It breaks my heart when I hear people say they’d like to travel but they can’t afford it.
Or worse, they’re older people and they say they WOULD have liked to travel, but they didn’t because of financial constraints.
Many people just can’t travel, because of obligations and responsibilities, their health condition, priorities, and dozens more reasons. I get that. And I understand and respect that not everyone even wants to travel.
What I want to make the case for is that someone who would like to travel, and who otherwise could, but isn’t mainly because they believe they can’t afford it, might be overestimating the costs and thereby depriving themselves of fantastic experiences.
My perspective emphasizes long-term travel — months or years at a time. But much of what I’ll tell you applies to shorter trips, too.
I’m writing this from my own personal experiences traveling in Southeast Asia and Europe for three years (and counting).
I lived in Southeast Asia for 16 months from the end of 2016 to spring of 2018. Then I broadened my horizons to Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and the British Isles. I’ve also spent part of the past three years in the USA and in Australia.
How I’ve managed to do this is a long, complicated story. And I could spend all day giving tips and tricks for travel. But my mission right now is specifically just to show you that travel doesn’t have to be as expensive as many people assume.
My story in 100 words or less
I started traveling in the first place because I needed to reduce my cost of living. I couldn’t afford to live in the USA. I’d left a relationship and was out on my own at the age of 49. I was working freelance as an editor and writer but not making enough. I didn’t like my obvious options — trying to get some ridiculous job just to make ends meet, moving into a friend’s basement, or becoming a permanent WWOOFer — all of which seemed depressing and exhausting.
So I sold my truck and flew to Bangkok. The rest is history.