Are you as determine as Joshua when it comes to travel?
End of last year, my good friend Joshua did something crazy for the first time in his nerdy adult life. He took 3 clean months of unpaid leave, and travel with his wife.
Come to think of it, this bold action actually do made some sense after all. I knew him from the schooling days and he is a guy who really deliver what he said despite the fact that he just bought his first house and had no savings at all. At first his wife, Michelle didn’t quite agree to his crazy idea but it took a hard sell, a lot of beer and promises of flowery future, that somehow convinced her to agree to it. Well this story started towards the end of 2014, a year later, after lots of savings and part-time social media jobs he received he then apply for the long leave and forced Michelle to do the same. They set to travel the entire Southeast Asia countries – one country at a time.
“At first his wife, Michelle didn’t quite agree to his crazy idea but it took a hard sell, a lot of beer and promises of flowery future, that somehow convinced her to agree to it.”
His story here on the determination to travel and his preparation for it, really convinced me that when properly motivated, anyone can easily take two, three months or even longer period of time from our routines to travel the world. Here are the 10 top things I was observing Joshua and Michelle did to make their dream adventure came true.
#1 Get or Stay Debt-Free
The one thing Joshua and Michelle had as a clear advantage in their pursuit is that they are debt-free — if you don’t count his mortgage of course. They do not have any other debt which make more sense to be able to save more money faster. So ask yourself whether you’d rather spend that $300 on materials or on swimming with friendly sharks in the Philippines yourself. Morale: Before you do anything else, pay down credit cards first.
#2 Downsize Your Life
Joshua and Michelle did the ultimate downsize, from a living in a high-end rented house in an upscale neighbourhood to just an average single storey house he bought less than 6 months ago and paid just a fraction of his salary for the mortgage. They save a lot of money on this, I mean really a lot.
#3 Hardly Eat Out, Ever
Everyone enjoys eating out. Unfortunately, eating out will kill your world-travel dreams faster than a dengue fever outbreak. For this reason, they stopped dining out for months unless both decided not to cook that day. Out of last year, I think they only dine outside less than six times.
#4 Commit to Your Goal 200 Percent
There’s a reason just about everyone dreams of quitting their jobs and bolting for the horizon, but so few do: It requires total, more than just 100-percent, long-term commitment. You need a crazy percentage of 200 percent to do this. To accomplish this goal, you’ll need to cut down on more than just dining out. It’s the determination to outdo any attempt to let your money to walk away from your pocket.
“There’s a reason just about everyone dreams of quitting their jobs and bolting for the horizon, but so few do: It requires total, more than just 100-percent, long-term commitment. You need a crazy percentage of 200 percent to do this.”
#5 Travel Modestly
When most people think of traveling the world, they picture beach resorts, pools and fine dining. Best get those splashy images out of your head right now; travelling is different than vacationing. The point is, there are usually inexpensive options to hotels. Embrace them by remembering that even the wild-wild-west kind of hostel still beats your office cubicle back home all the way.
#6 Eat What the Locals Eat
Embrace the local customs. This will not only lower your food bill, but because food is such a vital part of understanding any culture, it will greatly enhance your travel experience. Eating what the locals eat is also quite easy.
#7 Say Nay to the Naysayers by Doing It.
In Joshua’s, his boss was advising him to see a psychiatrist. But that’s sort of the point: If he had listened, he never would have set foot in all those great places together with Michelle. So what he did was, he befriended his boss in Facebook. Let the boss see all the great images of his posts and have fun with it.
#8 Go Now, With What You Have
Traveling for three months is like having a baby: You will never, ever be ready. Just do it.
“According to Joshua, looking back, he wishes he had a little better plan for how he would return to his ‘normal’ life back.”
#9 Work While You Travel
Don’t make a career out of it, just do it to fund some expense while you’re there. Many travellers are doing it, working lite as they went. Whether you’re computer programmers, graphic designers or even just a barber, it wasn’t hard for many to earn the little money they needed to keep their dream alive.
#10 Have a Return-to-Reality Fund
According to Joshua, looking back, he wishes he had a little better plan for how he would return to his ‘normal’ life back. The one thing he did right is by not spending all his money during that 3 months. Not because of a plan, he admit, but because travelling didn’t cost nearly as much as he had anticipated.
“Bro, are you going to do it again this year?” I asked him that day.
“Are you crazy? Hell no, I’m going to take 6 months off next year dude.” He replied.
Now I know I’m not as crazy as he is.