People ask me all the time how I was able to afford eight months of travel. I always reply with the same three reasons: privilege, luck, and planning.
I was born into a world segregated by varying degrees of privilege. I come from a stable family, supporting community, and various other areas of privilege. I feel like it’s necessary for me to mention the privilege I receive because it has directly affected the way I experience the world.
Building off of the above statement, I was lucky to come from a privilege background. I have also been very lucky to meet some of the nicest and generous people. So many times people have helped me. Be that through giving me a job, giving me money, or giving me support. I have been very lucky.
My whole life I have wanted to travel. Sometimes because I was told that it was something I needed to do, and other times because it was something I wanted. I worked all throughout high school and college to maintain a small savings I used as a cushion in college. I invested in a car once in college, which allowed me to get a job. I worked full time for some of the time, part time the other, and always full time in the summers.
Come time to travel I had 10,000 dollars from selling my car and most of my stuff, and working 60 hours a week for three months.
Ways I saved.
1. I lived with my parents for three months.
I am very lucky to have parents who will let me live with them and eat their food which allowed me to save a lot of money.
2. I bought nothing.
I limited the amount I spent when I went out, stopped drinking/ spending money on coffee, and never went shopping. I figured I could sacrifice for three months if it meant a trip to Thailand.
3. I choose to travel to places where I could live off of less.
I found places I wanted to go, where I could travel for longer, for less.
There are two websites I use to help me save money while traveling.
For a fee you can look at hostels, farms, restaurants, and bars around the world looking for volunteers. Most places will exchange 4-5 hours of work in exchange for room and board.
W.W.O.O.F stands for world wide organization of organic farming. This program is very similar to workaway, but more specific to farming. The biggest issue I have with this program is the lack of unification. For every country there is a different website, and you need to pay a new fee. However, for those traveling only to one country it’s a really good option.
On every trip longer than two weeks I have done some form of volunteering, which has helped me saved over two thousand dollars. I also find working for someone who lives in the country gives me a completely different experience.
I have another post where I outline my exact budget and the ways I went about it.