By Audrey Tan
Living a life of travel frequently makes it on the top of everyone’s bucket list. I’m not talking about simply spending weekends at different locations, but actually having the chance to immerse yourself in the life and culture of someplace other than what you’re familiar with.
I always thought I needed to achieve many things to make this happen, and saving up enough money was on the very top of the list. Ironically, after I lost my job due to COVID, I had the perfect opportunity to embark on a life of travel. And all I had to do was to make the decision to leave.
After over a year of wandering across the world, I’ve come to realise that a life travelling full time is not as difficult and certainly not impossible as I had imagined. It is possible to explore new places even if you have a tight budget or no budget at all. Here are a few ways that you can live a life of travel and make the most out of it:
Work And Travel
You really don’t need to save much to travel if you have a job you can do remotely or in a new place to sustain your living expenses. Working while travelling also brings its very own sets of benefits. It has made my life of travel possible despite losing my full-time job. In fact, in hindsight, my full-time job was what was holding me back from simply making the decision to just do it.
If you travel and just take any decent job that you can find, such as teaching, working at cafes, bars, restaurants etc., you will be earning and spending in the local currency. This should be more than enough for you to have a pleasant experience no matter where you go. Plus, working in a new place can certainly help you get to know the culture and create special relationships with the people in a different and more meaningful way than you would if you were simply passing by.
And by the time the weekend rolls around, you are free to go forth and explore. You might even meet new local friends to bring you out or let you in on the best spots that Google doesn’t even know about.
Travel Long Term
If you abolish the misconception that travel is something you can only do for a few days every year and look at it long term, with a little bit of work and play, you’ll unlock a whole new world of possibilities. Depending on your passport, most countries allow visa-free visits for up to 3 months. This is more than enough time to find a part-time job (as long as your visa allows work), and you’ll have time off to explore or even just relax by the beach if that’s your thing. Plus, being in a different place will already feel enough like a holiday even if you’re working.
Prioritise Your Spending
If you’re already on a tight budget, every penny you spend on unnecessary luxuries can impact your future travel plans. For instance, splurging on luxurious hotels (why not housesit?) or artisanal coffees will leave you with nothing left to spend on gaining new experiences, going on excursions, and seeing all the sights.
Go through your spending and determine which expenses you should prioritise and which ones you can lose, so you have additional funds to spend on more meaningful excursions.
Become A Digital Nomad
Digital nomads live a nomadic life, travelling from one place to another while working remote jobs. Some nomads travel for the rest of their lives, while others are only temporarily nomadic.
Many choose life on the road due to a desire to travel and live anywhere they want. The digital nomad way of life is also less expensive than the high cost of living full-time in big cities, as you can travel and work digitally in more affordable countries. Nevertheless, choosing a nomadic lifestyle usually means having minimal material possessions since you can only travel with one or two suitcases at most, so there will be certain luxuries that you need to leave behind.
Although living a life of travel means giving up certain home comforts, the experiences, the people you meet along the way, and the newfound meaning to life it can bring, make these sacrifices worth it. Imagine waking up and working in a new place all the time and feeling like you are always on holiday.
If you have a lust for travel, my advice is not to put it off any longer. While living a life of travel may feel like a frustrating, out of reach item on a bucket list for some, you just have to make the decision to leave, and you will never look back.