Five Myths About Money and Travel

Finances & Savings, Lost Girls, Quitting & Career Management, Websites and Blogs — By on August 23, 2007 at 12:32 pm

We’re not sure if its the super-cute, girlie logo, the service-driven content or the fact that blogger Gwen Bell isn’t afraid to post wacky pictures of herself, but we’re totally addicted to her new travel site Expatriette. In her “vision statment,” Gwen pledges to “support, empower & encourage women to travel the globe stylishly, ruggedly, with grace.”

Well put, sister!
Here’s a sneak peak at Gwen’s fabulously girlie travel blog:

Five Myths about Money and Travel
by Expatriette

Let’s take a look at some of the myths about money and travel. Being aware of the myths brings us one train stop closer to getting out of the country. It all starts with examining our beliefs about two (closely related) topics: money and travel.

Myth #1) I’m too broke to travel.

I’ve stayed in hostels where kids didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. While I don’t advocate getting yourself into this situation, there are lessons in being broke. I hope I’ve learned them all.

You are telling yourself you’re too broke to travel. You may not be able to afford a RTW* ticket, but sometimes the dream to travel helps you realize some of your other talents, like the talent to make money when you have a goal in mind. Put the map of whatever country you’d like to visit on your bedroom door. I bet you’ll figure out a way to get there. When you do, let us know. We’re watching and rooting for you.

Myth #2) When I am rich (substitute: older, retired or grown up here), THEN, I will be able to afford to travel.

You can afford to travel now. It may take some ingenuity. Some research. Some reaching out. But even if you’re in debt, it’s possible to travel (although, you may want to meet with your financial planner to get into the nitty gritty). To think that sometime, in the far off future you will travel, or when you have enough dough in the bank, that’s called self-delusion.

Now is the best time to travel. If you have kids, there are resources to help you out there at the library, in bookstores. If you’re disabled, in school or afraid of being lonely, there are resources. If you need something in particular, please contact expatriette. It seems to me that the most oft-used “roadblock” is no roadblock at all, but a mental wall, one that can easily come down.

Myth #3) I won’t make money while I’m traveling. When I get home I’ll have to start from scratch.

The JET Programme in Japan pays recent grads twice or three times what they’d make fresh out of college in America. I’ve watched JET teachers drink the night away and found out only later that they went home with thousands of dollars to invest, drink up or go to grad school.

It’s possible to make money on the road. Lots of people do it. You can teach English, even if you’re “unqualified,” in many countries around the globe, and get paid handsomely to do so. The going rate when I left Japan at the end of 2006 was between $25-30 USD for new teachers and $40+ for experienced ones, as an example.

Myth #4) I can’t maintain my current level of income and travel simultaneously.

You can. You can set up multiple income streams. One place to start is to read the Four Hour Work Week in which Timothy Ferriss guides readers through designing multiple income streams. I’ve created multiple income streams and it makes tax time more fun that a 9-5er probably, but it only happens once a year. And if you can make it through an annual trip to the gyn, you can make it through tax season.

Brainstorming/coaching sessions are some of the best ways I know of to get ideas about how to put your dreams into action. Read Sark. She’ll help you sort yourself out.

Myth #5) Money will make happy. Then I won’t need to travel.

Okay, you’ve got me there. This may not be a myth. It’s one of those things that people rarely say outright but are inferred through conversation. People hear I’ve visited or lived in nearly two dozen countries over the past five years and they commence laundry-listing all the things they’ve chosen to buy that I haven’t. “Oh, but you don’t have a car or own a house! And I do. See, look!”

This is one of my favorite myths, because it is implicit, it’s often one of the most dangerous. Friends ask, “why do I need to travel when I am making so much money as a blahbittyblah?” I won’t try to twist your arm and try to convince you “need” to travel. It’s a personal choice, isn’t it? I chose it and continue to choose it. My life is made up of experiences, not things. That’s just me. You’re you. And, as Erasmus tells us in In Praise of Folly, “for the most part happiness consists in being willing to be what you are.”

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  • picklegirl117 says:

    Love your 5 Myths, and I totally agree with your “myth” #5.

  • mamacita chilena says:

    love her blog, love your blog. her blog is actually how I found you guys 🙂

    my husband and I have been planning a trip and are currently saving money for one but we’ve both been sort of in the dark about how much to spend. your budget information has been SO very useful!

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  • dadadoll designs says:

    Wow, inspiring! i love to travel, but after having to go through “working phase” of life I always feel that I can’t afford to travel. Thanks for this read. Go girls! 🙂

  • jenmonster says:

    who is sark?