Three years ago, Hannah Rose from the UK was in her fourth year of college decided she was going to find a way to mix her dreams with reality, she wanted to travel and explore but on her own terms.

Hannah wanted to have an adventure and decided to take a gap year between college and the real world to New Zealand. 

Here she shares her successful three step plan with simple tips to help you to achieve your dream experience in a new destination...


1. First I Bought a Ticket

A friend and I decided that we would gap year in New Zealand. We wanted to work so we needed a country that spoke English and would give us free visas with no hassle. Perfect.

After deciding the where, I needed to figure out the how. I would work in New Zealand, but how was I going to get there. I was a broke college student who heavily relied on her parents for income.

I stopped eating out, partying as much and I saved. The moment I had enough for a one-way plane ticket, I bought one. I was once again broke but I had a ticket going somewhere and four months to find the money to make it happen.

I moved in with my parents and took a summer job. I worked at a summer camp I didn't fancy too much, but it paid well and I got to be outside daily. It worked. 


2. Second I Made a Plan

I'm the girl who plans every step and every conversation that she will have over the next three days. I get anxious not knowing what I will be doing everyday of next week.

So while being spontaneous when traveling is a great idea it will never be my reality. And while I know this about myself I also know that life doesn't work on a schedule, nor is a scheduled life a life at all. Now I had a ticket to a fantasy and an obstacle in the way. I fixed it. My friend and I made a plan.

We created a list of everything we wanted to do, everywhere we wanted to visit. We gave ourselves two months to backpack, explore and WWOOF (a form of voluntary work abroad) our way through the two islands.

Hostel rooms were booked, couchsurfing accounts set up and WWOOFing arrangements made. Roughly two months into our trip we planned to settle down in Wellington and find jobs.

I knew a family who lived their and could give us the stability I figured I would need by that point. I saved what I thought would be enough for two months of adventure and still have a sufficient amount to pay bond on a  decent apartment once in Wellington.


3. Third I Threw the Plan Out the Window

I boarded a plane with one friend, one backpack and one destination and flew around the world to the unknown kiwi land.

Our first week followed our schedule and from their our trip unfolded. Six weeks into the trip I was done living out of a backpack, never showering and I was ready for a routine. While this might not sound thrilling and adventurous to some, it was just the adventure that I wanted.

I spend ten and a half months based in Wellington getting to know the local culture, cuisine and people. I took side trip to explore what I hadn't yet seen and spent the rest of my time hiking and picnicking locally. I never held back and pushed myself just enough.

When my visa ran out and I was forced to come home I was sad but so thankful. I had done the impossible. I had accomplished a dream of mine successfully and with no money.

Throughout our youth we are constantly told to travel, to take advantages of our lives while we have no responsibility. To do it while we can. However being constantly told that the time is now, doesn't change the fact that traveling, moving or even trying something new is scary. It is. But it is worth it.

My advice, do it, and do it your way. You can listen to people and get advice but when it comes down to it, it's your life and you jetting off. Make yourself comfortable and confident and then allow room for change.

Take a look at what you want out of life and who you really are and what you want to be. Then find a way to combine it all. Whether you travel across the world or across cities lines, give it your all, but do it your way.


By Hannah Rose


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