This week’s If We Can Do It is with Rachel from Hippie in Heels. I absolutely love her story about how she completely changed her life with a move from the States to India and found love along the way!
1. Why did you decide to take your grown up gap year/trip? Was it a difficult decision to make?
I decided to leave after working for one year as a nurse (ok, 11 months…) For me, it was the easiest decision. I know that I’m happiest when I travel. The harder decisions are coming now, like ‘where to next!?’
2. What were other people’s reactions when you told them your plans?
My friends were mostly supportive because this is 100% what they’d expect of me. My family, although they saw it coming, were not supportive. They were quite sad to see me go because it’s less of a gap year, as it is ‘I’m done nursing and am planning on living abroad’!
3. How long did your trip take and where did you go?
I went to India for three months before I met Ben, my now boyfriend, who lived there. I went home to get things sorted and save for three months and then I moved here to India. I have been here a year now and plan to stay…who knows how long?
4. How did you finance your grown up gap year?
I worked as a travel nurse and saved a lot by working double hours each week. Other than that, I have my blog – with makes me all of 0 dollars so far! – and I have decided to use my Thai Yoga Massage certification I got here in India to try and make some money to keep this gap year going as long as possible!
5. Did you go alone or with family/friends?
I went solo. I absolutely love travelling solo and India is the PERFECT place for it!
6. What is your travel style? (Ie. Budget hostels/Mid-range hotels/Luxury travel – less is more, travelling slowly/pack in as much as possible)
I would say budget, although I’m not happy about it. When will the travel gods bump me up to luxury? In all seriousness, I have gone up a bit from the $6 a night rooms I used to stay in. My boyfriend sort of refuses to stay in those types of places. But when I’m alone, and when I recently went to Thailand with some friends, it was back to budget for me! I like to travel slowly now, but I do understand when people have a limited amount of time and want to see more. I don’t like to judge how people travel because as long as they feel great about it, then I’m happy for them! I like to take make-up, high heels, and other things “backpackers” would roll their eyes at, but to each their own!
7. Do you go for tours or do it alone?
The only tours I’ll do are when 1. It’s a free walking tour and 2. It’s a place that you can’t go without a tour, like Auschwitz. I absolutely love to go solo and use a guidebook to help me wander in a generally correct direction.
8. What is the best thing about taking a grown up gap year?
The best thing is I got away from a job I didn’t like to live a life I love. Oh, and there’s that small bit about me meeting the love of my life;) I think for sure that fate set it all up and I was sort of rewarded for following my instincts to leave and go to India in the first place. I knew I wasn’t going to find what I wanted in the States working as a nurse.
9. And were there any downsides?
I miss my family, friends, food and I really miss shopping. I Skype three times a week with my mom and dad and I message my friends a lot, but of course it isn’t the same. I miss my dog at home as well. I will admit it is a little scary to have no income and it’s something I’m getting used to.
10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting off on their own grown up gap year?
I would say save, save, SAVE. Work extra. Get another job if you have to. Whatever money you think you need – double it. With that savings, you can have the best year of your life, instead of having to bum it, worry, and pinch pennies.