Back home planning the next steps of her journey, I met up with traveller, Amy Connor, who told me how a flash of inspiration helped her decide to fit her life into a suitcase and escape from the borders of her hometown…
I came out of college and had no idea what I wanted to do. I applied to work in America as a Media Specialist at Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital for some work experience abroad, and that’s when I got the travel bug. Before I knew it, I was off to New Zealand with a group of people I worked with to begin work out there.
I found that working and living in the same place almost defeats the point of travelling and takes away how unique the country is from your experience. So I bought myself a car and left the city, driving around for six weeks.
We then went on to Australia, which I found to be a really diverse country. We only had 30 days there so we didn’t have long to explore. I went back to New Zealand after that to work – I had friends out there so I was more comfortable, but I still found it quite scary travelling on my own.
After three months, I moved on to Fiji to do some island hopping and I made some great friends out there too. From Fiji I went to Asia for a couple of nights and then made my way back home.
Since then, I’ve spent five months working in the Swiss Alps between three different ski mountains. I’ve been on holiday to the canaries and now I’m planning a last minute trip to Africa at the end of summer.
Before you read more about Amy’s travel experiences, take a look at the video below to see her journey so far…
The most life changing experience I’ve had was in America. That was the first step I took and it was such a dramatic change to my life. At the age of 18, I had to fly out alone without any idea of what I was doing. There was no turning back, I had committed to working there and I had to stay.
The most difficult thing about travelling for me was when I first went out with a friend. She decided to go back home and I had the equivalent of £150 to my name. It was either going to work for me or it wasn’t and I couldn’t leave without proving to myself that I could manage.
I was in my overdraft, had little to no money and booked a flight back to New Zealand. I was alone and had to find a job. You need to mentally prepare yourself for change and expect the unexpected because every day is new and there’s no way you can prepare for it.
Working out in America, I’ve been in situations where I’ve had no electric and no toilets. I’ve gone without water for days and even pooped in a biffy. It’s not all glamorous, but it was a real eye-opener and ultimately the best three months of my life.
When you first think about travelling, you think it’s going to be a holiday and that’s why I wanted to do it. I thought I was going on a life-long holiday. Although, once you look into it – it’s completely different.
I think when everyone first goes travelling they see it as a break, but when you go out there, live alone and meet so many different people, you realise that there’s much more to it.
In terms of getting jobs, a lot of it is to do with your personality and not the experience. I work between 70 – 80 hours a week, but it doesn’t feel like work when it has a purpose.
The motivation behind it is that without the money, I can’t travel. I’m trying not to look too far into the future, but I would like to eventually work in travel. I like to focus on the present and see where the rest takes me.
Amy’s favourite travel experiences:
- In Fiji, taking part in dancing rituals before dinner at the Fijian nights.
(Currency used: Fijian dollar)
- In New Zealand, eating dinner cooked underground with the Maori people.
(Currency used: New Zealand dollar)
- In North America, visiting 24 states in 30 days.
(Currency used: US dollar)
- In China, exploring the towns and learning about the culture.
(Currency used: Renminbi)
- In Australia, diving in the great barrier reef.
(Currency used: Australian dollar)
To keep up to date with Amy’s travels, you can follow her Instagram account: @amyconnor_.