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Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
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gavinmadden Offline
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Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
I remember the plane ride home from my first big trip to Europe. As I sat in my economy class seat I reminisced about the last two years of my life partying, exploring and having sex with strangers. I was suddenly faced with the prospect of returning to full time employment and living with what I fear most: Routine.

I spent the next six weeks without a job. During that time I found it hard to come to terms with partying any less than 3 nights a week, but lack of funds soon became my personal party pooper and gave me no choice but to retreat into forced hibernation.

Every now and again I would look over photos of that amazing two years spent in what now seemed like a dream and became increasingly nostalgic. The nostalgia became so overwhelming that it was turned into something that fueled my insane desire to travel again.

“If I am to have that kind of freedom again within the next year, I have no other choice but to adopt a ‘saving money mindset’.” I remember thinking to myself as I paced up and down my hallway waiting for the results of the job interview I had taken a few days beforehand. At this stage I was around $10,000 in debt and it seemed as though the road to financial freedom was years away. I needed to sit down, write out a budget and stick to it, but that task was easier said than done.

Within the first two months I had successfully paid back $5000, but the routine had started to get to me. My hibernation period had left me completely uninspired and although saving money was going to fund my return to the promise land in the long term, it wasn’t giving me enough fulfillment in the short term.

I cracked. I began to feel the need to go out and get drunk every single weekend. My urge to fuck random women from nightclubs was back and I didn’t care if I spent every cent that I earned getting it. I went from being the guy in hibernation mode to the guy insisting on all of his friends joining him for drinks. The thought of routine had scared me into forgetting that my primary objective for returning home was to save enough money for another adventure. Spending $300 on a Saturday night became my new routine and it seemed as though I had lost all motivation to travel once again.

Six months had now passed and my spending to saving ratio was a disgrace. I was still over $5000 in debt and, along with myself, my alcohol/drug intake was to blame. I had starved myself of freedom and was now experiencing the side effects of ridding myself of anything that would affect my goal of traveling again as soon as possible.

My mistake was obvious; I lived an unbalanced lifestyle. I either gave 100% to partying or 100% to saving. It seem as though I either wanted to leave again within a few months or never again. Instead of allowing myself to splurge every now and again I banned myself from any social event because I saw it as a money burning exercise. What I needed to do was allow myself to be social, but at the same time be disciplined enough to stick to a realistic budget.

I needed to create a budget that promoted both short term and long-term freedom. Saving 75% of what I earned was all well and good, but it was destroying my soul and provided me with little short-term fulfillment.

Over the next few months I saw a noticeable change in my mental health. I adopted both a ‘living for the weekend’ lifestyle and a ‘saving for the big trip’ mentality. By coming to terms with the fact I wouldn’t be able to travel for at least another 6 months I was able to fully enjoy the present by living in moment, but at the same time keeping the thought of travel in the back of my mind.

For me, saving the majority of what I earned by not socialising wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle even if it was only going to be for six months. Coming to terms with waiting another year to travel was tough, but it became easier as I discovered that the reward was being able to have my proverbial cake and eat it too.

Anyone else got any advice on how they saved for an extended holiday/back packing?
Sex. Travel. Freedom.
To visit my blog go to : http://www.gavinmadden26.com
03-17-2013, 08:52 AM
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RockingForever Offline
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RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
I went through the same thing after my first backpacking trip round Europe. Knew I needed to get away on another adventure as soon as I could. Got a job, worked for 8 months, went to Australia and Asia. When that was up was back at the same point, skint, needed a job, wanted to get away again. This repeated a couple more times before I decided I need to sort something more permanent out. I know I'll never be able to settle down and get a regular job and live a 'normal' life I'll always want to travel and see new places or at least live somewhere where you can live like a rockstar.

The only way round it is to sort out a way of making money than can be done whilst you travel or from anywhere in the world whether that be TEFL, your own online biz, some sort of passive income or whatever.
03-17-2013, 09:18 AM
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Rick91 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
I can relate to this situation totally. For pretty much 12 days of every 2 weeks it feels like I'm in a hamster cage. That is 48 weeks of the year. 6 weeks time that changes.
03-17-2013, 04:05 PM
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gavinmadden Offline
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RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
(03-17-2013, 04:05 PM)Rick91 Wrote: I can relate to this situation totally. For pretty much 12 days of every 2 weeks it feels like I'm in a hamster cage. That is 48 weeks of the year. 6 weeks time that changes.

Yeah at this stage in my life I'm using my home country (Australia) as a place to make some serious cash for traveling, so my life is a balance between travelling for a year and coming home and working for 6 months. Unfortunately this isn't sustainable so i'm dedicating all the free time I have to, as RF said, working on setting up some passive income.

Living the rest of my live in Australia is up there with my worst fears so I won't stop until I make sure that that doesn't become a reality.
Sex. Travel. Freedom.
To visit my blog go to : http://www.gavinmadden26.com
03-17-2013, 04:35 PM
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Ruxman Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
I've done one cycle really, been overseas and now I'm back in Australia saving again. But I don't just want to leave again, convert my savings to another currency spend it have a great time and start over, I can already see that I will return crestfallen like RF said. I'm looking into TEFL in asia perhaps (still gotta do the course) or getting a working visa in Canada, I'd like one for USA but they're strict and I don't fall into the needed categories.

I too don't want to live in Australia, it was established as a deposit for english prisoners, that's how I feel, tucked away in the southern hemisphere away from progression, missing out on all of it you know.
03-17-2013, 08:39 PM
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G_global Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
Weird - I loved Australia - thought it was the bomb and had an amazing time travelling the east coast for a month. Scuba diver's paradise, to boot.
03-17-2013, 11:34 PM
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RockingForever Offline
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RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
I enjoyed my 3 months on Aus East Coast but I was quite glad to leave for SE Asia and would be in no rush to go back. I was supposed to stay a year and get a job but couldn't face being in Australia for 1 year. Lots of the country, particularly up in the North East (can only imagine how much worse it is West coast / central) is so backwards.

To the guys who are at the start of the work, save, travel routine work something out as soon as possible that will allow you to make it more sustainable because eventually you'll hit a dead end where it's more difficult to get jobs due to the gaps in your CV and frequent travel. No one will employ someone who fucks off every 6 months. As great as the travel part is the coming home with no money, faced with having to get a dead end job and no idea what's about to happen next is soul destroying eh?

Six months on the road goes in too quick anyway. There's no way now I'd go away for less than 4 months, just doesn't seem worth it.
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2013, 12:58 AM by RockingForever.)
03-18-2013, 12:43 AM
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G_global Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Balancing your lifestyle whilst saving for your next big trip
^^ Agreed. Better to find something that you can do whilst being relocated to where you want to be, or find a way to be self-sustaining.
03-18-2013, 01:55 AM
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