With the growth of tourism industry as most of millennials nowadays would choose traveling the world over getting settled, I think most people wouldn’t mind to take traveling full time as an option.
Well, at least I’m one of them. 🙂
Sure, I have been inspired by those people who decided to quit their job and travel full time. But then there’s one gap that most people miss when it comes to the ability to do it: the passport matter.
I’ve got an idea to write this post when I saw one post that was so close to home on the group that I am a member of on Facebook: The Solo Female Traveler Network. Btw, this is one of my favorite groups on Facebook as it’s so full of encouragement and inspiration when it comes to traveling as a woman.
So, the post was written by an Indian woman who was aiming to travel the world but she wanted to get some tips on the best place to travel for an Indian salary as well as passport holder. She emphasized, “Any idea is welcomed. But not to be rude, please stay away from my thread if you’re USD/Euro earners.”
I mean, this girl is definitely a sister to me!!! 😛
I can’t relate to most of travel blog posts written by USD/Euro earners. Here’s why!
First of all, you probably don’t have a struggle like mine. To tell you the truth, I’m an Indonesian passport holder who used to work full time in a decent office job for only USD 800 salary per month.
Sure, it’s easier to tell me that I can always save up to travel right? Maybe yes, maybe no. But then to apply some visa, for example Schengen or Australia, one of the requirements is the bank statement with at least USD 50,000 in the account.
With the rent and utilities, not to mention the living cost in general, not sure whether I simply suck when it comes to financial matters, but USD 5,000 in my account is nearly impossible for me.
I used to work 2 jobs simply because I wanted to earn more money so at least I could have some more left in my account. You know what happened next? I got restless and depressed, because I worked my full time job from 9 to 6, and continued to my second job from 7 to the point sometimes I barely slept.
I don’t really want to compare myself to anyone, but when it comes to the ability to travel then I gotta admit that I sometimes envy others.
For example our friendly neighbor Singapore, with their minimum wage that is probably equal to around USD 2,000, their passport holder can have an access to go to 173 countries… visa free. No hassle for visa application that requires you to have the certain amount of money that prevent you to get on your regular life. 🙁
So this is why I’m writing this post. This post is for those who are pretty much like me: struggling for life with minimum wage but maximum desire to travel the world.
1. It’s never too late to start with something.
While most of my friends have traveled half the world by the 2nd year in the university because of their parents’ privilege, I had never even traveled by an airplane until I was 21.
But then again, there’s always the first time for everything. So even though I didn’t have the privilege like most of my friends did, but at least I started out somewhere even though some people might consider it’s too late.
Now, now… I don’t care whether you’re 15 or even 45, if you want to see the world, then just start it somewhere! 🙂
2. If you can’t afford to travel, find a way out to travel for free!
Well yeah, I mean there’s a lot of options now that the world itself has become flat.
Also because you can always opt for finding a sugar daddy to enable you to travel more. 😛
In a serious note, the first time I traveled abroad, it was for a summer course scholarship sponsored by Turkish Embassy. Nowadays, they’ve got a more integrated system through Turkiye Burslari.
All you need to do is just fill in the application and essay needed and nail the interview. Once you get the scholarship, you can get a chance not only to travel to Turkey, but also live there for the summer! 😀
Now, maybe not everyone is into the idea of scholarship, so maybe you should get a job that will allow you to travel? Why not?
You can apply some job that actually allows you to earn some money while you travel. Being a flight attendant is one of them.
Otherwise, I know a lot of people who also take TEFL certification so they can teach English abroad while travel. I mean, if you speak decent English, even though you’re not a native speaker, this can be your option! 😀
3. Create a realistic list for yourself.
I’ve always been aiming Europe, especially Croatia for my dream destination. But with the regulation and all that, it seems so hard to achieve it. I mean, I’m not sure when I’ll be financially ready to do it for real but Croatia has always been on my bucket list since I was 11!
So, my option would be either I save up and go nowhere to travel for a few years, or I just fill in the gap between my desire to my reality with some kind of substitution destination. I’d choose the latter.
I mean, I can’t just go a year without traveling ever since I finished my university. Traveling keeps me sane and I simply have to travel once in awhile for the sake of my sanity.
So, despite mourning on the fact that I’m not sure how long it’s gonna take until my dream to visit Croatia comes true, I go traveling to some places nearby instead. 🙂
My short-term plan is to visit the whole ASEAN country members. So far, I’ve been to 7 out of 10 countries with Laos, Cambodia and Brunei left.
I’m planning to visit Laos and Cambodia for my late-birthday trip next year. And who knows? Maybe I can visit Brunei too after that? 😉
4. It’s okay to be left out when it comes to cafe-hopping and shopping.
Some people asked me bitterly why I got a chance to travel a lot of times in a year. I’ve been quite lucky that I usually got a job in the offices that were quite flexible when it comes to taking the annual leaves.
But when it comes to money and the budget, I suppose my anti-social traits as well as the fact that I’m single kind of help since I barely go anywhere for the weekend.
To tell you the truth, the amount of money used when I hang out with my friends just to go to one cafe could sometimes cover a night rate in the budget hotel somewhere. Not to mention, that I’m sort of out-of-date when it comes to the things I use or wear.
For example, I’ve been using my iPhone 5c since 3 years ago while I only bought clothes lately after a few years. And the only reason why I bought the new clothes is because I’ve gained weight.
Well, cafe-hopping might be a thing for some of you as I know some friends who would do that even when they go traveling.
I do it occasionally, but not too often as I prefer going to the museum or see the beauty of nature somewhere. 😀
5. Internet helps you to connect with more people, in more places in the world.
Here’s the story, you meet someone online. You get connected to each other. They’re far away and then you just simply can’t wait to visit and meet them in person someday.
It doesn’t have to be an online dating things that make you feel like a Tinderella or something, it can be something like friendship too! 😀
There are a few girl friends that I’ve met online. I’m lucky to tell you that I’ve got a chance to visit them eventually. And even become one of the bridesmaids when one got married in Penang. 🙂
Not only that it encourages you to travel more often, but also sometimes it allows you to avoid thinking about accommodation.
No joke, I once abandoned my 5-star hotel room in Kuala Lumpur when I had a layover there just to stay the night with Miza, another online friend that I’ve known for 15 years, at her dorm. 🙂
Don’t get discouraged by the power of your passport or the amount of your bank statement!
To travel the world, you need to take the first step somewhere. And no matter how powerless your passport is, if you want to travel the world, then you gotta start somewhere. 🙂
Sure, you want to achieve your American dream someday, but if you want to travel the world then there’s nothing wrong about visiting your neighbor countries first as a ‘foreplay’ if you know what I mean.
At least that’s what I do so far. Whether you want to start somewhere or save up until you achieve your dream destination, it’s up to you and safe travel! 😉