How I Saved To Travel
“Stephanie, you’re so lucky. How do you afford to travel for so long?”
Well first off, I don’t blame anyone for being curious as to how I made this possible. The answer is very simple, but I have to clear the air. I am not lucky. I didn’t get plane tickets handed to me. I didn’t win the lottery. I didn’t stumble upon a great opportunity. I quit making excuses and I worked my ass off for all of this. I’ve been planning on traveling the world since high school, but first I had to accomplish goal one; college. After graduation, it was time to put it all into action. It was something I truly wanted and I refused to let anyone get in the way of that including myself. In doing so I sacrificed everything I loved to be able to do what I believed was something I needed to do. I had to try.
Dropping everything isn’t easy and I understand why everyone can’t. I left behind my beautiful dog, my family, friends, a caring boyfriend, opportunities to better my career, and a chance to secure my future comfortably. Even though I have not been in a kitchen for almost two years, missed out on many occasions, and coming to terms that the one person I thought would always be there for me would suddenly become a stranger, I can now say it was all worth it and this is how I did it.
1. I let go my my pride.
This was probably the hardest thing I had to do. After being independent for so long, I asked mommy and daddy for help. Graduated at 25, I moved back to Alaska to live in my parent’s house. Though they didn’t agree that I should travel, they still supported this journey. If it weren’t for my parents being so helpful and generous I wouldn’t have been able to save as quickly as I did, let alone be where I’m at right now. (Perth, Australia)
2. I became vulnerable.
Along with letting go of your pride, I know it’s a terrible feeling being vulnerable. The great thing about traveling is the amazing people you meet along the way or seeing family you haven’t seen in years. I say this because while you’re out there in the world alone, those are the people who will help you the most when you’re in a rut or have no place to go. I can’t even begin to come up with the words to express my gratitude to the people who made sure I was okay, who put a roof over my head, and food in my stomach. It’s amazing who you’ll come across, it makes you believe that there really is good people out there in this world.
3. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
The 5 P’s: The one thing my professor pounded into my head that actually stuck to my brain. After this specific lecture, I’ve applied this concept to about every aspect in my life, especially my goals. When traveling abroad for so long, it’s very important to do as much research as possible. Not only will this save you from having big struggles along the way, but it will also help you keep money in your pockets.
This is where research is important. You need to figure out how much money you could live off per day depending on what country you wanted to go to and for how long. Once you figured this out, the math will help you estimate how much money you should take with you. When you start traveling, it’s important to stick to budget. Some days you spend more and some days you spend less, eventually it will even out, but never get carried away.
5. Saved saved saved.
When I say this, I literally mean I saved. I saved every cent I made and every penny I picked up from the ground. I stopped buying things I wanted and only bought things I absolutely needed. I rationalized the price of things; a $20.00 shirt was a day of accommodation and that $300.00 pair of boots was a plane ticket. I didn’t go shopping for a year or go out as much as I used to because finding cute clothes in Europe and drinking a cocktail on an island somewhere sounded a lot better then doing it at home.
6. Be willing to work overseas.
If you want to continue traveling for a long time you have to figure out ways to supplement your bank account. Eventually your money is going to run out and if you’re going to continue to travel sometimes you have to pick up jobs abroad. The more open minded you are, the more opportunities of making more money for your expensive hobby will open up for you. Look into working holiday visas, teach english around the world, nanny for a family, become a scuba diving instructor, or do some farm work. It’s interesting what types of work you’ll find out there.