Anyone can travel the world on a budget
I started to travel at an early age. My family would often drive to Vermont for a weekend or occasionally get on a plane to see family in Chicago. Whether by air, land or sea, I have traveled. Many say I have “itchy feet” which does not mean I’m coming down with a fungus. No, it means that I have wander lust or the need to see the world! I just love visiting new locations and learning about people. Trying different types of desserts is also quite amazing.
Planes, boats, trains, busses, cars, and even skiing! I’ve been on them all at one point or another. In fact, I am packing to travel to see my fiancé in Brazil. It will be a long journey, but worth it. Coming home after my first trip to Brazil back in June, I was longing for adventure once again. Sometimes being legally blind makes me quite nervous to go on adventures, but then my heart spoke to me.
“Emily, you can walk to a bus. This bus will take you to a train station. You can take a train to an airport. From there you can visit the world!”
It is amazing how putting limits on our dreams can keep us tied to our locations. This is not to say that loving where you are is bad. Not at all! Having a safe space to call your own is amazing. I can appreciate blooming where you are rooted. For me having moved about 25 times, my home is where I lay my head. I personally look forward to the day where I have a house of my own so I can go back to after an adventure.
Traveling is not as expensive as you may think
Despite the commercials of tropical islands with beautiful people doing daring things that cost ONLY $3,000, there are cheaper ways of seeing the world. It has been my experience that these package deals are pretty awesome, but they are limited to showing you this “tourist” view of the world. I am someone who wants to see what life is like outside of this bubble. That being said, there are also certain comforts I need for health reasons.
If you can plan ahead, then you can get a lot of deals. There are some great websites out there that package deals for flights, hotels, and car rentals. I have used a couple, but honestly, search around and see who has the best deal. Networking with groups like churches, hobbies, or backpackers international groups can help on room and board. There might be options for day laboring like picking apples for a bed and a meal. Be careful, be smart, and plan ahead.
Do not over look the details
When traveling, I need to have a checklist of what to bring and who to contact. There are places I absolutely need to inform before embarking anywhere. Due to the level of security nowadays, it is so important to do these first before packing.
Places to contact:
- Your bank and credit cards informing them where you will be even if you are not bringing your cards
- Your mobile phone company to make sure you are covered or can buy a package
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program https://step.state.gov/STEP/Index.aspx
- Your emergency contacts. Emergencies happen all the time. Give them a heads up for your travels
- Your pharmacy. Most times you can bring a few months medication, but if you get stuck without your meds, let them know where you’ll be
Bring what you will need
Unless you are literally traveling into the Amazon jungle for a few years, odds are good that you do not need to bring all of your earthly possessions. In fact, the less you bring, the better. I have been able to stay somewhere for a month just bringing two carry-ons to the plane. Not all countries carry supplies that we are used to in the United States, however some airports will prohibit certain items. Tweezers, razors, hot irons, and similar grooming items are prohibited on planes, but not for checked bags. Just be aware of what you can carry-on and pack accordingly.
Side note: Do not be surprised if items are missing from your checked bags. Authorities have the right to take out any item they feel is not secure. It is part of the agreement you signed when buying a ticket. My rule of thumb is to bring things I am not afraid of losing. The very important items I carry-on with me.
Traveling alone is scary
Yes, it absolutely is and there is no way of sugar coating this. However, I pray that it does not keep you stuck in one place. It has been my experience that people are people world round. Some areas are scarier than others for sure.
I highly suggest taking self-defense courses and first aid courses before starting out on your worldly travels. I have lived in some rough areas that you would not expect to be so violent. It happens everywhere. Friends of mine have been hurt next door and overseas. The best tool we are all given rests on our shoulders. Use it.
My disability adds an extra layer to my safety, but I do not let it limit me. I have spoken to many others who are afraid for me. Don’t be. I am prepared as much as I can be and the rest is out of my hands. We only have this one life and I choose to live it well.
Don’t wait until you are old to see the world. Take mini vacations to the next state or plan a weekend trip to go see the ocean. Adventures are what we make them to be. I even have picnics in my kitchen when the sun is beaming through the windows when there is a ton of snow outside.
Get your passport, put a world map on the wall, and dream big! Traveling is something anyone can do with the right planning, saving a some money each month, and networking for opportunities to travel.