When we were planning our first extended journey we basically had no money to travel at all, actually quite the opposite. We had overwhelming debts as our business was down the drain and couldn’t even keep our home. Still, it was in this desperate situation that the idea of going on a longer journey first did strike us. We had heard of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and the possibility to work on farms a number of hours per day in exchange for food and lodging. And we could even do it as a family…
It didn’t turn out that way in the end though and we didn’t go WWOOF-ing in New Zeeland at that time as was our initial plan. But we did go on a longer journey. Life took some unexpected turns and we took off in an old (very old) campervan on a 5 month journey through Europe instead.
Looking back now, I realize that it was actually when we were experiencing the lack of money that our desire to go on an extended journey with the family was first brought to life. Prior to that situation, we had hardly ever thought about it. We were just so preoccupied with living our everyday life with all it included, like taking care of family and home, work and school and then just running out of energy at the end of the day.
Interestingly enough though is that the lack of money, which is the most common reason why long term travel is out of the question for most people, was actually the reason we left on our first longer journey.
How can that be you may wonder? Well, when we considered the possibility of WWOOF-ing in New Zeeland, we realized that once we’d arrive there, we would almost be able to “live for free”. We have some friends who did just that, WWOOF-ed around Europe for five years with literally now money (they even became parents along the way). This possibility just wasn’t available if we’d stay at home.
This is something that is so hard for most people to understand; you don’t actually need a lot of money to travel long term! It can be a lot cheaper than staying at home. Traveling short term though can often be very expensive.
And this is not something that just we are saying. It has been confirmed to us by other long term travelers over and over again. Here is a great article that describes how you don’t need money to travel to go on a long journey. Another example is this man which we’ve mentioned before and who twittered himself to the other side of the world.