If you asked me who should travel, I’d answer: everyone.
Everyone should at some point in their lives, pack up and go somewhere, no matter how close, or how far, for how long or how short – but go somewhere in the sense that they should step out of their normal ‘everyday’ and explore something previously unknown to them.
I love traveling, in the sense that it’s always an adventure – hanging up the ‘pause’ sign and stepping outside of your world for a moment. Every time I travel, I feel as though I insert myself into a part of a greater narrative – a story that’s more interesting than my own. I get there and step outside of myself in order to explore that said narrative – feel the universe outside of my personal bubble if you will.
However, aside from the myriad of benefits, I’m also aware that there are usually financial constraints in place that stop most people from taking the time off to travel, or even go on a vacation. Hence, I promise that everyone should just start a traveling fund that is separate from your usual checking, saving and investing accounts to make your travel dreams come true.
For example, streamline your budget and stick to it: it is very very easy to overspend or buy things you don’t need (as I would know, a coffee here, a lunch there, or a drink with a friend on a Saturday night, then there’s post-brunch shopping with friends) they all add up and last month alone (I wasn’t being very vigilant with spending, give and take with the trip to Seattle) I estimated I overspent by…quite a bit (meaning in the hundreds…a good chunk to get me half way across the world.) And if I had elected to go out in my city tonight, that would’ve ate a good chunk out of my wallet, to the equivalent of an EasyJet return trip (no jokes, I just checked, an EasyJet return trip from my two favorite European cities is actually cheaper than a night out in the city. Talk about my priorities.)
Yes, I say this because I was recently at a focus group on money and finances. And I observed the following – finances and money management were never things taught in schools – budgeting, goal setting, retirement plans, and spending are often seen as personal responsibilities – however, without good examples from role models such as parents or teachers, how will we know how to handle our finances? Especially in an age consumerism seem to cure all ills. Stressed, depressed, unloved? Buy something to make yourself feel better, or so the logic goes. But in the end, this proves to be unsustainable and debt accumulates, and some institutions are profitable because of limited financial literacy of consumers.
So I say, everyone should start a travel fund, because your $5 lattes will add up to $1270 a year if you have one every day, per weekday (not including weekends/holidays) over the course of a year.
The difference of the $5 vs. compounded $5s over the course of the year is felt dramatically.
And those work lunches, if averaged $10 a day, would average out to $2540 over the course of a year – and $2540, to some might not be a big deal, but for a travel enthusiast who knows how to make dollars stretch, $2540 is a big deal (if you are smart with that, you could very well cover the cost of flight and accommodation, food for at least a month somewhere really cool) – and really who wouldn’t mind having an extra lump sum at the end of the year to do something they really want to do?