There is an assumption that in order to travel the world you must be independently wealthy or have really good connections. The truth is neither of these things is true. Having a global lifestyle is a choice (in most cases) that families and individuals make. Some people choose to have a large home in the suburbs with all the “nice things” in life, while others opt for the loft apartment in the city. Still others choose a modest home, with other life luxuries like new cars or “toys”. Then there’s those who instead choose to travel.
This is us. One of the major reasons we are able to move to Morocco in a few weeks is because we don’t have a mortgage or credit card debt. If we had either (or both) of these things it would be difficult, if not impossible.
So many people have asked me how we financially are able to make this move and I’ve shared some of our plans but essentially we have very limited debt and we have location independent jobs (we can do them from anywhere). There are a lot of ways to make an international move and/or a global-mobile lifestyle possible. Before taking the jump I highly consider reading this post I wrote on 4 Tips to Start Planning an International Relocation. These tips really helped us get started. But, our way certainly isn’t the only way. Here are many many more.
1) Limited Savings
What if you only had $900 in savings? Would you take the jump and begin a traveling life? Talon Windwalker and his son set out and have been on the road for the last 800+ days! He shares some unique ideas for earning money while traveling and keeping a global lifestyle in motion.
2) Using Saved Money
Several years ago I remember watching a segment on TV about a family who was biking from Alaska to Argentina and immediately thought “wow how awesome is that?!” M was 5 years old and my mind immediately wandered to thinking how it might be possible. Nancy and John began their journey with a chunk of change saved up but also got creative along the way. If you’ve got a mortgage and other life expenses but still want to take on a global adventure I highly recommend reading how they did it!
3) Digital Nomads
Want to be a digital nomad? I just recently heard this term used to describe someone who fills the role of a freelance digital commuter. Yay this is us! I’ve been working from home for the last two years, and once we’re in Morocco (and traveling about) this will certainly be us. If becoming a digital nomad and/or blogging as a means to create a global lifestyle is something you want to explore, the Bohemian Travelers have an excellent post about how they do this. I also love that they provide a glimpse at their travel expenses.
4) Saving Money To and During Travel
Long before we considered moving internationally we began getting questions about how we could afford to travel so often. As I wrote above, travel is a choice that we’ve made – it’s important to us and therefore we assign it as a priority when budgeting. The Traveling Pratershave run up against this question too and share some of their answers – most of which are the same answer as I would give! There are so many ways to save money before and during travel, if you maximize these savings you can afford to travel more often.
5) Use a Mortgage to Your Advantage
But, what if you do have a house and mortgage…I have to be honest this isn’t something I’ve even thought about or considered having never owned a home. With 2 Kids in Tow has spent the last year traveling and have leveraged the value in and of their home to make this possible. I’m not sure if all or some of the options they have used are available to US homeowners but they are clever and certainly worth asking a lender about!
6) A Global Lifestyle Does Not Usually Mean No Work!
Will we be working when we move to Morocco and travel on that side of the globe? Absolutely! There are very few people who make long-term travel a choice who do not work. Many people wonder how they can possibly work overseas when they have never done so before. Jennifer of Edventure Project sums this up really well when she says, “we converted existing skill sets and developed a few new ones to things that could be done remotely.” This really is the key to overcoming this hurdle. This is also a really great article to check out if you’re a writer or dream of being a traveling writer!
7) Real Budget Travel is Possible when Flexible
If anyone hates the word budget it’s me. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person. This however, is not realistic when planning to travel internationally. The safety nets just disappear and having and maintaining income is incredibly important. Keryn of Walking on Travels did around-up post of several traveling families with their recommendations for a budget vacation. The takeaway? Budget travel is a relative term. I have to admit I laughed to myself when she talked about a news article with a “budget” vacation starting at $4500. One of the biggest expenses is going to always be “getting there” which is where flexibility has to come into play. For example we really are hoping to visit Eastern Europe while we’re in Morocco. Tickets from Marrakech to Prague are running over $600 per person. But we can get a flight into Milan, Italy for about 100 euro round-trip…guess which destination wins??
8) Saving for Travel
So you’ve decided you’re really going to do this travel thing. Now it’s time to start trimming the budget and setting aside some money. I shared that we have a “safety fund” that we’ve put money into. This is important to us. It’s not a requirement. If having some money set aside just in case or to get you off the ground running is a priority, this post from Walking on Travels will give you some real (and easy!) ideas to get started today.
9) Creating a Budget
It’s one thing to think about a budget, or even to write it down, or even just assume it will be similar to a household budget you have at home. But, I really think when living internationally and/or traveling full-time it’s a different ball game. Heidi of Wagoner’s Abroad provides a really good down and dirty breakdown of their budget categories and expenses when they first moved to Spain. I think this post is an excellent place to start planning your budget.
10) Occassional International Travel
I say occasional but what I really mean is internationally travel every year or every other year. If you’re not looking to move abroad or travel nonstop but simply want to take a trip every year or two this post from Kids on a Plane provides some great advice for how to save for this type of travel. You’ll have a bit more wiggle room and flexibility (you could always decide you don’t have it in your budget to take the trip). This is the type of travel we have done for years and these tips are a great way to get started.
Do you have any other tips or experiences to share?