I’m proud to announce that this blog will feature a new, regular contributor. David King was a colleague and remains a friend, and there were many days where I envied him for his bravery to leave work to pursue a more meaningful life full of travel. David will bring a new perspective on travel, one the regular “luxury resort” type of travel I normally discuss. – Travel Summary
David King is a young adventurer seeking to make the most of his dollars abroad. After completing his degree in Economics, he worked for a consulting company for just a year and a half before the travel bug enticed him to leave. After teaching English for a year in South Korea he is traveling and documenting his experiences as a free lance writer. He is currently backpacking through South America, studying Spanish, and indulging in the local cuisines for a fraction of the normal cost. David takes his time in each location he visits to get a feel for the city, people, and lifestyle.
Ask almost anyone what they would do if they won the lottery and nine times out of ten the first thing you hear is travel the world. This blog has done a good job of debunking the myth that world travel is reserved only for the wealthy. I aim to take the dream one step further and not only show you that it is possible to travel long term for much cheaper than you are living now, but also to entice you to take action.
Travel long term, you ask? Perhaps you are lucky enough to have four or five weeks of vacation per year, but of course it would be impossible to take that many consecutive weeks off. How on earth do I propose you travel long term? Let me convince you that long term travel is not only possible on a budget, it’s the greatest liberation possible from an oppressively expensive and monotonous lifestyle trapped indoors for 50+ hours a week. This post is primarily about a change in mentality, lifestyle, and priorities. Think about your life, how long you will live, and what you hope to experience. If you could do absolutely anything next week, what would you do? I highly doubt you answered that you would go to work per usual. If not, then consider that you do have a choice and you must make your choice every week, every day. We all have a finite amount of time on this majestic planet and it’s imperative that we savor every moment of life. I can’t even begin to list the countless excuses that are keeping you shackled to your desk. In 85 years of life, how important do you think $15,000 really will be? How detrimental to your career would it be to quit your job and travel the world for a year? When you’re actually too old to travel anymore, reflecting on the years of your life, do you seriously think you’ll regret quitting your job and traveling? Or worse, will you regret making so many excuses and not living your life the way you wish you had? I implore you to consider the later as an inexcusable tragedy. Yes, traveling long term will cost money, however I think it can be cheaper than many expect. I’m currently unemployed, living and loving life in Lima, Peru. Let’s take a look at real life figures comparing cost of living per week in Lima versus Los Angeles.
I’m currently staying in a homestay with a lovely couple in a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home. Only the master bedroom and my bedroom are occupied so there is more than enough room in the apartment, which is approximately 1,200 square feet. For $400 per month I am living 5 minutes walking distance from the grand Pacific Ocean in the nicest neighborhood of Lima, Miraflores. Anything in such proximity to the ocean in Los Angeles is a multi-million dollar estate that would fetch much more than the going rate here.
I’m keeping myself stimulated with 20 hours of Spanish classes per week at a private Spanish institute (miscellaneous cost). Take your time abroad to learn a new skill, dance, instrument, or simply do whatever makes you happy. Budget yourself $150 or less per week, and enhance your life. Yesterday’s lunch consisted of a sizeable ceviche starter with lomo saltado served as the main dish. The total cost? 12 Peruvian Soles. At the current exchange rate 12 soles comes out to a whopping $4.27.
Not bad, right? How much does it cost to live without a worry in the world – to live as if I had just won the lottery? It costs $1,600 per month. Living in Lima is $1,020 cheaper per month than living in Los Angeles, affords me an extra 200 hours per month, and rids me of entirely all stress. For me, traveling, studying languages, and playing soccer are what make me happy and fulfilled. There will indubitably come a time when I have to work again but a great perk of traveling is that you never know who you will meet or what opportunities will arise while on the road. If you are one of the nine out of ten people who answered that you would love to travel the world, please, stop waiting to win the lottery; we both know that isn’t going to happen. However, do consider what you want do with your time, what you love, what will make you happy, and go out there and do it. Quit with the excuses, there will never be a better time than now. You certainly won’t regret being happy.