So...here's the deal, travelling the world isn't cheap. There are ways to save money, of course but between the flights alone it add's up fast!
The question we get asked most when our friends see that we have booked another trip to somewhere amazing is ‘how can you afford that?’ or my personal favorite when they blurt out 'you guys must be RICH??' - automatically presuming that we earn millions of dollars in our current Tourism jobs which for those working in tourism will agree this is not quite how it goes. (HAHA…I wish).
No, this is not correct, but we are both lucky enough to have very similar values when it comes to money, spending, saving and most importantly our PRIORITIES.
A few years ago, we started to adopt the minimalist lifestyle… and no we don’t live off 2-minute noodles and sleep on the floor of a cave. Quite the opposite - we live in a beautiful 2-bedroom rental by the lake in Taupo, NZ, we both have jobs which we love and that do pay the bills but what we spend our left-over wages on is mostly travel. In fact, …it’s about 80% travel.
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” —Edwin Way Teale
Everyone has priorities and we respect each and every one of these as each person in this world is different. Some people love the newest technology, the best make-up and perfumes, a brand-new car or that expensive bag that has been staring at you as you walk past it on the way to work. We however, just do not enjoy materialistic things (apart from camera equipment, its my kryptonite). We eat in most nights – in the past 2 years I have become a fantastic cook (so Leo tells me) so I cook every night which saves us about $500NZD month at least. Every weekend when we go on adventures within NZ it’s mostly on walks and hikes which in NZ are FREE, and when it comes to clothing and accessories, we are pretty basic and only buy when needed.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates
Now, there is a huge difference between consumerism and materialism and if we had to choose one we would actually be materialistic. Wait…what? Minimalists being materialistic? What an oxymoron… and yes, this is true, as we love the small amount of possessions that we own. They don’t by any means control us, but we will literally keep them until they are deemed unusable. If we were consumerists, then we would continuously buy new things that we really don’t need even when the ones we own are completely usable. However, this is a complex, large subject that we won't go into now but it's always good to ask yourself the question.
Joshua Becker describes being minimalist perfectly, and has helped us to learn and explain in depth. See what you think: ''Minimalism, for me, is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it’'. Sounds easy...and so logical, right?
So, with this said if travelling the world is the top of your Bucket-list but you feel you cannot afford it – simply re-evaluate your priorities! What is vitally important to you when it comes to spending money, ie – bills, food and rent and what can be removed from your day to day expenditure and put into the ‘TRAVEL THE WORLD’ fund?
If you would like to read more, then this article will certainly give you some pointers and change your perspective about why we should spend our money on experiences and not ‘things’.
SIDE NOTE: Not to mention, for all those out there struggling with anxiety, then de-cluttering your life will 100% help. BELIEVE ME, I have tried and tested it, and it works. By adopting a minimalist lifestyle I learned to realize all that clutter I have that had been clouding my thoughts ironically made me think about all the things I didn't have, therefore gradually releasing that sense of panic. By removing the unnecessary, you are forced to really pin point the underlying issue and find your calm, bringing you and your mind back to living in the present.
Have you succumb to the minimalist lifestyle recently and love it? Let us know ...
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!