How I didn’t save for my ’round the world trip.
I hate when people ask me how long I’ve been saving for my around the world trip. It’s not their fault, it’s just one of many in a string of basic questions to ask when you’ve found out that someone has quit their job to travel the world.
Where are you going? Why did you decide to do this? When are you leaving? How long will you be gone? How long have you been saving?
Often, the question is phrased more as a statement: “you must have saved for a long time.”
My usual response is to just mumble a “yeah” or “a long time” and nod my head and leave it at that.
Travel is expensive and to leave your only source of income to do something that costs a lot of money is a double whammy. So of course people want to know.
But it’s hard to answer. Because I didn’t really save.
Sure when I was living with my parents I managed to put some money away (part of which dwindled when I moved and needed furniture and other such things). Sure, for a while, I managed to cut back on my Starbucks addiction (but that lately has come back with full force). Sure I started tracking my expenses and trying to spend less money and cutting back here and there. Sure I had two garage sales (and a third one coming) to make money and pare down my belongings.
But I also cook steaks and buy my lunch daily and have a room full of storage boxes and am drinking a Caribou hot chocolate as I write this.
So here it is. My dad passed away from cancer a year and a half ago and afterwards I got a check from his life insurance company.
The money isn’t enough to retire on or anything but just enough to either put a down payment on a condo or travel the world for a year and still have a good cushion in savings.
I chose to travel.
I’m not saying in any way that this was an easy way to fund my travels. I would happily eat ramen for lunch and probably wouldn’t even be so addicted to those $5 white mochas that are, many days, the only thing that entice me out of bed in the morning. I would happily sell all of my possessions. I would happily do anything to turn back time.
But that I can’t do.
So I have this money. And I want to do something amazing with it. I’d been thinking about taking this trip well before he died. And, when he did, it made it seem all the more important that I take it. When he was diagnosed with cancer, when his mouth hurt so much that a man who lived for food couldn’t eat, he started making a list of all the restaurants he wanted to go to when he got better. And then they removed his teeth and his tongue and we knew he’d never get a chance. He was only 61 when he passed. 61. If I were to die at 61 that would make me now exactly middle aged. And I don’t want to have lists of undone things left.
So I hate when people ask me how long I’ve been saving. Because I don’t want to lie but I don’t want to go into it. Because I don’t want to trivialize things. Because just because someone hands you a check doesn’t make it easy money.
So I will probably just continue to nod and continue to say that it took “a long time.”