Affording la vie Bohemme
November 16, 2011, 1:09 am
Filed under: nomadisms, voyageur

Wages here for normal people are insane, which is why I’m always blown away by people who say the reason they don’t travel is financial. It is by far the most popular reason given, wistfully by people in their twenties. The irony is not lost on me that I earn twenty five to thirty percent of what they make (and pay for stuff like health insurance). Do they think I have some weird trust fund? A benefactor?  Who knows.

Everything I know about funding long term travel is ridiculously simple. 

1. Don’t own stuff.  Stuff costs money to get, keep and haul around.  This financial investment turns into an emotional one. Also, the modern world of travel is way cheaper with less luggage.

2. Expense is wildly variable. Striking a balance out of your normal surroundings is actually the same as living within your means at home.

3. I don’t subscribe to the ideas that I should see or do things because “everyone” does them in whatever place, or that “you only live once and will never have the chance to do this random thing you never knew you wanted to do again”. If it strikes me I do it or see it, but I’ve let a lot of stuff pass with no real long term regret. Who cares if I can sit around the hotel bar and have the biggest list of enviable status quo experiences? Pissing. Contest.

4. Allow time.  Most of my withdrawals from my “oh crap” fund are a result of not allowing enough time – for transit, to see what I wanted to see properly, to make informed decisions about where to stay and how to get there. Duress equals expense.

5. Most advice is bad. This included. 


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