“Jobs fill your pocket. Adventures fill your soul.”
Just about three years ago, I realised that just two short trips every year wasn’t enough and at this rate how much of the world would I be able to explore? Nope, this wasn’t a happy realisation. I had to do something about it.
After doing a short survey with about 15 people who work full time as entrepreneurs or employees, 25% of them traveled for less than 15 days last year and the rest, less than a week and some did not travel at all last year! When asked how long they would ideally like to travel – the general answer was about 15-20 days.
I will tell you how you can travel for at least 30 days. And I mean real vacations – short trips of 4 days and long trips of 7 days or more and that’s excluding the weekend getaways to your beaten to death hill stations where you’ve been to a thousand times.
This is how I started traveling a lot more in just four steps (I am not saying it was easy, but you have to start somewhere!)
1. Change in perspective
If I wanted to travel more, I needed a little ‘change in perspective’ of how I looked at travelling. I realised that travelling wasn’t an end goal for me. I don’t want to accumulate money till 60 and then go berserk traveling. I want traveling to be a “way of living” for me.
Once I calculated how much I intended to travel every year, I started saving and immediately earmarking funds for such trips. Now, I categorize my trips into short/long trips and backpacking/luxury trips. I use financial tools such as SIPs, recurring deposits and other instruments to keep funds aside.
When I was working, my bosses would often tell me a straight NO if I applied for leaves on a very short notice. I changed my strategy and started applying for leaves 6 months prior to my trips. It has multi-fold benefits: flights are cheaper, accommodation costs are discounted and leave approvals became a cake walk.
4. Creating steady revenue streams
This is the most important step. If you want to travel, you need to spend money; and if you want to spend money, you need to earn money first. Now earning money while travelling cannot happen unless you are a travel blogger, photographer or videographer. I am none of these; I am a Business systems consultant. To get over this issue, I created a system around me to ensure that there is money coming in even when I am going out!
And it’s working beautifully for me. In the last 4 years, I have travelled to 26 different locations on 18 trips, accumulating to about 168 days (42 days every year) The number may not be a staggering one for a full-time traveller, but it will definitely mean something for someone who is company-employed or self-employed full time.