Iguazu Falls

Should I buy a house or go travelling?

This week, I saw an article on the telegraph website which really struck a chord with me. Here’s the gist of it:

Young travellers’ spending soars. The world may have been mired in recession for five years but nobody appears to have told younger travellers who are keener than ever to get out there and explore. 

The article focuses on a study which was undertaken by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel confederation (WYSE) in which more than 34,000 people from 137 countries were surveyed on their travelling habits over the last 5 years. The findings are quite interesting. Apparently, young travellers last year (2012) spent on average £2,500 on trips abroad – 40 per cent more than they did in 2007. It seems that no one has told young travellers (and by that we’re talking those 18-35) that there’s a recession on. Or if they have heard, they’re ignoring it spectacularly.

Iguazu Falls

Me at my ‘Happy place’, Iguazu Falls, Brazil

I fall into this category and apart from probably pushing up the average spending of my age group almost single handedly, I’m sure my behaviour follows this trend too. In 2009 I quit my job and went on a spectacular round the world trip, and I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I did worry about my job prospects when I returned home, especially as everyone around me was warning against it. ‘There’s a recession on, Hayley. Good luck finding a job when you get back.’

Luckily I went with my gut and I learnt some things that year that I never would have if staying at home. My confidence grew and since then I’ve been using every spare weekend, bank holiday, lieu day and holiday allowance day on travelling, whether that’s in the UK or abroad. I’ve spent tens of thousands I’m sure. But I’ve now travelled to 47 countries, had some life-changing moments and I’m now starting a blog to try and document everything, and keep all my travelling memories in one place.

Horse riding trekamerica

Horseriding the Wild West, Arizona

I’m now coming up to my 28th birthday, and with everyone around me seemingly getting married or popping out kids, I feel I need to ask myself… when will it stop? Should I cut back on the travelling and seriously start to save for a future, or keep going with what I love and hope that everything will work out in the end?

Living in London, paying rent and travelling all the time means I struggle with saving any money at all. At the rate I’m saving now I would be able to save an average £20,000 deposit in approximately 8.3 years. And by then, houses will no doubt have doubled in price so I’ll need to keep saving to keep up with the market. Ouch. If I cut back my travel spending I could probably halve the amount of time it takes to save and could be living in my very own place by the spritely age of 32. Here lies the problem. Should I?

Hong Kong light show

The free light show across Hong Kong harbour

Seeing different places, meeting new people and really experiencing the world is what I live for, not bricks and mortar. But I’m not 21 anymore and I can’t rent a one bedroom flat in London all my life. So do I need to choose between doing what I want to do and what I feel I should? Surely that’s what real adults do, so why is it so hard to put into action?

The problem is, I don’t really see myself as an adult. In my head I’m still a teenager – I still get nervous I’m going to be asked for ID when buying a bottle of wine and instead of the elation I felt if I dodged this bullet when I was 17, now I feel secretly gutted that they never do ask. My face looks older now, I suffer from 2 day hangovers and since running the London Marathon last year, my knees have never been the same. Time to face facts. In a couple of years I’ll be 30 and there’ll be no more dreams of randomly running off to Australia to work as a cabbage picker. I’ll be too old to apply for a working visa.

I will be so old that an entire country has deemed me incapable of picking cabbages.


Me and a llama friend, northern Chile

Just writing this makes me just want to take the small amount I’ve saved over the last year and buy a round the world ticket before it’s too late! I am getting anxious and twitchy and my attention keeps getting diverted to the STA Travel website and their range of round the world tickets. Then I get a reality check as I realise I am too old to qualify for their youth fare (under 26s only!).

You know what? Sod it. I’m not ready to grow up. Who am I kidding? I’m not going to buy a 3 bed semi detached house in Sussex and start squeezing out small people anytime soon. The world is too big and too damn exciting. And I’m so glad this study by the WYSE confirms that I’m not the only one ignoring the pressure to settle down and conform. Hooray for us! I’m not going to stop everything and go off travelling right now, but I’m certainly not going to curb my travel wanderlust.

Bring on the next adventure.   

What do you think? Do you think travelling is more important than securing your financial future? Let me know in the comments box below.

UPDATE NOV 2014: I have made my decision…. See what I decided here

Should I buy a house or go travelling


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Hayley is the author behind A Life of More, a travel and lifestyle blog with the goal of helping you to live a happier and more fulfilled life, whether you're currently travelling or happily settled.

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Comments 70

  1. VickyFlipFlop

    I’m coming up to my 29th birthday, but really I think I’m about 25ish. It’s a difficult decision: whether to stay or go. My current thinking is to save for a house and then rent it out and go travelling. Might be a bit of a backward plan, but that’s the plan for the day, tomorrow will no doubt be a different story…

  2. Runaway Brit

    When I was 28 I thought exactly the same way as you do. Now, 6 years later, at the grand old age of 34 nothing has changed – and I can’t see that it will in the next 6 years either.

    Travel makes me happy, and as long as that remains the case then I will keep doing it. The Australian working visa may consider me too old, but my teaching qualification means that the doors to the rest of the world are wide open. Yay for travelling!

    Travel for as long as it makes you happy and enjoy the ride 🙂

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    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Thanks ladies. It’s so frustrating that as you approach a certain age people expect you to immediately settle down and start behaving like an adult 🙂

  4. Elle-Rose Williams | The World and Then Some

    This is such a great blog post and it is such a concern I think! I see friends who live in other cities and towns (I’m in London like you!) buying houses at the moment and I’m just gobsmacked and in awe – but then I remember how much more affordable other towns are in the UK, and how they haven’t travelled – and it makes me feel a bit better. Maybe one day I’ll buy – but right now, it’s travelling that makes me happy. Nothing better to spend money on than happiness and memories right!? 🙂 xx

  5. Post
    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Thanks Elle-Rose! I think it’s a topic which resonates with a lot of people and I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s choosing to drag out my youth for ever and ever haha!! Absolutely no better way to spend cash than memories 🙂

  6. Aloveridge

    Hi LovePuffin,

    I was in the same boat, 30 years old, got board at work so sacked it in and within two weeks arrived in Australia. Now I have been here 6 months, travelled and meet some amazing people.

    I was luckily enough to find a job while being out here that didn’t involve serving people or standing behind a bar. A job similar to what I was doing back in London but it is so much more chilled in Melbourne no one is in a rush and everyone is having a good time.

    With this job I am able to save more then I was back home, and with talks of sponsorship I can stay earn more, travel more and eventually go home with more then I came out with.

    When I eventually decide to go home, this is lift should be an experience, get out of the repetitive life style and do something about it. I know the world is controlled by money but there are ways around this like all things in life there are many different options that are available.

    At first I was nervous about my decision to leave all I knew and come to Australia, but now I am so happy I did this.

    Enjoy the journey.


  7. Post
    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Hi ALoveridge

    Wow, sounds like you are having a wonderful time over in Melbourne (hope it’s not too hot right now – I read it was over 45 degrees – wooooweeee!).

    Australia has always been on my list of places to live. My big brother lives in Sydney and so I know how great the lifestyle over there can be. It was in my plan when I got back from my year travelling to save the airfare and get on a plane back to Oz asap, but then my brother announced he was moving out there and left within weeks, having never been to Australia before. The problem is I’m one of only two kids and it would break my mum’s heart if we were both living so far away. This sounds silly but trust me, if you knew my mum you’d see why (she cries every time I leave, even if I’m seeing her the next week, and also cries at the thought of me being away from her for any period of time!). I do admit I feel a little hard done by, as I was always the one with the travelling bug but you can’t change these things. My bro has been living out there for nearly 4 years now and I’m living in his flat in London and paying his mortgage. I know which sibling got the good deal here! Haha.

    Hopefully another year or so of travelling isn’t completely off the cards, we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m saving hard, although I’m not sure what for!

    Thanks for taking the time to write to me, wishing you all the best in your new life – maybe I’ll come visit one day 🙂

  8. Priceless adventurer

    I just got back from China… And I’m working for my trip to Egypt in the fall…All I wanna do is travel.. I truly work to travel hahaahah

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  10. lpayne123

    Loved reading your post and knowing I’m not on my own agonising over this situation!!
    I’m stuck between going to teach in Bangkok or staying and buying a house, it seems all my friends and family think that at my age (34) it is totally irresponsible to think about packing up and my life will be forever ruined if I don’t buy a settle down, buy a house and have children in the next year!!
    My head says house but my heart screams travel 🙁

  11. Post
    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    I think there is a massive stigma hanging over women who choose to live their lives instead of conforming and procreating. Some of my friends aren’t even considering having children… ever. I think this is pretty empowering!
    I reckon when you’re taking your last breath and your life flashes before your eyes it better be worth watching… so get out there and don’t worry about what others think. There will be plenty of time for adult life later. Enjoy your time in Bangkok, I would love to follow your adventures! 😉

  12. Ceili

    I am waiting to jet off to America in 6 weeks time, it’s only my first backpacking trip but I’ve already caught the ‘travel bug’ before I’ve caught the plane!

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    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Pavel, I’d hate to generalise as both the UK and USA have so many differences (and I’m no expert on house prices!). However I know that the one bedroom flat which I’m currently living in (based in south London, UK) has been recently valued at £550,000 (approx $915,000 USD). It’s nothing special and only has a small patio an some small living space, so I would find it hard to believe that you couldn’t find cheaper in the USA 🙂

  15. Dan

    Don’t even contemplate buying a house because social pressures are playing on your mind. You can spend out, pay it off until you’re sixty – or, use that money making more memories and having experiences other people can only dream of.

    No contest! You can’t take bricks with you!

    – Dan

  16. Pingback: So Tremendous – A New Direction – So Tremendous

  17. Nathan

    I know the feeling I am 24, 25 is fast approaching! I am in the position of work like mad for 3 years and barely travel but be mortgage free or leave it ticking along for 15 more years (currently being rented) but still costs me money each month. I’ve done most of Europe half of America and am currently living in NZ (I am a Brit)
    Do I save and explore nz then travel and work my way around the world, have a gap year and then do that or just work hard for 3 mor years and be mortgage free then travel. The. I would be creeping on 30 and would want to settle and possibly have children….

  18. Post
    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Nathan, it sounds like you have things all sorted out! Being mortgage free at 28 would be a dream for most people. I’m 29 and I don’t even own a house yet!

    I’m not in the position to tell you what to do (I’ll alway be biased towards travel), but is there a way you can do a little of both? Aim to travel, but also to make bigger payments on your mortgage. I think you’re in an amazing position, there’s no need to choose between them.

    Also, 28 isn’t old. I’m nearly 30 and travelling the world for the foreseeable future. I actually love it more this time around as I can appreciate it more. Last time was all about partying. This time it’s more about connecting with the local culture and seeing the world for all its beauty.

    Let me know what you decide, man! 🙂

  19. Laura Alliston

    Love this post. Think it is especially true when friends of our age at home are getting married/having kids/paying mortgages. I’ll always remember though that you only live once and memories stay with you forever. Eye opening cultural experiences have no monetary value like a part of a house etc. I’m 28 in a week and off to venezuela ane Colombia. Can not wait. Better to be skint and travel the world 🙂

  20. Beth

    i love this!! One of the things I love about travelling is that you will meet some people who are 18 and others who are 35, you shouldn’t let getting older or societal pressures quench your wanderlust!!

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    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    I totally agree, Laura! How exciting, what an amazing trip! Venezuela and Colombia are two countries which hold a lot of intrigue for me. So much natural beauty! I would love to see how you get on! Enjoy every second! xxx

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  23. Mexikangaroo

    Wow! This blog is inspiring! But still i feel undecided.. I am a 33yo mexican boy living with his 27yo girlfriend in Melbourne, since we migrated to this lovely country 5 years ago we have been paying rent and saving money and have around 30k aussie dollars that we could use for a house deposit or travel around the world for at least 6 months with my señorita. The question is.. What to do? I feel im almost too old and i should really look into my future as i know my partner would like to have kids soon-ish.. What should i do?! HEELP!!

  24. Post
    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Firstly, well done for saving so much money, that’s great! Are you thinking of buying a house in Australia or back in Mexico? If in Mexico then perhaps you could use some of the cash to travel on your way back there. If in Melbourne then would you need all of the money or could you compromise and do a little travelling and still buy the house?

    Obviously I’m biased as I chose to travel rather than buy a house, but I’m working as I go along. Is this an option for you?

    Feel free to email me (Hayley[at]lovepuffin.me) if you’d like to chat more, I’d be happy to help out!

  25. Mexikangaroo

    Thanks Hayley 🙂 yep! the idea is to live in Australia now (we love this country!) so we would buy a house here in Melbourne the problem is that they are quite expensive so we would need all our savings for the deposit; but I’m the same as you, I’m leaning towards traveling rather than buying a house (but not to use all our savings travelling), any way what’s the worst that can happen? maybe we will have to wait another couple of years to save enough for a house that we will pay within 20~ 30 Years? 2 years is nothing compared to the rest of your life. I want to travel now that I can still climb mountains, trees and party! not when I’m 60-70 (then it will be a different way to travel). Thoughts?

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  27. hen

    love this one! I like travelling and Im addicted to beach and snorkelling… If ever I’ll give up my travelling expenses for a house, I’ll make sure I will buy a house with a huge swimming pool…

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  29. Lola

    Hello, I’m 30,
    I felt that same way but now things have changed. My fiancé and I got back from America and Asia 3 months ago and bought a house as soon as we got back but still renting it out to the tenants who have lived there for just over a year now. and our wedding is coming up in Oct then off to Bora bora for our honeymoon then Europe in December 😀 I wish I travelled more when I was younger but I put my career first 🙁 I don’t plan on having kids until I’m 32 so we have lots of time to travel 😀

  30. Harriet

    I’ve just been reading all these posts. I’m in a dilemma myself I went to Thailand for 2 weeks last November and it was the first holiday I’d had in 10 years and I went all by myself, and met loads of people. I was so depressed when I came back and wish I’d travelled earlier in life. I’m 27 and want to go to Australia for a year but by the time I’ll be going I’ll be 29 nearly 30 due to saving up… My dilemma is either to save for a mortgage or save to go to Australia as I’m single currently living in a houseshare (which I’d love my own place but can’t afford it) and all my friends have got married and got kids and mortgages. I’ve been told by work colleagues that I need to think about it more and think when I come back from Oz I will be back to square one with no house no car and no savings. I don’t know what to do… is 29 and wanting to go to Oz too old as a lot of youngsters go there in their early twenties? Will I feel a bit too old.

    Could someone give their personal view on this as I don’t know what my gut instincts are. But it won’t be for at least another two years until I go. In Oz I actually want to see it not work the whole year/two years and not see anything. Is it worth saving for a mortgage and then only going to Oz for 6 weeks?

  31. Matt

    I’m 23 years old and stuck in this same dilemma I’m in a relationship and my girlfriend does not want to travel apart from the one or two weeks a year for holidays, she is adamant we need to buy a house but i really want to see the world go from place to place first but she is not having any of it.

    I feel maybe while I’m young I should do these things but my family and girlfriend just say I’m living in a dream world and I’m immature. Would love to get some opinions on this?

  32. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Hey Matt, I don’t know your personal situation but at 23 I would say you’re still very young and there’s absolutely no rush to jump into mortgages and commitment if you’re not ready for it. I’m 30 now and I’ve been on a long term trip twice now. It hasn’t hurt my career (in fact, the life experience I gained has helped as I have bags more confidence now), and although I still don’t own a house it’s on the agenda for the next couple of years. I can say whole-heartedly that I have enjoyed my twenties and wouldn’t change a thing. Now I’m entering my thirties I’m ready for the commitment of ‘life’.

    My advice would be to follow your gut. Your family may not like it, but you’ll know that you’ll have lived the life you want. Not for someone else. And most importantly, you won’t end up resenting people because you felt that they held you back. It’s a blessing and a curse having a free spirit… I wish you all the best, young traveller! 🙂

  33. Elizabeth Newman

    Where have you been all my life?! Seriously I need you as my best friend because no-one else gets me around here!
    I feel exactly the same, every word I read had me shouting “YES, ME TOO!!” inside!
    I’m almost 26, which sucks on the STA discount front! Just moved back to my dad’s after working abroad on cruise ships, so I can save. Him and my step mum are so supportive by not charging me rent but I know they’re secretly hoping that I’ll use it towards a deposit for my own place. Is this what I want?! A huge, resounding no! Not in the slightest! I wish I did, I wish I could be more adult and grown up and sensible but I’m just not wired that way. It sounds dumb but I have a genuine aching in my heart, to go somewhere, to be somewhere new, to experience new cultures and ways of life.
    The more I try and tell myself to settle, the more I just want to break away.
    I loved reading your post, it’s so nice to know that I’m not alone and there are other people who feel the same as I do.
    Life’s is fleeting and precious, do what makes you happy. I’ve always told myself this, but I’m not taking my own advice!
    I will now, thanks to your post. You’ve really inspired me, thank you =)
    Warm wishes,

  34. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Oh my god, Elizabeth! I’m so happy that my article helped you solidify your feelings on this! I’m now 31 and still haven’t taken the ‘big step’. I’m getting closer, but it’ll be a while yet! Go and enjoy life. After all, you’re not going to be on your death bed thinking about that washing machine you had 20 years ago, or that time you spent all your money on that conservatory 😉

  35. Ash

    Spent hours searching for someone feeling even close to how I’m feeling right now! All the stories on here sound truest amazing!

    I’m a single 26 year old male living in the east of England, nice place but I have twitchy feet because there’s not much keeping me here (few friends). I have a good job as a manager and I have enough to go out and start looking at house and have started the wheels in motion to get on the property ladder. Thing is I don’t know if I want to!

    Haven’t traveled before as I always thought I would work up the career ladder to have a better lifestyle then go on “holidays” realty is I’ve been snowboarding one recently.

    A friend recently came back to see family with his partner from nz and it got me thinking….. soundslike a great place , great idea , should I go. Thing is I’m worried if I go leave my job etc and go over with the intent on staying (if I love it) forever. If there’s a a good probability it will be 2/3 year I would carry on with my career and just visit when I can. Can’t get this dilemma out of head and it’s stressing, he says it’s easy to get a sponsorship but he’s managed it his partner is from newzealand

    Looking back…. wow this a long post! Sorry

  36. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Not at all! It’s totally normal to feel this way.

    NZ is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited so you simply must go. There are no other options I’m afraid! 🙂

    As to whether you decide to stay there or not, there’s no point in stressing over that just yet – why don’t you go with the view to explore for a few months and then if you like it, aim to settle in the place you liked the most. If it doesn’t work out then at least you tried, and your life will always be waiting for you at home. My advice is to go and find out for yourself 🙂

  37. Nicole mifsud

    I’m 25 and I actually work for STA travel. I have a hunger to continue travelling and do my work visa as I still currently can but the pressure of buying a house is just unreal. Living in an old fashioned house hold my dad thinks I need to be getting married and having kids (I’m still currently single)
    I live in London and I’m in a position to buy a house but only up north as there is no way in hell i can afford a London house.
    I am very undecided whether to use all my savings on the deposit of the house and rent it out as an investment. Or leave a carefree life without having the commitment of a house in the background. Would love to hear all your opinions xxx

  38. Nicole mifsud

    Also, just carrying on from my previous comment, a lot of airlines actually allow you to be 30 for a youth ticket with STA so don’t be too downhearted!!!! Xxxx

  39. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Hi Nicole, that’s great to know about STA’s higher age limit. Sadly it’s too late for me as I’m 31 and climbing, now! 🙂

    I think it’s a toss up between lifestyles. If you think you’ll be happy up north and can build a life there, then go for it. But if you think it will leave a gap in your life that only travel can fill, then spend some time travelling and see how you feel afterwards. Also you don’t have to blow ALL of your savings. Have you considered working freelance whilst you travel so you can keep the bank balance topped up?

    Always do what you think will make you happiest in the long run. Good luck, and let me know what you decide!

  40. Nicole mifsud

    Hiya hayley.
    I would rent it out when I buy it but I know it’s not as simple as that at first.
    I sometimes think I need to “grow up” as it’s my dads dream for me to own a house and I know he’s sensible and I do kind of want to. But I love travelling and doing different things. I could always rent it out and go ad work for STA in NZ. I think that’s my ideal plan at the moment anyways.
    Ps if you ever need future travel plans I’ll be more than happy to help you out with some cheeky mates rates 😉

  41. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Ah thanks, Nicole that sounds awesome (and I’ll remember that haha!). It sounds like you might have the option to do both, which is amazing!! Seriously, keep me posted on this as I’m really intrigued to see what you do!!!! 🙂

  42. Nicole mifsud

    I’ve made an appt at the mortgage advisors on Friday and my dads going to come with me so hopefully I can get some proper advise to see if it’s worth it. If it’s not then I’ll be off on a sabbatical around march time :)))
    Unsure if you can see my email I’ve put as I don’t get notifications from here, but for real if you want any help booking stuff give me a shout 🙂 xx

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  44. Nicole mifsud

    Okay, so I had the mortgage meeting and now I’m more confused than ever. The options don’t really work out too much without me having to save another 15k.
    Dad is making me feel stupid saying he thought I would have grown up after saying I want to travel. So now I just feel super shitty 🙁

  45. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Ouch, that’s a lot of cash! I know how you feel, as my mum was so keen for me to get a house when I was younger, but I decided to (for better or for worse) do what made me genuinely happy at the time. I’m 31 now, and yes, some of my friends bought well and have now made a lot of money from their house, but in my view, money is only as useful as what you choose to spend it on. For me, it was more important to see some of the world and to experience some truly memorable things whilst I was young and free of ties. Do I regret doing that? Not for a second.

    Yes, I had two long career breaks (one of nearly 8 months and one just over a year), but when I travelled I made the most of every day, and when I worked, I did the same. I worked bloody hard and now I’m head of marketing for a company I love and respect, and travelling has not harmed by life plan but enhanced it. OK, I still don’t own a house but I rent a gorgeous 2 bed house with my awesome boyfriend and kitty, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s OK that not everyone has the same life plan. Wouldn’t the world be a very boring place if everyone did?

    It sounds to me like you really do want to travel, but you’re getting parental pressure. Well, I’ve been there, Nicole. And I think I have the perfect blog post for you: http://alifeofmore.co.uk/convince-overprotective-parents-travel/

    Let me know how you get on 🙂

  46. Nicole mifsud

    That blog actually really helped. I think you’re totally right about just buying a ticket otherwise it’s just a plan.
    Ideally I want to do my WHV in New Zealand and carry on working for STA there so I can make the most of the travel benefits.
    I keep trying to say to my dad that owning a house isn’t the be all end all. I’ll have an house and then sit in it not doing anything as I won’t be able to afford anything else.
    I’m good at my job, a top seller Infact so more travel should only work in my benefit surely.
    I can always meet people and network, even while travelling.
    I’m glad to see you’ve done it twice and you’re still happy and comfortable. My fear is that I’ll come back and have to start again. And I don’t want to regret not doing this or feel like I’m too old to do it 🙂
    Your blogs have actually really helped me 🙂
    Thank you so much xx

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  48. Nicole mifsud

    Hehehehe I sure will. I loved every second of it. Hence why I love my job for sending me out there :)))
    Welcome to stay anytime haha (when I go)

  49. Jamie

    I’m 21, 22 this year. And going on my first proper trip in September to the states for a few weeks.
    I always wanted to save for a house, but now I really don’t see the point, I’ll be moving around so much!
    Love this post it has truly inspired me!!!!

  50. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Awesome, so happy to see that, Jamie. Have an amazing time – have you heard of TrekAmerica by the way? I work for them and they do small group road trips. Might be a thought for you, if you hadn’t considered it before!

  51. ART214

    Great article! I feel like this could be the story of my life right now! You see, I am 30 years old and getting married this summer. I managed to do some travelling in my 20’s, but my wanderlust and thirst to see the world is nowhere near satisfied. I could care less about material things and have fancy things etc. I would rather save my money to travel. But of course, marriage changes everything because its no longer just about you. Luckily, my wife also likes travelling…….but she also likes nice things 🙂 Sometimes, I am terrified of the thought of being tied down and seeing most our money go towards owning things, mortgage, etc. Then there is also the family/societal pressure to have this and that. I love my wife very much and am super excited to get married and share my life with someone, I just hope I can convince my significant other that money spent on travel and amazing experiences is far better than spending it on consumer items and fancy things etc.

  52. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I just got engaged too and it’s awesome, isn’t it?

    I think it’s all about balance – if your future wife likes to travel then make sure you have the most amazing holidays you can, whilst also building your home together. It’s tricky but I’m doing that too at the moment and those two weeks you spend together are just as good as longer trips! All the best to you and your other half! 🙂

  53. Katrina branch

    I love this article – it sums up how I can’t decide what to do at the moment.
    I have a job, teaching which I enjoy but can’t decide whether to settle down here and buy a house or work one more year and move and teach abroad and then come back and buy a house…

  54. Tayla

    Omg this has been playing on my mind for a couple years now I just can’t come to a decision 😭 I currently live in Melbourne still at home with my partner and my parents we both work full time and have managed to save around 20k I’m so stuck on weather to buy a house or to travel I don’t care wear I just want to go somewhere out of Australia !
    My whole life I’ve wanted to travel but just never got around to doing it and I’m 25 years old 😭 my partner isnt that interested in travelling but I am im worried if I don’t travel I’ll REGRET it so much and it’s stressing me out I think about it everyday should I travel or should I buy a house and buying a house in Melbourne is very expensive and it’s only going to get worse! I don’t know what to do my heart is saying travel while your young but my head is saying buy a house cause it will take years to save again my partner is getting sick of me being so indecisive on what I want to do he would rather buy a house but I do not want to buy a house and be broke forever paying a mortgage and never being able to travel let alone do anything but I also want to buy a house at the same time 😫😭😭😭😭Help me I’m going insane haha

  55. Alex

    Awesome blog Hayley! I am in a similar boat to everyone..

    I’m 25 almost 26 and have been with my girlfriend for over 7 years now.

    Last February I went to S.E Asia for six and a half months on a career break and loved it! Diving, climbing, partying, bought a bike in vietnam and drove 3500km south to north! Breaking down everyday haha! Awesome time and even writing this puts a smile on my face! but my girlfriend didn’t go with me and only met me for the last 3 weeks probably to make sure I came home!

    Travel blues hit me hard! And now just over a year since being back.. My girlfriend wants to get a mortgage and even has her side of the deposit.. I have just under half of my side, but to me traveling is so much more appealing!

    She has said we should get a mortgage and then after a few years rent it out and go traveling but I just don’t know if it’s a good idea.

    Deep down I guess I know what I want.. and by reading my post, everyone else knows what I want! But after 7 years of being together with my best friend it’s not easy to say to her we are going to part ways. What if I go away and it doesn’t work out.. and I’m back within 1 or 2 years? Then I look like a mug and have to see how well she is doing for herself!

    Thanks for letting me open up on your blog!

  56. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Ah Tayla, I can’t tell you what you should do. It’s a classic case of head vs heart! All I can say is that I’m 32 now, living back in London in a rented house. A lot of my friends own houses but I decided to spend my money on going travelling twice and I don’t regret that decision at all. I still have a happy home, a loving fiance, a cute cat and a job I love. I would love to buy eventually but I truly think that the experiences that I had have shaped me for the better and given me a good understanding of things outside of my bubble. For me personally, I know that I’m going to be OK financially, whether or not I own the deeds to the place I live. I have my head screwed on, a tendency to save for a rainy day and a good pension scheme with my job now. Sounds like you’ve got a similar mindset, so you’ll be OK in the long run, even if you do decide to get out there!

  57. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Oh Alex 🙁 I’m sorry you are having this issue. It’s hard when two people want different things. I hope you find happiness in whatever decision you make – come back and tell me won’t you? Or tag me in your travelling pics and make me jealous!!! 😉

  58. Chelsey

    Hello, Hayley. I loved reading this page and I am also in the same boat but the only thing different about myself is that I’m 24 years old and haven’t been to many places yet. I know you may think I am young but I am just deciding if I should settle down and start having children or travel the world which I’ve always wanted to do since I could remember. The world is this big huge beautiful place and I just want to discover and go on adventures. All my friends and cousins are all getting married and having kids and buying houses and I’m just here living with my boyfriend at his parents. Could I ask you a question? How do you travel so much and still have money for it all? Do you just find jobs where you travel too? Because that’s what I was thinking on doing. Know where I am going and rent a little apartment and finding a job and when I am not working I do my traveling then. Does that sound like a good idea, or do you have any better suggestions?

  59. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Hi Chelsey, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I hope you had a nice Christmas! You’re right, 24 is so young, and you absolutely do not need to feel the pressure to settle down right now. OI’m 32 now, and took my first long term trip when I was 23. I took another one in 2015 and then went back to London where I’ve now saved enough to buy a house of my own. It might be a little late for some people but I have absolutely NO regrets spending my money on experiences rather than things. I now feel so much more settled and ready for whatever life throws at me.

    Now that I have a few more years of life under my belt since writing this article, I would absolutely recommend prioritising travel over ‘settling down’, especially when you’re still in your mid-twenties. Just be sensible about it. Don’t spend every penny you have, and try to work whilst you travel. Here’s an article I wrote about clever ways you can make money whilst travelling: http://alifeofmore.co.uk/10-clever-ways-get-paid-travelling-world/ I also interviewed a scuba instructor in Thailand, which I thought was an amazing job! http://alifeofmore.co.uk/koh-tao-scuba-instructor/

    Me, personally, I work in travel marketing so my job allows me to travel occasionally, although mostly I just save really hard (I don’t go out too much and I make my own lunch – saves me a fortune!) I wrote another post about getting into travel marketing if you’re interested in that as a career: http://alifeofmore.co.uk/dream-job-travel-marketing/

    Please keep me posted on what you decide, and good luck! 🙂

  60. louise

    HEY! your post resonates with me 100%! I am in the same boat as you and its making me very unhappy having travelling on one shoulder and buying a property on the other. I feel at the moment like I want to see the world (as I have done for as long as I can remember) but now I’m approaching 28 I feel I should be thinking about moving out and buying my first house. I have a good job and I do genuinely love my job. I’m a veterinary nurse. I could travel and get a job abroad no problem but I have my conscience telling me I should be sensible and settle down. What to do?
    By the way I loved your post, what did you decide to do???
    Thanks for helping me realise I’m not the only 20 something to be feeling the same as you 🙂 I’m glad there are fellow wanderlusters out there!

  61. Post
    Hayley Griffiths

    Hi Louise. I actually wrote this post a few years ago and I’m amazed it’s still resonating with so many! Interesting timing to contact me actually, as I exchanged on my house this week! I wrote this post when I was around 27 I think, and ended up going travelling when I was 29 for a year. When I returned I saved really hard and managed to scrape together a deposit for my first house! So you can have both, it just takes a little longer! My friends are on their 2nd or 3rd houses now, but I don’t regret waiting. I saw so much on that trip. Good luck with your decision, and keep me posted!!!

  62. Merly Costa


    Work and save but also travel. You need to do things that makes you feel alive. Who can tell how long you will live?

  63. chasitie

    Im turning 26 in about two months. This is what has been running through my mind recently! Should I settle down, buy my first house…work non stop.. BLAH BLAH BLAH or just travel. Gosh I love traveling. Im glad I’m not alone in this boat.

  64. Laura

    I can totally relate to this post! I am 25 and I bought a house with my long term ex boyfriend at 23. Don’t make mistakes because of social pressures or because it is the ‘norm’. This didn’t work out and I ended up travelling for 6 months after the break up and it was the best thing I have ever done. I have the travel bug now and will continue to travel for as long as I can as that what ultimately makes me happy! I truly believe following your heart and everything else will eventually fall into place. I’m sure I will buy a house again in the future but not until I meet the man of my dreams and want to start a family! Make the most of being young and single as you will only regret it in the future.

  65. Hayley

    A bit late to the party on this one…31, single, renting a one bed flat and trying to cram in as many holidays as possible. I could give up holidays and get the head down and save for a deposit…but I just can’t bring myself to do it. The thought of being tied into a mortgage on my own actually terrifies me! But getting on a plane to go see a new city on my own is an incredible feeling. Sometimes I feel like I should save, but that is definitely more down to social pressures than because I actually want to. It’s a big world out there, I want to see it before I’m settled. And if that means renting then so be it. You’re a long time dead as they say!

  66. Andy

    Firstly acquiring a house which is the biggest asset most people will have in life is not a guaranteed good thing to have. It’s a liability especially now as prices are historically being propped up due to the increasing inflow if migrants into the UK. Supply and demand. Unless you are loaded and can pay cash most of us need to borrow money (debt) – mortgage and this has a cost. The cost is interest.

    At 3% in the UK a £300k house will likely cost £480k after 25years. Estate agents should be advertising £480k in their windows and websites.
    A mortgage means you don’t own the house until you’ve paid off money borrowed PLUS interest. Effectively you’ve paid one landlord (the bank) for 25 years. You are effectively signing up on a hamster wheel for the next 25years. Sacrificing your freedom for an asset that has stolen the bulk of your life and made sure you have stayed in full time employment. You have worked for your employer, your bank (creditor) and the government in paying 40% of your yearly salary in taxes (that is January to April).

    It’s my pension you say? If you make it to 70 then you sell up to enjoy your equity and live where? House prices would have increased across the market just like your very own home price. Is it the plan to live a worse life in a tiny flat or being a burden on your kids in their spare room?
    Go travel please. Look around you at people in your life with houses. Parents, aunties, uncles, are they free?

  67. Lotty

    So pleased I found this, I’m 25, been single for the past two years with no real plans to become serious with anyone, I finish my degree next May and have only a small amount of money in savings. I have no real reason why I would want to stick around here and I dream of being able to travel the world meeting new people and seeing new things. My main concern is that, I will be in exactly the same position as I am now when I get back-whenevrr that may be! And with an unsupportive parent who seems to think I should have bought my own house when I was 21, the option of coming back home may not even be feasible! Do I set up my own home and make a good life here and work hard and maybe go on travelling holidays every year (when I can afford this so may be after a few years) or do I fly the nest after getting my degree and hope I earn more money out in the big wide world so I can afford a house when I come back? 🙁 the second is my ideal plan but there is no guarantee I will even make money. Plus being a female on my own scares me sometimes in visiting certain countries, so if anybody from the North East of England is in the same boat and wants to go travelling starting august next year please do get in touch! Advice would be greatly appreciated!

  68. Nicole Mifsud

    Hi Hayley.

    I commented back in 2017 on your blog.
    Just came across it again. Wanting to update you that I did in fact take the travelling route. I did 3 months in Central & South America and then moved to NZ. New Zealand didn’t work out for me as such. I continued to work for STA out there but it just wasn’t the same so i came back.
    Saying that, I don’t regret it at all. Met some amazing people and gave me some confidence.

    I’m trying to live by the quote ‘money is replaceable, but your youth is not’

    For anyone else in the same situation, undecided what to do…. Do what makes you happy. There is no right or wrong answer. A house cant give me the experiences I’ve done or the things I’ve seen or the amazing people I’ve met.

    Undecided on my next move but I wanted to thank you for your insightful blog <3

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