How Tina made it to 40 countries before 30?

With parents from two different countries, travelling was always a part of my life. As a kid we spent summers in Sweden visiting family and friends, or even taking a family trip elsewhere in Europe. My first flight alone was when I was 13, and while I still vividly remember the fear I had on that long flight alone (and getting lost at my layover airport), I’ve never looked back since then. From that moment on, I was completely hooked. Ever extra penny I could save went towards travelling… and that has not changed to this day.

kristina traveller remote life

  Every extra penny I could save went towards travelling

I became so passionate about travel that felt I had to help others achieve their travel goals too. After studying abroad twice in my undergraduate program, I worked part time in our education abroad office to help advise fellow students on how to make a study abroad program a reality.

I knew that post-graduation I wanted two things:

1. to not study again for a while

2. to move abroad.

While not everyone may want to go as far as the other side of the globe, I ended up moving to Melbourne, Australia.

kristina internship australia remote life

Although far away, it seemed like a fairly safe move; no language barrier, great weather and friendly locals. While all of this was true, it was still an incredibly challenging experience. Starting over with no friends, no real network and very little knowledge of the country and culture made the first few monthly fairly difficult. I learned quickly that I needed to really step out of my comfort zone to feel like I was home in Melbourne. I started going to tons of networking and expat events, utilized my contacts from home and ended up with a great job, and some life-long friends.

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While I continued to travel while living in Australia, I found a new respect for Australians and how difficult it is to make international travel a reality. If you think the United States is large and fairly isolated, move to Australia. Every flight not only took a lot more time, but a lot more money. I started looking for travel deals, and make a point to explore the closest continent—Asia. I travelled off peak times of year and visited countries that while expensive to get to, were not expensive to stay in.

kristina around the world remote life

Fast forward 5 years and I am now living in Sweden (where my mother is originally from). While the move to Sweden was mostly for my Master’s degree program, living in Europe has opened up a world of opportunity for travel. Low cost airline carriers are everywhere and a weekend trip to a new country is completely achievable. Sweden is one of the most expensive countries in Europe to live in, and while the 6 week paid vacation is a huge benefit, I’ve had to be extremely smart with my budget to make my travel goals a reality. The main question I get from friends isn’t why I travel as much as I do, but how can I afford it? To put it simply, I prioritize travel. I’m still rocking my iphone 5s and that’s pretty much as tech savvy as I get, I keep my wardrobe simple and make most meals at home. It’s a lifestyle choice, and one that I gladly make to continue to explore new countries and cultures.

  The question I am asked by my friends isn’t why I travel as much as I do, but how can I afford it?

kristina digital nomad remote life

My advice to readers wanting to make their travel dreams a reality?

Below is a list of what I think can help you get going:

  • Budget: we’re not all millionaires, so create a budget and decide how much you need per trip and what you need to cut from your regular monthly spending be able to save for it.
  • Step out of your comfort zone: This can mean a lot of things, but just try something you wouldn’t normally do. Be it travelling alone, going to a more remote destination or testing out a retreat, try it!
  • Talk to everyone and make friends: On of the best parts of travel is the amazing people you will meet. If you’re lucky, you will end up having life-long friends, and people you can later visit in new countries.
  • Utilize your contacts and get recommendations: Ask your own friends for recommendations or look to blogs/Instagram for places to go. Google can only get you so far to find the best local places.
  • Plan ahead but allow space for spontaneity: While I am all about planning ahead, always leave some room to be a bit spontaneous during your travel. Some of the best spots I’ve found have been from just wondering without a plan.

About the Author

 

Tina Miles is an American Swedish travel enthusiast. She has lived and worked across 3 continents and has travelled to over 40 countries. She believes that travel and exploration is more than a hobby but can be a lifestyle, even if it’s not your day-job. Follow her journey and get inspired to start your next adventure.

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27 replies on “How Tina made it to 40 countries before 30?

  • Shweta Kalra

    I am startled ! I had only imagined to travel to different countries but your story has chalked the path to make it tangible. Your story is inspiring and has provided me ways to travel. The only thought of budget used to shudder me to brood more on my travelling plans but your way of managing and arranging resources has encouraged me to do the same . I thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  • Deepti

    This was so inspiring. Gives an accurate insight into how an ordinary person can fulfill his wish of travelling the world. Thank you for sharing your experience. Looking forward to get more such exciting stuff to read! 🙂

    Reply
  • Bhawana Shadangi

    Great traveller tips. It is inspiring how independent and strong you are to let yourself out from your comfort zone and grow.
    It seems like a dream story, just that you have lived it.

    Reply
  • Revanth

    Hello Tina.First off,Kudos on your travel!Not all travel enthusiasts fulfill their travel dreams like you did.But you’ve proved everything’s possible with a proper plan.You gave some pretty good advice on planning a trip.All the best for your future travels!

    Reply
  • saurabh dwivedi

    An awe-inspiring journey. Traveling alone at the age of 13!!! Take a bow. I too love traveling. I too feel that it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and the experience that follows will definitely be a life changing one. Thanks a lot for those tips, they seem pretty manageable and practical.

    Reply
  • Deepti

    Truly inspiring. A great account of how an ordinary person can fulfill their dream of travelling across the world… It was fun reading your experience. Looking forward to read more such wonderful stuff.. 🙂

    Reply
  • Hema Nandhini

    Happy to hear a great adventure by a women.As everyone ask how you afford to make such a trip?Your reply was good and satisfying.Google is always the best companion and I accept it.Have a hapie journey.

    Reply
  • Sanchet Deshpande

    Amazing !
    Travel is indeed a marvelous experience . Everyone should understand that it not
    only creates great memories but also makes you a better person . As a woman , what you have achieved is truly breath taking ma’am .

    Reply
  • Trisrota Datta

    I really like the way Emma stated facts. About how she finished her education and worked hard to reach her goal. She traveled abroad not to escape but to actually make something out of it. I also love the fact that she talks about how travel is so much more than just planning. Her love for spontaneity is a refreshing break from her pragmatism.

    Reply
  • Prabjot kaur

    Wow …your story is truly inspiring for all the girls who are scared to travel alone. We all can learn from your rich experience for travelling and fulfil our travelling goals. Your tips on how to save for the travelling goals are worth adapting. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable experience with us…

    Reply
  • Kiran mohan

    For me travelling has always been a search of something, something inspiring to fulfill my dreams. When i got to read the story of Tina here I was so excited and at the same time felt stupid for choosing the wrong path to achieve what I always had in my mind. Hope the insight offered by her life and her journey to seek attain her dream will be an inspiration to everyone like me.

    Reply
  • Mrinalini Dadhich

    Your story was really interesting.The way you got to have this passion for travelling sounds really great.But what is more important is the way you have managed to balance your passion along with the studies. It is quite impressive and inspiring. The points you have told will be very helpful. May be my travel goals comes true too. Good luck for your further trips.

    Reply
  • sonia jeena

    your story is an inspiration to all those who strive to travel.The way you have written your experience is Marvelous . While reading it i felt like the scenes are in motion and i could connect.There are people who love travelling but couldn’t afford it but your tricks are worth adapting.
    Looking forward to read about your next trip .
    Thank you

    Reply
  • naina

    this is what it takes to be a happy person. not everything you want comes to you easily you need to make your own path and find what you truly are.
    Inspiring lady.

    Reply
  • Bhavneet Kumar

    WoW, a truly inspiring story!! Being able to visit 40 countries and interacting with their culture, taking inspiration from their history and everyday life does seem a wonderful fairy tale experience. It shows, you prioritize your own thirst of travelling and learning even when faced with odds. Your words make it sound so simple; feels like you have it all planned out:)
    But, it’s definitely not that simple!!
    Your story could give courage to us commoners. It teaches to be passionate about dreams, willing to take risks and of course cracking your “comfort zone”.
    Good luck for all your future endeavors and I hope to assimilate some of these teachings in my life..

    Reply
  • Sonalika Pandey

    Life is much like travelling. You push your limits. And the best part is that the fun is in the troubles and problems you face in that period of time. You learn. And learning only expands. Making travelling your priority will never let you down.

    Reply
  • Tanya

    I love how you pointed out that budgeting is important, it seems like an obvious point but is usually overseen initially. Something about this blog made me put traveling on top of my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m excited to work on towards traveling myself.

    Reply
  • Tanya Pateriya

    I love how you pointed out that budgeting is important, it seems like an obvious point but is usually overseen initially. Something about this blog made me put traveling on top of my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m excited to work on towards traveling while working myself.

    Reply
  • naina

    It takes a special type of courage to travel all alone at such a young age. she is a true inspiration to every kid as well as to everyone who just want to explore the world. this is surely now in my bucket list to complete 40 countries under the age on 30.

    Reply
  • SALAJ KUMAR SINGH

    If you have a passion follow it be it travelling no matter how old are you because in the end you will realise that you just witnessed the gems of nature.

    Reply
  • vidhi

    The title of your blog is in itself so inspiring. Many of us see those posts on Facebook and live through those dreams through our laptop screens. Every big picture needs a plan and a brain to execute it well. Melbourne to Sweden has been a long journey but making a lifestyle is the best thing one can do. Prioritising our needs, wants, and desires that’s how we go. How well you shortlisted the points which everyone needs to take care of while believing in this dream, ”human mind is a pattern making machine”

    Reply
  • Rithika Sana

    You have given me some major travelling goals! Will definitely remember all the tips. What am I looking at? *Starts planning to go on a trip*

    Reply

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