“You are so lucky to travel so much!”
This is one of the sentences I hear more often than anything else. Or the “WOW you travel so much how do you do it”. Whether it is a genuine surprise or a little jealousy this is only known by the person asking. I usually like to say Ma Sha Allah (By the Grace of God) simply because I don’t want any evil eye. 😉 I want to keep travelling!
However on a serious note, this is a very silly question to ask in my opinion. I don’t usually ask people how they can afford to do x, y, z. I just take it for what it is.
But to answer it I thought I will share my opinion on why you should stop asking travellers this question.
So everyone has priorities in their life. Whether it is that big TV or that new car or that awesome bag they saw. People consciously or subconsciously prioritise what they want more of in their lives. If you want to travel more trust me your priority will be to travel more. You will always find a way to just get out there and explore. If you are bitten by the travel bug, there is no return. If on the other hand you are not, then you will find something else you enjoy. Travelling is not for everyone.
For example, we don’t have a TV and we didn’t buy a house which would take us longer to pay off because we wanted to continue travelling and having a life. We could have bought 2x the house we have but that would be basically living a life to pay off a house. Not my cup of tea – plus I love my house. But the money we save helps to actually travel more.
A friend of mine loves sports and CrossFit, she doesn’t travel but spends her money on competitions, travel to get there and equipment. The money she spends on these things I would never do and would probably manage to make 2-3 long weekends away with that money. Again it is priorities of what is important to you.
#2 Travel Tricks
First and foremost on this blog I post a lot about how I travel for less. So the question can be answered on its own if you read the blog. I use loyalty programs for cheap stays, I use travel hacks, low-cost airlines, hotel tricks and cashbacks to make my money work harder for me.
Usually, when people read this they think it’s too much and they just ignore it going back to the same question. “How do you travel”.Well, I just shared with you all my tricks but if you don’t want to put the effort to learn it then I don’t think it’s for you or you can hire me and I will plan your trip. People who put in the time and read over the posts start to travel almost immediately because they know how to use the options available. Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive unless you make it.
#3 Bye Bye Designer Bags
So I love handbags, I think my top priority before travelling was bags. I use to hold down a second job at University so I can buy handbags. Seriously some women love shoes, I adore my bags and I take care of them (the only thing I do). Plus they last long and they are gorgeous.
However bags costs money and when you have 30x of them it is getting a little too much. I see them as an investment especially some of the designers with timeless pieces. Last year I did sell most of the bags I didn’t use on Ebay. Why? Because seriously I don’t need them. I think realising that living a more minimalistic lifestyle is more meaningful and really helps you internally as well.
#4 DIY my style
I believe I am very resourceful and finding things to do on the cheap is a great challenge. It is kind of when I try to find a travel hack, I thrive off the challenge. When decorating our house I don’t go for the most expensive option. I like the luxury feel I get in five-star hotels but I certainly don’t want to spend the five-star price tag on it. So I DIY it. My Pinterest board is full of things I can do and guides. I found my perfect table and chairs for free from the house my sister in law just bought. She didn’t want them but a fresh coat of paint and they look amazing. They fit perfectly in my kitchen and are my favourite. The price if I were to buy them new with the chairs from IKEA(!) would have been in the region of £600. If I went for high end it was about £3,000. Have a guess where that saved money will go? Towards our Umrah in sha Allah (God willing).
I still buy expensive pieces but I am very selective. It is usually pieces I can use longer and that will add quality to my house or life. Because I do like fine things too.
#5 Minimalist Life
I think I started my minimalistic approach to life when I became Muslim and then after reading Marie Kondo’s book as well. I feel lighter to have fewer things that I love and I feel happy about. It gives you a different sense of freedom. I don’t shop I use to, but now I will buy more expensive pieces and keep them longer. Things I really love to have around me. This does two things good. One you save money, which goes towards travelling and two you are only surrounded by things you love and not clutter. Yay!
#6 Keep Up with the Joneses
Oh, this is a real deal. Have you ever had someone who buys the same thing as you do just because you have it? Reminds me of kindergarten when kids had a toy for Christmas and I wanted the same. I guess we never grow up! The thing is I don’t live my life to other people’s expectations. I love seeing my friends travel more after they read a post but because someone bought a nice car doesn’t mean I will too. This actually saves you a lot of money and you can travel more. I challenge you to add the things you had bought because you saw them at your friend’s place. You might be surprised.
I don’t think that any material items can give you as much joy and life experiences as travelling. This is a much richer experience than a new IPhone. It changes you as a person and it makes you more aware of your environment. No material possession can actually make me give up travelling. Through travelling I discovered Islam, I discovered that things I see on TV or in the news are not reality. Making your own opinions about the world is so much better and much more fun.
When you break it down you realise that travelling, especially today, with some many sites for cheap deals and holidays is not so expensive.
You just have to manage the rest of your life accordingly if you want to travel more. Unless of course you have an unlimited amount of resources in which case please do share with us. If you work on your priorities, read through this blog and sell some of the things you don’t need on eBay I am sure you will save up enough for a week long vacation somewhere warm.
So next time don’t ask me how I can afford to travel but ask yourself why you are not travelling. 😉
I will leave you with this piece…