“I want to travel the world!” that’s what so many of us have been dreaming of doing in life! Checking your reality, it seems impossible! Being Filipinos, we have restrictions when it comes to our passport, sources of income, and responsibilities at home which are completely different from the lifestyle of westerners who are already making this dream their reality.
Related Article: 10 Reasons Why Pinoys Should Travel in their 20s
In 2013, I quit my corporate job in the Middle East (Kuwait and Iraq) after 4 years working there as an OFW. I prepared for a year – financially and mentally. You can also watch my short video about my around-the-world journey since 2013 here:
Here are the 8 tips I can give you to prepare you for your around the world journey:
8. Make sure all of your documents, especially your Passport, are VALID.
I renewed my passport before I pursued this journey. Most countries would require you to have a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months upon entry. To make sure you won’t have this problem on the road, especially in countries without a Philippine embassy, I highly suggest that you get a new passport with 5 years validity.
7. Apply for Required Visas
Getting a USA visa will help you big time when it comes to traveling around the world. I just got mine recently while on a visit visa in Colombia (South America) after being on the road for two years. How I wish I had done this even before I quit my job. It could have saved me lots of money when we were still traveling around Central America. There are countries in this region which won’t require us to have a tourist visa once we have a valid USA or any western country visa.
It’s also a good idea to apply for a Schengen, UK, or Australian visa, but you need to know that these visas are valid only for a few months. If you decide to become a globetrotting nomad, there’s no assurance of your schedule and maybe a last minute change of plans could waste your 3 month Schengen visa fee!
You can apply for these western countries’ visas abroad contrary to what other Filipinos are saying. I got my UK visa in Vietnam though I was approved by the British Embassy in Bangkok. I got my Chile visa while on a tourist visa in Peru, my 6 months Indian visa while in Hanoi, and, the latest, is my 10-year USA visa while being a tourist here in Bogota, Colombia! Just make sure you always have the requirements with you—old passport, online banking statement, maybe old work certificates, etc.
If you decide to travel around South East Asia or South America, most of the countries are visa-free for Philippine passport holders. If you want to know more, here’s my personal story on how I apply for visas with my Philippine passport.
6. Deal with all of your commitments at home
Traveling to different countries won’t make your commitments disappear! You can’t run away just like that! Before I quit my job, I had a lot of bills to pay – my mortgage for a condominium I had bought in Quezon City, my telephone plan bills, and allowance for my younger siblings.
So, before planning for this trip, I had to save up extra money to pay for my few months of mortgage, I had to have my telephone line cut, and had to talk to my siblings. In your case, if you have loans or you owe someone money, please settle it. It’s really better to travel around the world if your conscience is clear and you can’t have any nasty surprises that could ruin your travels down the line.
After 2 years, my property in QC was discontinued, so the real estate company had to reimburse all of the money I paid—which I set aside for my savings!