One of my subscribers recently asked me a question:
"How do you get the money for all your trips???"
The simple answer is that I save my money.
But there is a more complex answer which involves the way I have chosen to live my life. I want to live a life full of travel, full of experience, full of exploration.
My mother has a small Mary Engelbreit drawing in the kitchen which reads "Bloom where you're planted". Even as a little kid I thought it was weird. Why would I want to stay in my hometown when the whole world is waiting?
In high school, I decided to work a part time job and save all my money in order to "backpack Europe" after university. I actually ended up working 3 part time jobs, (at Dairy Queen, a local stationery store, and a local hotel), and I saved almost all the money that I earned. By the time I graduated high school, I had saved quite a bit.
I also had part time jobs throughout university as well in order to keep saving for my proverbial Europe trip. Lucky enough to have parents who graciously paid for my tuition, the money I earned during university paid for my rent, textbooks, food, and the occasional flight home. I was still completely set on saving for my trip though, so I rarely went shopping, and went out for dinner only as a treat.
As graduation came closer and closer, so did the trip. I got scared, wondering if I could really backpack alone in Europe for a few months. I hesitated to book my ticket.
One fateful night, with graduation only weeks away, my first-year roommate came over for a celebratory dinner. We laughed, we remembered, we ate, and we drank. After a bottle of red wine and too much cheese to mention, she leaned in close and asked me "Kerri, what do you want?" I answered straight back: "I want to go to Europe." I booked a one-way flight to London England that night, under the influence of wine and my own desire.
Once I booked my ticket, everything started aligning. I became friends with Brenna, who was also planning a solo trip around Europe. We sat in coffee shops together with maps and guidebooks, trying to navigate a new world of train rides and dorm beds.
Those four months I spent traveling Europe alone will always be some of my most precious travel memories. I did it. And I did it all by myself - with my own money, at my own pace, with my own will.
In my final year of university, I had dreamed of living and working in South Korea, and made it a reality when I moved there in September 2006. I saved most of the money I earned there and spent it on trips through China and Vietnam.
After that job, I realized living in Asia and working as an English teacher would be the best way to make enough money to continuously explore the world. And that's truthfully what I've been doing ever since. 2012 marks my fourth year living and working in South Korea.
So, to answer the original question, it's not just trying to get money for trips. Rather, the need for travel is so deep within me, I can't help but put the money I earn towards plane tickets to new destinations. Where else would my money be as well spent?
You don't have to have the money to travel, you just need the will.