Traveling and financial sacrifices
December 7, 2016
Traveling means adventure. Adventure inspires me and is a constant motivation to save money so I can keep going on more adventures. I don’t have a well-paid dream job. So if I want to travel I have to save money. I can only spend my money once, so that means I don’t buy clothes I don’t need and I don’t go out on expensive dinners. For me traveling is worth personal and financial sacrifices.
I want to spend money on experiences, rather then on needless stuff. I am mindful of spending money on physical items. ‘Experiential purchases’ (read traveling) tend to make us happier for two reasons. Great experiences are great at the moment they happen and they improve over time when we reminisce about them. And beside that experiences involve meeting new people, spending time with loved ones or learning new skills. And that also contributes to happiness.
Are these financial sacrifices hard? Sometimes, but I think they are worth it. Happiness is a how, not a what. It’s a mindset, not a destination. Happiness is enjoying all the small things, while chasing after the big ones. So that means that I enjoy the small things while saving money for my travels. I enjoy sunrises and sunsets. I enjoy the walks with my dogs in nature. And I take my time to enjoy these walks: happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences. When we neglect to appreciate these small moments, we rob them of their magic. It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them, specially when we realise they save us money for the big things we love, travel and adventure.
Saving money to travel the world isn’t that difficult. It’s also in the small things:
Stop eating out or use take aways and eat at home.
Stop meeting friends for dinner and instead invite them for a homecooked meal or a nice walk in nature.
Stop buying new clothes, be honest, you already have enough in your closet.
Stop upgrading your technologies, like iPhones and computers.
Stop buying magazines and books.
Stop buying needless stuff. Challenge yourself; do I need this or can I live without this? Most of the time, the answer is easy.
Stop booking hotels and try couchsurfing or Airbnb.
Choose the countries you visit wisely. If you want to go on a cheap citybreak, don’t choose an expensive place like Copenhagen, but explore a city in Eastern Europe.
Find new way of making money. Beside my job I write books, take on freelance projects and I started this travel blog. It brings me some extra money to travel and it keeps me so busy that I don’t have time to spend the money I make on useless things.
All these little changes and mindful spending of money lead to more travels and adventures. If it enables you to do what you love most, you realise it was not a real sacrifice at all. You are living the life you dreamed of. Work and play harder, or ‘work like a captain, play like a pirate’ became the motto that brought me to many beautiful places and adventures.