Travel is something that has been a part of my life for a long time. Not my entire life, but once I got a taste of travel, I was hooked.
Travel is something many people talk about and find exciting. Others find it scary or are simply uninterested. For some people, myself included, it was an obvious decision to live a life of travel. While the decision is more complicated for others due to factors out of their control (such as passport restrictions), for the most part, if you want it, a travel-oriented life is entirely possible.
Despite it being a possibility for many, it is still looked at as unreachable, or a dream or something only rich people can do. How people afford to travel seems to be a mystery to many.
Just this week I was chatting with a friend. When I asked if he had any big plans for the summer, he responded with “not all of us can get hooked up with whatever to allow us to jet set all over the world.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or be upset. This mindset that travel is so unreachable that you need to be “hooked up” in some way is what needs to change.
How do you afford to travel?
Once decide to live a life that’s travel-focused, both your own view of the world changes, and people’s view of you changes. Many others who travel a lot face the same kind stigma, particularly women. That either their parents pay for it or they have a sugar daddy. A more pleasant assumption is that you’re just rich in general. But it’s still an assumption nonetheless.
All these assumptions create this mindset that travel is a luxury, if you work hard you might get a week-long vacation once a year. Maybe.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
There are so many ways to implement more travel in your life. Working remotely is one way that I incorporate more travel. It doesn’t tie me down to a specific location, allowing me to work anywhere I want.
The key word there is work. Yes, I have an amazing time and check out new cities and countries more often than many do, but rarely when I travel am I on vacation. I’ll spend around three hours a day doing my more stable job, teaching online. Then I’ll spend a few more hours on my blog, answering emails, and be doing freelance work. It varies day to day depending on where I am (and my internet connection!) but I still need to get things done.
The fact of the matter is, yes, I’m travelling from place to place. But I’m just living my life in various places. On holidays you spend 1000+ dollars for a week that is activity after activity. A travel lifestyle still has some “boring” days. Spent hauled up in a cafe or hours on a bus. Not too far off from a commute on a train and stuck in an office. The time in between and the change of scenery is what keeps it exciting.
If you’re interested in a travel lifestyle, you must make it a priority. The initial change in lifestyle can be tricky. My reflection on my first 6 months as a digital nomad showed me that expectations don’t always meet reality. But I still don’t regret any of it.
You don’t need to get a sugar daddy, ask your parents, or have some kind of trust fund. A little bit of savings as a safety net to start out is smart. You will have to budget and get the hang of some travel planning and “hacks.” The resource page is a great place to start! Once you get on a role of getting continuous work and a taste for travel, there’ll be no stopping you and you’ll be able to afford to travel as well.
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