As uni students, many of us can only dream of travelling to far off places as we sip our two-minute noodles and ignore our stack of upcoming assignments.
But some people, much to the annoyance of those around them, seem to magically make it happen.
Jasmine Rodda is one of those people, although she’ll strongly deny it.
Since leaving high school in 2013 she has travelled to 12 countries, including a solo five-month trip to America and Europe. She’s been to most of Australia’s states and has also spent time studying to become a vet.
And as if that wasn’t enough, she recently bought a one-way ticket to Canada!
I’m sure if you are a fellow under-25 student, at this point you are scratching your head wondering how on earth this is possible.
I had a chat with Jasmine to find out.
How do you organise your travel?
I always like to find the best deal I possibly can, so I often get online and search flights and tours myself, find the cheapest deal, then take them into Flight Centre. This is because Flight Centre can price beat flights for you and it’s comforting knowing that you’ve booked through an agent so if anything goes pear shaped they’ve got your back! They’re also super knowledgeable and can give you all the hot tips and are always happy to work with your budget.
How do you afford it?
After graduating from high school in 2013, I took a gap year and saved as hard as I could for six months. I also got lucky with a lot of my family giving me money instead of gifts for my 18th birthday. With about $16,000 I began my four and half month journey.
I worked on a summer camp in the USA for the first two months of my trip, which didn’t help me save a lot of money but it did offer free food and accommodation.
Then I made my travel savings go as far as they could. I spent two weeks in New York City, four weeks in Turkey where I was again fortunate to stay with family, a week in London before a 21 day Contiki Tour through Europe and finally 10 days in Vietnam.
On my current Canadian trip I decided the only way to affordably see all I wanted was to work and travel.
I’ve now worked two jobs, one just outside of Calgary, and another in Banff and will soon have a 3 week holiday in America.
Really, the only money that you need on a trip like this is enough to pay for your flights, and a government requirement of CAD $2500, which is plenty to set you up.
How did you find work overseas?
Getting a job overseas is actually really easy. Often the website that you use to apply for your visa will have a ‘jobs’ section, however I found that sometimes these jobs offer you a smaller income because they know you’re an international desperate for work.
My recommendation would be to find out their country’s most popular job search websites and use those instead, such as the Canadian Indeed.com.
What is it like travelling solo?
Travelling solo is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It pushes you to step outside of your comfort zone and in doing so you can make the most incredible bonds and friendships that last a lifetime. I still consider my Contiki pals from 2014 as family.
Travel itself will expose you to all new ideas and concepts and ways of life, and travelling by yourself forces you to be more adventurous and open to these things, creating a whole new world for you. If you’ve got an open mind, nothing will be out of reach.
Now that you are suitably inspired, ditch those two minute noodles and get searching for your next adventure.
For even more inspiration (with a hint of jealousy) you can check out Jasmine’s Instagram