Financing a life of travel

Imagine if this stack of money was real and yours!

Ever wish you had an endless stream of income that would finance your traipsing around the world? Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about how to pay for making the journey? Well we’ve read quite a fair bit of bloggers writing about getting around the world in the cheapest way, seeking out activities that are free to do etc. There have been quite a few who journeyed around the world on bike or foot or public transport too (here and here)!

To us that is all well and good.

But would the journey to Pisa be the same without paying for the climb up the tower that leans? Would one really climb all the way to the Great Wall instead of taking the cable car? Hmmm….. Some things in life are indeed free to enjoy, but many of the experiences would probably not.

Today though our post is not just on the boon and bane of traveling on the cheap.

It’s about financial preparedness. And it is applicable not just for paying one’s travel journeys, but also the journey we call life. When we were young (and your heart was an open book), you might say live and let live…. heheh… sorry cannot help it because it was ringing in Mel’s head (for those G&R fans out there!). Before one get carried away by the travel bug and “squander” one’s youth away, would it not be wise to look a little ahead? For we have said repeatedly; time is but the only thing one cannot claw back or keep in store for later use. You do only live once, but you are also only young and energetic once.

Having a portfolio of assets that repeatedly produce income would be wonderful don’t you think? Like the proverbial goose laying a golden egg everyday. We call our finance independence theory the “Golden egg Goose” concept. You heard about it here first. What do you think?

How much of the world have you covered?

How well do you compare with the Queen or the likes of Sir David Attenborough when it comes to scouring the earth? Check it out here. Now they might not have covered ALL sovereign countries like James did (we wrote about it here), but they certainly have been places that we would be restricted from entering! But that said, we’ve probably also been places they would not be able to.

Do you count the number of countries you have visited? Hopefully not because of the bragging rights it is supposed to confer! Ok, we admit that our handprint maps do border on that… heheh. Hypocrites we are… sigh. Sorry.

How much have you coveredWe are regular contributors to Tripadvisor. And whenever you put in a review, they will clock in the city you have visited to your tally. Of course you can also go to the map and clock in the cities  without a review too. That takes integrity though because you must had visited. So be honest!

And the interesting thing is they have a little counter that tells you how many percent of the world you have traveled to.

So it’s not about how many countries but the number of places one’s touched. According to this tool, our tally comes in at 42%. Not too sure about the distances traveled though. Perhaps it has to do with where one is based. Wow. Would you believe in such information? We wrote in our post on how things change (here) that there is a lot of space on our spinning spaceship to cover (such as the last continent). So not for one moment we believe this, though it was the first time we noticed it.

Why do you count the number of countries you visited?

Look at that flag counter

Sometime last year, we added a free flag counter to our blog. The purpose, as most of you who do the same is to “track” how many people visit our blog and from which parts of the world. If you click the counter you will be brought to the actual counter page.

There are additional attributes that feature details of which state in the US the visitors come from. This feature is free for the US and Canada only, and you will need to pay if you wish to get even more ‘granular’ information about visitors from other large countries.

But today we are not promoting the use of the flag counter.

Rather it is the flags in the counter that we are focused upon. When we look up the flag counter site every now and then, we look at the number of countries that have been captured based on where visitors to our blog came from. And it surprises us to see the names of countries that we don’t even recognize. 196. In case you were wondering how many countries are there in the world. Good as of this year we guess unless we have more secessions…

So by the personal record, we are still around 74 short… heheh. Talk about collecting flags we are also short of 1 state in the US. For some reason we do not have anyone from North Dakota visiting our site. Oh why?

Did not know that there are so many countries in the world? Well, watch out for the handprint stories we are posting on micro states in Europe! Without looking it up, how many of the flags do you recognize and can tell which country it represents?

A job that brings you places

Imagine that. A job that actually requires you to live in a different city each month even as you worked on a full time, permanent role. And be paid with benefits too… Isn’t that the dream of nomads of this world (hey the certificate is still available here) to have such a sweet spot?

If this (read article here) is truly available to you, would you jump up and take the offer?

Some time back, we wrote about mobile talent (here). It may not be exactly the vision you get when looking at the instagram posts of those who claim to be successful digital nomads. In fact it’s more conventional. More like working 9-5, what a way to make a living (barely getting by) but for shorter stints and in different locations. We gave some examples in that post but we are sure some of you dear readers would know of more. Care to share any?

Our own experience was one of moving around the world not many many times over a short period. Instead, we stayed for a number of years in a different location each time. And on different continents too. That gave us not only the opportunity to experience very different work environments but also the chance to explore a broad area while domiciled temporarily (albeit for a few years) in a fixed spot. And it gave depth to our soujorns too.

Our rationale: being in a particular place for too short a period of time may not sufficiently give you an all rounded experience. For the slightly longer durations we stayed facilitated us learning a new language, being able to prepare local food and building life long friendships.

Would this not count as being a nomad?

How many travel photos have you taken?

Don’t quite know what to call this post. It’s kind of a reminisce but also a rant. Perhaps this is just one more of our directionless musings…

About what you curiously ask?

Photos. Pictures taken from one’s travel journeys. Not the ones at home with family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. Real travel photos. Pictures of places you visited, even if it is your own home base. Do you know how many have you taken?

We’ve read posts about de-cluttering our lives through the ‘purging’ of unwanted stuff. Ok that’s generalizing it a fair bit, but you get the picture (no pun intended)? Because this question popped up one day (about de-cluttering), and we got curious about how many photos we actually have of our travel handprints. You might know that we are part of the generation that straddled the film and digital eras. So that’s tricky because we have albums of printed photos too.

Hence we defined for ourselves that for film, the number of photos would be how many we have scanned into digital form. Yeah we hear the howls of disbelief from our film refugee peers, but hey you gotta start somewhere right? How does that look like? The graph below (yeah occupation hazard) illustrates:

Travel Photo Statistics

Did you notice how the spike in the number of photos started from the advent of digital photography? Yes, digital storage is virtually free, or at least very (very) low cost. Granted there are personal reasons in the stats too (such as number of journeys in each year). We know what we have might pale in comparison to some of you out there. But the point is – the average has clearly risen!

Are we alone? Of course not. So can you imagine how many pictures had been taken around the world by folks and possibly shared? Think millions only? LOL. This brings up an interesting point. There is so much sharing in social media of photos. Is it time to de-clutter?

How many travel photos have you taken? Do you organize them? Do you need to ‘de-clutter’ them?

Why me? Tell me…

Yeah you. It’s called murphy’s law, or Mr Murphy. Have you ever wondered why, oh why does things happen to you? No. No we are not ranting about something bad that has occured with us. And no it’s not about the horse either…

Because today’s post first pokes fun at the tribulations one may experience when embarking on a journey. Check out these hilarious comics about the thrills and spills of traveling these days. Does any of the comics relate to your personal experiences? We found the last one to especially apt. Oh why do we have the urge to go to the restroom when the plane’s about to land?

And now we get to the serious stuff. Because it is not only air travel where you can be a little stressed.

Our postulation is this. No amount of planning will prevent or insulate one from mishaps. You might read later in our story on getting back to the cruise ship while in the Grand Caymans after a swim at Stingray city. Why of all days were there like 20 ships anchored there? Don’t they have a schedule to follow? Can you imagine if the traffic snarl would have really caused us to miss the tender back to the ship?

Did you recall this lady trying to swim to hers?

Ok that was a little extreme. If you were in the same situation, what would you do?