My blog and social media pages may give the false impression that I am on a 24/7 vacation, but the real story is simply that I have made traveling a priority.
I spend my spare minutes planning, searching and saving for my next big adventure. With 12 states visited, nine countries traversed, four continents investigated, two oceans surfed and one treehouse inhabited (if only for the night), I have learned the art of traveling light and working with a realistic budget to ensure that globe-trotting is achievable.
My first big, multi-month backpack trip was to Australia. All I knew was that I was going solo and that I had enough miles to cover a one-way ticket. Prior to planning anything, I simply set a few goals. The first was my departure date and the second was budgeting how much money I wanted to save. After I set concrete goals for myself, I opened up a second savings strictly for travel.
I initiated a direct deposit from my job so that a percentage dropped into my “wanderlust fund” every two weeks. I strongly encourage anyone with an incurable case of wanderlust to do the same. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, right? Yes, the plane rides, hotel stays and tourist attractions can get pricey, but travel is possible if you are willing to be flexible.
This leads to another strong encouragement, explore and stay open to out-of-the-box options. Some of my favorite trips were experiences where my “rent” didn’t cost a thing. Backpacking in Washington’s National Forest, couch-surfing in Indonesia and staying with friends of friends in Australia were all free and gave me the opportunity to experience life from a local and in-depth perspective.
(Quick note on traveling: be very aware of your surroundings and never sacrifice your safety. If you are feeling uncomfortable in a situation or your intuition tells you something is wrong, remove yourself from the scene)
There are hundreds of travel tips out there and taking too much time to evaluate all of them might delay a trip. It’s easy to postpone waiting for the perfect moment, or the prices to drop, or the economy to get better. So my last piece of advice? Don’t wait. Do it now.
The time is always right to expand your horizons and expose yourself to new perceptions. Oh, one thing you can save your money on? Those souvenirs that you need to have but completely forget about once you’re home. Invest in the people you’ll meet, the memories you’ll make and don’t forget to snap a few epic photos along the way.
By Leslie Schipper
Follow Leslie’s journey on www.leslieschipper.com // @Lschipper