Destination Anywhere: Getting to 1408

I have seen enough people dreaming of travel – men and women – that I think that we should make a plan to finally do it.

New year is just around the corner – let’s make that the year where you get to travel to anywhere in the world.

Sounds like a dream? Let’s break it then.

Break Your Dreams

Travel is a big adventure for many people yet we don’t get to travel as often. Although we have learned, by default, how to dream, we have not been taught how to break our dreams into plans. Let’s fix that. Let’s plan our travel dream, and make it happen. What do you say?

Keep it Exciting

Pick a place. Get a globe, spin it and see where it stops. Get a map, throw darts at it. Or play “name, place, animal, thing”, when you’re done, pick the third “place” and go there. Maybe you read a novel and found the plains of Andalusia intriguing. Doesn’t matter.

Pick a place that excites you. That’s the qualifier: Excitement. Don’t pick a place because you feel obligated. Pick a place because you are excited about it.

That’s your motivation.

Now it’s time to plan this adventure.

Solving the Big Problems

Most people will say, “but I don’t have the money for this adventure.”

Some people will say, “but I have commitments and don’t have the time.”

That’s why we are planning this. We will, God willing, have the money and because you will have ample time to let everyone know, you can find the time.

Even if you are doing a corporate job that is designed to suck the last remaining second of your time, you can get a 4 to 5 day leave if you plan it months in advance, right? And we have enough time to plan this. You will see.

Finding the Money and the Time to Travel

To find out how we are going to get the money, we need to first find out exactly how much we need.

Our plan should be AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE.

Using the internet alone (or calling up a friend who has been there or a travel agent!), you can drill down the costs:

  • plan where you’re going to stay,
  • what you are going to do there,
  • how much is it going to cost to travel between places,
  • and the cost of food per day.

Planning & Doing

We need to have a good idea about the costs involved. The idea of being specific is not to “go by the book” – many adventures lie off the beaten path of course – but is to plan your expenses.

I remember just showing up on the Samui beach to hitch a catamaran ride to Koh Phangan. When I was trying to figure out how much money I would need, I had this leg of the journey marked off as “take private boat, approximate cost 1500 Bhats one way”. But when I was there, I played it by the seams.

This is just to remind you that when you are planning, you would want to be exact not because you are going to be bogged down by rules. It is because you will find more motivation when the target is as clear as day!

Get to something like this:

Travel Planning
1 Return Ticket (with planned dates) US$ 600
2 Hoteling (booked through Agoda – $80×5) US$ 400
3 Food ($20/day for 6 days) US$ 120
4 Anything to see there? (rides, park fees etc) US$ 100
5 Inner city travel (taxis, bus rides etc) US $ 60
6 10% unseen (of total) US $ 128
Grand Total US$1,408

I added 20 dollars per day for the food. Thailand is relatively cheap when it comes to food. 20 dollars sounded like a safe number to aim for. The actual costs were far less. I quickly found out that eating at the five-freakin-star resort costed 6 to 7 times more. Remember, learn to walk outside the hotel to save money.

But where will the money come from?

So with this example, you need 1,408/- for your trip. Of course, depending on your selected destination, your numbers will vary. But now we have a figure.

Two ways to get the 1408.

  1. Save.
  2. Or earn more.

Saving Money

If you save 100 dollars every month, you will be able to fly out in about 14 months.

Saving 100 dollars per month (PKR 9,800), depending on your income, may be easy, or may be hard. But what if you can not save 100 bucks? Now what? Well, don’t plan it for 12 months, plan it out to 2 years, 3 years or 5. As long as there is a deadline, it helps.

If dairy farming has taught me anything, it is that things take time. The same lesson is readily taught by blogging as a business, selling cakes, building strength, running triathlons and just above any other thing in life: it takes time.

Having said that, it does sound a bit silly to me to plan a leisure trip 10 years down the road. So give yourself an inspiring challenge to visit a country anywhere in the world in the next 2 years, and save accordingly.

Instead of focusing on saving money, you can take another, more adventurous route.

Earn More

I set myself a challenge to earn strictly from affiliate marketing to finance my first trip. My targeted budget was US$ 2,000. I gave myself a year to do this. I earned the required amount at the eighth month.

And I was out to Thailand for a 11-day, 5-star experience (2k is a good amount for a place like Thailand). So it’s possible. If I can do it, so can you.

The affiliate marketing challenge serves as the perfect example of earning money with a defined purpose.

You can do it with any business. You can start micro-businesses to finance any number of adventures. And this is one of the best ways to “try out” a business, so if you’re doing a job right now, these mini-businesses may be the way to go.

The possibilites are endless indeed.

Get your teeth wet.

Travel really opens up a lot of other avenues. I am training for a triathlon these days, and I live in a country where there is no triathlon. What do I do? I am booked to go to Abu Dhabi in March 2013. The adventure becomes more challenging, sure, but that’s the fun part.

Do you want to give it a try? This is a great way to get your teeth wet (drenching actually) with living a life of adventure!

I know that some very hard-core travellers are reading this blog, and I do hope they will chime in with their advice to the complete newbies like me.

And if you have read this far, do let me how you’ve gone about breaking your dreams into plans in the comments section. Thanks.

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