Travel Tip 1: If Travel Is Truly a Priority, Budget for It
What do your finances reflect about your priorities?
When I first finally had the resources to enjoy independent and frequent travel, I met quite a few people who shared the same desire. However, whereas I treated it as a goal, they treated it as a dream. I've turned my frequent travel into full-time travel, while they are still married to their lives in the city with occasional vacation time.
What Does Prioritizing Travel Look Like?
One of the guys I traveled with became especially upset with me for taking a trip he backed out of at the last minute. When I asked him, why the change of heart, he retorted, "Not everyone can afford to travel and take off whenever they like!"
I took a moment to swallow my surprise, and then I said, "You spend $300 per month on weed and booze. This trip cost me $600 and I told you about it three months ago. If you had smoked less and drank less, you would be on that flight to Colorado. You chose your priorities and I chose mine."
How Did I Prioritize Travel?
Contrary to what many people might believe, I am not wealthy. My life had humble beginnings on the island of Jamaica where even ramen was sometimes too expensive a meal for me. Nevertheless, I have prioritized travel for the past 15 years or so:
I chose to complete both my degrees in Jamaica, which cost me a whopping $26,000 US for all six years, including living expenses. I have no student loans.
I bought my first home in America with my mom, so I could build equity with my family. We now Airbnb out the mother-in-law suite I renovated and lived in for 5 years.
My family and I chose to live in the ‘burbs, while all my millennial friends were drowning in high rent in the city. Better them, than me!
I didn’t buy my first car until I was 28 years old. I paid off my 5-year loan in 18 months because I hate paying interest.
I spent my first 5 years in America building my current business, so I could work from anywhere. It now provides 80% of my income.
When I was ready to move out, I bought a tiny house on wheels. I’ve been living in 160 SF since October 2020 and have zero desire for a conventional home.
LESSON: Whether you're planning for weekend trips, a gap year, or full-time travel, budgeting makes all the difference. Always remember: freedom is not free. If you live your life like everyone else, you can’t expect better outcomes than anyone else.
TIP: Set money aside each month in a high-interest savings account. Pay for trips using a rewards card and then repay the balance before the credit card company can charge you interest.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What can you do differently in 2022 to prioritize a life of travel, adventure, and freedom?
Tomorrow I’ll send some bonus ramen to paid subscribers to hold you over for the weekend. It includes information on how my business makes money, what it pays me, and how I budget that money to fund full-time travel on the road.
See you next week!
— Alexis Chateau