If We Can Do It, So Can You with Carl Forbes

1. Why did you decide to take your grown up gap year? Was it a difficult decision to make?

I decided to hit the road as I pretty much realised that I’d be kicking myself forever if I didn’t go. I was actually just starting to finally get somewhere in my career of choice, so it was a big risk to do so, but I didn’t want to be regretting it permanently. So whilst it wasn’t a tough choice to decide to go, it was very nerve-wracking leaving my job, particularly as I hadn’t been there long at all. But it couldn’t have been a better choice!

2. What were other people’s reactions when you told them your plans?

I didn’t actually tell most of my friends until two weeks before I left – I wanted to absolutely sure nothing was going to fall through before I did! So they were pretty shocked when I did reveal my plans. They were stoked for me though and very supportive, as they knew I’d wanted to go for a long, long time.

3. How long did your trip take and where did you go?

I was away for four and a half months in total. Three months of that were in Asia, we went to Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. A quick stop back home followed, before heading off to France, Spain and Italy. So that was about a month and a half in Europe.

4. How did you finance your grown up gap year?

I financed my trip through my savings that I’d built up over the previous 14 months or so. I did have some other savings too, but didn’t need to touch them.

5. Did you go alone or with family/friends?

I went with my girlfriend Chelcie.

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)

My travel style is generally pretty budget based. I’m a fan of the hostel atmosphere so I’m more than comfortable staying in those generally. On my travels for this particular trip though we tended to bounce between hostels and hotels, as obviously as a couple we wanted the space at times, and it was also pretty easy to find some sweet deals in Asia.

7. Do you go for tours or do it alone?

I haven’t ever made use of any tours yet, as I generally enjoy doing the planning part myself. I was going to take a tour when I was in Japan in March though but unfortunately had to drop it as I didn’t have the time.

8. What is the best thing about taking a grown up gap year?

The best thing about taking a grown up gap year – even though mine wasn’t a year, haha – was the freedom and being able to spend time really getting to know places in ways that just aren’t possible in a quick one or two week holiday away from your office job.

9. And were there any downsides?

There weren’t really any downsides for me to be honest. I guess towards the end of my travels the thoughts of “What am I going to do now?” started to creep in a little. But that’s just something you have to deal with I guess and I found I was much better prepared to face that after my experiences and the confidence I’d built up.

10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting off on their own grown up gap year?

Do it! You don’t want to be sitting at that same desk in a couple of years and wondering “What if…?”. I know I would have been kicking myself silly if I hadn’t gone. Even though I’m home again now – just for now – I’m much better for getting out there and seeing the world. So I couldn’t recommend it more!

If you want to catch up with Carl follow him on Twitter @teamfiggygo or visit his site That Time In.

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