Tag Archives: world travel

#1 Question I’m Asked: What Do You Do For Money?

Aside from, “you’re insane”, the next most frequent question I’m asked is, “what do you do for money?!”  Oh wait, “you’re insane” isn’t a question.  In that case, let me answer that #1 burning query.

I quit my professional job 5 months ago, and have been traveling the world since then.  It’s been a fantastical ride and one that showed me life can be bigger and more exciting than I ever imagined!  How do I financially sustain this new lifestyle, though?  Well, here’s a secret fact about yours truly:

I plan the SHIT out of EVERYTHING.

I plan, I scour, I create Excel spreadsheets, I research the webs and interview other people “in the know”.  It doesn’t matter if it’s putting myself through private university on my own as a teenager with no one to help or co-sign loans, or buying a fucking down pillow.  I will research the shit out of it and figure out the best ways and all the secret ins and outs.  I actually kind of enjoy following a rabbit hole of information to find hidden knowledge.  As a result, I spend an inordinate amount of time searching out the all the tricks I need to put together to create the ultimate plan.

My penchant for information digging is aided by a very diverse set of friends.  I have friends of all ages, incomes, stages of life, and stages of craziness.  As I’ve traveled, I’ve picked up an even more diverse set of contacts.  There are a lot more people in my “vagabond traveler” tool kit (tool kit, not toolbox) who have given me priceless gems.  These in-the-know people shared with me more ways to travel on the cheap or even free and rescued my sabbatical plans on more than one occasion!

Ok, but where does the money come from that you’re spending?

Let me ask you a question — what are you hoping I’ll say?  Are you looking for a solution for yourself or an excuse as to why you’re in a different situation and could never do what I’m doing?  Are you hoping I’ll tell you that like the Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert, I have a writing gig on the side that sends me a steady flow of Benjamins?  Nope, sorry.  I’ve had not a single paying gig since leaving my engineering job.  Are you hoping I’ll say my parents are loaded and they’re sending me money?  Hahahaha… Nothing could be farther from the truth in that assumption.  Nope, I’m totally on my own in this.

I have some of my own, hard-earned money sitting in the bank.  I withdraw it as slowly as possible.  That’s the short answer.

The long answer is I:

  1. Set up a way to save money painlessly many months before I took the leap.
  2. Sold everything I owned that people would buy and have very little to come back to.  (It actually is a very freeing feeling, as other people who did this will tell you.)  I sold much of my stuff for less than it was worth because of the short time frame, but still managed to re-coup around $1,000.  (Thanks again to everyone who bought stuff or shared my sales notices – especially to the newly made snow bunny.)
  3. Researched the best credit cards to apply to right before I made the leap, back when I still had great credit and income.  The credit cards were specifically selected for their no-foreign transaction fee, 0% introductory interest, and foreign car rental insurance coverage perks.
  4. Worked my final few weeks while housesitting and staying with friends, thereby saving $1,450 in rent.  Thanks again, ladies!
  5. Came up with a fun game on the road where my friends gave me ridiculous amounts of money as gifts.  See here.  I kept receiving gifts even after the game ended and in all, received over $1,000 worth of INSANELY generous generosity.  Thank you again, everyone!
  6. Found the best ways to book airfare on the cheap.  The best websites, times of day to book and how to fly all go into finding the cheapest flights possible.  For example, I recently paid $127 less on a flight from NYC to India than an Indian who is an expert in finding cheap fares for this exact route did — for the same time frame.
  7. Found ways to stay all over the world very inexpensively, and often even completely free!  There are surprisingly a TON of ways to do this and I now have a bunch of unusual methods and websites I can go to when forming a plan for the next stage of my journey.

    One Of the Gorgeous, Dream Places I've Stayed For FREE
    The View From One Of the Gorgeous, Dream Places I’ve Stayed For FREE
  8. Go to places where the US dollar is stupid strong.  When I’m not having to pay in British Pounds or Euros, or Singapore Dollars or Japanese Yen, then my housing and dining options are a bit wider.  Right now, for example, I’m in Bali and could be paying $2,000 per night at a fancy tourist resort down the road, but I’m staying in a nice hotel room all to myself with a big bed, A/C and a pool for $13/day.  This is the very high-end of accommodations pricing that I’ve paid in my travels, by the way.  I’m splurging because I needed some quiet, downtime to work on my 6 Months to Sabbatical Workshop.  Same with food.  I can easily get by on $3/day getting stuffed with food here in Indonesia by visiting street vendors instead of restaurants aimed at tourists.  If you go where locals go, you can eat and live like a king for a mind-boggling  small percentage of what your typical tourist pays.
This NOM-ful street snack cost $0.89 in USD.
This NOM-ful street snack cost $0.89 in USD.

… plus even more things I don’t have the time to mention here.

If you’re looking for solutions to escape your professional job and travel the world instead of excuses why you don’t, check out the “6 Months to Sabbatical Workshop” I’m creating, HERE.  I’m building out a complete plan for you, taking advantage of all the hours of research and connections I’ve made with other travel experts out here where the action is.  You can create a practical escape plan from well before you make the leap, and I can work with you to make it happen.  Hurry, the course starts February 25th, 2016, and registration ends February 23rd, 2016 at midnight, Eastern Time.  I don’t know if this course will ever be offered again, so if you’re interested, go to this site for more information on the course and to register:


Hope to see you out here soon and hear from you even sooner!

5 Reasons Why Your 30’s Are the Best Time to Travel the World

We’ve all fantasized about jetting to far off places, tasting new foods, seeing new sights, lying on exotic beaches “someday”, but when should “someday” be?

Escape to Paradise: Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
This is a real place.  No, really.  And you can go there! Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

If you aren’t blessed by small children or a significant other who is afraid to fly, your 30’s are the best time in your life to travel.  Here are the top 5 reasons why.

1. Youth – You’re young enough so that your body isn’t falling apart as much as it might in your golden years.  Why wait until you’re dealing with arthritis and high blood pressure before you strap on a backpack and finally attempt hiking the Andes like you always dreamed?  There are so many more things you can easily do when you still have your health!  Why waste your current capacity to survive food poisoning and wild tuk tuk rides?

2. Wisdom – You’re old enough not to do stupid shit.  Your teenage years and 20’s were all about finding out where your limits were – whether it was how long you could go without sleep and not crack, or the types of people you need to avoid at parties to make it home in one piece.  You usually found those limits by going beyond them and destroying yourself.  Now that your 20’s clearly defined how far your mind and body can bend before they break, your 30’s can be the time when you push yourself to just below that fine line.  It’s one more way you’re fully optimized for doing awesome things in your 30’s.  You’re less susceptible to peer pressure, too, at this time… so that’s a thing.  “No, really, I know myself — I’m good with just the 3 shots of tequila off your hard beach body.”

Ok, so there was that one time I ate Horse Meat. BUT DID I DIE?

3. Money – You’re well along enough in your career that you probably don’t have to save up for as long as when you were a young one before making the leap.  Plus, you can financially rebound easier if you want to rejoin the workforce when you’re done traveling as compared with your more senior years.  Just recently, a lot of great, new companies popped up to help with refinancing things in a way where you don’t get screwed, too.  These options didn’t exist when you were graduating college, and you probably weren’t making enough salary then to qualify.  If you need to refinance your student loans, I can refer you HERE to 2 great companies that saved me $1,000’s in interest.

4. Experience –  You’re a seasoned pro by now in your career with examples of shit you did under your belt.  It’s safer to leave the workforce and come back during your 30’s than it was during your early 20’s.  If you get laid-off in your 20’s (I did, twice), it’s hard as hell with less than 5 years of experience to climb out of that hole!  By your 30’s, you likely have a solid foundation and your degree, and the story about those widgets you expertly 6-sigma’d aren’t going away, either.  Yeah, there may be some companies in the future that frown upon you taking time out for re-energizing, self-improvement, learning, and experimenting… but are those really the companies you want to work for?

5. Potential — Travel can benefit you in your career later if you do it now.  If you do it at the end of your career, you only get jollies out of it.  By taking a sabbatical in your 30’s, you re-energize your mind and motivation with fresh perspectives, rediscovered curiosity and new ideas on commerce and products.  It’s impossible not to come back to your previous duties without seeing them all in a new light!  Interacting with the contrast of other cultures allows you to see and understand your own culture better.  This, in turn, allows for the possibility of expanded creativity. You can study large systems – entire cities or countries – from the outside and draw insights on what makes them work (Singapore) or not work (the Philippines).  You can learn how to haggle in Thailand.  You can better understand how to work with your future employer’s suppliers when you learn firsthand about the cultures in China, in Germany, in Mexico… Simply seeing everyday things from new angles and done in new ways sparks your potential for innovation.  In so many ways, travel can supercharge your career potential.  Why not increase that potential mid-career, when you’re most likely to benefit from it for many years to come?

Here’s how this tricycle negotiation went: Me – “How much?” Him – “250 pesos!” Me: “HAHAHA! I’ll give you 20.” Him: “Get in.”


If you agree and now is the time for you to take a break in your career and see the world, I can help.  For a limited time, my 6 Months to Sabbatical Workshop is available for registration where I can work with you to form your escape plan.  I know it can work for you, because it worked for me!  With some meager savings and student loans I still pay every month, I managed to quit my job and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.  I know how to save painlessly before quitting, travel for $1,000’s less than typical vacationers do, and even how to stay for free in beautiful accommodations around the world.  You know what else?  I have never been happier.  CLICK HERE to find out more and register for the workshop!  Hurry, early-bird pricing ends February 17th, 2016 and registration closes for good February 23rd, 2016.


Come join me out here!