For my first blog post, I wanted to write about travelling in general, not about a specific topic or a specific destination. And recently, I had been thinking about how a lot of our friends and family think travelling is, number one, for rich people, and number two, always fun and easy. Well, I hope this post corrects all that wrong information and gives you a better idea of what travelling all the time really is.
First of all, I think when one decides to go travelling for an extended period of time, there’s gotta be a major reason, not just the need to relax, but perhaps the need to leave something behind, to change the setting in order to change the mindset. And that means something is not quite right in their daily life.
I had myself that one moment when I realised that city life, and more specific, office life, wasn’t for me. I had just started working on a very nice job, I had been there for a year, and I had saved a lot of money, which I knew I wanted to spend travelling, but I had no time to do so. Especially given the vacation period you get in Mexico; since I had worked in that company for only a year, I could only get six days off. Imagine that! I had saved most of my salary to go away on vacations, and I wanted to go far, I wanted to go to Africa or Asia, but I only had six days, and I knew I was going to take at least two days to get there and other two to come back to Mexico, so I would end up with two vacation days. That’s when I lost it.
Lucky for me, my lifetime partner was going through something similar, except instead of work, he was still studying that long career he didn’t even want to study and was very tired of city life and university.
Once you know what you don’t want in your life, you also get an idea of what you do want. We wanted to be free from bosses, time schedules, weekdays and big cities with lots of traffic. What we wanted was some liberty, to make an income by ourselves with the freedom to decide when to work and when to relax, and preferably doing it in a smaller city or a town.
So the number one thing is anyone can travel, you don’t have to be rich, you just have to be brave. That is, you will have to leave all comfort behind; say goodbye to your bed, to your washing machine and to your hot shower. You will leave your country and try to make a living while travelling, doesn’t that sound scary? What if I don’t make it? Well, not only you have to be brave, but you also have to be ingenious and persistent.
While you’re making a little money on the move, you will also be spending just a little money. You can always find someone to host you, cheap apartments to rent, street food is always cheaper than fancy restaurants, walks on the beach are free, touring around the town is also free; you will start discovering that life itself is free. And ok, if you want to stay in the most luxurious hotel in town and dine in the nicest restaurants, you will be spending a lot, and only then, travelling (that way) is for rich people. Otherwise, travelling can even be cheaper than having a normal life with rent, bills, insurance, Netflix, etc.
Now, when you’re on a holiday, you want everything to work out nice and easy, and of course, to be fun, that’s what’s expected. But once you live travelling, you realise sometimes it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes you will have obstacles, language is one for example. If you don’t go to the most touristy city, there’s a chance no one speaks English or your language, so you will have to find a way to communicate.
Another obstacle on the way to everything running smoothly is visas; at least it has been for us. Turns out we didn’t investigate every single aspect of the transit visa we needed for a short stop between flights, and immigration officers don’t just do exceptions. We learnt the hard way, it cost us a lot of money to buy new flights, but at least I know it won’t happen again.
Accommodation can also be stressful. Maybe you booked a certain room type and got another. Food can be difficult, what if you’re a vegetarian and don’t speak the local language? How are you supposed to know what’s on your food? Moving around can be complicated, you will have to rent a conveyance and move around with a map. Actually, every aspect of your trip could go wrong, therefore expect the best, but be prepared for the worst.
So why do we do it? Because otherwise what are we in this planet for? I was born on Earth, I want to know all of it! Or most of it, at least. And how do we do it? With a lot of courage and conviction. If you want to get deeper into how to travel a lot and not die trying, check out my next blog post with everything on how we do it.
To conclude, travelling is not all glamorous all the time. Sometimes we do get dressed properly and go out to dine on our birthdays, anniversary, or any special dates. But most of the times it is just us walking around, trying the local food, staying in affordable hotels or Airbnbs, doing the free or cheap activities. That’s how we get to know many countries without spending a lot of money; we make money last longer.
Do you want the best advice? Just do what the locals do!