Monday, June 8, 2015

Loud Lady :: How Fenn Lived Loudly!

Not so random fact about me : I've been to 45 states, lived in 8 of them, traveled to 7 countries outside the U.S., including living in Europe for the month of April in 2007. (And yes, living on a bus for a month, counts as LIVING!) Sometimes, people are amazed at where I've traveled and how. But it's really not that hard, honestly.

There are a lot of stories about how people get up and go. Steph has her own, and it's full of struggles. I could never do what she did, and if she were my only example, I'd be super intimidated. Shannon has also managed to travel a lot, and she has the benefit of a telecommuting job that is not necessarily an option of everyone. I think a magical, telecommuting job is sort of the dream for people who really want to travel. But me, I did it differently. So here are some of my tips and secrets for traveling all over!

1. Do it while you're young. : There's a big reason for this, and it's called "all kinda 'student' discounts end when you hit age 25". Ok, so if you're doing it like a lot of Americans, then you're probably in college. So fucking study abroad already! But how do you spend your summers? Because you could so easily spend them living in some awesome foreign country, working at a summer camp somewhere, and then traveling the area before you go home. But a lot of these opportunities are available for students only. "Student" means "under 25". It's a bummer. Also, you're never going to be as free as you are in your early 20s. On so many levels. Best website for this : BUNAC. Don't forget to do research when traveling...lots of travel companies offer student rates, like Eurail. Get on that shit!

2. Do it while you're studying. : Which is to say, don't go to that college 20 minutes to 2 hours away from home. BORING! Some states have these awesome agreements where you can go to a neighboring state for in-state tuition. (Alaska, Hawai'i, and other parts of the Pacific Northwest have the BEST agreement!) But honestly, don't get so hung up on saving money by living close to home. If you're creative, you can move to another state and establish residency within 30 days and then apply for college. So, you know, take a job at a summer camp, get a new driver's license, save your money, and get a cheap apartment with friends and go to college somewhere new. The easiest way to travel is to go to college somewhere new. That's how I managed to live in Hawai'i (which makes everyone jealous to this day)...and after two semesters, do a study abroad option! Do your research. I studied in Hawai'i, because out-of-state tuition was cheaper than in-state in Ohio. Your state might be expensive or you might be able to study in a neighboring state for in-state cost or maybe you can get a sweet-ass happens!

3. Find a job that comes with housing then go! : This is the number 1 way I've traveled. I find a job that offers housing, and then I go. I've been a live-in nanny (which I don't really recommend) and I've worked in National Parks (like Death Valley). There is a whole culture of people who work in National Parks and even make a career of it. You could work at the Grand Canyon while it's open and then go somewhere else for the winter. You can summer in Alaska and then winter on a ski resort in Colorado. The trick is paying attention to the housing situation. Mackinac Island in Michigan offers housing that is more expensive than where I live now, which is why I never worked there. (Got hired twice, didn't go.) But Put-in-Bay, a town on a Lake Erie Island has jobs that come with dormitory style housing. It's a better choice. Some of the ski resorts have really high housing costs for such a short season, and you could end up living in a tent in some National Parks, but Forever Resorts offers affordable housing for every job. The best way to find these jobs is Cool Works. This is my number one work website and has gotten me tons of jobs. (Try for live-in nanny positions.)

If you're scared, bring a friend! Almost everywhere offers shared housing and bringing a friend is NOT hard at all. Most places expect it. Road tripping and summer adventures are super fun with a friend! You'll build some great memories.

This post is by Fenna Blue, a NEOhio native and Loud Ladies member. She's an avid geocacher and photographer. Her favorite pastimes are snuggling with her fluffy kitties and cussing like a sailor! She writes for her personal blog, The Honest Badger, and TV review blog, Gotta Watch It. Join us for 30 Days to Bolder Blogging, a community challenge with free and paid options, happening all month long!
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