For anyone who travels for an extended period of time this has to be hands down the most annoying question. “Hey mate, how do you afford to travel”? I honestly feel like replying with a “How do you afford to go out every weekend and buy those designer brand clothes”? I feel like at that point we may get the same mutual answer ‘WORK’.
Travel to me is honestly like something you have to work hard for. The harder you work the more comfortable you can travel or for that extended period of time. The same applies for anything really. It’s up to you to set your own goals and work as hard as you can, then you can buy anything you may desire. I mean your stock standard employee does their 9-5 job each day and that is fine with them to receive a pay check fortnightly for the same total and almost have this become like a routine. I’ve always had this desire to achieve far beyond this point. It is limiting when you take that 9-5 and sign your life away with small benefits and limited holidays.
I have been able to fund travel through nothing but hard work and juggling a handful of jobs at once. No hand outs from mummy and daddy like others who manage to fund such extravagant trips abroad where you wonder how did a 18 year old afford that $20,000 trip? Look I am not trying to toot my own horn, but anyone is capable of working hard although it just comes down to those motivating factors, desire and determination to make it all happen. Working the 9-5 just doesn’t cut it for what I want to do. I have never signed a contract, and I have never wanted to feel like I am locked down. I prefer to work for several companies on a causal basis where the money is great and its ever changing. Hence I am not sitting in an office looking at a computer screen all day.
What excuses do I honestly have not to work my butt off? All the odds are against me. I am young and have this determination to really make something of the time I have. And many other people feel the same way. That’s why people like me can not sit back, relax and settle for a normal job – we need more.
I enjoyed working 7am – 4pm teaching at school or on the construction site, then off to manage an exclusive event. Finally tuck into bed around 2am, just to get back up and do it again the next day. Then there are weekends… which don’t exist for people like me. For your stock standard employee, weekends are for letting off steam and spending some money. I tend to work 6-7 days a week. You may disagree with those hours, but when you can afford travel through hard work, every day feels like a weekend. Why have two days a week to relax, when you can have weeks at a time after putting in the hard yards. My belief is through hard work from a young age you can always fund your dreams, reach your short and long-term goals and tick off your bucket list.
When people ask the question “How do you afford it?”, I want to reply in the nicest way possible – “Are you thinking about the words that are coming out of you mouth?” Think about the bigger picture. I’ll break it down for you. When I am home working, there are some things I need to buy, but once I am travelling, these become irrelevant and the money stays in my pocket.
Here are the hard facts:
I don’t have to pay …
- Rent, bond or mortgage
- Water, electricity, gas and internet bills
- Phone contract for that Iphone 6 ($100+ a month)
- Private health insurance ($110+ a month)
- A car, the services, accessories, petrol
- Car insurance ($500+ a year)
- I don’t buy designer brand clothes. I prefer picking up the bargains at store like Cotton on. Who honestly knows these days the clothes all look the same.
For a quick example, my “rent” for the month in Vietnam, staying in nice hotels with breakfast included was $250 AUD total. As opposed to the average minimum rent in Sydney for $1200 AUD a month.
Once you start considering the amount of money you are spending living in your country day-by-day, it’s quite easy to see where the savings could be made if you cut out some unnecessary items and worked a little bit harder to get overseas. A cheap living cost allows for your money to go much further and for some this allows them to place more money into their big business ideas or travels.
What I do pay for when travelling:
- Travel insurance
- Flights, trains, boats, buses, motorbike ride
- Hotels, resorts, hostels and guest houses
- Global cuisines
- Life experiences
Do you see the difference here? Once you leave to venture out on that extended travel all you’re paying for are new experiences that offers so much more than handing over your hard earned money to phone companies or wanky real estate agents.
Most people dream of travel and adventure, but never find the “time,” and to you I say, poor excuse. Most people say to me, “You’re so lucky”, but I don’t find any luck in working hard and prioritising my dreams. Find that motivation to not settle for that 9-5, and search for more opportunities. I guarantee if you work hard and limit spending on daily Starbucks, online shopping or new cars, the savings will quickly grow. Working 7 days a week doesn’t give you much time to spend money shopping or going to the pub. You are literally working or sleeping, and weirdly for me, there is something extremely satisfying about this.
I am not saying it’s easy. It’s definitely a challenge at times, but once you find your groove you just want more and more. You could ask some of my employers about the hours I have put into be able to fund my travels. Sometimes I reflect and think how the hell did I manage that lifestyle, but I just did! Motivation, determination and enthusiasm will always get you a long way. And a combination of the three and a desire to travel will get you out into the world that much sooner.