Life change, travel forever or for long periods
Life change, travel forever, or for long periods
These are life changing decisions and not for the faint hearted. Some of you will take it in your stride and many may have reservations about what you are about to do and this is understandable.
This is where anyone thinking of a complete change of lifestyle, has any concerns on if it is the right decision or not and whether or not it is the right time in your life.
So here is a big one.
Your thought processes are really in overdrive now and you have come to the conclusion that, maybe it's time for a massive change or you've been wasting your time working all your life. Maybe your coming up to retirement, you've had a life changing experience, got the 50 year itch, decided you're not going to conform, or your just thinking of a complete life change where you decide to travel around the world for as long as possible. The reasons are endless and unique to all.
Tip 0120 When is it time?
You've got the travel bug now and just want to experience life on the go, the occasional holiday just isn't enough anymore.
If you have any doubts, a question I have put forward many times to friends and business colleagues alike. "If you were told you only had three months to live, would you continue running your business till you drop or would you try and do something with what's left in your life?" I have yet to hear the response of, "I love my business more than time out with family, friends or even time to do what I really want to do."
Tip 0122 Break the cycle
Our generation has evolved to a philosophy of study, work and save for your retirement. all good right? Well get this, where does it mention that we "can't" take it with us when we're gone?
We would like to mention at this point, we are guessing you can't take neither possessions nor memories with you when you go but we know what we'd rather have with us leading up to such a time and that is memories.
Tip 0121 How can I stop working
The problem is not many people have the option of knowing when it's time to stop and go do what you've been working for all your life for. It's easy to forget what you planned to do in the first place.
This is more a revelation than a story!
So many of us plan for the future and never realise that we are in the future now!
Tip 0123 When is enough enough?
Each to their own and some get a satisfaction of leaving a possession legacy, whereas others prefer to have memories. I guess somewhere in the middle suits most.
Tip 0124 Midlife crisis or realisation
It's all about perspective! ...Work verses play time...
It's not a mid life crisis when you want that shiny new car, that luxurious bathroom, a trip around the world. We suddenly realised it's not all about work, work, work and when we can afford it, or when we are near retirement or even retire, "WHAT WE'VE WORKED HARD FOR" most of our lives, is now here upon us and we should be doing what we planned for all those years ago!
Tip 0125 Budget
First priority is to think about budget. For travel you really need to know how much this all costs and whether or not it is a viable reality. There is generally no rule of thumb here as there are a multitude of issues here and no two situations will be the same. You may want a 5 star lifestyle of luxury to a grey nomad Winnebago life around the outback of Australia.
It is a great idea to work out a cost per day and try to stick to it. The longer you travel, the cheaper it becomes and we have known a couple who initially worked on AUD$160 per day are now down to $60 per day. These figures include everything, from travelling costs, accommodation to eating costs and even travel insurance.
We have so many tips within this website that can help you achieve this budget.
Trying to tailor useful tips here and of course you can go to our different categories but there are some major decision making going on in this section and we hope to alleviate many of the issues involved in so many complex decisions.
We look at "Life change." Again we categorise for obvious reasons:-
Let's say for example, You've worked all your adult life to be able to retire either relatively comfortably with an income from pension and investments maybe, or you're in a situation where you're mortgage free but not cash rich and this can also be if you only rent.
There might be two scenarios here.
You pretty much can afford to do and go, when and where you like and for how long.
You would like to do the above but haven't the funds to do so. Or so you think!
The tips and advice for when you're travelling can and probably are very similar but to get to the same place may be slightly different. For example:-
First case scenario
In the first case. You decide on a change of lifestyle and you go about your research on say, what we do to secure our house whilst away. Maybe lock it up and go, or even have family or a friend stay or look after it. All good here.
You have the advantage of just being able to go, or you might think of selling up and have done with your previous life.
Tip 0126 Dip your toe in the water first
Tip 0127 Evolve into it
Selling up is a big step and we urge you to think about the following.
Story 7 Lack of enthusiasm in Cambodia
When in Cambodia on a three month travelling splurge in Asia, I was on my second day at the temples of Siem Reap and still very much in awe of everything. I came across an American traveller who was on his fourth year travelling the world. We shared a moment or two in admiration of the amazing architecture, where he promptly said 'Yeah it's not as good and the Inca temples of Pisac" with an expression of much disinterest. I realised at that moment that he had probably been travelling too much.
The moral of this story is for some, travelling constantly can sometimes make you lose your enthusiasm. This is true even for me as after a three month period on the go all the time, I found my enthusiasm was definitely less than my initial enthusiasm. Only slightly mind you but never the less it was true. I was invited later to tag along with some friends to India and decided to leave it for another time, when my excitement had returned.
Tip 0128 Too much of a good thing
Like most things, too much of anything can become boring and samey. If you go out for a meal say once a week, it's enjoyable, a pleasure and something to look forward to. If you eat out every night you might soon find it tedious, a chore and mundane. What you think will suit you for the rest of your life, may turn out not what you really want.
Unless you have already spent a lot of time travelling and by that we mean travelling for longer periods than just the odd week here or there, we mean 3-6 months to a year or more. A great idea is to evolve into travel slowly. There is no rush now you have made the decision, so try out longer periods, further distances and challenge yourselves to the new life you're embarking on.
Tip 0129 Don't burn your bridges yet
What seems like a good idea at the time, often isn't a good idea later. You may not like it long term, or you feel you miss home after a certain length of time.
Second case scenario
Let us now take the second case and go through some ideas.
You may think it impossible due to insufficient funds, to have a life where you can just travel but you might be very wrong indeed!
Tip 0130 It's cheaper to travel slowly than fast.
It is often cheaper to live day by day travelling the world than sitting on your sofa all day at home!
If you take into consideration the costs of your council rates, local costs of living, insurances, cars and general day to day expenses, you can live well, travel and enjoy life for less than the cost of living where you are now. And the longer and slower you travel the less it costs.
There are a number of ways you can travel permanently if you have or own a property, or even rent. Again these ideas might be alien to you at the moment, as you may have only just realised, there is more to life than just working.
Tip 0131 Why rent when you can travel
For any of you that do not have a property, mortgage or commitment to where you live. Are you bonkers? (Jokes)
There is no reason why at the end of your tenancy agreement, apart from possession storage you couldn't start travelling the world. Of course you need money but not as much as you think. Many countries are more affordable to live as you travel and in fact, you probably would have a better life style than you already have.
Down side of this is, if you need to work as you travel then the wages are pro rata to the country you live in. So If it's more affordable to live in say Asia, then the wages will be proportionate to the cost of living.
Tip 0132 Make your property work for you
You may have a lot of equity in your property that you can use. If you're thinking of making travel a life style and plan to become permanent travellers, are you thinking of selling up?
Tip 0133 Before selling up consider the following
We don't recommend any of the following and just use these as ways of opening up your eyes to possible ideas for affording to get out of the rat race and join the travellers race.
How about renting out your property, using any positive equity on your property, re-mortgaging or even downsizing. There are so many options available to you. If you're already renting rather than owning, can you sublet?
Rather than sell up or downsize your property, have you thought about renting? Renting alone could easily bring you in the income needed to travel for ever and you needn't be any worse off when you've had enough and want to come home. You can rent out your property either privately, to an agent or use another medium like Air B&B.
Obviously there are individual tax issues here too and you need to do the sums. You also have the problems that most landlords incur but this should not put you off.
Downsizing is probably a good option for a lot of you as by the time you're contemplating travelling for long periods at a time the offsprings have probably flown the nest and you're already rattling around like peas in a pod.
You could look for and tailor the type of home you would like, bearing in mind the travel life you are after. Maybe a low maintenance garden, less rooms to clean and dust or spare space to lock up your valuables if you want to rent out your home.
You have another option in the downsizing side of things and this is to diversify. In this we mean you could sell up the large house and buy two smaller units, of which you may get a better return in the rental market, or you could rent one and live in the other in between travels.
Selling up altogether and going for it is another option but as mentioned before we highly recommend small steps first but you can work toward all these options as you go.
Before you decide on any life changing ideas, make sure travelling is the way forward. Living the dream can also turn out to be a living nightmare if you get it wrong.
Story 8 Migration consequences
In the UK during the 80's and really it's been happening since year dot, it was almost fashionable to sell up and migrate to warmer climates. Places like France, Spain, and Portugal were ideal as they weren't too far from home, which is ironical in its own way.
One thing going for them was that they had already taken a holiday to these countries before and had some knowledge of what they were going to but many made the mistake of comparing holiday life with reality. When we go on holiday we are all in a different mindset and most would think "Oh how lovely it would be to live here" not thinking of the practicalities of living in a different country with their differing cultures and language barriers. Yes wherever you travel you are welcome because of the financial reward to the local community but when you become a migrant, that's an altogether different subject.
And don't get me wrong. Many think it's the best thing they ever did but my point is, many didn't and cut their losses to return back to Blighty.
Main moral of the story being:- Before you uproot your life completely, think long and hard at the consequences.
Tip 0134 Being in holiday mode isn't living there
Story 9 Relocating may not be greener
A friend of mine really had enough of city life and decided to sell up and move out to the suburbs of London. Why not? All seemed very constructive and lucid at the time. Bigger house, smaller mortgage, not too far from the city for work, safer environment for the children. And this may work for some..
In their case, they didn't like the solitude, they felt cut off and isolated. They missed what they originally thought they wouldn't, which was the hustle and bustle of city life.
By the time they realised, house prices had rocketed in London where their little suburb had flattened and bottomed out and couldn't afford to move back at the level they had left.
Consequently, they moved back to a more confined property with a higher mortgage in an area less affluent and the cycle began again.
Main moral here is, the grass may or may not be greener on the other side of the fence.
(Joke) If you sit on the fence, are you a splinter group or a pain in the butt?
Tip 0135 Try taking little steps.
Try taking little steps! One thing age and experience (wisdom) should have taught you. You didn't run before you could walk at most stages of your life to date, so why start now.
Tip 0136 Sample before you buy.
Try taking an extended trip before making it your life.
A life of travel is a big commitment and probably the best way to achieve your goal is to evolve into it. Once you realise this is what genuinely is now for you and you thoroughly enjoy your new life of travel, then begin to stream line into it.
Tip 0137 Stream lining
Here you have come to the realisation and agree that, a life of travel is for you. Now is the time to work out the most economical way of going about it.
By now you would probably have had plenty of experience of travelling the world and have worked out how much it costs you per day, month or year gross. This information is vital for the continuity and sustainability of allowing you to continually travel and/or gives you an insight of if you can ramp it up a little or not as the case may be.
Like your luggage, most likely you have reduced this from several massive bulging checked baggage, to a backpack each and now you're thinking about the rest of your belongings.
You may now feel that this is the life for you and some if not all of your possessions back home or in storage, may now be surplus to requirements. It's amazing how much "Stuff" we all have or carry around with us and now maybe is the time to streamline everything.
Basically the primary reason in doing this is financial and soul cleansing. Travelling actually makes you contemplate what is important in life and often much of what we had in our old life is totally useless. This is when you've totally transformed into a full time traveller.
Tip 0138 Always have an end game.
Now two things we all have to bear in mind is longevity and mortality. Remember travelling is an enjoyable experience when you're fit, well and healthy and an altogether different proposition when you are let we say "Not." We mention this here because we do not want anyone thinking this will last forever, even though it will for most and not have an "end game." The simple fact is, we are all mortal and we have to be mindful when it comes to what we want to keep back home, in case we want to return.
There will be some that find travelling is home by then but we do have to bear in mind where we feel comfortable and safe when we are unwell or infirm.
Tip 0139 Opinions change
Try not to make your end game rule your start line. In this we mean, what you think your end game will be when you start, is not necessarily what your end game will be at the end.
This might sound cryptic but it really isn't. Whilst travelling you might realise that you won't need to buy a house when you stop travelling. You may decide that a retirement village now seems better for example. You could think that living out your final years would be wonderful to live in one of the countries you loved the most, or you might decide that back home renting is better for you with less worry of maintenance and so on. Travelling for a long time may just change your view, ideals and opinions of where you end up living.
The issue of "Claiming Pensions whilst travelling" have been highlighted and we will attempt to answer your concerns later, on this website.
Well there you have it for now. We hope you have taken at least one tip from this section and we plan to expand this and all sections as the website matures.