“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” Elizabeth Gilbert
If travel is your first love, as it is mine, you’ll understand exactly what Gilbert means. It is worth any cost or sacrifice because travel brings much more to life than anything else ever could. For me, this is the absolute truth. Travel enhances life, gives us a feeling of being alive, and allows us to experience life in a more concentrated way. Each experience I have had while traveling has made me a better and stronger person, which is why most of my money tends to go to travel.
Some people may find it foolish that I am not saving up for the future, to buy a house and furniture to fill it with, but I whole-heartly disagree. To me, travel and who I’ve been come because of it are what is most important. And, even though I am constantly asked how I can afford to travel, especially on a teacher’s salary, the answer remains simple and constant, because it is important to me.
For some, the most important things may involve saving up for a dream wedding, buying a house, and starting a family. But, for me it is to see the world, no matter what cost or sacrifice. And, there have often been many sacrifices in order for me to make my travel dreams my realities. I’d rather spend my money traveling than on anything else. Travel just makes sense in my life, it’s what makes me happy, brings me to life, and makes me a better person.
Though, there are still times when I find it difficult to budget. My travel dreams are as big as can be, which can be an overwhelming thought when trying to budget. But, since the summer, I have been trying to cut down in certain areas of my life, and, with BootsnAll’s challenge set in place, now is the perfect time to buckle down and get started.
I’ve chosen three areas that I need to do a better job of cutting down on. With a little practice, determination, and pictures full of the world imagined in my mind, I will be better able to cut down expenses and save up for future travels. This way I will be able to make even my biggest travel dreams, including a trip around the world, come true.
Cut out coffee breaks.
Starbucks seems to be my ultimate vice. For a while, I was drinking multiple Venti skinny vanilla lattes a week, and at almost five dollars each, I was wasting a lot of money. I knew I needed to cut down, so I began making my own coffee each morning at work. While this was better, it was still money wasted. Then about a month ago, I went to the doctor after a week’s worth of intense stomach pains and discovered that I was developing what appeared to be an ulcer. Coffee had to be cut out of my life immediately. While this does not mean I can never drink coffee again, it was an instant wake up call and it also made me more determined to give it up all together. Not only will I save my stomach, but the hole that was developing in my wallet.
Eat out less.
In addition to drinking less coffee and going to Starbucks, I tend to go out to eat very often. Where I live, the amount of places to eat are endless, which often makes going out to eat or getting take out the easiest option. From weekend brunches and dinners with friends to ordering take out or going out for lunch at work, money often disappears all too quickly. Making lunch is an option that’s not only cheaper, but also healthier, and it’s important that I begin to make the time to make my own lunch. Meals with friends are probably something that will be harder to cut out, but if I can begin to limit myself to only eating out on the weekends, I’m sure a lot more money can be saved.
Shopping used to be my biggest vice until I came home from Asia and realized that there was really nothing that I needed. Even so, I can still be a bit of a shopaholic at times and get wrapped up in everything fashion. The problem is that it isn’t just about clothes, I love it all. From handbags to shoes to make-up to jewelry, I sometimes can’t get enough. This one may be the most difficult for me to overcome, but the end result will be worth it all. This happiness is not sustainable: clothes and accessories don’t last forever and will only give me happiness for a short amount of time. I need to spend my money making memories abroad, not worrying so much about what I’m wearing while I’m there.
These three vices don’t have positive end results, in fact they are the results of money wasted. Coffee and food are gone within minutes and clothes and accessories eventually wear out or go out of style. I know that for me, I’d rather spend my money on experiences rather than material objects. Which is why, it’s time to cut down these three items and get started seriously saving for the adventures that lie ahead. As it always is, travel is worth any and all sacrifices, even if they are hard to make.
This post is part of BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge 2012.
Week eight’s topic: Budget travel. Find one major expense you can cut from your daily life. How much does cutting that expense allow you to save for travel? How many other expenses (large or small) could you reduce in order to put that money toward travel?