Home Moving Moving Tips, Tricks, & Resources How One Girl Left it All to Travel the World

How One Girl Left it All to Travel the World

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By Graci Woodworth, Storage.com

Storage.com is your number one ally when moving to a new home. We’re here to provide you with useful moving tips and hacks, or additional storage whenever necessary.

Is there anything more awakening than the unfamiliar sights and sounds of a place you’ve set out to explore? In our opinion, not much can compare. If you’ve already got a case of wanderlust, than you’re very much aware that travel is the only cure. Packing up and heading out into a world unknown is something that people of every age long to do, but very few actually take the plunge and act on it. Answering questions like “Where will I stay?” or “How will I get around?” can lead to endless circles of research, and often times, the mere logistics can be overwhelming enough to scare a person out of their plans to travel abroad long-term.

So when it comes to the what-ifs and how-tos of taking “the leap,” we’re just as curious as you are, and wanted to learn more from someone who can actually say they left it all behind for travel. Storage.com recently visited with Sarah Kehm, a veteran vagabond, blogger of Wear Is She, and soon-to-be flight attendant, gave us her insights on everything from budgeting tips to what to do with your stuff when you leave. After leaving her PR job in Los Angeles to live and work in the Czech Republic, Sarah quickly became accustomed to what it takes to be to a successful world traveler. If you are in need of a little extra push toward your travel plans, read through our Q&A with Sarah to learn some helpful tips.

To start off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where do you live now and where did you live abroad?

I am originally from Northwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University in 2013. I had the opportunity to study abroad while in school which sparked my obsession with living in a foreign country. After graduation I worked in Los Angeles at a fashion PR firm for almost a year and a half. I made the decision to move to the Czech Republic in March of 2014 where I got TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified and landed a job teaching at an international school.

As of this weekend, I am living in San Francisco. I recently decided that I wanted to be a Flight Attendant. I start training with a major airline on Monday!

How did you make the decision to leave it all behind and travel the world?

For me, the decision was not a difficult one. I’m drawn to challenge and adventure. The thought of moving to a foreign place where I’m faced with all sorts of obstacles is one that entices me. I did my research and found a school called The Language House in Prague to obtain my TEFL certification. Within a matter of a week I had put down a deposit, turned in my final date of work in L.A., and was making travel arrangements for the Czech Republic. I’m constantly reminding myself that now is the time to “go for it” and take exciting chances that pushes me in all sorts of directions.

What did you do with all of your personal belongings?

I packed up all my belongings and put them in a storage unit in L.A. All of my furniture and most of my clothes are actually still there waiting for me. I have been a vagabond for the last couple years. I’m looking forward to the day that everything is in one place.

How did you decide what to pack and what to leave?

In terms of packing, I only took the bare minimum. It’s not easy lugging around big suitcases from country to country, so I only took what I would absolutely need. Versatile clothing, things that can be layered, easy to wash, and can handle some wear and tear were all on my “To Pack” list. When it comes to products and essentials, I always start out with the carry-on sizes to get me by the first couple days. I find it to be strangely enjoyable deciphering labels in a new country and trying new products.

Did you start budgeting for your trip beforehand?

Budgeting beforehand is a necessity. For all I knew, I may not have landed a job and would have been running on empty. I ensured that I would have enough for the first couple months rent, necessities, and padding for a flight home, if need be. The wonderful thing about the Czech Republic is that it is so affordable! Rent, food, and activities were all a lot less expensive than what I was used to.

Do you have any tips for traveling on a budget?

I think my biggest tip is to be open to anything. Some of my best experiences have come from just winging it. It’s important to know that the “touristy areas” like town squares and near central locations are more expensive. If you plan to go out in these types of areas, know that you will be spending more. Take the public transport versus taxi or Uber. A lot of times taxis will take advantage of you not knowing exactly where you are and charge a higher rate. Enjoy the hostel lifestyle too, it’s cheap and easy. I’ve enjoyed making friends from all over the world and getting tips from other travelers. My boyfriend and I actually first met in a hostel in Munich, Germany in 2012!

What is it like to work abroad?

Working abroad is unlike any other job experience I’ve had. It’s important to understand cultural norms and how the country functions. I had to learn to be patient with language barriers, open to odd jobs, and flexible with scheduling. It was enjoyable seeing how cultures handle situations with their own quirks and tricks, unlike we’re used to in the U.S.

What did you enjoy most about living abroad?

My favorite part of living abroad was definitely the people. It is an incredible experience being able to meet people from all over and learn from and about them. Working at an international school was great too because not only was I dealing with Czech students, but many from Germany, Turkey, Russia, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, and others. I loved seeing all these cultures work together.

Is there anything you missed about the United States?

It’s hard not to miss the comfort of home every-so-often. You grow up learning everything one way and form a specific way for which you live your every-day life. Moving abroad really shakes that reality, and sometimes it’s inevitable that you will miss the confines of your comfort zone. It’s so easy now to stay in touch and be connected with people back home. But I did enjoy disconnecting every once in awhile; it was nice to just unplug and fully enjoy each moment for what it was, without having a glowing screen to distract me.

What would you say to someone who wants to travel the world, but is afraid to take “the leap?”

As cliché as it is to say, tomorrow is never guaranteed, so it’s important to take advantage of opportunities while you can. So many unknown factors play into our future that you can never know if it will work out six months, a year, or five years from now. I’m a huge advocate for just taking the leap and going for it.

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CAN HELP YOU TRAVEL THE WORLD

Have any tips for how to travel abroad cheap for long-term trips? Let us know in the comments!

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All images have either been provided by the interviewee or are licensed under the Creative Commons.

Home Moving Moving Tips, Tricks, & Resources Self Storage for Traveling Professionals

Self Storage for Traveling Professionals

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By Logan Livers, Storage.com

Plenty of businesses run into the same problems of running out of space to operate. Storage.com is here to help provide solutions for growing businesses, whether through unique tips or additional space.

There are plenty of professions that take people all around the world. If you have a job that always has you on the move, it can be difficult to hold on to seasonal and other non-essential items.

Instead of getting rid of these belongings altogether or going through the pain of taking them with you, there’s a simple and affordable solution for all traveling professionals—self storage.

Why Traveling Professionals Use Self Storage

photographer in foreign country

Whether you’re a traveling nurse, destination wedding photographer, archaeologist, journalist, or ESL teacher, you most likely have a lot of belongings you don’t want to get rid of. But with your line of work, it’s difficult or downright impossible to bring those things with you wherever you go, so certain items need to be left behind. Instead of throwing things away, leaving them with a friend or family member, or selling them to a pawn shop, you can keep them safe and sound in a storage unit near your permanent home.

Self storage is a great solution for traveling professionals and provides the following benefits:

  • Affordable Rates: Renting a storage unit is a far more affordable option than paying rent on an apartment you aren’t even living in (Learn how to find affordable storage).
  • Plenty of Space: You can find the exact storage unit size you need to fit your belongings, whether you’re storing just a few things or everything you own while you’re away.
  • High Levels of Security: Rest easy knowing your valuables are safe when you’re traveling for work. Many storage facilities offer great security features like video surveillance or alarmed units.
  • Climate Control: When storing sensitive items like clothing, wooden furniture, or electronics, you could get a climate-controlled storage unit to protect them from extreme temperatures and humidity. Without a climate-controlled unit, you run the risk of these sensitive materials getting damaged.
  • Vehicle Storage: If you don’t need your vehicle when you’re traveling for work, you can keep it safe at a storage facility. Most facilities have outdoor parking, but some have covered or indoor spaces.

Common Items Stored by Traveling Professionals

traveling businesswoman

Traveling professionals are better than most people at not collecting clutter since they’re often away from home for months or even years while on a job. But they do have items they can’t take on the road with them that they still want to keep for when they are back at home. Rather than leaving items in an empty home, many traveling professionals choose to store their belongings at a storage facility nearby.

For travelers who keep their apartments, condos, or houses while they’re away, they may only store important valuables, such as birth certificates, tax documents, family heirlooms, photos, jewelry, antiques, and other hard-to-replace items. But for travelers who end their rental agreements or sell their homes, a storage unit may essentially hold everything they own that they don’t need to take with them, including furniture, lawn equipment, recreational gear, clothing and accessories, home decor, vehicles, etc.

Don’t make your traveling job stressful by trying to take everything you own with you wherever you go. Instead, use self storage to securely store your belongings while you travel the world and do what you love. Then, you’ll be able to travel light, and save yourself the stress of additional packing.

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  • Jennifer Wright

    I am shocked that Denver, Colorado did not make the top 10 for best cities for travel nursing jobs.