“I want to travel but…”
That´s how most people talk about their life-long dreams of traveling. There´s a big fat BUT at the end of the sentence. That but will kill your dreams, guaranteed. Don´t believe me? Go to ANY elderly home. Talk to people there, especially the ones about to die soon, you can kind of tell. The “but” disappeared now, however, there´s something different in its place.
“I wish I…”
I don´t know about you, but I want to die relaxed and calm, knowing that I did my best to pursue whatever “destiny” intended for me. Or much better said in the words of Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
What if I told you that if you save up a couple of thousands you can just pack your bags and go live somewhere nice for 3-6 months? You can do whatever the hell you want and after that period is finished, you can go right back to what you were doing before. But in most cases, you wont, you´ll want to continue to live that sort of lifestyle you experienced.
So let´s make a thought experiment. Let´s say you saved up 5000€ (almost same as $). Let´s run some basic math (please bear with me, it will be worth it). So what can you do with 5000€?
The answer is, a lot, haha. For example, I´ve just finished living in Barcelona for the past 6 months, so let´s take this example. A room in a shared flat in Barcelona, in a very central location, will cost you around 400€. Less, if you go out of the centre, more if you want a whole flat. But let´s take 400€. Add 50€ a week for (nice & healthy) groceries. Include transport at no more than 40€ a month, and basic phone utilities are another say 30€.
So with 700€ a month, you can live a very nice lifestyle. Central Barcelona, which means walking distance to the beach, clubs, bars, restaurants, shops, sight seeing stuff, basically EVERYTHING. Let´s say you want to eat outside every now and then, or maybe buy a new pair of jeans or whatever. Add another 100€ and you finish at roughly 800€ a month. And most vagabonds will say that´s helluva expensive and they managed to do it with a half, or even a quarter of that money per month.
Anyway, the before mentioned 5000€ will result in comfortable 6 months in a beautiful place. Trust me, you have no idea of the turn your life will make in those months. Sure, in the 1st month, while being jobless, you might want to party, drink, get laid and get high all the time. But you probably won´t want to do that for half a year straight.
So inevitably, because of the sheer amount of free time, you will start to dig into things that interest you. Reading about art, surfing, learning languages, chasing women/guys, working out, growing your own weed, whatever floats your boat. There´s a million of different possibilities. What would you do, if you had 6 months to live, and you had all the free time in the world and more or less no financial worries?
Hopefully, your eyes are starting to light up here. Furthermore, with a little intellect and luck, or the company of right people, you can probably even start a business out of that. Write about your travels or hobbies, shoot videos (sounds familiar?), give talks. Figure out a need in the local community and find a way to solve it. You´ll probably be able to to cover those 800€/month relatively soon.
For inspirational reasons, here are some fun/random things I did in my 6 months in Barcelona:
-regularly party till 7am and watch the sunset at the beach (with an occasional happy ending)
-walk around in a tank top and sunbathe in December (I never have a tan, just freckles, lol)
-shoot creative videos in exchange for language lessons (ahora hablo un poco Espanol)
-decide, research and put into action self-publishing a book (coming out around March 2017)
-decide to get super high on a random Tuesday and watch movies, massively overeat daily calories, and stay up till 4 am and sleep till noon the next day. Simply because I could.
-had friends and lovers visit me in Barcelona, yet still traveled to 7 countries in half a year
-met awesome people, ranging from businessmen/women to videographers to dancers to ex-lawyers who turned to language teachers to crazy creative cat ladies etc…
-increased pull-ups from about 3 sets of 5 to 3 sets of 10,8,7 CLEAN pull-ups
Anyway. I feel more buts are coming. Is 5000€ too much for you? It was just an example. For somebody living in the States it probably won´t seem too crazy. If you´re from a poorer country, everything above still applies, just the numbers are slightly different.
For example, we can go much lower, while still having a very nice lifestyle if we decide to live in a cheaper country. Take a country like Slovenia (Ljubljana), Czech Republic (Prague), Poland (Warsaw, Krakow), Bulgaria (Sofia), Hungary (Budapest). I´ve hear a lot about Asia, India and South America too but haven´t really been around to say for myself.
In most of those cities, you can get a room in a shared flat for about 200€ a month, all utilities included. If you drop some of the fancy food you can easily get by with a healthy diet for about 30€ a week. So this would total 320€ a month. Again, with phone and transport, this would come to about 360 or 370. Again if you want to eat outside sometimes, or buy some additional stuff, make the monthly total around 450€.
So 5000€ would give you 11 months of living in a country like that (keeping the great lifestyle), or you can get 5-6 months with half of that which is 2500€. Just because I like writing numbers and for the sake of simplicity, I guess you could do 4 months for about 2000€.
Now pay attention. This is a reality for most people. No matter where you are, you can probably save up 2000€. You should be able to earn that money anywhere in the world. Or a comparably lower amount in a comparably cheaper country. It might take you a few months, but that´s great. Your experience will be way more valuable since you earned the money yourself, and it will give you time to plan, ponder and fully embrace your future travels.
Imagine being completely free, being able to do whatever you want for 4 months straight or 3 or 6 or whatever number of months you choose. I guarantee you, an experience like that will shift your mind so much, you will never want to do something you are not at least slightly curious about again.
Those free months are plenty of time to learn a portable, freelancing skill such as design, FB adds, video editing, writing, translating, coaching. Whatever you want, whatever you are interested in, options are, again, endless.
Now the last question is, how to save up that cash to start rolling?
Well, go to fucking work.
Even if you have a shitty job in “poor” country, you should still be able to make around 500€ a month with the job. Find a way to save 200€ in a month, and you will be set in 10 months. Have a better job, or get a second job, and you can cut that to 6 months.
Get a better job, AND get a better 2nd job, work like an animal, and you can probably have enough cash in 3 months. 3 months is not a very long time. Considering you are working towards your life-long goal and experiences that will fundamentally change who you are. You can easily last 3 months with a strong goal & a reward like that.
So you´ve been asking yourself about how to get out of the rat race? How to get the time and money to do the things you really want to do? Well, you´ve got the answer now. It takes a few months of hard work to get the cash needed (and you don´t need a lot) and you´re good to go. Some of you probably already have the cash needed.
All that´s left is saying bye-bye to your friends and family, packing up your suitcase, and preparing yourself for the biggest adventure of your life.