Living in another country outside of the United States already sounds EXPENSIVE, right? So how does my family of four afford to live in another country and still cater to our travel curiosities?
Long story short, I afford to travel because I am secretly a millionaire and I have an endless supply of income! That’s it! Sorry to break it to you so soon.
I’m only kidding. Somewhere in another lifetime, maybe this will be true. But I’m really a simple human being just living my dreams in the waking reality.
While conversing with others about travel, I’ve discovered that there are at least three main beliefs that plague a person’s mind.
- I have to make a six figure annual income in order to SURVIVE living on this planet, let alone travel.
- I have too many BILLS to pay to even afford to travel!
- I want to travel, but airline tickets are way too expensive. I would never be able to bounce back after paying $500 plus for myself and my family.
These are some big setbacks for an average U.S citizen trying to live the American dream but have a wandering travel spirit.
I’ll keep it real with you. Unless you’re privy to endless income or have money growing on trees in your backyard, you won’t be able to live the American dream AND travel at the drop of a dime instead of that once every two years travel. But there are some things that you can do to lessen the tension of traveling while maintaining your self-made business and a steady income.
You may not have a six figure income, but with the income you do have, try to minimize the money that has to go towards expenses or debt. Increase the money coming in whenever there’s an opportunity (without overworking yourself). Try to find a skill that you are already well-versed in. And either formulate a plan to be an entrepreneur with those skills, so that you are always in a position to do what you love. Or find employment that still allows you to be flexible with your time. There are benefits to both of these options.
Airline tickets are really very inexpensive if planned in advance. But I will say for my experience, airline tickets for my family are only one-way tickets. So instead of paying double for a round-trip ticket back to the states, we fly to our destination and live there for a while to truly experience the vibes of that particular country. For example, our first trip was to Colombia in 2016. By selling all of our belongings, we had money to buy one-way flights to Colombia. We pre-calculated the rental expenses for Colombia. Since it was less than our expenses in Arkansas, we knew that we would have the opportunity to actually save more each month. The cost of living in Colombia is ridiculously cheap! Because the USD holds a bigger weight than Colombian pesos. So we were saving a ton by living there. The money saved was used to purchase round-trip tickets to Cartagena, which were still inexpensive since we were flying through one of the country’s airlines to a destination that was still in the country. This has been our mode of operation for each country we choose to reside in.
Now let’s talk about how I make income!
If you didn’t know, my life partner and I dedicated 6 years of our life to the United States Military. During our service, we sustained some injuries that we are being compensated for. So because of this, we do have a monthly benefit that is sufficient enough to add extra cushion. But we do not depend solely on this. I used to be ashamed for receiving this income. But I realized this is income that I have EARNED from my service to the country.
But, this was one of the things that we could depend on as fall-back insurance….just in case online jobs slowed down. We did have this layer of protection to keep us from going broke while living in another country.
Now that part is out of the way, LOL, I will explain the 2nd way I make money while traveling.
So, of course, I am a blogger. But I am also an Author. In 2015, I self-published my work of art “Military Wives: Rare Details You Must Know Before & After the Vow.” I poured my heart and soul into this work with the idea of helping military spouses or significant others. But it is also a work that is able to effortlessly generate additional income for me. Sometimes I forget that it’s even available for retail online. But then I’ll unexpectedly receive a deposit into my checking account. And in that moment, I’m grateful for my ability to articulate ideas and use words to share information with others.
The 3rd way I generate income is through FREELANCING!! In 2014, I separated from the military to be a Stay at Home Mom and it has been so rewarding for my babies. After giving birth to them, I promised myself that I would never work in corporate America again if it mean’t being away from them. Working from home is something that makes me happy because I no longer have to pay $1000 a month for daycare fees!! By working from home on a contract basis, I control my own hours. I decide if or when I want to work. I can pick up my computer and continue to go where the wind blows me because of the flexibility of working from home. And because I know that travel experiences and being at home with my babies comes before a commitment to a job, I have recently had to turn down jobs that required me to be stateside. So with this freelancing job, I am able to generate a considerate amount of income.
These are the ways I generate income. For your circumstances, what ways can you maintain a steady income while traveling abroad?
We’ve discussed the money that comes in, but what about the money that has to go out! Let’s talk about the dreadful ‘B’ word!! (Not that one) I’m talking about BILLS!!!
Life outside of the United States is much less expensive than living in the U.S. The cost of rent where we currently live is half of what it would cost in the states. In Conway, Arkansas, we spent more than $1600 a month for a fully furnished apartment with utilities. In Latin America, we spend half of this for the same amenities. Weekly grocery shopping tabs in the states was around $200 or more weekly for a family of 4. Now, this was for GMO fruits with a few seeds and a very limited supply of nourishment that hydrated the soul. So in Latin America, I pay approximately $150 a week for groceries…fruits WITH an abundance of seeds and way more varieties of tropical fruits. Everything is fresh and it truly heals you inside.
Taxis and Ubers are extremely inexpensive. We spend about $80 or less a month on transportation around town. So instead of spending $400 a month on two car notes, an additional $150 for car insurance, and ANOTHER $300 or so a month on gas, we spend less than $100 a month for transportation.
SOOOOO considering all of the above things, living life abroad helps me afford to travel because I have less bills to pay each month and my CURRENCY is being utilized to fund my curious travel adventures.
Now I know that some people may be closed minded to living life abroad…abandoning a familiar lifestyle for one in which is unfamiliar. Many are accustomed to working 40+ hours a week. And I won’t say that this life is a permanent solution to being able to live cheaply and travel. But it is definitely a temporary solution that I have found. So I am using this time of more income and less bills to truly cater to my wandering spirit.
Some believe that bills are just a part of life and we can’t escape it. This is partly true, we do have to play the game of LIFE here on this planet. However, I BELIEVE in manipulating resources in a way that I am working smarter and not harder. I believe in minimalism and that it is one of many ways to decrease debt/bills while living the life you desire. I believe in entrepreneurship and being my own boss, for the most part. I have found that I do not function well taking instructions from others. LOL. And I no longer believe in attaching myself to commitments because I may change my mind tomorrow! Who got time to be slaving over someone else’s company and feel like I have no choice?! Not this girl. Been there…done that.
So you guys, THAT is how I afford to live abroad while traveling to other countries.
If this is the life that you want as well, what are you waiting on? Check out my other post on tips to relocating abroad if this interests you.
This lifestyle does involve sacrifices, but they are amiable sacrifices that aren’t stunting my growth. I have placed travel and life experiences over a life going around in circles with no elevation. So this blueprint works for me and caters to my desires in this life.
YOU can speak your desires into the Universe as well and work towards achieving your goals. Nothing is EVER too far from your grasp.
If we ever return to the states, I have formulated another strategic plan to escape debt and still live the life I ADORE, which is travel experiences. So please do not think that you MUST live abroad in order to be able to enjoy traveling. There are still loopholes that will allow you to work on your own time, have less bills, and provide the space and opportunity for you to live FREELY!!
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to comment below. Subscribe to my Author page on Facebook (link below). You can send me questions there or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Live YOUR dreams…not the dreams of others. You owe it to yourself to experience life outside of the box….get out of the rat race. You just may like it!
5 Comments Add yours
Thank you for this encouraging post that shows it is possible to travel; if we have the will, there is a way. I live in Australia, which is also expensive, if not one of the most expensive places to live, yet even here, my son has been able to save the money he earns in retail to travel to Switzerland recently. Actually, since 2014, he has travelled to Europe every 2 years.
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Thank you for the feedback! There are definitely loopholes in the system. Wow, I didn’t know Australia had a high cost of living as well. For me, less bills = more money towards travel experiences. And that’s the bills that I can actually control. I know that some expenses we can’t really get around. It can get really expensive living day to day and trying to make time to travel. Thankful that this post encouraged you to have a positive outlook on this topic. 🙂
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Love this!!! Great advice!!! I’m looking forward to more traveling and living outside of the box.
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YES! Live your life freely!
“You owe it to yourself to experience life outside of the box….get out of the rat race” – love that!
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