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It is not a secret that I like to travel. In fact, I plan my next vacation while I’m on vacation, and often times I try to travel internationally at least once or twice a year. I am not rich, and I don’t have unlimited resources. But, there are a few things I do to make this possible in my life.
Travel is important for me and my family. And as all things that are important, it takes priority over other things that we might consider unnecessary. I am going to give you some tips and ideas that will inspire you to do the things, and see the places you’ve always wanted to see.
In order to successfully budget and gather your will power, you must have a imminent desire to achieve travel nirvana. Seeing the world must be your ultimate goal. It must triumph over the temptation of new holiday decorations every year, it must surpass your inner desire of buying a new outfit every social gathering, it must exceed your need of keeping up with the Joneses… unless you have unlimited money, then go at it, but you probably wouldn’t be reading this article if that was the case.
In the past five years, we have visited 8 different countries all over the world, and dozens of cities, and towns in the US. We have seen things we had never even imagined we would, eaten foods we never thought existed, and experienced happiness to a completely different level. Travel opens your mind and lets you see, and feel other cultures, other people, other points of view. It helps your spirit grow, and your body live longer, and happier.
Are you ready? Read this with an open mind and the notion that in order to change something in your life, you must change other aspects in your life. For it to be a change, you must be open to change.
1. YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING FANCY.
Yes, having nice things is, well, nice. But brand name things are also much more expensive than their brand-less (and very competitive) counterparts. This includes food items, and health products. Do your research, and opt for the brand-less items. They are usually cheaper, and comparable in quality. A brand name is just that, a name. You don’t need the latest gadgets or Parisian fashion to be happy. Unless that’s your thing, and you prefer to pretend you can afford living in Beverly HIll; trust me, traveling the world is more rewarding.
Think about it next time you want to buy those red-sole shoes you have been eyeing for a while. You can go to Paris, and spend a wonderful week experiencing the Louvre and the Eiffel tower instead.
2. CUT OFF THAT TAKE OUT MEAL
Cook at home. Is that simple. You won’t believe the amount of money that you’ll save with the mere fact of cooking your own meals. Go grocery shopping at places that will save you money, like Costco, Sam’s Club or Aldi’s. Most cities have many options available that will allow you to save tons of money on groceries. If you can, do coupons too! There are ways to buy your groceries at very affordable prices, and save tons. You may think that $15 dollars here and there is not much, but believe me! It adds up quickly.
Here are some great recipe ideas you can try to start.
3. THERE IS NO SHAME IN BEING THRIFTY
Second hand clothes? why not! Nowadays, there are amazing thrift stores that cater to (usually expensive) exclusive brands in excellent condition for a VERY affordable price. Listen, I am no fashion expert, and I might not be known for having the best outfits, but playing fashionista doesn’t give me happiness…traveling does. It’s OK not to have a new outfit every single time you go out with your friends or family. It’s OK to mix and match things in your closet. Get creative! You will discover many other possibilities. Save that cash you were going to spend on those new summer dresses and put that money on a “travel jar”. I promise you, before you know it [and if you follow my advice] you will have enough to buy yourself a plane ticket to an exotic destination. Don’t buy anything you don’t NEED, and you will have save enough for the hotel too. Trust me.
4. GET AN EXTRA GIG FOR EXTRA CASH
All things good require sacrifice. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that you will have extra money to go to Rome by tomorrow, but you will have it sooner than later. If you are just not finding the extra cash, earn some extra cash. There are many work-from-home part time jobs out there that will allow you to work flexible hours and/or weekends. Appen is a great company that offers various flexible data collecting/entry/linguistic jobs, as well as some corporate and financial positions. If you have an affinity for languages, there are many other companies that hire college graduates to teach languages. Depending on the language you are equip to teach, you would want to check KidsClub Spanish School for Spanish speakers, or VIPKID for ESL teachers. You must have a Bachelors degree or higher, and some experience teaching (even coaching, Sunday school, tutoring). No teacher degree necessary.
5. NO VACATION TIME AT WORK? CONSIDER THIS…
One of the main complains in America is “I don’t have enough vacation time”, or “I am out of PTO (paid time off)”. As I love to take several trips a year, this was presenting to be one of my biggest challenges to date. How to get time off work that is paid and still keep my job? I mean, when you only get stinking two weeks a year for vacation, it gets tough after a while. Well, there are two things you can do about it. ONE: Just take two weeks a year, but make those the best two weeks of your year. Or TWO: Consider a job that allows you to travel while you work.
Well, I am about to reveal a secret. A few months ago, I quit my desk job and decided to do something different with my life. I quit a very good, steady income, to dedicate myself to travel, discovering myself and the world. But I still needed to pay bills, and good wishes were not enough to pay the mortgage. That’s when I discovered VIPKID. VIPKID is an amazing opportunity that has allowed me to breathe easier, and live more.
Working for VIPKID as an independent contractor ESL teacher, allows me to set my own schedule and to travel, wherever I want, whenever I want while still being able to work. As long as I have my computer, and access to reliable internet, I can work from anywhere in the world.
Is your dream touring Europe or South America? pack your bags and go. Work on the road (times depending on the time zone you are in at the moment of class). The income is great, and you are allowed to work as much or as little as you desire. For more information on how to become a VIPKID teacher, send me an email at MiaTravels@ReadExploreRepeat.com with the subject line : VIPKID. I will personally coach you and walk you through the hiring process. I’d like to share this opportunity with others as it has been a blessing in disguise in my life.
Don’t hold off on your dreams. You are not getting any younger. Whatever that it is you want to do; that item in your bucket list that is calling your name every time you think about it…do it. LIVE because when we leave this world we won’t take material possessions, only the memories, experiences and things we’ve learned from the world that is there to teach us.
Do it now. Live. Travel.