HOW I AFFORD TRAVELING
What have I been up to since I finished highschool? I would just like to make it clear to you all, that I don't have a money-growing tree in my backyard that pays for the things I 'own' and the trips I do. I definitely don't have parents who finance my travels, like some of you might assume. I've worked hard for every penny myself, I've saved them and spent them carefully.
These passed four years have basically consisted of me either working or traveling. Working one or two or three random jobs, saving money, and then heading off on adventures. By now I've had so many jobs here and there that I doubt I could even count them on four hands. I've worked in cafés, restaurants, two different supermarkets, two ice cream shops, in a hotel reception, a clothing store, with customer service on the phone, market research and social research on the phone. You name it. Seriously.
These are jobs that I've had no real interest in, but it has given me a lot life experience and in the end they are the reason I've been able to travel.
Most importantly, I'm very careful with how I spend the money I've saved. I don't buy expensive things, actually I don't buy a lot of things for myself at all, since I tend to prioritise experiences. If I buy clothes, I buy most of them second hand.
There is a reason I was able to travel California for two months. I'm good at living cheaply. I chose to stay in the cheapest hostels, slept in a tent, in the back of a car, and sometimes we were lucky enough to stay on someone's couch for the night. We ate canned food in random parking lots, avoided expensive coffees and kept meeting people on the road who we could travel cheaply with. After Cali, I found a cheap ticket to India and similarly managed to live very cheaply there for a month. It's all possible if you prioritise the right things!
Of course there are downsides to it and sometimes you just want to be able to eat in fancy restaurants all the time or buy the most pricy clothing. But those things are easily compensated by what I got to experience on the road.
Volunteer-work is another great way to travel cheaply. I spent almost the whole summer volunteering at a farm in Denmark, which basically means I work 5 hours per day, 5 days a week and instead of money I get a roof over my head and food in my belly. I don't earn anything, I don't spend anything. It's almost like money doesn't exist, which is one of the most liberating feelings ever.
Last but not least, I'm lucky to be born in a country where studying is free. We take loans to afford living while studying, but only have to pay some of it back. So you can even say we get payed to study. I found an opportunity to study at a Swedish school placed in France, and this way I'm now living and studying here without spending a lot of money.
I'm also very aware that these things don't apply to everyone. I'm not saying you're all able to just go and do what I've done. For some it might be really hard to even get a casual employment, some might live in countries with poor social systems, some have big responsibilities that need to be prioritised financially, and some might just find it really hard to travel with a lower standard.
Either way, if you're prepare to think outside the box, you might find unexpected opportunities opening up. This is how I've done it, and despite a lot of hard work and less glorious periods in my life, it has always been worth it.