I absolutely love travel. It engulfs my every thought. If you’re anything like me you likely go through the daily Loop of Hell: wake up, eat, commute, work, eat again, work some more, commute, sleep, repeat. All the while daydreaming about your next adventure and when you can make your escape. Some people are lucky enough to work remotely. I eventually hope to give working abroad a go, but for now, I slave away, pinch my pennies, and save as much as possible so I can get back out and explore. Whether you work off and on like me, or keep your job and collect those vacation days, there are some ways to keep yourself from losing your mind while you wait. I’ll start with the one you’re likely already doing:
Plan, Plan, Plan:
Utilize your time daydreaming by researching. Make lists of places you want to go, and things you want to see and experience. Fill your email inbox with travel newsletters. Buy books and maps, or utilize your local library to save some bills. Once you’ve got a destination (or more) lined up, map them out to plan your route. Keep it clean and organized, or go flat out psychotic and cover your walls with pictures, doodles, and idea boards. I won’t judge.
I have lists upon lists full of detailed notes of places to go (quirky restaurants, weird landmarks, trendy neighborhoods, places to hike, etc.), and where they’re located in the world. Once I decide on a country (or countries), I print out a map and mark where in the country they’re located. Wherever I notice the clusters, I’ll plan a loose itinerary traveling through them so I can see as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Find a Distraction:
You’re gonna need to find other ways to distract yourself, like knitting, writing, building stuff with pallets, or running. This can be a travel-related hobby too, such as cooking international cuisines or reading travel journals. Some of these can be free or cheap so you can still work on saving that moolah. Or if you have cash to spare, invest in a larger project.
I know, I know. I’m weird about lists! But one thing I do is work on my bucket list. I have several hobbies and tasks I hope to achieve overtime, and work on the ones that currently fit my budget. It can be anything from learning to sew a button to my pants, learning to drive a stick-shift, or running a half marathon. I’m also planning on working towards getting my TEFL certificate in the near future, so I can utilize it when I go abroad.
Make Cash Money:
Stick to your career or try a temporary job that includes your interests so you can get some personal enrichment out of it. you can also take up odd jobs like dog walking or house sitting. To those crafty people, sell some of those items that you make in your spare time on Etsy to add it to that travel fund. Not crafty? Sell some unused and unwanted items around your house through Craigslist, eBay, or by throwing a yard sale. You can also go to the local clinic and donate your plasma or if you’re more daring, be a guinea pig for clinical trials. I’m sure it’s worth a few bucks if you don’t end up growing a second head. But if you do, you’ll at least have two brains thinking about ways to make more money, right?
Sell your clothes, your books, your soul; anything to get a few bucks to go into that travel fund. I also tend to fill my life with pure misery by working as much as possible, having little to no social life, and saving every penny I possibly can. This might be contradictory advice to “keeping your sanity,” but at least you’re keeping busy and it’ll be worth it in the long run!