Ever since I was a little girl, my dream job was to be a traveler. It wasn't until I was told that "traveling is not a job!" that I put that dream on the back burner. And for many years it stayed that way. I wanted the best of both worlds; stability in a job but without giving up my true passion. So as I grew up, I tried paving a road to a career that could somehow incorporate seeing new places and experiencing other cultures. I thought I found the answer in archaeology, (female Indiana Jones, holler!) but I quickly discovered it was not what I wanted...while I do love learning about history, geography, and geology, I found that I had no interest in spending 90% of my life in a lab.
So while I am pursuing a different career path (albeit one that still involves travel,) I have also learned that traveling is not restricted to those who choose to make a career out of it. (Whaddya know ma?! Turns out you can travel for a living!) But in all seriousness, I am blessed to have parents who support me in my passion; parents who not only support my dream, but teach me how to make it a reality.
"Overcoming consumerism" seems to be the reoccurring theme in backpack traveling. As I start to kick things into high gear, I've realized that budgeting for the trip seems to be the biggest challenge so far. Sure, traveling doesn't have to be expensive, but it all comes down to where you travel to. A month in Thailand probably costs a fraction of say, a month in France. Either way, the last thing I want is to find out during the middle of my trip that I've used up all my money, and be forced to head home early. I mean, I am all for spontaneity and living it up adventurously, it's just that I'd also like to plan ahead so that I'm prepared for the worst (God forbid,) if it were to come.
So, I've asked a couple of seasoned traveling friends for their advice on how save up for a trip and both have said something along the same lines, that I'd have to make a lot of sacrifices. Basically no more dining out, shopping, or anything else that costs money. (Farewell social life, it was nice knowing you!) Every dollar counts, and if I had known it would cost so much to travel, I would have changed my spending habits long ago!
I hope everyone else has some travel plans this year, because while I'm still a globe trotting apprentice, I can promise that you won't regret it! (Unless you run out of money and you're stuck in the country...but that's a different story for a different time.)
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