The curious case of money and travel
A couple of days back I came across an article on my Facebook news-feed wherein the author focused on how ‘do not worry about the money just travel’ is the worst advice of all time. He also stereotyped travelling to be for the ‘privileged ones.’ My purpose in writing this blog is not to critically evaluate the article. Nor is it to wrong a
This dreamy-eyed insta generation with their alluring posts captivate us in thinking travelling is the only way to live a better life, I will say it is not- not the only way! Because it isn’t a case of one shoe fits all here! Something that works for me may not work for you and vice versa. So it is completely possible to not be an extensive traveler and still be a better human being but; if you have that burning desire in your heart to travel, if the thought that there are so many adventures waiting for you keeps you up all night, then I kid you not- do not let any one dim your fire by saying that you aren’t privileged enough!
In my opinion, it is all about one’s mindset. Because while travelling I have met teens backpacking at the age of 18, people earning minimum wage globetrotting on savings and many others who do odd jobs around the world to subside their wanderlust.
How many of you are still waiting for the “Monday” to start working out? How many of you are still smoking that one last cigarette before quitting? Still finding a reason to do everything else when you really got to be studying? These examples of everyday life clearly show, that if there is a goal to be achieved there will be tonnes of excuses. And as they say, where there is will there’s a way.
Same applies to travel. Travel, for many out there, is synonyms with luxurious spa, fancy cuisine, chauffeur driven car around the city, 3 (4 or 5) star hotel and what not! They start calculating the cost for all of all these services get disheartened and drop the idea altogether concluding that it is only for the rich. But hey! how about budgeting your travels? Book a hostel, try the street food, sip a coffee instead of a beer, walk around the city it gives you so much more time to soak in the beauty of a place.
Prioritise and travel!
- List down what makes you want to travel. For me, it’s history, food, culture and adventure.
- Bucket destinations you wish to visit basis your driving force. You don’t necessarily have to go for that larger than life Europe trip. I chose Vietnam for my first solo trip. Simply because it was not as costly as a western country, it was a completely different culture and rich history.
- Keep a budget in mind and divide it into – Accommodation, Transport, Food and Drinks, Shopping, Adventure activity, Other experiences. Find out rough estimates and then play around. Give more weight to what matters to you the most! Do you want to chill at the private sauna? Or do you want to try cliff jumping? Do you wish to have that Michelin star experience? Or do you wish to take cooking lessons yourself! The choice is yours, it’s your holiday! Don’t let popular opinion drive it.
Now that one can budget a trip another dilemma crops up. ‘Where will the money come from for even a budget trip?’ My answer is
Save money mindfully!
- Open another bank account and every month set aside some money – without fail. Call it your ‘travel fund’.
- Start keeping a journal. Note down your monthly expenses.
- Eliminate things you can, for example, I stopped spending on cosmetics and fast fashion. I would only purchase when a need arises. Cut down on certain spends, for example, I cut down on my spends on drinking outside.
- Write down your possible monthly savings. And work towards achieving that number. In no time you would have saved money to travel.
- Know why you started. Write down where you wish to go next, what you wish to do. Keep photos of that place on your phone. Keep reminding yourself what’s more important!
And if you feel like giving up, if you crave that pint of beer. Imagine what would it be like having a beer in Munich’s greatest beer gardens, for your next trip? Keep yourself motivated and you would be on that aircraft sooner than you think!
Note: As mentioned before, the post is not to pose travelling as the only way to be cultured\better human etc. but to inspire everyone who wishes to travel yet thinks he\she is not in a position to do so.
Comment below and tell me your tips! How do you save money and travel?