Today, May 27, 2014, marks my 40th day of international travel!! I still am in awe sometimes that I actually took a leap of faith and left the good ol’ USA to fulfill my lifelong dreams of long term international travel.
For years I felt so stuck in making this dream come true. I had the perception that it was going to cost me a ton of money… and given I had massive bills and debt to tend to every month – I had a difficult time believing that I could make it happen!
Now that I’m 40 days deep into this thing I realize how silly all that stress and worry was.. BECAUSE…
I’ve spent LESS THAN $400 in my 40 days of INTERNATIONAL travel! Yes… LESS THAN $400!
Had I been in the United States, that same time period would have cost me at least $3,000 (paying rent twice, car payment, insurance, cell phone, food, gas, entertainment etc…).
So how have I managed to spend so little?
By VOLUNTEERING my time and energy into helping others!
The first three weeks I was with Suburban Legends on tour helping them sell their merchandise. I received a few tips but aside from that got paid nothing in terms of wages. BUT all the accommodations and food was provided by either the venue or the band (these two elements are what can make a huge dent in your wallet when traveling!). In my first two weeks with the band I didn’t even exchange any of the money I brought and only had to use my debit card a few times (mostly for alcohol – hotel wine was a necessity! haha).
After I left the band I couchsurfed for two nights (FREE!) and mostly just had to spend money on bus passes and food (which I picked up from a market as cheap and healthy as I could find).
Now that I’m in Tenerife, Spain (Canary Islands), I am back to volunteering at a hostel I found through Workaway.info. The agreement is that I work 4 mornings a week (hours can range but it’s honestly easy work)… and in exchange I get to stay and eat for FREE. BAM! This hostel is super nice and cleaner than my home ever was – plus the people are freaking awesome! Part of my “job” is setting out breakfast and then sitting and chatting with guests. Just the other morning I had breakfast with people from Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, China, France — how cool is that!
My expenses here have mainly been bus fare, a few special meals out, and some activities (concert). It’s been exactly TWO weeks and I’ve spent 87 Euro (that includes the 15 Euro it cost me my first day to get from the airport to the hostel).
So where did my $400 go? (appx – I typically rounded up)
- $40 – train ride to London
- $118 – flight to Tenerife from London
- $50 – Train (Heathrow to Central London), Bus pass, Bus in Tenerife
- Honestly… the rest is just bullshit. This pains me to say this but its mostly extra food and alcohol! So if you don’t drink just think how cheap it would be!! AHHHHH! At least now that I’m on the island it’s SUPER cheap to go out – a glass of wine costs under $2 at most bars (given I’m staying away from the touristy parts in the south).
If you’ve been following my Facebook or Blog you can see I haven’t been living under a rock either!! There has been plenty of adventure, exploration, festivals, food, wine, and just plain FUN!
I wanted to write this post to show everyone that long term international travel IS POSSIBLE and actually quite easy!
Who wants to come explore with me???