Life Is Short – Do What You Love
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard
It is no surprise that those who know me understand how much I love to travel. With my profession as a Sales Consultant with Henry Schein Dental, I have to give my customers ample warming if I will be out of the country. There is a great deal of follow up dialogue that I love to share when I get home. Alas, I find myself talking about travel – a lot.
An overused yet underutilized saying is, Life is Short. To take it one step further, tomorrow is not a guarantee, so you better start living. This is my every day mantra. For me, traveling makes me a more rounded human, and is imperative to my professional career as it is directly linked to goal setting. When it comes to traveling, there will never be “enough” time or “enough” money, so careful planning is a must. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate proper travel planning and budgeting into your lifestyle.
- Ditch cable. The average cable bill is $120 per month. $120 x 12 months = $1440. For $1400 I can buy two round trip airplane tickets to Paris. C’est Bon!
- Sell your stuff. I have been on a minimalist journey for about 2 years now. When we rid our lives of clutter, you find clarity and start to prioritize. A great place to start is in your closet. About a year ago I implemented a capsule closet system. I own 40 articles of clothing-that’s it! You can sell your clothes on sites such as Thread Up, or you can donate clothes to Good Will and take advantage of the tax deduction. Less money spent on clothes means more money to spend on excursions on your trip. Bungee jumping, anyone?
- Budget Ruthlessly. Commit to taking out a certain percentage or dollar amount of each paycheck and put it towards your travel fund. That helps ease the shock of the total expense. Do your best to avoid debt and plan accordingly. Choose a credit card that you can redeem for airline miles, cash back or hotel points.
- Plan your meals. I love to eat out but I also plan ahead for our meals and adult beverage expenses. Pack your lunch and snacks to save on costs as well.
- Set your goals. It was a goal of mine to reach all 7 continents by the time I turned 30. Check! It was a goal of mine to travel to 5 countries all by myself. Check! I am currently working on visiting all 50 states by the time I turn 37 (6 more states to go).
- Track and have a heart to heart with your unnecessary expenses. You will have to determine what is important to you, but have an honest conversation with yourself about where you can cut back. Starbucks? $4.75 x 365 = $1733.75. This gets you 11 nights in Iceland. Gym membership you don’t use? $60 x 12 = $720. This could cover your meals for an entire week in Morocco.
- Maximize your time off from work. Now, I know sometimes this is out of your control. I plan my adventures around Holidays so I can squeeze in an extra day off. I book one big trip well in advance so that I know it is booked, and there is no backing out. Dentists-did you know that the recommended time off for you is SIX weeks?
- If traveling for you is a part of your dream, stick to it. I can promise you that hiking the Grand Canyon when you are 70 will be a lot different than when you are in your 30’s. If you have other dreams, do you what you have to do in order to make them come true.
Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams. –Donovan Bailey