Travelling is a priority to me. I try to travel as much as possible because life is too short, and the world is so big. There’s so much to see, so much to experience and I don’t want to waste my time on earth. Finding my travel style has been an interesting journey but once I got over the hesitations of traveling on my own and being able to afford my trips, everything fell into place.
I tried the “live out of my backpack, be one with the earth, and live in the moment” approach and it wasn’t for me. I spent 6 months in Vancouver, BC., eating all organic, making my own beauty products, and spent time on organic farms as well as indigenous reserves. While this was amazing, I don’t think ‘quitting society to live off the land’ was for me.
Then, I spent 4 months backpacking around the world, wearing the same, recycled 5 outfits and sleeping on couches, airports, and hostels. Again- an amazing experience but I don’t think I could do this for years on end.
What I like is balance.
I like routines, stability, being close to my family and friends, and a steady paycheck. I also like maximizing my vacations and saving money for traveling.
It’s easy for me to save money. I don’t care about material things. I try to ‘refuse’ consumerism and disposable things as much as I can. Sometimes I cave because I can’t resist a good deal or I need a pick-me-up. My anti-consumerism stance magnified while in university after learning about waste, globalization, economies of scale, consumer culture, branding, and marketing. Then, while working with the City of Hamilton after university, I saw first-hand the effects of our consumer culture. I worked in environmental outreach and visited the landfill (s) in Hamilton where I saw the layers of waste. My job was to encourage home owners and businesses to recycle and compost so we, as a city, could divert waste. I took the message to heart and I try to limit my consumption.
I buy very little and at the end of each month, I have extra money to save. This money is then spent on traveling.
Here are some of my spending habits:
- Buy everything second hand, and on-sale (this includes clothes, furnitures etc.)
- Trade for goods and services (Many businesses are open to trading goods, and there are online sites dedicated to this practice)
- Meal plan to avoid food/money waste
- Borrow books/materials from the library for free
- Walk/bike/bus as much as possible (I live super close to work so I don’t have a car)
- Avoid extra fees (ATM, late fees, interest etc.)
- Host parties instead of going out (I love socializing so it’s cheaper to host than go out)
- Use more wifi over data
Every dollar counts so prioritize how you want to spend it!