Often times I have been asked, how can you afford to travel so much? Wow, you have been to a lot of places, how does your work allow you to travel so much? And the list of questions goes on. As I was reading a blog that I stumbled upon “How to Travel the World When You’re Broke (Yes, It’s Really Possible”, a quote he said really jumped off the page for me:
[su_quote]”If travel is not a priority for you, you will always find some other things to spend money on and you’ll never have ‘enough’ money to travel. I never have enough money to go shopping or buy a new electronic gadget because I spend my money on travel, so there isn’t much left over for non-priority expenses. Everything I do is focused on having more money for travel (and other things I love like sushi, movies, and nice dinners)!” [/su_quote]
This quote pretty much describes me in a nutshell. I chose this lifestyle of traveling and to do as much as I can and as often as I can. Thankfully, I do have an amazing job that allows me to take the time off and honestly if I didn’t I would be completely burnt out from work.
There are many reasons why I chose this lifestyle. Honestly, it helped growing up in a military household and having family all over the world, however I think the biggest influence in travel came from my mother. When I was 13 years of age, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She had a long and extensive battle with this disease until she passed away a few months after my high school graduation. My mother was an adventurous person by nature (where I think I may have gotten my travel bug from). She traveled solo all over the world and encouraged me to travel as much as possible. We often took trips to Korea to visit family and I have been blessed to be able to say I can travel. When my mother passed away, it really opened up my eyes to how short life really is.
Although I hate to explain why I can afford to travel so much (but unfortunately I feel that I have to in order to clarify to people that give me the evil eye when I mention the places I have been to), I have been fortunate enough to have a job where we do not accrue sick leave. Instead my job provides us with personal time off which is a combination of vacation time and sick leave, which means I can use my time as I want to and more time for me to visit the world. It can be a little upsetting with people get mad because I can travel as much as I can. However, for me travel is a PRIORITY! I repeat, travel is a priority. The reasons I can do so are very simple:
- I am single and I do not have to worry about a partner to travel with and the expenses of paying for another person to travel with me. (Honestly, having someone else to split the bills with can make the trip much affordable, but other expenses may pop up instead)
- Since I am single, I do not have to worry about making sure my plans match with a person to travel with, I am going to go to a location I want to solo or not.
- I choose not to pay for cable, to buy that brand new car, to buy a house, and my list of expenses of things I choose not to have my in life because of my need to TRAVEL!
- The choices we make are the ones that will make or break what we want to achieve in life. For example, if you want that new job, you have to work hard to make that happen. If you want to graduate from college, you have to make sure your grades are up. If you want to travel, you have to create a budget or cut out the things that you want but not necessarily need to make travel happen. I set aside $50 or more each paycheck to save toward travel expenses, which can save me a range from $1300 to $2600 a year, sometimes more if I am able to.
- Additionally, I prefer to travel cheap, even if it means staying in a not so extravagant hotel, because, that allows me to spend money on other things like excursions, souvenirs, food, and so much more.
Not only is travel a priority for me, it is a form of therapy for me as well. Traveling gives me the thrill of excitement, takes my mind off of stressful things that happen at work or home, and has been there when no one can or when I needed it most. Travel provides the perfect distraction for things that can be overwhelming but it also help restore balance by allowing myself to self-assess my life. Finally, travel has no judgement and opens up your mind and opportunities that you can’t get anywhere else in the world (literally).