People ask me how I can afford to travel so extensively. There’s three major things at play here:
1. I saved and saved since I have been working at age 14. I remember my dad saying that my paycheck goes into the bank and cash from babysitting can be spent. I ran home almost everyday after HS to babysit from 3-8pm. I was like a part-time mom. I also worked night shifts and weekends at a health club. I think the longest I did not work in my lifetime might have been two months.
2. Don’t spend: I had a TV but no channels, I cooked at home almost always bringing leftovers to work, did not own grown up toys like a play station, etc, buy second hand or hand me downs, even stopped going out to bars, if I go out has to be happy hour, don’t get my nails done, don’t drink coffee, etc. I carried my own water and snacks all the time. It really adds up and I if I buy new gear it should be on sale/discount. I don’t go to malls, I don’t shop for things I do not need. I never owned a home, I don't have kids. I don’t exchange xmas presents (the gift is chillin together). I feel that being “green” into the environment, you real do spend less.
People tell me they wish they had money to travel, but it really is priorities. If you have a job, you have money. How you CHOOSE to spend that money is up to YOU. Traveling was more important to me than having the sports channel available. It really is a state of mind.
3. I not only lived cheaply when I had a job, but I travel real cheap always. The flights I take are not friendly hours. I do rideshares online with strangers. I balance food out w/ trying to be healthy and try to get only what I need (so no candy or treats). Good gear at a reasonable price is needed, but I have yet to pay for a place to stay on this trip (besides camp fees) thanks to friends, couch surfing, friends of friends and even strangers. I also did 9 weeks of wwoofing; they provide room and board in exchange for work, which helps. But all that said, u have to be ok w/ roughin it, not showering much, sleeping wherever, and carrying your bags. You have to be open, flexible, and adaptable. I love traveling this way as you really meet people. I don’t like hostels, which I use to travel vs hotels back in the day.
All this has brought me to the point in my life that I never thought was possible to reach. I have developed and grown so much and the PEOPLE on this trip have made this all possible. If i did not travel this way I would not have met so many rad people. This time I have given myself TIME, I am connected to nature and see it in a new way; it's an extra sense. It's not just luck; it really is a state of mind. Be open and kind and you will attract those who are open and kind. Pretty simple to me :)