Saturday the ninth of April was the first day of my current transient life and whilst I don’t have a trust fund to fall back on and though I shared a room my last two months in London to save money, I definitely don’t have as much as I planned having (current study took some of that money).
Whilst this is the honest truth, it’s still been two months of travel, a life some look at from afar and feel jealous of. This especially seems interesting considering I didn’t make a ton of money in the last few years and had several months each year where I didn’t work…so how am I doing this?
It’s simple. If you want something, really want it, you’ll make it happen. It’s truth because if you strive towards something and then can make it happen you just will. So those oft cheap dinners with friends or Saturday nights spending no money on alcohol might seem like a huge ask, but how will you feel when you are standing in Iceland on a Tuesday thinking about friends who are in offices working for their next paycheck.
Sure, I’m making this too simple. There are bills to pay that keep coming in. But, do you cook your meals or buy lunch every day? Do you resist sales or add to your possession collection? Do you find ways to hang out with people that doesn’t cost a huge amount of money (going to gigs or nightclubs with door entries all the time I’m looking at you)?
If you sit down and calculate the cost, not just of the plane ticket and hotels/motels/campgrounds. It’s about your daily spending, if you’re on a budget you have to keep account of the money you can spend each day. There is literally nothing worse then running out of money, having your hostel paid for and knowing you have another week before your flight home and you only have twenty dollars in your wallet to feed yourself (this actually happened to me).
If you want to go to New York on a shopping trip then you’ll need twice the money to spend then if you go to New York to see and experience the city. Calculating the cost before I even book the flights is one of the ways I can travel for a weeks at a time and go more then one place. It’s an essential element most people just think of in one bulk amount of money instead of breaking it down into the daily spend limit.
Okay, so you have the savings together, but you have a really good job you just know you can’t leave for a month or two at a time because that’s just not done or the culture and if you even ask they’ll think you’re lazy. When you go to bed at night do you feel fully satisfied with this job? When you think of your life, is it as full as you want it to be? If it is, then maybe it’s not the right time to go. If it’s not, if you still want to get on a plane, see new sights and experience new things then the job isn’t worth it.
Again, it sounds too simple, just throw your job in and book that trip…what will you do when you get home? The thing is, travel will make you a more interesting person. You’ll be better at your job, more capable of dealing with a wide variety of people, less prone to stressing over the small stuff because travel doesn’t pay attention to small stuff. It doesn’t care if you hate loud people, you’ll find yourself sitting next to someone like that. It doesn’t care about how much you hate being late…your plane will probably be delayed (at least once, expect that!).
This doesn’t have to be complicated or hard to make possible for you though it does take work that is so worth it when you’re connecting with people you would never have imagined meeting without getting on a plane. You’ll find yourself tested in ways you never would be if you stay and most of all, once you get out there, you’ll see the world is amazing and all those compromises will make that Tuesday in Iceland feel even better.