Thursday, June 1, 2017

What is travelling actually costing us?

A couple of days ago, I was doing what every regular person would be doing at some point during their day. I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. What I saw personalised for me, in terms of the sponsored ad, although I had already switched off the preferred ads monitoring on Facebook; were travel the world posts. I don't know if any of you are getting the same things pushed to you. But, as millennials, we're constantly having people tell us how we should travel more often, we hear stories of how some people chose to leave their jobs, claiming that they were completely unhappy being in a stressful work environment with what most of us would call a 9-5 job. But now, since they have quit their jobs and are now travelling the world without worry, they love being able to travel without thinking about responsibilities or perhaps the whole idea is to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. Financial freedom.

We all know how cheap it is to travel the world these days, with return flights sometimes costing less than £20, it's no wonder why some people live in Hungary for example and travel to London everyday for school, opting to couchsurf mainly because it's cheaper to fly in than to actually rent out in an expensive city like London. Now, would it not be so great if you could live on the road and think of nothing, just travel the world and make money as you go? Sounds like the dream? Well, there are people who are doing exactly that, and more so, by trying to sell you your dream. They've done it and now they're choosing to sell it to you. They're saying that you could live this exact lifestyle and they want you to follow them so that you are able to live the life that you have always wanted. Now, as much as I want to believe that this is all real, I'm having a hard time believing this. Okay, call me a shrewd, a disbeliever. Whatever.

I'm not doubting whether or not if it's possible, but to me, my question would be, how long? What is the length of time anyone is able to spend like this without wanting to gain a stable career, build a family and perhaps maybe even purchase a home? The answer to that is " I don't know", but I'm going to break it down for you.

You see, I see so many posts these days, be it on Facebook or even on Instagram. There are couples that travel the world together, solo females who decide to venture out on their own and then some people who perhaps travel the world in groups? Whatever the way that someone goes travelling, they're all selling you the same thing, the opportunity to quit your job, and gain this "freedom" that would enable you to travel the world full time. See, all of this is completely fine to me, you can quit your 9-5 job, you can travel the world, with a little planning, you can get part-time jobs wherever you are. But, the problem that we have here, is most likely these people that are saying that you would be living an amazing life, don't tell you what goes on behind the scenes.

You see, with social media, it's so easy to just put out what you want about yourself. Whatever goes on in the online world, let's just call it that, is just a fraction of their whole life. There are going to be difficult times, and honestly, I don't want to be in a place where I am scrubbing toilets for a living, because half of the time, I can't even deal with cleaning the bathroom in a shared house, let alone busting my butt in a foreign country, trying to earn a buck.

Yes, you save up before you go, that's what everyone says. But you can budget as much as you like, but things always don't go as planned. You can plan as much as you want, but there are going to be external factors that are going to hinder you from travelling. That's just how it's going to be. I'm not being cynical or negative, I'm just being honest. I'm not going to deny that it is possible to travel cheaply around the world. Over the years, I have learnt a couple of tips and tricks about travelling that has allowed me to travel to various countries below £200 for a week's trip. So, I'm honestly all ears if you tell me that it is cheap to travel, but it is also very difficult to lead your life continuously on the go. Travelling is tiring. The amount of time you spend in airports is tiring, the amount of time you spend in trains, is tiring. I've done it multiple times and the only thing that would keep you sane is if you have a travel buddy with you. Things in airports are much expensive than in the city and there are so many things that you won't know as a tourist until you arrive, that's different if you've done enough research about a place, but if you're constantly on the go, you're going to be mentally drained and that's just a fact.

Travelling your life, is very exhausting, there's so many things to see, I'm not denying that, but at the end of the day, it does get me thinking. I'm one individual and so are you, the experiences that I get, can never be passed down. Yes, I can say that I went to Tanzania once upon a time, people were amazing, went to the Serengeti, all these things are merely just things that people say to make you. go. travelling.

Tourism is such a big business today because we're just so tired of our lives. We're thinking, if I go on a holiday then I'm able to relax and I'm able to be in an exotic location, sipping on coconut water, and cocktails and I will be happy. But once you go back to your life, then you just start over the whole process of hating your life. And honestly, to me, that isn't financial freedom. That isn't freedom at all.

To me, financial freedom is being able to live my life not worrying about money, not worrying about when or how my paycheck would come in. I have a good life, I have enough money to pay for my rent, enough money to buy good food, enough money to do what I want, but being smart about things. There are so many YouTubers out there who share so many advice on how to save money, what you can do to make investments and there are so many people out there that you can speak to, even in your friend circle. We just take everything for granted and we don't focus on the possibilities to form good connection with our surrounding which is why we often want to run away from the country we're living in. Most of the third world countries for example, aren't that great for citizens who are living in the country itself. But we have the privilege to be there and to use the money that we have already earned and because of the conversion rate, is why it appears to be cheaper. But if at all, you were working and earning the money in the country itself, then you'd see that most of things are proportionate to the price of the items.

I find it rather amusing when people sell these " free your life " seminars where they teach you how you can break free from the job that you're currently in. But, I think, personally, as much as I love travelling, I also know that it isn't something that I'm willing to sacrifice my stability for and that's just me, because to me, long term financial stability is way better than short term happiness. When you start working freelance and when you take jobs when you want it and not to build your own portfolio continuously just because you can, you lose the opportunity and basically allow others to surpass you simply because they have more time to focus on these things. I'm not saying that there aren't ways to pay for your holidays such as by using certain websites to find remote jobs, but you take what you can get. That's just the harsh reality of things. But as much as we do try to get people to think of a different perspective, people are hardwired for wanting fun and for wanting to chase happiness. If we weren't airline companies, retail companies, businesses in general will not be making money and that's what consumerism is all about. They want you to hate your life so that you spend your hard earned money on them. My average expenditure after giving up spending for no reason, impulse buys, happy treats all include, comes down to literally less than £20 a week, groceries included.

More about my grocery expenditure in my next blog post.

Till my next post. xx

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