Far too often we spend more time convincing ourselves why we can’t do something instead of planning for a way to make it happen. I’m totally guilty of this. I held myself back from satisfying my wanderlust with the usual ” you can’t afford it” or “in a year when you pay off ALL your debt”. And then one day, while scrolling through plane fares, a voice in my head said ” just buy the damn ticket!”. And so I did.
With two degrees under my belt, I love the fact that I am working in a career using the education that I worked so hard to obtain. And the reality is, I have bills, just like everyone else. Plus, I like the security of having health insurance (if you’ve never been without it, its the worst). I’ve lurked around travel blogs for years looking for answers on dealing with debt while maximizing travel and working full time, state-side. The only things that ever came up were:
a) Develop a skill that you could use in any country to earn a living.
b) Teach English in another country.
c) Work really hard to save and quit my job to travel the world.
These are all good choices, no doubt. I admire those people who can religiously pinch pennies to pay off all their debts or save up enough to quit their jobs and travel the world. I could get to that point, but I’m not there yet, nor do I want to be right now. Seriously, that takes a ton of will power, so kudos to them. I guess I fall somewhere in between.You see the thing that I have come to realize is this; I could spend all of my time and money on paying off every single debt I owed and die at any given moment during the process. There goes my travel wish list!
So I plan and set realistic goals. For example, I know that this year I want to pay off at least 1 credit card out of 2. I also know that given my vacation days and relevant monthly expenses, I can set a goal of 2-3 domestic trips (I take full advantage of 3 day weekends) and 2 international (Tulum in 2 weeks!!) for a total of 4-5 trips this year. This works for me. It satisfies my need for travel while not making me feel like a slacker in paying off my debt. It just goes back to what I’ve said in previous posts.You don’t have to be rich to travel. I’ve also noticed that some people don’t consider domestic travel real travel, which is definitely not true. I once priced a plane ticket to Bermuda and it was the same price for a ticket to Portland. So based on that, domestic travel IS travel. Travel is travel, period.
To those of you in a similar situation as me, I say, know your limits and whether or not you are comfortable with them. If not, come up with feasible goals and ways to change them. To reach my debt and travel goals, I find the money. What am I saying? I have a tax refund coming up. There goes the credit card I want paid off. Two months out of this year I’ll get an extra paycheck. There goes money towards my travel funds. Again, you know your situation better than I would. But don’t put off your passions for something that will still be there if you died tomorrow.