Dear girls of the world: You don’t have to be rich to start a life of travel

Dear girls of the world,

We’ve been far too conditioned to think that travel is too expensive and that it is only for the rich, upper-class, ‘lucky’, or pension-filled people. But no—that is definitely NOT the case.

I was not rich when I started a life of travel; yet here I am today, traveling through countries across the globe and having the time of my life!

With this lifestyle, I certainly had people saying:

  • “You must have earned a lot of money in your previous job.”
  • “You must be from a rich family since you were from a good school; your parents can always back you up.”
  • “You must be getting extra money from someone, like your partner.”

No, no, and no.

When I was 19, I got my first job out of college at an international investment bank (this was apart from the 3 long internships I’ve previously had). We all know how fresh graduates are usually treated, so it’s safe to say that I just had about enough money to get me by every month.

I also lived apart from my parents at that time since I wanted to try being independent; naturally, starting then, I no longer depended on them. They have put me in a good school in the past, yes, but as a typical middle-class family, they gave me that opportunity through hard-earned money. Plus: I may be the youngest one but I was not a spoiled child; my parents taught me very well that if I want something, I have to work hard for it—and I always have.

Digital Nomad Duo Digital Nomad Duo

That’s why in that year, I finally took the necessary steps + preparation in order for me to quit my job and launch my dreams of working remotely so that I could freely travel around the world!Fast forward to 21: I was still working at my corporate job. It wasn’t a ‘good’ thing though because even if I was one of the best performers, I was already plagued with the realization that a 9-to-5 job wasn’t what I wanted from life. I didn’t even want to keep society and my family to continually dictate how my life should progress and trap me in the idea that such a job will keep me ‘secured’ for eternity… I really wasn’t planning on wasting away my early 20’s in that way (and the rest of my life as well).

It was actually at this point that I met the love of my life too, but he has never given me anything—except for the huge inspiration to go after my dreams—nor did I ever ask anything from him at all. We both value independence a lot so we are definitely NOT together to ‘baby’ one another; and I definitely don’t want to be ‘babied’ by anyone in any way!

Surely it was a bumpy road at first, but I eventually managed to secure a stable income from my freelance jobs online as a digital nomad. I was offering SEO, graphic design, web design, and online marketing services that I learned all by myself. Come 2014, one of the companies that I worked for had even sparked the idea for my own online business that I now run together with my partner!

After all of what I have been through, I definitely don’t consider myself as ‘lucky’ because I believe in this quote: “Lucky is the word lazy people use to describe people who work hard.”

I made this lifestyle happen.

I had to make changes and sacrifices to get to where I am today. I had to make do with the little resources that I had in order to make it day by day.

…and guess what? You can do the same!

How?

First: make some sacrifices. If you can’t afford to travel now, that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to travel in the future. If this is what you really want (no matter if you are broke) if you make it your priority, it’s absolutely possible. Now of course, this won’t be accomplished overnight but with a few changes in your lifestyle, it becomes very achievable in the long run.

Responsible elephant tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand Responsible elephant tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand

For my case, the bulk of my expenses was due to the ‘eating out’ thing; you see, it was my way of dealing with stress! (Haha!) In the past, I loved spending my money away on good food and it was intensified when I started a blog about restaurant reviews that kicked off very well. I realized that I could save a lot if I took away the unnecessary ‘binge eating’. As a result, I started cooking for myself which not only help save me money but had even polished my cooking skills. It was a win-win!For starters, track your spending habits: where is most of your money/salary going to? Is it from eating in expensive restaurants during lunch break? Is it from your bar hopping spree in the weekends as you drown your worries away? Is it because of your shopping sprees whenever you feel stressed from work? Go and quickly identify these unnecessary expenses and then cut them out. You’ll see for yourself that you can save a LOT of cash when you really separate your wants and needs, and then scratching out the unimportant expenses that you are making on your ‘wants list’.

Second: change your habits. Live cheaper as you work towards your goal while making ways to save money in every chance that you get.

Go into a savings routine and stick to it! Watch out for cheaper options: if you focus your travel goals first on cheaper countries, the whole plan itself becomes even more attainable. Keep a lookout for airline discounts too, or opportunities to get accommodation for free (like couchsurfing, home stays, etc.). While you’re at it, if you continually want to travel for your life like I do, find a job that will fund you while you’re on the road! You can try being a digital nomad like me wherein you sell your skills online, or you can try other options like volunteering or being an English teacher overseas.

Believe me when I say that the possibilities and options are endless!

But basically, it’s apparent that what this all boils down to are these two important things: discipline and hard work. Which I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to do. It will be tough, but it will be worth it. Guaranteed.

Besides, money really shouldn’t be one of the things that should keep you from seeing the world. Make it a point that starting today, you’ll stop saying that you ‘can’t afford to travel’ because you’ll just be making an excuse. Much like what I’ve gone through: nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough.

Again: you DON’T need to be rich; but you WILL become rich once you start a life of travel! It may be in the form of money or a new profitable business on the road—but ultimately, you will become rich because travel will give that to you through the people you meet, the lessons you keep, and the experiences + adventures you reap!

So go ahead and make it happen. I’ll wait for you here!

Love,
Aileen
who is currently falling in love with European countries

Aileen Adalid is a wild spirit from the Philippines who quit her corporate job at 21 in order to travel the world. Today, she is a digital nomad + entrepreneur traveling through countries with her other half. She is also the mastermind behind ‘I am Aileen‘ (iamaileen.com), a travel blog where she documents her adventures, thoughts, and experiences as she aims to inspire other people to start a life of travel.

Comments

  • February 12, 2015

    Thank you so much for this, Trisha! 🙂 Glad to be a part of this series. Cheers!

    reply
  • February 16, 2015

    I agree with you. Traveling is really a must-do to every person. Alone or with someone. tbh, i haven’t yet traveled but I am planning to this year 🙂

    reply

Post a Comment

Currently under construction but I’ll be back soon!

Follow me on