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Is Travel Too Expensive?

“Trust fund kid travels to exotic location.” “How my parents paid for my travels.” “Too rich to work, so I travel!”You’ve seen the headlines. Facebook newsfeeds are flooded with article after group post after article suggesting that only the super wealthy can travel; that in order to see the world you must be pretty special.

The reality is: none of this is true, if you know what you’re doing.  

I have been traveling for the past seven months. I don’t make any more money than the average American and I certainly don’t have familial help to fund my adventures. Still, I have been to 10 different countries and over 20 different cities. I’ve stayed in beautiful homes, tasted delicious cuisines and met the most incredible people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing – all while getting ready for graduate school and running my company. My mom says “I’m living everyone’s dream life,” and many of my friends and acquaintances scoff at my photos. They believe I have something they don’t. The only thing I did differently was to make the decision to leave in the first place.

So, how am I here? I have three loyal digital marketing clients that I work for from my computer. I have never asked for permission to leave the country. The travel photos I take are mostly from nights out, and I stay in price efficient accommodations, with friends I meet along the way, through volunteer programs, or coliving.com. Of course, if you do have more money to spend, Airbnb is always a fantastic go-to.

The reality is most countries, outside of your home country, are less expensive than you think. I have found that it’s easier to save money while out of the USA than while living in it.

I use tools like Skyscanner to find the cheapest airports to fly into different cities and take the train when I can. If I plan on staying someplace for more than a couple of days, I meal prep and rent a bicycle or scooter for transportation. To meet people, I use Eventbrite to find interesting events in my area. I ask my friends if they have friends in the cities I’m going to, and I always check out cool museums or walking tours (usually free or very inexpensive).

When I can, I volunteer. There are plenty of programs all over Europe that are in need of good people who are willing to spend a month or more helping them out. They are easy to find through a simple Google search. If you’re not interested in that, the World Wide Organization of Organic Farms (WWOOF) offers accommodations all over the world at which you can work in exchange for your stay. This can be anything from making wine in Italy to gardening in Bali.

Looking for a digital marketing job? Facebook groups are full of them – especially location specific groups like “Bali Digital Nomads,” and “Singapore Expats.”

Being rich and traveling do not necessarily go hand in hand. Sure, you can save up for a year and travel for a week to an all-inclusive resort, but it’s not quite the same! The fun is within the adventure. To live a nomadic lifestyle is finding interesting places to stay and surprising yourself while doing it, meeting fellow travelers who are doing the same and most importantly, challenging yourself. It’s not always easy, but when you are in it, you learn more about yourself than you can imagine.

Go ahead. Take the leap! You don’t have to be a trust fund kid to do it.

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