​Preparing for a life on the road

So there’s now 18 weeks until we depart from London Gatwick on our way to Norway and beyond. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not the most prepared of people. I like to ‘wing it’ and go with the flow. Which is probably the reason I always performed poorly on exams and why my university coursework was always being completed the night before it was due. This is an attribute of mine that desperately needs changing if I’m to successfully travel for 15 months.

My girlfriend, Emilly and I are planning on taking around £5000 each to get around from place to place. Fortunately, websites like HelpX.net exist where we’ve been lucky enough to find voluntary work on farms, in hostels and people’s homes in exchange for a hot meal and a warm bed for the duration of our stay. However, if we start running low on cash we will need to look at more viable options like paid work behind bars or in chalets in the Alps.
So in the name of preparedness this is how far I’ve come.

Very recently, Emilly and I went shopping for things we would need for our adventure. While on this journey, we’re going to experience all kinds of weather as we spend one Summer in Norway, a Winter in Germany and Poland and then the following Summer in Austria, Switzerland and France. If you never noticed before, Polish winters can be as cold as -13 degrees Celsius, that’s a hella lotta cold. So for that we are prepared, we have our thermals (base layers), warm hoodies, Gortex raincoats, Gortex boots, plenty of socks, wooly hats gloves and a snood. While for our summer months, we’re yet to shop for that stuff, we’ll likely need a pair of comfortable trainers, flip flops and loose clothing, shorts, t-shirts etc…

“How are you going to carry all of this stuff?”  I hear you cry.

Fortunately, I thought ahead and bought myself a 70L backpack. A lot of you experienced travellers out there are probably thinking, “No don’t be silly, use hand luggage it’s cheaper”, and while I agree with you, there’s no way around it for me. I’m simply going to have too much gear and I’d prefer to have a bag that’s too big than one that’s not big enough. Ya get me?
So you’re probably also thinking, “£5000, that’s not a lot of money to survive a year on”. This is the main reason we have decided to use helpx.net, if you’re a budding traveller and you’re thinking, I can’t afford to do this, trust me, people have done it with less. Imagine how much money you save not having to pay for hotels and food, in exchange of 6-8 hours work for 5 days, meeting extraordinary people and fellow travellers along the way. I’m game.
18 weeks to go. It scares me to even say it out loud, of course it does, I’ll be miles away from my friends and family but thanks to my beautiful lady, I’m more prepared for it than ever, she has done so much in terms of organising our trip, messaging the right people, sorting us with places to stay and work. She has been truly brilliant. With each passing day now it feels more real, that we’re actually going to do this. I’ve wanted to travel my whole life, I’ve just never met the right person to do it with, until now. 
So let me know in the comments how you prepared for your journey and as always follow us on 

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Also feel free to keep up with Emilly’s POV.

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Much love and a travelling hug,

MattyTheTraveller.

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