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 TRAVELIf 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 DEBTMost 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 DESTINATIONIf 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.
You probably don’t want to sustain yourself only on cheese and jelly sandwiches or on Cream Crackers during your camping trip, which means you also need some cooking gear. Here are some of the basics:Camping Stove, Fuel, and Fire Starter: Sure, you’ve seen cartoons where campers cook right over a campfire, but most normal people are going to want a real stove. For backpacking, you want to grab something portable like the Scan Alpine Windproof Camping Stove for about around $15. For your first trip, it makes the most sense to start cheap and work up from there if you end up enjoying yourself.Pots and Pans: Spoiler alert: If you’re camping and have access to the storage of a vehicle, just use the pots and pans you already own. You don’t need special camping cookware unless you need to separate your household cookware from your camping stuff. For backpacking however, you want special cookware that’s effective and lightweight. For a super cheap and packable system, Scan Alpine Cooking set is $22.Cups, Bowls, and Utensils: Camping cups, bowls, and utensils are the same as what you have at home, except they tend to be lightweight, plastic or stainless steel, and often have clever designs that make them easier to pack. You don’t need much here.Coffee-Making Tools: Everyone’s coffee needs are different, but if you drink coffee, you want something to make coffee with in the morning. Anything lighter, smaller, and cleanup is less of a chore is ideal. Just make sure you grind your coffee ahead of time. If you don’t care about anything other than the caffeine, instant coffee is easy to pack.Scrubber, Dishcloths, Trash Bags, and Other Cleaning Gear: Just because you’re out in the woods doesn’t mean you won’t have to do the dishes or tidy up. Bring along some dishcloths, some type of scrub brush, and trash bags. There’s no magic camping-specific stuff here, just bring along whatever you already have, and try to leave the campsite better than you found it.You’ll also need food to cook. That part’s up to you, but meal planning for backpacking trips is a skill in its own right. Meal planning is important not only so you don’t die from starvation, but also so you get the nutrients necessary for the outdoor workout you’ll be doing. You’ll need to get used to bland freeze-dried instant meals, but it’s surprising how great a good cup of coffee and some decent oatmeal will improve your outlook for a day. Personally, two things I always overlooked but that We’ve found useful are Salmon Tins and a good set of quick make noodles, and a reasonably priced bourbon. Of course, if you’re just camping, anything you can grill works. Just make sure you bring along a cooler to store any perishables in.
Let’s start with the most obvious camping-specific equipment: Tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and all that other stuff that immediately comes to mind when you think of camping. This is all the gear you’ve been putting off buying until you really needed it. Thankfully, you can get by with a lot less you think.Tents, Tarps, Poles, Tie Downs, and Stakes: You’ll need something to sleep in, so a tent should be at the top of your priority list. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all tent though. Tents come in a variety of sizes and in a variety of types. Some ultralight tents are best suited for backpacking, while other, heavier tents come with spacious luxuries best suited for hanging out near a car. To confuse matters more, most tents come in two varieties: three-season and four-season. Three-season tents are good for just about anything but the deep of winter, while four-season tents have more durable fabric that can handle snowdrifts.Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads: Like tents, sleeping bags come in different weights and handle different temperatures, so you have to do some research to find the one best suited for you, where you plan to camp, and when. Scan Alpine Sleeping bag is a good all-around bag which you can usually track down for under $100. You will probably spend around $150-$200 for a decent sleeping bag. On top of that, most people will also want a sleeping pad, an air-filled pad that sits between your sleeping bag and the ground so you can get a little more comfortable. Scan Alpine also provides some of the best sleeping pads available in the market for various budgets and uses.Backpacks: Backpacks are an area where the distinction between camping and backpacking matters. If you’re camping, you arguably don’t need a backpack at all (though you want a good day pack if you’re planning on small hikes). In the backpack world, there are three main distinctions for sizes: day packs, overnight, and long haul. Which you need depends completely on what you plan on doing.Headlamps, Lanterns, and Flashlights: Surprise! It gets dark in the woods, so you want something to help you see at night. Any cheap flashlight A sturdy, reliable flashlight will work here, LED is best but having some extra gear is helpful too. An unbranded lamp is super useful for camping so you can make your way around the campsite and your tent easily in the dark, but it’s far too bulky for backpacking. For that, a branded lightweight headlamp like Petzl Tikka 150 is surprisingly useful, especially when you’re trying to set up a tent after dark.Water Filtration Systems and Treatment Tablets: If you’re camping, you can (and should) bring along as much water as you’d possibly need, so it’s easily accessible. Some campsites even have fresh water available, but you should bring some anyway. If you’re backpacking however, that’s not an option, so you’ll need a water filtration system.Hiking Boots or Shoes: Depending on the type of trip you’re taking, you’ll want to grab some hiking boots or shoes. Your sneakers will do just fine in many places, but if you’re planning on going for a longer backpacking trip, dedicated shoes are much more comfortable since they offer more support, padding, and stability for your ankles as your cross rough terrain. Of course, like everything else here, you have a million choices. In this case, your selection breaks down to boots, trail runners, approach shoes, and hiking shoes. Boots are clunkier but sturdier, so they’re good for people who like a lot of grip in their shoes and who like to jump into mud piles. Trail runners are light but have no real traction or ankle support, so they’re best for the nimble-footed who prefer to jump around. Hiking shoes are the goldilocks of each of those, they are lightweight, have good traction, and solid durability. They also tend to have low longevity. Approach shoes are meant mostly for climbing but sit somewhere in-between boots and runners. If this was an RPG, boots are for your tank, trail runners are for your high DEX character, and approach or hiking shoes are for your basic all around character.Paper Maps: Regardless of whether you’re camping or backpacking, there’s a good chance you will not have cell phone service. Get a map of wherever you’re going before you get out there, then learn how to read it and not to rely on GPS, even if you bring a stand-alone satellite GPS unit. You can typically find a map from the ranger station near any park entrance, or you can print them online. Either way, make sure you have one.First Aid Kit: It shouldn’t be a surprise that you need a first aid kit for camping. Include the usual aspirins, bandages, and gauze here, but also toss in some hiking-specific stuff like moleskin for blisters, leech socks, and aloe vera for burns. There are thousands of other gadgets, knick-knacks, and other gear available for camping, but most people don’t need more than what’s listed here when it comes to the essentials.