3 FAQ’s About Long Term Travel
We thought we’d write a post about something that we are asked a lot. “How are you guys able to travel long term?”
To be honest, there are quite a few underlying questions to this. We will cover more of them in later posts. For now, we’ll concentrate on the big three.
- How do we afford to travel the way we do?
- What kind of employment do we have that allows for this?
- What do we do with our house and our stuff?
How do we afford long term travel?
So what is making all of this globetrotting possible while staying out of the poor house?
As you may have guessed, we are fiscally responsible (a.k.a. cheaper than shit!) both while at home and away. This allows us to save our money for our trips.
We find that we don’t need to label jars or have a special account that we add to every month. We simply don’t spend money on useless crap and we don’t carry interest on anything but a mortgage.
If it’s expensive enough that we don’t have the money to buy it outright, we’ll save up for it. Also, we have never been able to justify carrying debt for the privilege of owning a new vehicle. If we’ve been judged for not looking “successful” we’ve either been oblivious to it or have been proudly owning our priorities while bombing around in a 12 year old PT Cruiser.
If you think we have an opinion on having credit cards, your right but it’s probably not what you think. We use credit cards that offer cash back rewards or travel points but we pay them down every month and do not incur interest.
Finally, we put all of our purchases into perspective by considering how many hours of work it takes to afford them. Let’s say you make $15/hour. Is buying a $30 trinket that will literally just sit on a shelf and add little to your happiness worth losing 2 hours of your freedom.
We have a post called “Can I afford to travel?” It’s based around a quote written by Sterling Hayden that blows us away every time we read it. We wanted to share it with our readers because it puts spending on wants vs needs into perspective better than anything else we’ve read. Give it a read and let us know what you think. We’re sure it will change the way you view spending money.
What kind of employment do we have that allows for this?
This varies quite a bit. Sometimes we find jobs that are seasonal, which is the best case scenario. We’re in for a specified time, make our money for the year, and then we move on.
There may be other times we apply for positions that are not meant to be seasonal but tend to slow down during winter months. When this is the case, we mention during the interview process that we don’t mind being the first to be let go when it slows down and more often than not it’s what cinches the deal. The employer benefits because he or she isn’t burdened with trying to keep everyone busy during slower periods, and we benefit by leaving on good terms which leads to us being invited back in the spring. Another benefit to the employer is that when we get back we are refreshed and more productive with having just recharged our batteries.
We have also applied for jobs that were neither seasonal, nor had the option of being made seasonal, like the previous example, but it’s agreed upon during the interview process that by late October or a few degrees above freezing we are out! We lay our cards on the table and if the employer is in a pinch it buys them plenty of time to set up interviews later in the fall to replace us while still being able to fill the position(s) immediately.
There have also been occasions where we left great job. It can be scary to move on from any employment let alone jobs we like. The thing to remember is that finding jobs is easier if you treat looking for employment as a full time job. On average it’s taken us 2-3 weeks to secure employment. Also keep in mind that our employers have often offered us a position when we’ve returned from traveling, sometimes with a pay increase!
What do we do with our house and all of our stuff?
How we handle our stuff depends on a few things. When we have owned a house it can range from renting it out, selling it, or having someone look after it while we’re away. For about 8 of the last 12 years we have lived in an RV. When we are full-timing in our RV, we simply winterize it and move our valuables into storage.
The easiest part about long term travel when we are living in the RV is that when we return home there is no hassle with trying to find a place to live. We just fly home, find an RV park to go to and hitch up without having to find a new place to live, buy furniture, and hook up utilities.
Obviously, there is a lot more to our “Unstatusfied” lifestyle but we hope that this post was enough to get your wheels turning. If you’ve ever thought that long term travel was something only “other” people do, then maybe you could be “other” people too.
It’s not for everyone but why not give it some consideration. In our opinion there is very little risk in trying and a world of discovery to gain.
If you have any questions or want to comment on anything about this post, please do so below. We’ll be posting more about ways we’ve been able to make this lifestyle happen so stay tuned. Better yet, sign up to receive new posts via email for that, as well as news about our current trip to Southeast Asia. We will be covering topics ranging from street food to finding cool places off the beaten path and everything in between. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter if that’s your thing too.
Ciao for now!