Here’s my travel story:
When I was 21, I bought a car on Craigslist for $400.
That’s not a typo. I didn’t put the decimal point in the wrong place. My car cost four hundred dollars. I negotiated it down from the asking price of $450.
I drove it for a year and a half, and I didn’t put a dime into it other than standard oil changes. Of course, I didn’t drive much.
Most of the time, I walked everywhere. To lead that pedestrian lifestyle, I needed to live in the center of town. But square footage in the center of town is expensive, so I lived in a tiny apartment. It was was so small that I could reach my kitchen sink from my bed. I could stand with one foot on my mattress and wash the dishes.
When people hear about those days, they often say: “Your life must have sucked.”
You know what sucks? Sitting in a cubicle all day. Wasting your life in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Missing your family because you need to work late.
I never have to do that again.
By ruthlessly slashing expenses that didn’t matter (while still spending lavishly on what matters most), I amassed a mountain of money, traveled the globe nonstop, and returned to the U.S. brimming with renewed energy and vitality.
That energy spurred me into creating the Afford Anything movement while also investing in real estate until I created a lifetime of self-sustaining financial freedom.
That’s how mastering your money can set you free.
But we’ll talk more about financial freedom in a moment. Back to the beginning —
My life was actually pretty awesome during those first few years. I hung out with friends. I snowboarded. I grew plants and read books and had long, leisurely breakfasts.
And I plotted out an incredible world adventure. I had zero debt and a 50 percent savings rate. Fifteen percent of that went into my 401(k), the other 35 percent went to my travel-the-world fund.
Every time someone looked at my junky old car or my microscopic apartment and said, “Wow, that sucks,” I’d think:
You know what sucks? NOT having the choice to bike across Spain, ride a camel near the Pyramids, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, view the Taj Mahal, see the Colosseum in Rome, check out Komodo Dragons in Indonesia, ride bikes in Burma, scuba-dive in Thailand, taste my way across Vietnam — all of which I did, and much more, by age 25.
Those experiences are leagues better than living in a gorgeous home.
To be clear: This proposition won’t always be an “either/or.” If you have the money to enjoy both (world travel and creature comforts at home), that’s awesome. (I easily have that type of money now — which is why I’m a massive advocate of ramping up your income and investing like a warrior.)
Investing, real estate, building businesses, creating passive income — these are self-sustaining long-term successes. Learning to be a Top Performer is crucial for the long game. This allows you to create wealth, which leads to financial freedom. And once you achieve complete freedom, you can enjoy anything.
But that’s the long game.
For the moment, we’re going to focus on the short game: helping you hop onto an airplane and launch your next adventure. You should enjoy mini-retirements throughout your life; treating work and life like an interval race.
Travel is different when you’re 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 and 75. None of these are ‘better’ or ‘worse,’ they’re just different. Not only will your own values, priorities and interests shift over time, but the world around you will also change. Nations will splinter apart or join together; leaders will rise and fall; the landscape will be different. Don’t you want to experience it all?
Afford Anything’s core philosophy is that you should experience adventure at every stage of life, rather than defer happiness until the end. Embark on your epic travels today, while — behind the scenes — you simultaneously lay the groundwork for a permanent escape.
Check out some articles on location independence (the art of working from anywhere), slow travel, and life on the road.
Reframing Your Travel Mindset
- Quit Your Job, Travel, and Live Remarkably
- The Essential 4-Step Guide to Escaping the Ordinary
- Fire Your Boss, Travel Slowly and Reach Escape Velocity
- The ONE Critical Thing Holding You Back …
- Mini-Retirements, Semi-Retirement, Early Retirement — What’s the Most Awesome Lifestyle?
- The Four Awesome Types of Retirement
Travel, Entrepreneurship, and Location Independence
- “You’re Working on Vacation?” and Other Questions that Miss the Point
- The Secret Truth About the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
- Why ‘Get Paid to Travel’ is a Myth (and What You Should Pursue, Instead)