in your own backpacking adventures. From the early days of choosing which countries to visit, to arriving in some exotic destination and finding the local must-do experiences, and how to remain a nomad long-term.
I can promise you right now that this blog will always;
- Be honest – no one can love every single place they visit, so if I don’t particularly enjoy a city or country, I’m going to tell you that
- Avoid clichéd travel quotes – way overused in the online travel bubble
- Share unique stories and posts that haven’t already been written by the million other travel bloggers out there – like this post, and this one
- Be realistic – being a nomad is not all sunshine and rainbows, so while I’ll give you an infinite amount of reasons to choose this lifestyle, I’m also going to share the harsh realities of a life on the road
- Remain uninfluenced by brand sponsorships and affiliate marketing – whilst I’ll partner with brands worldwide and earn a small income from doing so, the integrity of this blog is my first priority. I’ll only partner with those that echo my values and genuinely intrigue me as a traveller
- Capture and share the incredible experiences and lessons I’ve learned from travelling 33+ countries – including my upcoming road trip in Australia in a self-converted campervan!
So, if you like what you’ve read here, stick around a while and browse deluxe budget backpacking inspiration, advice, and real stories. If you’ve got a question I haven’t answered in a post, you’re welcome to contact me or send a direct message on Instagram or Facebook.
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Want to know more? Let me tell you how my travel love began…
As a teenager, I was sensible and academic. After leaving school I went to college, and after that university, as was expected of me. I graduated with a degree in Communication & Media, but while most of my uni friends were moving to London and joining the competitive rat race, I knew that path wasn’t for me. I had this niggling need to see and experience other countries and cultures – I couldn’t ignore it.
So, in 2012 I set off on an eight-month, ‘once in a lifetime’, round-the-world trip with one of my best friends. Our itinerary included the USA, a bus journey from Mexico City right down to Panama, Chile, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia. Needless to say, it was unreal.
In those eight months, I did more than I could ever have imagined, including leaping off a canyon, holding snakes and spiders, speaking Spanish with town locals, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, trekking a volcano, and the list goes on!
If you could have known me back then, you would never have imagined I would do any of this stuff. I’m pretty sure my parents thought I’d had a lobotomy while I was away.
Those eight months changed my outlook on both life and myself, completely. Though I returned home because of an empty bank balance (I was yet to figure out ways to earn money on the road), the travel obsession was far from over.
‘Once in a lifetime trip’ – part 2
Living back in my hometown of Portsmouth for three years, I bagged a boyfriend, a job in a top marketing agency, and a decent savings balance. At twenty-seven years old, it was probably about time to set up home, right?
Despite making multiple trips across to Europe and America around working full-time, I found myself with this constant feeling of agitation every time I’d sit at my desk. I didn’t just want to be in some foreign land, around a culture I didn’t quite understand, I needed to be.
Luckily, my boyfriend felt the same way. So, we booked a flight out of London, and headed for Mexico, with a route from Colombia down to Argentina planned out in our minds. This time there was no return flight booked.
Where am I now?
Since the day I left the U.K. back in 2015, the list of countries visited has grown to 33 and counting, and include a lot of South America, India, Nepal, Malaysia, and South East Asia. You can read about these on the Real Stories page (more posts coming soon!).
Plus, I’ve become an official Australian Permanent Resident, and come October 2017, it’s time to see more of this incredible country, as I set off on a four-month road trip in a self-converted campervan.
I would love for you to join me on my travels by signing up to the blog.