Disclosure: There's a good chance this post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through my blog helps me stay on the road! So, thank you!(Last Updated On: February 20, 2018)
Many people ask me how I can afford to travel. “What’s your secret?” they ask, as if I’d say I actually had a money tree growing in my backyard all along to which they would reply, ‘ahh, it all makes sense now.’ I have a lot of secrets, and most of them involve giving up some of the everyday pleasures that a lot of people don’t even consider foregoing. But anyway, this post is not really about that. Over my years traveling I have often yearned for certain pleasures of a normal career-centered life, of the kind of life people live in one place making a stable salary from the same job, or the things I saw my friends in London, LA, and Sydney doing.
It’s not that I don’t work, I just work in different places. Over the past three years I lived and worked in Sydney (on a working holiday visa), London, a small town in Western Australia, and Croatia, saving the entire time to afford to travel, and often having small temporary moments of wishing to be a normal non-nomadic human. But, these are always followed quickly by the memory that my life is awesome and although I’m a super-budget traveler most of the time, I believe these are the years for doing this type of thing.
Anyway, below I have listed out some of those ‘wishing to be a normal non-nomadic human’ moments; these are real moments I have had where I legitimately longed for something for a moment that I probably could have had if I wasn’t saving to travel (Read more on how I afford to travel here!). Slash this is a list of luxuries I will really look forward to when I do settle down and make actual money (if that ever happens). Anyway, here we go:
Table of Contents
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Getting a Membership at a Pilates and Spin Studio or Nice Gym
Seriously, do you guys have any idea how much I love spin?!? It’s my favorite workout in the world. I love all organized workouts really – gym classes, pilates, zumba, yoga, etc. I have done free trials and introductory offers at like, every gym within 5 miles of anywhere I have ever lived, and try to still skim a few free classes here and there at home when I know a few people at a gym. I’ve done many a free week at gyms when I can as well, and I feel like a freeloader sometimes but hey, what can you do? My reality is going on runs, bike rides if I can get a bike, swimming in the ocean or local pools, doing online yoga classes, or using free workout apps while laying on a towel in the park to stay fit. It’s not bad, but damn do I miss spin!
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Buying All Sorts of Clothes, Cute Boots, Jewelry, & Outfits for All the Seasons, and Grow My Wardrobe, at Nice Shops.
I remember wandering through some shops while traveling and laying my eyes on a pair of REALLY CUTE ankle boots. Like, really cute. I needed them. But then I remembered that all I had was a backpack and that it was summer. Damn it, ankle boots, why don’t you make sense?! Although I’m pretty bad about shopping sometimes, I am still as frugal as it gets and never buy anything that I can’t use on the road. I honestly dream of the day when I can have a super cute wardrobe, with different clothes and outfits for each season and ankle boots for every occasion. But right now, only practical articles make sense.
I honestly shop at garage sales most of the time. I dream of the day when I can walk into a shop like free people or LF or a surf shop or something like that, and be able to wander around and browse with the actual possibility of buying something. These days I still wander around these shops, chuckle wide-eyed at the prices, and leave when my lust for the clothes becomes too overwhelming.
Chobe NP, Botswana
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Going to Brunch Every Weekend
I LOVE BRUNCH. Let me just put that out there. Brunch, to me, is one of America’s best cultural activities (okay maybe I shouldn’t go that far but…). Bottomless mimosas and make-your-own-bloody-mary bars are my absolute jam. There’s nothing better to wake up to after a night out than to put on a cute romper and keep drinking with your friends. BUT, that being said, brunch is not exactly the most affordable thing in the world, and is therefore something I mustn’t do in excess if I want to stay on the road. I can’t wait for when I grow up (lol) and can do brunch on the reg, but right now… nah.
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Going Out for $15 Drinks with my Friends
For me, ‘let’s go get drinks!’ is not really a thing (unless its some crazy happy hour in which case I am in :P) . But really, ‘grabbing a few drinks’ is one of the most costly things you can do these days. One drink turns into five into ten and all of a sudden you have spent the amount of money that a flight costs on one night out. I dream of the day that a $15 cocktail ain’t no thang for me, but right now it really is…. I could survive a whole day traveling on that much!
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Buying Amazing Art and Decor for my Own Home
Sometimes I literally look at incredible art and home furnishings and consider buying them for the home/apartment that maybe, one day, I will own. I consider possibly building up a little collection of art from my travels, and can hardly resist certain pieces that I really like. BUT THEN, I slap myself in the face and move on with my life. It would be awesome to decorate a home and buy amazing things for it. But my reality is that these things may sit there for 10 years (20?) and that that money is much better saved. My room at home is literally still the way I decorated it in 6th grade, which is kindof embarrassing but like, I’m not going to spend more money on it. Decorations can wait.. I would rather have a bland room and see the world! Plus, home decor and art can actually be unreal expensive (Hayyyy ohhh, another flight?)
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Owning a Cool Fancy Car
I will probably drive my 2008 Nissan until the day I die. Hell, I’m not even home to drive it most of the time. This one kindof goes without saying, but having a nice car is the absolute least of my worries if I want to travel. If it gets you from A to B, you’re golden.
Royal NP in Sydney, Australia
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Using Nice Brand Name Makeup
I love walking through Sephora and Mac and pretending to consider buying their outrageously priced products. I would love makeup from these places, but I actually own all CVS (the local drugstore) makeup that my mum had coupons for. I honestly hardly even wear much makeup on the road, and I never travel with eyeshadow or other fancy products like primer or lipstick . I only have BB cream, mascara, bronzer, eyeliner…. and that’s basically it. Maybe some face powder. Nice makeup is irrelevant when you want to see the world… hell, to me, its irrelevant anyways. One day I would like to indulge in some nice products, and build a little collection and learn how to be a real girl and do nice eyeshadow and stuff. But, for now, I’m ok looking like a boy most of the time 😉
Now I Afford to Travel: Not Maintaining my Hair, Nails, and Other Luxurious Things.
The only time I ever get my hair cut or nails done is when I come home from a long time abroad and my mum sends me to the salon because I look like a homeless person. Or if I am in Southeast Asia and it costs less than $4. But, that’s it. One pedicure or manicure is still usually embarrassingly evident at the ends of my nails months later, and my hair becomes stringy and gross until maybe a friend helps me out with a trim. But honestly, I don’t really care for these things right now. I plan one day to have perfectly maintained hair and nails, but I’m gonna let them go wild until then.
And after all this – yep, I’m still broke!! But I have saved up enough through my different jobs abroad and through a couple great perks in my life (read more here, like working for a travel company and family in the airlines) that I can currently maintain this lifestyle. So… I do.
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