I don’t know what it is about the terms “rich” and “travel” that society has seemed to put together but unless your talking about how “rich” in thought, character, and experience you will be when you travel, then they have nothing to do with each other.
I was recently watching an old movie called Wall Street and heard Charlie Sheen’s character say he wanted to make insane amounts of money so that he could leave the game and ride his motorcycle across China.
Wait a minute! I rented a motorbike in Indonesia for $3/day so I can assure you that insane amounts of money are not needed to ride across China or any other part of Asia.
Sadly, most people think like this. The experience of travel and vacations has constantly been sold to us with a “cash value”. Somehow society has been coerced into thinking that the experience of travel is intertwined with the amount of money you can spend on such a trip.
True travel is all about the mindset, not about the money. It’s a way of finding adventure in your normal life at home as well as on the road. It starts with the decision to embrace life’s curiosities, learn about yourself, and to see, feel, and experience things that are foreign to you. True travel places you completely out of your comfort zone to learn about yourself in ways you’ve never imagined.
No money is required, just a mindset to embrace the unknown.
In fact, I’m willing to say that hoards of money will actually make your travels less rewarding unless you already have the mind of a vagabond – a privately meaningful manner of travel that emphasizes creativity, adventure, awareness, simplicity, discovery, independence, realism, self-reliance, and the growth of the spirit. Staying in lavish 5-star hotels and pampering yourself at every corner is not true travel.
This is just an offspring of tourism wrapped in a pretty package and sold off like jewelry. Sure it can be fun sometimes but true travel and the real experience that travel brings comes from exploring the unknown. It comes from mixing in with locals and learning about the culture. It comes from challenging your fears and pushing your boundaries. It comes from not knowing where the road will take you but committing yourself to whatever adventures it brings. That’s travel!
The mindset starts at home. You don’t actually need to travel far away to experience true travel. All you need is a curiosity to see, feel, and experience things that are foreign to you. You just need to place yourself in unfamiliar territory. Go outside your comfort zone and learn about yourself by trying all sorts of random things. Join a dance class, a yoga class, a sport you have no clue about, a meditation group, or go white water rafting, or jump out of a plane.
Whatever it is, as long as it’s different, exciting to you, and makes you uncomfortable and unsure at first. This is travel. Having a zest for life every day you wake up. When the time comes for you to visit a completely new place somewhere else in the world, bring this mindset with you.
As for the cost, it’s almost never as expensive as you think it will be, especially if you’re truly looking for an adventure in developing countries and hostels. Use your work time as a learning experience to fuel your desires for the place you’re going to visit. Learn the tools and tricks to help make the trip cheaper. You can fly to countries for next-to-nothing by using points from credit cards. You can stay for free in unfamiliar territory by couchsurfing or working part-time for hostels. If you want to travel long-term, you could always work while traveling as well, especially these days when many people are becoming location independent.
Either way, you’ll be surprised by the hospitality of like-minded souls as you traverse the planet.
This is all about embracing curiosity and pushing your boundaries.
Grow your spirit, feed your soul, and have fun.