©2018 by The Great Escape - Australia

BUT HOW CAN YOU AFFORD TO TRAVEL SO MUCH?

March 2, 2019

(Or the slightly more catty "Wouldn't it be nice if we could all afford to travel like that" 😉)

 

I've been travelling since I was 19. First on my own, then with a partner, and now with a family. In the 16 years since I'd guesstimate I've been travelling in some way for at least 10 of those years.

 

So I hear this question rather a lot. I've been asked it my entire adult life. And I find it a little odd. Because nobody goes around asking questions like "How do you afford that new car", or the big screen tv, or the dinners out, or the beer you drink, or the latest smart phone, or even the rent or mortgage repayments.

 

People don't ask about those things because society tells us that these are 'normal' things to spend your money on.

 

But we pay for travel the same way that every else pays for the things that they feel they'd like to spend their money on - by working and saving for it. And when we do travel, we dont blow $8k on a week long family holiday. We've always made travel a lifestyle - working as we go so we're able to afford not only to travel, but to save as well. (Yes, we came back from 3 years travelling around Australia with more money than when we left)

 

We've never bought a new car. Nor the latest model of smart phone. We don't buy tons of clothes, we've never had a huge TV, we rarely eat out, and we don't drink very much. We buy second hand wherever possible, and we eat healthily but frugally. A takeaway coffee is a treat, not a daily event. As is a meal out, or a pizza delivery.

 

We both chose professions that allow us to work flexibly, and that pay a decent wage. (A Carpenter and a Registered Nurse) We survived years of low incomes to become qualified in those professions (but still managed to travel as well - I studied in Denmark for part of my degree, and Nathan came with me on a working holiday visa) But we're also both willing take whatever jobs are available in order to bring the money in - over the years we've cleaned toilets, worked in factories and on farms, picked fruit, pulled beers, and worked in call centres to name a few.

 

When we're both working wherever possible we live off one wage, and save the entirety of the other one. And when we're working and saving we say yes to the overtime, and we work hard.

 

Before we bought our own home we never rented a whole house - we rented a room and shared with others. And now someone else lives in that house and pays the mortgage for us (although we are paying rent on a house in NZ currently for the first time).

 

Now we're very aware that travel is a privilege that not everyone can enjoy. And we're so lucky to come from countries where it's a realistic option.

 

But all those other things that those in the western world tend to spend their money on are also a massive privilege. So if you can afford the new car, and the big screen tv, and the apple watch, then chances are you could afford to travel like us too, if you really wanted to 😉

 

 

 

 

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