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first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

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first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

Hello All!!! Here's my story...

I'm a 24 yr old female and am currently employed in Chicago as a sales rep. I make an extremeley healthy salary and live a very comfortable lifestyle. One problem...I hate it. I could go on and on about my struggles with this company, but I won't bore or depress you.

Long story short, I have made the decision to take the $13,000 I have saved up over the past year and a half and flee the country...

I am completely lost as to what I should do, where I should go, what time of year to go, although the sooner the better, etc. I am between Europe and Australia right now.

I am also very scarred, knowing the economy will be glaring me in the face when I return with no job, no healthcare, etc. I am scared and need some advice! Please help!

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1. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

Running away is never a solution! I would suggest taking your time and really thinking this through. Do you have vacation time coming from your employer? If so, take it to get some stress relief, then start looking for another job when you come back. Don't blow all your savings on a vacation, because you may need to live off it for a while. Good luck!


Barcelona, Spain
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2. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!


I am not sure if Barcelona -and tourist- forum is the best place to discuss your question, but I can just say -in case you thought about coming to B- the economy in this part of Europe is not good nowadays- search the forum for 'job' 'work' etc.

I hear Australia is better

- and English is spoken there if it helps to find your way.



San Diego
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for San Diego
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3. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

IF you want to travel for a while that's one thing. Don't expect though to be able to just pick up and work in a foreign country.

Australia has lots of rules about who can come and work there and other countries do too.

STA is a good place to get a round the world ticket if that is what you are thinking about.

I agree that running away doesn't solve problems as you always bring yourself and your issues with you.

This is not an advice site for anything but travel so getting help for personal issues will not be possible here.

New Jersey USA
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4. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

take a chunk of your money(not all of it) and have a wonderful trip to spain. maybe you just need a break and a change of venue for a while to put things in perspective.sound like you have burned out a bit.

New Jersey
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for Key West
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5. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

If you can wait that long, Paris in early April. If you can't, Paris in the fall, Sept or Oct.

Key West in July. I know, I know, but it's better than Chi Town then.


New York, New York
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6. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

Believe me, I know exactly what you are going through. Right out of college I got a job as a sales rep with a very well known co. I hated every single minute of it. I was miserable, and I pretty much hated my life for two years.

I also saved a good chunk of money, quit my job after 2 miserable years, and moved to NYC. I had some time to relax and explore the city while taking some time to find a job.

I do not think taking all your money to flee the country is a good idea. Why not take a 1-2 week vacation with some of that money to relax and think about what you want to do with your life, and then come back and look for a new job? Think about how stressed out and miserable you would be if you came back from your flee with no job, no money and no health insurance!

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7. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

ok, maybe i didnt make myself clear. I AM looking to travel...I'm not looking to work anywhere...maybe I should have simplified my question, since I clearly offended the last reader...

OCT/NOV - Western Europe or Australia? I haven't been to either...how is W Europe in the winter?

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
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8. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!


You're coming over as a little naive, which is probably not your intent, but asking a question like "how is western europe in the winter?" is almost as meaningless as asking "how is North America in the winter?". It's a very big place, with lots of climatic, geographical and cultural differences. Some bits are tremendous to visit in the winter. some bits aren't so great.

As you're on the Barcelona forum, why not ask a bit about Barcelona? $13,000 won't last you all that long in western Europe, but I imagine you could have a decent couple of months if you kept an eye on your expenditure. I understand that Australia has also gotten quite expensive of late. Other areas such as Eastern Europe or South East Asia would be good for making your money last longer but I wonder if you're ready for Vietnam yet.

I'm not going to advise sticking at a job you hate. Sounds like you're not really after that advice anyway and have made up your mind to make the break. I wonder though, whether what you need is a holiday rather than a lifechanging break with "normality". Any chance that you can find a companion with a few weeks to spare? If so then perhaps find a list of a few events/festivals in Europe such as Budapest's St Stephens's Day, any Rhine or Moselle wine festival and of course Barcelona's fabulous Merce (see lots of posts on here - put Merce into the search box) or maybe plan for a trip to Berlin for New Year's Eve - experience something completely novel and exciting and get the cr@ppy job out of your system - and then take stock of what you really want to do.

I'm beginning to sound like some counsellor here, so I'm definitely going to stop. Good luck.

Oh yeah - as a total alternative, fly to Kuala Lumpur and spend some time in a couple of Malaysia's rain forests, e.g. Taman Negara - English spoken, fabulous food and probably pretty safe for a lone female - and you can shop forever in KL if that's your sort of thing. Cheap, too.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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9. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!

Aligia, Perhaps your current state of mind would be compatible with the Peace Corps or similar adventure. There are many countries which would love to have a young robust individual help out. Or perhaps just setting sail for whichever countries strike your fancy and then follow your heart when you get there. I cannot agree with others who tend to think your idea is poor judgment since I did the same thing at the same age. As a young person, I went adventuring in Asia and became better grounded and aware of myself and the world around me as a result. I finally "grew up" (a little) by age 28 or so and became a little more stable but with a wonderful appreciation of the way that others (non Americans)are. It grew me as a person in a way that I think most people have not experienced. Afterwards I could never go back to becoming an ethnocentric, advantaged American again. Your intuition led you to Barcelona for some reasonand perhaps that is where you should start. Good luck.

Ostrava, Czech...
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10. Re: first time traveling outside the us...help!!!!


IMO if you want to go to Western Europe it is better that you go in September and October when the weather is surely better and milder than in November and December.

As for Barcelona I agree with the previous poster since you have in mind going to Barcelona it is a good idea to go. Barcelona is really great city and I think you could like it there. It would be pleasant change from your work routine. Then you can also travel somewhere else in Spain like to Costa del Sol or to Madrid or other Spanish city. Spain is generally very nice and friendly country.

Anyway if you decide to go anywhere, enjoy your trip!