Recently, I read an article arguing that the idea that anyone can travel is a farce. It’s probably fair to say that the romantic notion that anyone can travel is just that, romance.
Of course, that’s if you only define travel as great distances abroad. Short distance travel is possible so long as you have the means to ambulate or roll.
People traveled (sometimes great) distances long before the advent of trains, and without horses. If you started walking early tomorrow morning, you’d be surprised how far you could get before sunset.
Beyond crossing county lines, there are places to which you can travel that lower your spending, increase your income or both. In the ideal abroad situation, you would not only spend less, but you would come away wiser.
Let’s get into some of the ways you can save, but let’s start with how education can help you.
In some countries, where you are neither a citizen or a resident, you can attend college for free. You don’t even have to do anything shameful to enjoy this perk.
It sounds hard to believe, but a free education in some places will not only cost you less than what you would pay at home, it will rival the quality.
Two countries that offer free education are Germany and Slovenia, but there are many more.
From students who study abroad in these places, they get an English-based education in a place where they can travel Europe during holidays. The attention is better than their at-home university.
You will still have to cover your living expenses in most cases, but that’s nothing compared to the cost of a stateside education.
This is a good way to get your foot in the door of a given country. It affords you the requisite time to consider if that country is someplace to put down roots too, all while giving you an unforgettable experience.
Volunteer work is not only rewarding, it’s a résumé builder.
People who perform volunteer work are generally more hirable candidates, when and if you decide to take on paid work. Some volunteer situations offer the option to graduate to a paid situation.
In many volunteer situations in other countries, they provide room and board so your only expenses are what you create for yourself. The money you would normally put towards rent, you could divert into a savings account.
Enrolling in a professional internship can be a good excuse to see the world on the cheap while picking up valuable life experience.
They are not easy to win, but you can even find paid internship positions or opportunities which include a stipend. The pay will never make you rich, but even a stipend beats volunteering your time.
Combined with living in a country that offers a lower cost of living than what you have back home, you could use your free time to work online. Then you would not only be traveling, you would be earning a little cash while you spend less.
If you live within your means, you could save money.
Cost of Living
Your total cost of living is everything it costs for you to live at the level you prefer. That includes your bar tabs or other forms of entertainment.
Chances are good you can beat those expenses living abroad. In some places, utilities may be higher, but the low rent combined with the utilities make it worthwhile. It may be the reverse, but you get the idea.
You have to consider every aspect of your living expenses to understand how lying abroad can save you money. Sometimes just the simple act of removing yourself from a life where you try to fill it buy making purchases is enough to start saving.
Even if you can’t find a volunteer or internship situation that satisfies your desires, you may find living abroad diminishes your needs, thus your spending.
Consider the things you spend money on now. Consider the last three things you purchased. How many of them were life-transformative?
In a place where most things work the way they’re supposed to, we lose sight of what matters. What most people who move abroad find is that they need less when away from home.
Away from it all, life boils down to the bare essentials. You appreciate the smaller things, a fresh pair of sandals or a new shirt.
If your source of income stays the same, while your costs of living go down combined with your needs for new things, you are effectively saving money.
Before you write your life off as one where you will never travel, consider the totality of your existence.
Without getting too deep into your special purpose, consider superficial information. Are you ready for more education? Can you see yourself volunteering on a farm someplace remote?
There are many pathways to travel, none of which are open to you if don’t at least consider them.