I often get asked about how I'm able to travel as much as I do. In 2018 alone I visited over fifty new places, including five new countries. The big secret? Priorities! That is really all it comes down to, plus a little work here and there. When you set your goals, what exactly do you aim for? A designer bag? Expensive denim? The fanciest apartment? If those things are on your list, exploring the world most likely isn't. Some people want to save for a house, or a wedding, some enjoy fine dining or a night out on the town. For me, those things just aren't on my list.
I am 27 years old. And guess what? When I'm not traveling, I still live at home with my parents. How I calculate it is that I'd rather spend $1500 on a plane ticket than an apartment. It's not that I don't want my own place, or can't afford it, and I very often question why I live at home at my age* BUT then I remember all of the places I get to explore and see. On top of that I'm away more often than I am home. In some ways I'd call it a sacrifice, but in other ways, definitely not. My parents are the absolute best, and of course my four beautiful dogs are at home.
Lets talk saving money. There are SO many ways to budget.
Take advantage of where your friends are. Visit them when they move, or plan trips with them. As I have gotten older, so many of my friends have moved out of town. I have five different friends living along the pacific coast. So, this summer I organized with my sister and road tripped up the coast. I got to spend time with each of them, and I didn't have to stay in hotels (which by the way, can really add up). My brother lives in San Diego, and my best friends live in, San Jose, San Fransisco, Eugene, Seattle, and my sis Colleen had her best friend in Spokane. So not only did we have a place to stay, I got to enjoy time with my very best friends.
Throughout that trip I saw some of the prettiest places in America + Banff, Canada. When we got to Banff, rather than staying in the ridiculously stunning hotel on the lake for like $400, we stayed in this teeny tiny cabin a little bit outside of the town for like $80 split between the both of us. It couldn't have been more perfect! Road trips are the best way to see as much as you can, they are cheaper, and you have the freedom to have your own schedule. On the way home, we explored Yellowstone, Teton Mountains, Jackson Wyoming, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Vegas. The way I travel isn't always luxurious, but I get to see the most that I can.
I'm sure you guys are wondering how I'm able to make money, while being away so much. I work really hard for a couple of months and save save save, and then go explore. Then work really hard again, save save save, and then explore again. I've been a nanny forever, a photographer, a blogger, a dog / house sitter, basically I have all these random jobs that I can make my own schedule with. Trust me when I say that this is not what I want as my life's career, but at this point in my life, it is what works for me, and I am especially grateful for it.
*Also, for those of you wondering how I ended up living in Australia, my older sister Colleen is playing professional basketball here. That makes life living here A WHOLE LOT cheaper, when you have a place to stay and a car to share. I also agreed to be her team's manager, which means that I get to travel with the team throughout Australia for free.
I hope with this post I can provide just a little bit of insight in how I am able to see so much! (48 states, and 23 countries). Prioritize. Be okay with being broke. Work hard. Live minimally. But also remember that the best "things" you can buy are experiences. They have to ability to enlighten you, help you understand the world, and appreciate God's beauty.
“The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
"Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially."