The lifestyle of a frequent traveler is something that seems out of reach for most people.
Many of you wonder how the hell I’m going to all these places. How is it possible to travel around foreign countries for months at a time, come home for a bit, and then hop on a plane again?
I can’t possibly have a job that allows that much time off? Traveling is expensive, how do I afford this? Don’t normal people have bills, leases, and responsibilities?!
What’s your secret?
My secret is that I’m not normal. It’s not normal to live the life I live.
But it’s not impossible. Anyone can do it.
But the reason so many people see this lifestyle as a fantasy is because it requires real courage to break free from the mold.
This lifestyle goes against everything we’ve been taught our entire lives.
We’re told to go to college, get a 9-5 job, climb the corporate ladder, buy a house, start a family, and then retire.
But once you jump on this bandwagon, it makes it much harder to really enjoy your twenties.
This is the time we’re finally done with school, have no responsibilities, and are eager for adventure.
So I chose to ignore what society expects us to do.
Instead I’m using the best years of my life to chop away at my bucket list.
I don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses, or worry that I’m “falling behind” my peers.
I know the path of travel is what makes me the happiest.
So I’m perfectly content living outside the lines.
These seven factors are the major reasons why I can travel the way I do.
1. Travel is my top priority.
It’s that simple. Making tons of money, being a big shot at a company, and driving a fancy car just are not things that are important to me. It seems more ideal to spend my youth jumping out of airplanes, hiking exotic volcanoes, and partying on yachts around the world; not my retirement. I’ve shuffled everything in my life around to make sure that my travel dreams don’t stay dreams for long. They become reality because they’re my top priority.
2. A HUGE factor in my travels is that I live at home.
When I was a flight attendant and was gone from my apartment three weeks out of the month, I realized how much money I could save if my mom would let me stay with her. Moving home has been the biggest reason why I’ve been able to do all the traveling I’ve done. Yes, I’m 27 years old and I live at home. But I don’t judge myself for that. I’m not locked into any year-long lease. I don’t spend hundreds of dollars a month on rent or utilities. I don’t have to worry about what to do with all my belongings because I know they’re safe and sound. And to be honest, I’m never around long enough to really feel like I live at home. I’m there because it allows me to come and go as I please. It’s an amazing thing.
*I know a lot of people don’t have this luxury. But if you have an option like this, it helps immensely. I’m entirely grateful to my amazing mother who let me come home and for putting up with my sh*t.
3. For years I didn't have a car.
Because I was constantly out of the country and not at home for a significant amount of time, I didn’t have a car. No need to spend money on car payments, gas, or insurance when you’re barely home to use a vehicle. I used Uber and Lyft to get around. Rideshare apps really did save me money in the long run.
4. I work jobs that allow me to travel.
If you’re making money while you travel, it sure makes it easy to sustain that travel lifestyle. When I was a flight attendant, I was flying around the world for free. When I worked at a hostel in Thailand, I received free housing, food, and alcohol. Now that I’m a tour guide, I’m getting paid good money while all my accommodation, transport, and activities on my tours are all covered. I’m spending little money while getting to do things that I’d normally pay for, for free. Jobs like this are not hard to find. You just have to look for them.
5. I don't have kids or pets.
I knew early on that I wanted to see the world, so I’ve waited on getting that perfect puppy or popping out a carbon copy. It’s so much easier to travel when you don’t have someone depending on you for survival. However, having kids or pets doesn’t make it impossible to travel. It’s just another obstacle to maneuver!
6. SkyScanner helps me find cheap flights.
It’s been my go-to app ever since I started traveling. I’ve rarely found plane tickets for cheaper.
7. Instead of making excuses when I see walls, I climb them.
This kind of ties in with number one on my list, but I wanted to reiterate it at the end here. If you want to travel, stop seeing obstacles as the end to your vacation. Things that are worth having are not always easy but are always worth it. Stop looking at all the extra steps and things you must do before going on vacation as stressors. They’re just part of the process. I don’t let long flight times stop me from getting on a plane. Most travel visas are quick and easy to get online. And I don’t let the potential overall price scare me from taking a trip. I always find solutions and ways to make things work. They always say the best things in life take work, and travel is no different. So maybe that epic Euro-trip may require some shuffling around, planning, and a few extra errands. But once you land on European soil, these things won’t even be a blip on your radar.
I guess the moral of my story is this:
When you stop seeing the bumps in the road as road blocks, and start seeing them as a simple obstacle course to navigate, you’ll realize that you can reach any of your dreams if they’re important enough.