The Great Escape: The millennial traveller
If there’s one piece of advice Regan Schoultz would give an would-be young traveller, it’s “just go”.
The intrepid 24-year-old has been travelling the world by herself since May last year and has no plans to return anytime soon.
“Honestly you just have to go and get out there and not worry about it,” she says. “As long as you don’t do anything drastically stupid, it will be absolutely fine.”
Starting her journey in Singapore, Schoultz travelled to India, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam – where she stayed for three and a half months teaching English.
Currently living and working as an au pair in Italy, she’s taken on a variety of odd jobs and freelance work along the way – including writing descriptions of food for a Sri Lankan website – while writing about her travels on her blog Bird of Passage.
Despite travelling alone, Schoultz says she never finds herself wanting for company, especially as she usually stays in hostels.
However, this means her itinerary is constantly expanding.
“I just meet so many people who have been to so many amazing places and I’m like ok, that’s on my list now – and the list is just growing.”
The highlights of her trip have included hiking to the “stunning” Machu Picchu ruins in Peru and experience Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival with a friend – and meeting some new ones along the way.
“I was really lucky because I met a local in a supermarket, while waiting in a 40 minute queue. We spent the whole week with this group of people, gong to all the local block parties – we didn’t see any other foreigners.”
Initially nervous about travelling to South America alone, Shoultz’s granny sewed pockets into her bras before she left, so she could keep her money close to her.
The young travellers also stresses the importance of keeping track of spending.
“That’s been a good learning curve, to always have a budget and always write down how much I spend.”
While millennials are often criticised for prioritising travel over saving for a house deposit, that’s something she says she’ll get to later.
“I kind of figure that I’ll get to that at some stage, but right now this is more important to me. This is the one chance in my life I have to travel by myself, to be entirely non-reliant and completely free.”