“How are you affording all of this?”
I’ve been traveling the world on and off for a couple years now, and I get asked this question on the daily: “How are you affording all of this?”
People see me spending months away from the USA as though it’s either crazy, or impossible.
The sad thing is, we come from one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We come from a place where the tagline is ‘land of the free’, and yet, most of the people I know live their lives in a conditioned box, working their lives away, only to spend their money on stress-relieving outlets that help them forget about their money-motivated lives. (Where is the freedom in that?)
Most of the people I know are working decent jobs. They’re making good money, have a solid roof over their heads, and have plenty of free time.
So where did this lack based mentality come from?
The bottom line is this: if you want to travel the world, you can. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, your age, the color of your skin, or your gender. All that matters is that you commit to creating a change in your life, taking a risk, and leaping out into the unknown.
Coming from my own personal experience, here are my top tips to help you trust, leap, and go experience a new part of the world.
The primary, and most important thing for you to do, is to trust that everything will work out. This is easier said than done. It takes getting out of your own way – – meaning putting your bullshit stories and pre-conditioned ideas to the side in order to move into the unknown.
To have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.
You’re going to go somewhere you’ve never gone. You’ll meet people you’ve never met. And you’ll do things you never imagined you could possibly do. As amazing as this might sound, it also sounds terrifying.
There will be moments when you’re traveling where you will be scared shitless. Where you will miss home. Where you will want to go back to everything you know. So the most important thing for you to do in moments like these, is to remember that – hey; you’ve somehow made it all this way. And you’ll somehow make it the rest of the way.
First, it’s important to get clear about what it is you’re wanting to gain from your experience. I always tell people not to travel simply to travel… Travel to gain something. Sightseeing and selfies are only entertaining for so long, and you can only lay by so many pools drinking cocktails before you start to feel purposeless and unfulfilled.
Don’t travel “just to travel”. Wherever you go – go with purpose.
Maybe you’re interested in learning massage? Go to Thailand and do a Thai massage course. Maybe you’re interested in deepening your yoga practice? Find a yoga retreat in a place that you’ve been eager to visit. For me, this year was all about surfing and scuba diving — which brought me to Bali and then Costa Rica for 3 months. I never got bored, I learned two new skills that left me grinning ear to ear every single day, and best of all, I cultivated deep, meaningful relationships with the people around me.
3. Get Creative
Now that you’ve become clear about what you want, it’s time to get creative about how to achieve it. You don’t have to have to be a millionaire to travel the world. You simply have to be creative and think outside of the box. That yoga retreat you were interested in attending? Reach out to the coordinator and see if there is a work/trade option for a discount. The dive course you wanted to take? Reach out to them and see if you can offer them your energy for an exchange. You’d be surprised about how many times I have done this and received an enthusiastic ‘yes!’. Often times, people need help, and are willing and able to offer something for a discount or even free in exchange for your skills.
An easy way to find people who need your help is using a platform like Workaway or YogaTrade. These platforms connect you with individuals all over the world who are looking for help with their business. Through YogaTrade, I’ve been able to teach yoga at a boutique hotel in Bali, at a popular surf hostel in Sri Lanka, and at a permaculture farm in the south of Costa Rica. Typically the deal with these volunteer/trade positions is free accommodation and meals in exchange for your work.
Every deal is different, depending on what your ‘host’ is looking for, but it’s (in my opinion) the very best way to travel on a minimal budget, while experiencing an authentic, local experience at the same time.
My last piece of advice for you is simply to go for it! Quit the job, dump the toxic boyfriend, change up your life if you’re not currently satisfied and make the leap of faith into the unknown. If people think you’re crazy, then you know you’re on the right track.