How to travel with no money? How to travel when you’re broke? It this really possible?
Travelling seems to be a luxury for many. The typical Western human will have four weeks of vacation per year and eagerly await the moment to relax. Fact: working can be stressful and exhausting, but it gives us the money for our survival. So, we need this well deserved holiday to escape our day to day life.
I was 17 when I moved out of the family nest. I was going to study in a college down-town Montreal. This was my dream since I was a kid. I also hit my first student loan, which was a necessity for my student reality. Surprise: they sent me a good amount! Fact: At 17, I wasn’t mature enough to handle such a sum.
So I became older and I got my first credit cards. Let’s say I had fun! Immature? Obviously. I was 18 years old. (Should I also mention that I borrowed money for a car?)
While I was trying to find my way through school, I was juggling with disgust and envy. I accumulated more student debts than was necessary. I changed programs more than once. I even almost completed a degree so I can add more debts to my collection. They say: you need a degree! Well unless you have a lot of money, this diploma will cost you! So many years invested in research of my dreams … for a lifestyle that does not interest me so much just yet. I dream of a day when I will be happy enough not to want to escape. Fact: I am a dreamer. Is it too much to ask?
When I started to work, I used these four weeks of vacation to explore Europe. And, this, more than once. Of course, I see you there; I should have paid my debts instead of going on an adventure! I could have started this epic dream later… like when I’ll be retired. I didn’t.
They think: you are living the dream.
I travel on a tiny budget and I still need to work while I’m travelling so I can make it possible. I have milked tons of cows to save money to travel across Australia in a camper-van. I manage to find great flight deals so I can do it even if it means that I have to handle a 31 hour flight. I sleep in a dorm, in a bus or in an airport so I can save my last dollar. Is this the dream? Is it your dream?
Does the dream include sending money home every month so I can still pay my debts? Because, this my friend, is not the dream. I won’t run away from my debts, I’m working overseas, I start a travel blog and I work as a freelancer too so I can fund my travels. And if you follow me on Snapchat, you will know that I recently ran out of money. And yep, I’m still out there.
No, I don’t have an office or a routine. No, I’m not using my diploma. What do I do then? I’m paying debts. I’m working hard. This is the life I have chosen. And I’m glad I did.
I’m broke AF
I told you I was on a road-trip in Australia. I had my daily dose of noodles, I drank instant coffee and I had to accept that I can’t do everything because my wallet isn’t as full as I wish. And that’s okay. I lived in a camper-van so I didn’t have to spend money on accommodation. I was still able to enjoy my freedom though. But, I won’t lie either; my money situation makes me anxious and when I looked at the fuel price, I knew I had to come up with a plan B. There I am, on a Cattle Station in Australia, volunteering.
I can always make it work
I know that whatever happens, I’ll find a solution. I volunteered more than once in exchange of food and accommodation. I found crappy temporary jobs such as picking cucumbers. I know how to use my thumb if necessary. I can find a couch and a kind host too! These options will never be luxury, but they are ways to make it possible. Am I right?
I don’t regret anything
As much as I hate dealing (paying) with my debts right now, I know I can’t change the past anyway. I won’t spend the rest of my life regretting these mistakes. I told you already; I had a lot of fun!
I also know that I won’t regret anything later on. I won’t regret that time when I decided to move to Australia even if I was broke, that time when I took a swing in New Zealand or that time when I hitch-hiked all over the Canadian Rockies.
I don’t need to be rich to travel. I needed an adventurous routine that I don’t need to escape from.
It wasn’t meant to be perfect. The best stories can come from this hole in your pocket. As long as you do what you have to do to make it happen.
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