A lot has changed in the past few months or should I say drastically changed as I moved out of Denver and finally decided to take up traveling. The trajectory of the opinions of people and the vibes of the places I would come across, I was crowned with all the delusional thoughts, perhaps any novice traveler would have. Little did I know how the changes in the winds would welcome me. After questioning myself over and over again if meeting new people, exploring the unseen, tasting the unknown cuisine, being lost amongst foreign languages could possibly be good, I packed down my bags to finally fly overseas.
In vain the journey to where I am today is not as easy as it perhaps looks like. Just reminiscing the days when the entire struggle would come down to this point, I am overwhelmed as I pen down my thoughts. I was petrified to even think if my plan would work out as I was supposing it to be. Sure, the days and nights were longer, friends I did not know well before becoming a support system.
It all started when I decided to leave behind my fears and embrace the challenges and changes for this one particular dream of holding a plane ticket to walk on roads and lanes I have never walked before and stared at the beautiful night sky from a very distant latitude.
Saving money is creativity. The popular myth claims traveling to be expensive and not affordable for the normal people. There was a time when I perceived the same. After reading a myriad of articles, I selected out the most practical tips that I could actually incorporate in my daily schedule. For a fact, I used to be horrible at saving money.
With my very average income, I managed to save enough in 12 months. The formula is very simple- one that is highly adaptable. After all, that is why I could implement it.
This is quite definitely the hardest thing I had to do because every time I found myself spending unnecessarily, I was scared to check my bank balance. That is where all the stress starts.
A fine evening on a pretty good weekend I decided to sit down and track what my finances looked like. It was the only powerful way I found, how I could piss away every month on the random expenditure totally unnecessary. I wrote down everything starting from how much I spent on milk to entertainment. It isn’t an easy task at all especially when I got the reality check! That is where the wine helped me that particular evening.
“There is a lot of crap you have in there”, said my friends. “Of course not”, is what I replied every time. Each and every item in my house and garage has a deeper emotional connection, owing to which I could never get rid of them. While I was engrossed in cutting down my livelihood budget, it dawned upon me, “If I could break from the emotional ties of these materialistic items, there is some good money I can make out of it”. This is when I took a long hard look at my car and decided to sell it. I bought a folding bicycle with the handsome amount of cash from my junk car. I canceled my auto insurance and no longer needed to buy gas. Public transport has so far been so good for me.
This is how my habit of taking the bus or walking to work became a necessity out of sheer habit. I even made it a habit to share a cab, something I had previously not done. I started cooking meals and resisted all the urges to eat out or go for a fine dining. I was constantly driven by the big picture of flying to a foreign land. Cooking is fun and it sure did put a decent $250 every week in my pocket. I reached a point where I needed no more luxury than my earplugs and my playlist. The music carries me away and there is no other lavishness I would rather desire.
Managing money is a skill (which does not matter to most of us). To leverage something as wonderful as waking up in a strange land a year later, saving up enough money was becoming tougher by the day. The commitment was real and hard for me. Nobody else was out there to make it easy for me. It was my responsibility all along the way. Just don’t expect the journey prior to the actual journey to be an easy one. Though it is ALL possible!
All throughout last year, I budgeted ruthlessly. Hitting the target seemed like “never a reality, always a dream” a year ago. And now a year later it made me stronger what once shook the very core of me. I have left behind a lot, the things which could have stayed with me but now aren’t. But as sit on this plane writing this very piece, the sky smiles at me, lazing its glory, asking me “Where to next?”