YOU CAN ACHIEVE A LIFE OF TRAVEL IF YOU APPROACH YOUR TRAVEL GOALS WITH THE RIGHT MINDSET.

 So many times, we encounter people who enthuse over a nomadic lifestyle. And then they say. “I have no time for travel,” they say. Or, “I don’t know how you afford it!” There is always some sort of reason for why travel just doesn’t fit into their lifestyle. But the truth is that you only live once and that travel is right for everyone. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone can travel this moment, but aligning your actions with your goals can make travel a reality for most people—if you’re willing to take small actions every day that prioritize travel over other things. 

All you need is just need a solid plan. Debt, family circumstances, and so many other things factor into why you might believe you can’t achieve your travel goals, but let’s reframe the conversation in three easy steps.

PRIORITIZE TRAVEL

If you really want to travel, you have to make it a priority. This means you must place it above other things in importance. Right now, examine your life for things that are holding you back from travel, and one by one try to knock down those barriers. 

For most people, money is something that they perceive holding them back from travelling. So, what can you do to prioritize travel in the real world? Save your expenditure is something you can start with. Start by stop eating out, and try to stop upgrading your tech for some time. I mean many, many years with a janky old phone. If you can manage with, because you will be traveling! Focus on what you need, and not what you want. Do you really need to upgrade to an iPhone X, when your 5S keeps chugging along just fine? 

Try to reduce on utility bills like phone bills, internet bills and travelling bills. Take the bus more often. When you make travel the most important thing in your life, you’d be surprised how many less-important things fall by the wayside. Don’t cut out things you love, but cut back on the things that aren’t actually making your life significantly better right now because that’s where find the extra rupees in your budget for your travel fund. 

Oh, and it should go without saying that the money you save must be put away every month. And if a life circumstance derail your saving plan for a time, that’s OK. It’s bound to happen if you’re planning to save for a trip over several years. This is a marathon, just keep prioritizing and saving and you will grow your travel fund, little by little. Try not to indulge in other things many peers bought without much thought, because you wanted to travel. The point is, all sacrifices, big and small, count towards your travel goal.

GET ON TOP OF DEBT

Most experts will tell you that you should have zero debt before you travel, and I didn’t. Debt is a roadblock to travel because, obviously, you need money, and your monthly budget is going to be tighter when you have debt payments piling up. That’s why it’s important to get on top of debt to the greatest extent possible before you step foot on a westbound train going anywhere. Or, you know, an airplane. 

Pay down your debt to at least a manageable level, then simply make room in your travel budget for consistent payments along with everything else. One thing travel should not do is damage your credit because eventually you will have to return back home.

HARNESS THE POWER OF GEOARBITRAGE TO CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION

If your travel goals include something long term, it makes sense to extensively research your options before squaring away a particular destination. Try to pick places to temporarily settle down where the cost of living is low . 

Chiang Mai, Thailand, and other destinations in Southeast Asia where  you can rent an apartment on a short-term lease for half the cost rather than backing in Europe, where meals and entertainment cost pennies on the Euro. Sure, there will always be Rome, and Paris, and London, but I challenge you to take the path less travelled by, and fall in love with wild-flung destinations that will expand and enrich your appreciation of our big, diverse world.

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