How I Afford Travel
Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my funding for my travels. It seems to be quite the hot topic! And with good reason. In a day and age when money is tight, jobs are scarce and cost of living is astronomical how on earth can I afford to travel so much?
I don’t have a trust fund. No one died and left me money. I didn’t win the lottery.
There was no easy way into this lifestyle for me. The short answer is: I worked.
Knowing I wanted to be able to travel throughout my life I went to University where I earned an education. During school I usually held down more than one job to support myself. I chose a career path that both appealed to me and I knew could be lucrative if I turned out to be any good at it. I relentlessly pursued knowledge and skill for that career path and was eventually offered a great job making great money.
And then the real work began. I threw myself into my career. I frequently worked 60-80 hour weeks. I’d be lying if I said I scrimped and saved every spare penny but I never lived extravagantly. For seven years I lived in a very modest home that cost very little to rent. (A miracle find in my VERY expensive Northern California city). Some might have called my place a dump, in fact, I’m sure some did. It was old, run down and had pink Formica counter tops from the 60’s. But I made it my space comfortable and livable. I bought a car that I enjoyed driving that was also known to have a great resale value-because I knew I’d be selling it later to travel. I paid off my debts and began to save.
I saved for seven years. I bought the necessities for life and watched my nest egg grow and grow until it reached $50,000US.
And now I’m traveling on that money.
Sure there are other ways of becoming a traveler. People have left home with a heck of a lot less on their backs and in their bank accounts than me. I’ve met people who have traveled for months on end with a daypack and just $20. It’s possible. If you want to travel immediately you could try wwoofing or working your way around the globe as a waiter/waitress or crop picker or sail the world as yacht crew or a deck hand on a sailboat. But my path was to work.
Whatever your path to travel, make it a priority. Because travel is one of those things in life most people put off, saying “someday…” If you don’t prioritize it travel slips away, just like the years.