There it is again. That incessant yearning deep within. It starts out as a spark, as you glance at another issue of your favorite travel magazine on the rack at the grocery store, but soon it grows to a blazing fire.
The passion is ignited, and it seems as though it might consume you if don’t take a trip somewhere soon!
You feel it’s pull, that internal yearning for a far off land. The excitement and adventure of visiting a new place, trying new foods, seeing awe-inspiring sights- they all sing to you with their unbroken Siren’s song.
How do fulfill the relentless desire?- now you have kids, a mortgage, a job. You have to ‘be responsible.’ You have financial obligations and mouths to feed.
There’s no possibility of sailing off into tropical sunsets or circumnavigating the globe. Or is there?
Your Dreams Don’t Have to Die
If you read the article I recently wrote for Bootsnall, you’ll realize that having children does not have to put an end to your days of vagabonding.
As Tim Ferris says in his book The Four Hour Work Week, “Far from being a reason NOT to travel and seek adventure, children are perhaps THE best reason of all to do both.”
My husband and I have taken this to heart, starting with an adventure four years ago when we drove the Pan American Highway from Utah to Costa Rica with our children ages 4, 3, 2 and 2 months old.
We currently live with them in Southern India while still at the young ages of 7, 6, 4 and 3 (and we’re expecting our fifth). We see travel as a way to build character in children.
But once you’re convinced that travel is still an option, even with children, how do you make that dream a reality, especially when it comes down to the real crux of it- money?
Perhaps the most often asked question we receive, and certainly on many people's minds whether they ask it or not, is "How do you finance your family’s travel adventures?"
Finding the Funds
When I told my husband that I was thinking about writing a post on the subject, he replied, “Good. When you find out the answer, let me know.” 🙂
His response is indicative of the fact that there is no one way to finance your travel. Depending on the destination, length of stay, purpose of your trip, and a myriad of other variables, the source for funds can be as diverse as the individuals seeking them.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ideas for funding your family’s travel from methods used by our family, or by other expatriates we’ve met along the way.
None of these methods are a ‘quick fix’. They each require long-term planning, preparation and dedication- but if you’re willing to stick to it, you’ll soon find yourself living the life you dream.
The first ingredient to successfully funding your travel is passion- without a burning passion to make it happen, your less likely to be successful.
There are plenty of reasons why what you want to do won’t work, but with the right attitude and enthusiasm, I guarantee you can find a way to make your dream materialize, despite the sometimes seemingly overwhelming obstacles.
You need to be willing to take a little risk, think ‘outside the box’, and leave ‘normal’ behind. You’re wanting to live an uncommon life, right? Then you may need to try uncommon things.
2. Build an Online Business or Blog
In today's world of internet technology, one of the easiest ways to create the opportunity for flexible living is to construct an online business. Tim Ferris, in his book The Four Hour Work Week explains in great detail how to get rid of your job and live a life without borders.
The internet breaks down borders, and opens opportunities for the average person to build their own online 'bank'- an income producing asset that can provide funds for you to live and travel anywhere in the world.
3. Work Hard/Play Hard
Jennifer Miller and her family of six biked 5,592 miles (9,000 km) through Europe and Africa for nearly a year.
They returned to the U.S., worked hard for nine months (three of which were spent living in their camper and touring the U.S and Canada while telecommuting). Then they hit the road again driving through the Southern U.S., Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, before returning to the U.S. to work toward their next adventure.
For some families, dividing their lives into periods of hard, focused work, followed by extended travel trips, allows them to fulfill their aspirations of family adventure.
Many find it’s easier to do when they simplify their lives and cut back wherever possible- eliminating mortgages, excessive spending and debt and decreasing all the ‘stuff’ that they discover they don’t need.
4. Freelance and Telecommuting
She and her husband are continually working toward becoming ‘location independent’ in their careers.
Through a combination of freelance work and telecommuting, it’s possible to create a career that’s free from the confines of one location, allowing you to live and travel where you want, while still having an income from a ‘job.’
Elance.com is one example of the freelance work that is available to those with the right skills, and MatadorU.com teaches a Travel Writing Course that shows you how to get started (and paid) from your travel writing.
Tim Ferris, again in the book The Four Hour Work Week gives step-by-step instructions on how to ‘ease’ out of your desk job and turn it into a telecommuting position.
Want More? Check out How to Fund Travel interview series. Real travelers. Real answers.
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