“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
I only recently started making travel my #1 goal over the past few years. Without planning to do so, my pattern has been to come back home (United States) for 6-9 months out of the year, save up enough money to buy a one-way ticket to whatever destination I choose, and be gone for months at a time on an open-ended trip. This system, although still having a few flaws, has been working out great for me! It gives me the opportunity to have sort of a “base” to go back to and reorganize my life/goals. It also gives me the chance to see family and friends, and enjoy time feeling a little more grounded.
Currently, I’m living in San Diego where I’ve been for about a year and a half. Although many travelers tend to stay “on the road” for much longer periods of time before coming home, I find that it’s much more difficult to leave again after coming home from those long trips, because it can become very easy to settle in and get a little too comfy!
Having to find a new apartment and job can take a while to get squared away, and always ends up being more expensive than what’s been budgeted. Additionally, every time I’ve come back from a big trip, it becomes more and more difficult to stay motivated to find a new job and “work, work, work” to make money to leave again. It’s sort of a double edged sword.
What can I say, once you get bit by the travel bug, there’s no turning back. My goal is always to save a decent amount before leaving, but also to constantly be on the look out for ways to make money along the way to sustain myself while traveling if I decide to be “on the road” longer than anticipated. That being said, traveling isn’t always relaxing on the beach with a pina colada and a “hakuna matata” mindset, (at least for me and many other young backpackers on a budget.)
Most people take short vacations so that they can completely unwind, relax, and just disappear for a week or 2 in an abyss of no mind, no obligations, and have the security of a job and a home to come back to. It’s a little different for me. I strive to make traveling a lifestyle. More than just a lifestyle – I strive to make travel my life. I have so much curiosity about different countries, religions, cultures, food.. everything that this world has to offer, I want to see!
Here’s the number one thing people ask as I aforementioned in my previous post,”how do you afford it?” Well, it can be difficult, but also sort of exciting. I’ve learned to budget and save; i.e. cooking at home, going out less, doing less touristy/pricy activities. While traveling, I try and live as if I’m a local (to an extent; I still go out and eat and pay for excursions from time to time), spending as little as possible apart from transportation/food.
This can be easier said than done – but there are many websites and hosts who are offering work exchange programs for accommodations and/or food. This basically means that you work (usually pretty minimally) in exchange for a free place to stay, which most of the time even includes meals. The work and the type of exchange program varies extensively.
These are just a few of the options for the type of work that you can do whilst traveling. There are many job boards where you can find actual paying jobs, but if you’re just looking to coast and have the freedom to explore, these are a few recommendations.
Keep in touch and make sure to follow me to see my next adventure!
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
The Traveling Yogi