When I first started thinking about long-term travel with my family I had an endless list of reasons to put my dreams on the shelf and get content with the 9-5. Any responsible parent worries about the unknown.
Many months later, after countless hours of research and long-distance chats, I have managed to stifle nearly every travel fear. No longer do I have any concerns over safety, education, health. There are no more borders. We are ready for the world.
But there is still one huge issue that I just can't seem to shake. One MONSTER problem that keeps gnawing away at my responsible gut.
What happens when we run out of money??
I have been dwelling on this for a LONG time. Our family doesn't just want to take a year off and come back to the same, boring routine again. That would be hell. Nothing worse than having the world and then having to give it back. Money is still a really an issue, and I think about it everyday.
How much do we have to save to pull this off?
Which nomadic career suits me best?
Can we really make money on the road?
Where we will go if we run out of cash and can't generate some income?
I want to find the answers to questions like these before we jump in with both feet, but I'm not going to. The answers to questions such as these are nowhere to be found.
Folks on the web will tell you it costs anywhere from $20,000 to $120,000 to travel around the world for a year. They'll tell you that you can make a great living blogging from Mexico, trading stocks from a laptop, teaching ESL, working on cruise ships or even just writing travel articles.
But what is my magic number? What is the right nomadic career for me?
In the end, someone wears yellow pants and someone wears jeans, but that doesn't help me much when I need to head over to the Gap and pick out some clothes for myself.
Let me ask you something.
How much does it cost to live in your hometown?
How much does a teacher make?
How long does it take to find a job in New York?
If I asked 100 people these questions they would all have a different answer. I am the only person that can answer these questions.
I am the answer to all my questions.
Wow, that sounds really cocky and I kinda like it, but it's true, isn't it?
It's great to use the experiences of other travelers to build a gauge for your own travels, even for your own lives, but when you get locked into someone else's idea, you often forget about your own.
Did you have a magic money number you needed to reach before you had your first child?
Did you ever plan how much money you would need to make from your job before you could start living your life?
Is financial planning for a travel lifestyle really that much different than planning for the lifestyle you have now?
Here's some thoughts to help you determine if you're financially ready for long-term travel.
1) If you stopped working today, how much money would you need to live your current life for a year? Figure out this number and it will cover you for a year of travel.
2) If you lost your job, could you find a new one in a year that would support your current lifestyle? If yes, then you are ready for long-term travel.
3) Are you still listening to me? Why? Don't you get it?
There is no ready. There is no answer. There is no right time. The day you really decide to go, that's the day you're ready.
Thanks so much for visiting us at The Great Family Escape. Our family is learning how to turn our dreams into realities and we are really glad to have you along for the ride.