Most people, when they think of travel, think of luxury hotels, expensive meals out, and gobs of money spent sightseeing and souvenir buying.

I’m not about that.

My husband and I surmised that to realize our dreams of long term travel, it was cheapest to travel somewhere and live like a local. As we both worked in restaurants, we began to study places that had discernible “seasons” that we could swoop down and take advantage of. Come in, grab a monthly apartment rental, get a job- which is surprisingly easy, as most tourism based places need a larger staff for upcoming busy periods.  It was a way for us to live in new and exciting places without large expenditures of cash.

Many people that we speak to about our traveling have a familiar refrain for us. “I would love to travel, but I have a mortgage/kids/dog/office job/not enough money.” Let me just expound on this a little bit: We have a mortgage on a home we own. We travel with our cat. We both had steady jobs with steady income, where we worked for years.  We are not millionaires, we lack access to any trust funds or disposable income that we haven’t earned ourselves, and therefore are very careful to live on a small budget. And we intend on having a family and continuing our world travel.

Am I saying that traveling with all of these ties aren’t difficult? Of course not. I am saying, that where there is a burning desire, there is a way to fulfill that desire, through much less effort than most people imagine.

The house? We rent out. Again, not easy. Worth it? Absolutely.

The cat? She is remarkably adaptable.  I’ve also figured out a way to have her contribute to our travels, and rack up air miles with the rest of us.

The job? I quit working in restaurants to transition to better vagabonding jobs- writing, website creation and graphic design.  Both easier, and harder. But that doesn’t mean you have to do the same.

In our traveling life we cook at home the majority of the time, walk everywhere, and rarely spend money on the things most people do when they travel to where we live. Regardless of this, we sail pretty regularly, hike all the time, swim in the Caribbean a couple times a week, hit happy hour on our days off, and enjoy all of the amazing aspects of being in the Caribbean without spending much. We live on an island currently where cost of living is the highest we’ve ever experienced; and we manage to spend less money than when we lived for years with a larger income in the home we owned in Alaska.

It’s amazing when you realize that many things you find joy doing cost almost nothing at all.

There are sacrifices, of course. Do I miss having a car? Oh, heck yes. Do I miss the car payments? Not a bit. We still have larger purchases we must make: airline tickets average every six months (there are deals with airline credit cards that offer sign up incentives), security deposits for rental apartments (care-taking positions are sometimes available in areas we want to touch down in), and general moving expenses (which decrease the more we move, as we become better at spotting deals and shed many items that have become superfluous in our travels).

World travel is attainable to everyone, regardless of situation. Every dream in life is going to require sacrifice in some form.  The real question is,

What things in your life are you willing to give up?

One year of lattes is $1,825. Lattes for two? $3650. That’s one or two plane tickets anywhere in the world. French press, anyone? A meal out in a restaurant for two- $60, twice a week, for a year? That is $6,240- 6 months for a couple living extravagantly in less expensive countries, 6 months of conservative living in the more expensive areas. The average monthly cable bill is $150- with Hulu, who needs it? Bam. $1800 for your traveling pleasure.  I just gave you over $10,000 in a year without sacrificing much.

How much do you truly want to follow your dream of travel? It’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot I’d give up to have a chance to see it.



What would you sacrifice to travel the world?