I would like to eventually turn this blog into more of a travel blog. This blog has always been a digital representation of myself and the things I’m interested in, and for the past few years those interests have primarily revolved around religion and politics. Thrown into the mix were posts on gaming, feminism, and medieval living history. While I’m still interested in those things, I’m slowly starting to see a new interest emerge, which is great! I’ve been starving to discover a new passion for almost three years now.
I really want to travel. I don’t want the 9-5 job. I don’t want the house in the suburb with the white picket fence, I don’t want the cars, the mortgage, the bills, and all the other material “stuff” that shackles people to one location or another. I want to have nothing and everything at the same time. I want to be free, and I mean really free. The kind of free that others might label nomadic and poor.
I want to travel around the world, staying in exotic locations, working odd jobs to afford enough to eat for the day. I want to have amazing life experiences. The odds of me being here, given everything that could of happened differently from the beginning of time to now, are unfathomably stacked against me. Therefore it is my moral obligation to live as amazing life as possible. It would a crime against life itself if I squandered this gift in an office so I could afford credit card payments for more useless crap.
Setting that goal was easy. The hard part is figuring out how to make it happen.
I’ve started listening to travel podcasts for precisely this reason. One such podcast is The Indie Podcast. On one particular episode they had on Adam Barker, the guy behind Man vs Debt. Barker made a really interesting point (and I’m paraphrasing):
When people think about traveling, they think it’s terribly expensive, and it can be, but it can also be extremely affordable. The problem is that many of them want to live two lives. They want to travel the world, but at the same time, they want a steady job, a nice house in a safe neighborhood, a two car garage, a mortgage, PTA meetings, etc… If you want to maintain all of that AND travel the world, then yes, it is terribly expensive.
However, if you’re willing to sell all of your stuff, if you’re willing to be nomadic, then traveling can be a really cheap thing to do. It looks like the most expensive things are plane tickets. Once you’re on the right continent, you can usually take a train, a bus, or a boat.
But what do you do when you run out of money? How do you eat?
This has been the biggest and most frustrating question for me. Everywhere I look, people just seem to give the answer “Just do it. Make things happen.” Which is no answer at all. Look, seriously. The Beatles were wrong. Love isn’t all you need. Love won’t put food on the table, love won’t pay the bills. Similarly you need to have some type of income to sustain you while traveling.
The ideal situation would be to make money while traveling. That’s where passive income comes into play. The people who travel for a living seem to have some type of small income stream trickling in. It might not be much, but they don’t need to really put any energy into maintaining it, and it’s enough to pay for food.
From what I’ve gathered, it seems that this usually takes the form of some kind of web business, or investing.
Another great way to make money while abroad is to have a job that doesn’t require you to stay in one location, a job like a programmer or website developer.
This is what I’d ideally like to be doing. Although it requires effort, you can make more money that with passive income.
So this whole thing leaves me standing at a crossroads. I have several options:
Go to Australia for a working holiday, then from there start to travel around the world.
Try to get a Silver Fern visa from New Zealand, work there, then travel around the world.
Join a volunteer program, then travel the world.
I’ve looked around a volunteer programs and the one that looks the most interesting to me is English Opens Doors in Chile.
Normally the idea of teaching children English scares the shit out of me. I’m horrible with languages, and I would just be a deer in the headlights if put in front of a class of kids, all of them looking at me to somehow teach them my native language.
The EOD program does it a little differently. You don’t need to speak Spanish (you’ll learn it while you’re there) and you’re not the one teaching the kids. The head teacher is teaching the kids. You’re just there to help the kids with their conversational English. The other big plus is that you don’t pay EOD, they pay you. Room and board is taken care of with your host family, and they give you a small monthly stipend to use however you want. It’s not much, but then again, the cost of living in Chile isn’t very high.
If I went with either OZ or NZ, I’d have to save up a little more money. This is the hard part since I’m currently out of work and stuck in a really shitty economy. If I went to volunteer, I could leave in a few months and be over seas quickly. Though this is just postponing the issue of needing more money to move to the South Pacific. I’ll have to think about it.
My favorite part of planning for an adventure is by far picking the gear. I LOVE picking the specific gear I’ll need for a trip. I enjoy comparing and contrasting various items for weight, cost, performance, etc. I guess it’s my inner nerd. I have a wish list so far.
I need to get a real backpacking backpack. I’m still doing research on this. I won’t necessarily be living on a cliff face in Patagonia for weeks on end, but I will have a lot of my belongings with me.
I also need to get a good DSLR camera. Lately I’ve been looking at the Pentax K-r. I want to be able to take amazing shots of my journeys around the world. A good DSLR is key.
I also recently fell in love with the GoPro Hero 2. I’d love to take video like in that link.
So yeah, hopefully if things pan out, I’ll be able to start posting about amazing travel adventures here!