Hey, friends! Glad you found me. This blog is a little something I’ve been thinking about starting since I began traveling full-time (two years ago). I’ve finally decided to stop procrastinating and actually do something about it!
How the heck do people do this?
Before I left America, I had dreams of traveling but couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it. Isn’t traveling expensive? How do you manage to get from point a to point b? Don’t I need a ton of backpacking equipment? The more I thought about it the more overwhelming it got, so I spent years chugging along at my job, secretly daydreaming about exploring other lands.
Well, one day I poured myself a glass of wine, sat down in front of my computer, and googled “how to travel with very little money”. That’s when I learned about the Working Holiday Visa, which has truly changed my life. How did I never know about this before?
The countries that offer it depend on the passport you have, so I’d recommend doing some research yourself to see what you qualify for. But basically, if you’re under 30 (or 35, for some countries), you may qualify for a one year visa that allows you to live and work in a certain country!
When I found out about the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I slowly started gathering some basic equipment – a 55L backpacking backpack, some hiking boots, a hammock. I set my sights on saving x amount of money before leaving, and started to save.
Giving up on saving money
Well, over a year went by and I realized that my monthly bills and meager income weren’t going to allow me to save up the amount of money I thought I needed to travel. But instead of giving up, I stopped wasting time “saving money” and bought a one way ticket to Auckland. If it wasn’t now, it was going to be never.
That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I instantly fell into three months at Fat Cat, an intentional community that shaped the way I’ve traveled since. It opened my eyes to new ways of living, new ways of traveling, and how many things are possible with very little money and a little bit of ingenuity.
Since I left I’ve had countless friends and strangers asking me how I afford to keep traveling. It was one of the biggest questions I had before I left, and now I’m so happy to be able to share what I’ve learned with others.
Traveling on a shoestring
I’ve made money waitressing in Wellington, as a kitchen hand in Melbourne, making shell jewelry on the beach in Hawaii, as a freelance writer online and picking up odd jobs here and there for a bit of extra cash. No matter what sort of skills you have, there is a way to make money on the road.
I’ve kept my cost of living low by couchsurfing, hitchhiking, wwoofing, dumpster diving and living in intentional communities. I’ve lived in a tent, in a station wagon, and in a hammock for over 100 days straight. While many of these things are seen as “unconventional” and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I’m sure I have tips and tricks that everyone can benefit from.
Onwards to van life!
Fast forward to now and I’m here in the French countryside with my partner Charles, getting our camper van ready for a trip down to Morocco. Charles and I met over a year ago when we were both living in communities in Wellington, New Zealand, and we have been traveling together ever since. Follow along as we hit the European road and travel down to Northern Africa!
If you have any questions or simply want to drop me a line, don’t hesitate! I’m always happy to help a fellow traveler.