Travelling the World without a Trust Fund

The Dream:
Travel the world, and be able to have amazing adventures, then coming home to a full time job, money, and a bed to call your own.

The Reality:
Not being to afford the flight there, let alone food or lodging. Knowing that if you leave for 90 days you will have no job, or way to pay for rent, or bills.

Since I graduated high school I had a dream of seeing the world, but I never thought about the cost. I wanted to travel, but I never accepted that I had to be rich to do them. Why should you? There are many ways to get around the world without having a million dollars in the bank.

Years went by, and life went on. I have a decent job, a supportive boyfriend, and two fantastic puppies. Though my life feels close to perfect there seems to be something missing, travel. When I start to tell myself that my traveling dream was only that, I knew it was time for a change. The thought of eating croissants on cobblestone streets, or sipping a Bintang while watching the sun set on a beach kept me going through the hard days. That vision just isn’t enough anymore. I need to feel the sand between my toes, the adrenaline rush of jumping off a water fall, and the feeling of standing on top of a mountain.

After doing some research and going through my finances, I knew I would have to find a different way of obtaining money if I wanted to travel soon. Most people would say that my method was a bit peculiar.  I decided to donate my eggs to families who can’t have children. This experience has been very rewarding knowing that I’m helping people start a family, while also funding my dream. After donating a few times I was able to buy my ticket, and make my dreams a reality. However this process isn’t easy and is definitely not for everyone. It includes injecting myself with hormones, daily early morning doctor visits, followed by a surgery. These drugs pretty much make your body think you’re pregnant which causes a slew of problems like irritability, nausea, and weight gain. If this wasn’t bad enough, after my first donation they told me that they didn’t receive enough eggs. This sent me into a meltdown, I spent weeks thinking that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. I cried many nights, thinking that I would never be able to start a family of my own, or go on my trip. I even cancelled the flight I booked to Singapore because I thought I wouldn’t be going. My boyfriend was the best through this whole ordeal. He even got to the point where he asked me how much I would need to go, and if I would allow him to help me (the answer was no). They called me a few weeks later to let me know that they would let me try again, and the second donation was much more successful. Looking back it was all worth it because now I’m planning a holiday of a lifetime.

At first I had my heart set on backpacking Europe. However, after seeing that if I only had $60 a day I would be poor. I would be staying at the most budget hostels, and never being able to do anything extra so I made a decision to broaden my horizons. After hours of researching for days on end, I finally found a solution to my broke as a joke problem, SE Asia. This place has it all, beautiful beaches, mountain climbs, friendly locals, and it’s affordable. For $30 a day I’ll be living well. I will get to learn how to surf, go scuba diving, climb mountains, go canyoning, visit temples, and learn about a life so different from my own.

Planning this trip didn’t come without some heart ache. After telling my boyfriend that I wanted to leave him and our life for three months, he wasn’t happy. We went through a period where I wasn’t sure if we would stay together. He wanted to leave me, he didn’t see the value in having a girlfriend that he couldn’t see. After many talks, he broke down and told me that he loved me too much to leave me. Even if it meant he had to be away from me for 90 days. He’s the most supportive man I’ve ever met, and I would be completely lost without him.

Aside from my boyfriend woes, I want to say that the amount of research you have to do in order to have a successful trip is crazy. So far I’ve probably spent at the very least 100 hours. I still don’t know what I’m going to do in many of my destinations. I barely even know what cities I’m going to. This scares me, I’m the type of person who likes to have every day planned down to the hour. I’m a control freak and I need to know where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. This really drives my boyfriend crazy. He’s one of those “we’ll cross that bridge when it comes” kind of people. I wish he could be my Mr. Miyagi, and teach me his ways. I’ve slowly been able to let go, but just typing this gives me a little anxiety, I truly hate not knowing all the details.

My budget is a big factor in all of the decisions I’ve made, I wanted to have an adventure of a lifetime, all while staying on a $30/day budget. This is fairly easy, well at least I’ve been told so. Most hostels are about $5/ night, and food is around $2/ meal depending on what you decide to eat. For me I will be eating at food stands, and carts on the side of the road, which will keep me around $10/ day for food at the very most. If you like to party then I would probably put in a few extra dollars for booze. So, even after food I will have about $15/ day to be able to do activities. My flight was $570 for a round trip ticket from Seattle to Manila. After all is said and done I will have spent about $3270.

I’m probably the worst at budgeting, and saving money. If there was an award for being the worst at money I would win it. With that being said, I have also purchased a new pack, shoes, camera, and few more travel accessories totaling up to around $1200. Many people only budget for the actual trip, but it’s very important to include the extra stuff that you will end up needing for your trip. So, for my whole trip I will end up spending around $4970.00. Yikes. Obviously, this sort of extra spending is in no way needed, and can easily be avoided by making due with what you have on hand, or asking your family and friends.

Just thinking about this solo holiday makes me want to puke while jumping for joy, but what am I looking forward to the most? I can’t wait to see Ankgor Wat. I’ve always wanted to become PADI certified but I’m scared to death of being trapped under water. I’m also a horrible swimmer so we’ll see how that goes. I also can’t wait to climb Mt. Bromo, and Mt. Rinjani. The trek up those mountains will be a serious effort, but it’ll be worth it when I’m able to get to the summit and revel in all of Indonesia’s glory. I also plan on going canyoning. Your guide will take you rock climbing, then you jump off of water falls, and there’s some trekking in there as well. I probably described that horribly, but you get the gist. I also can’t wait to meet people traveling from all over the world, and to make new friends. There are so many things that I can’t wait to do and see, it’s almost impossible to write it all down.

August 16th is the day I will be on my way to the adventure of a lifetime, and I’m happy to say that I paid for it myself with no trust fund, credit cards, or a GoFundMe account.

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