So, it’s time to talk about that eternal question – why travel? Or in our case, why travel so much? We’re of average means … there’s certainly no trust fund in our future (is there? IS THERE?), and each of us has been a student at different times during our adventures abroad. Traveling on a shoestring budget isn’t simple or easy — it’s a constant state of planning, evaluating and weighing options, making sure the decisions made have price tags we can afford. I’m also very committed to and enmeshed in my job, making it difficult to uproot myself and maintain radio silence for weeks at a time.
We do it not just because it’s fun – although it is most definitely a good time – but because it’s important.
Getting to know this world of ours is part of the job. It’s why we’re here. Wars are fought and schisms solidified because we don’t understand each other, and we don’t trust or often like what we don’t understand. And so, if we can get ourselves out there and learn more about others, that’s our little contribution. Oh, and did I mention that it’s fun, too?
The point is that you definitely don’t have to make a ton of money. You can plan and save and really make your cash count. It doesn’t have to be about luxury – it’s more about learning. Travel writer and guide Rick Steves believes that travelling on a budget actually brings you closer to the culture because you mingle with the country’s people where they live their lives … at the market, in a low-key neighborhood restaurant, in parks and on public transportation.
Traveling like this is not easy. It’s not a vacation – it’s a journey. There are supposed to be bumps (and even a few bruises) along the way because that’s how we learn. Being a better global citizen benefits us all … it clears the way for an open exchange of ideas at all level, from personal to corporate, and improves the odds that we’ll be able to cross hurdles and help each other during worldwide events, like tragic natural disasters or even the meltdown of our individual financial systems.
Start making your plans now. It’s never too late to make a journey and find out there’s always more to learn in this crazy world of ours.