Hi, I just have a few general questions to anyone that would like to offer their advice. I have seen on this and many other forums that people travel sometimes 6,9,10,12,16,18,24 months at a time. How is one able to do this? Do yuo wipe out your life savings? Do you just give up your jobs, homes, vehicles, debt, everything? I'm looking for specifics because my boyfriend and I are seriously considering moving abroad in Europe somewhere. Probably Italy. We are both U.S. citizens. Also, how do you go about obtaining residency, visas, or anything else that would be needed to move abroad. If anyone has any websites that may be of help it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again! ~ Josie U.S.
Many people who travel that long do indeed wipe out a lot of their savings. Instead of buying a home they sell theirs, put their stuff in storage and go. People who do this have usually dreamed about such trip for a long time and have usually saved money with an eye towards making such a trip one-day. Quite a few people also go when they have just finished college or highschool and do not have a lot of responsibilities. Their parents fund the flights (and sometimes more than that) as a graduation present and the kids break the piggy bank. A lot of kids work to save enough money for the trip, and since they still live with their parents they can save up almost everything.
In case you are wondering: A year of travel around the world is roughly 20,000 USD. If you manage to put away 400-500 USD per month, that is 4 years of saving up.
Aussies and Kiwis also have schemes where you can work abroad on a Working Holiday Visa. This enables a lot of Europeans to go to Australia and NZ for a year while their Aussie and Kiwi counterparts visit and work in Europe. If you are indeed a German citizen and under 30 you would be eligible for this scheme.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 4, 2008, at 10:15 PM by t_maia ]
Josie, I think everyone has different situations that allow them to travel for extended lengths of time.
I'm leaving for about 30 months in April. I think some people do spend all their money on long trips, but I've spent several years working very long hours at a well-paying job (saving almost everything), so the amount I plan to spend is relatively minor and I'll have plenty of savings left when I return. People have all sorts of different financial resources and situations.
I am quitting my job, but I don't like it anymore so I'd have quit regardless. Home is not an issue since I live in an apartment. My car is paid for and it'll be there for me when I return. I have no other debt or bills to worry about. Basically my lifestyle makes this transition easy because I save a lot of cash, have no debts or other commitments, and do not own property or anything else that isn't easily sold or moved.
I think it's generally difficult to move abroad without having work lined up in advance. You may be better served by travelling on vacation and then if you find work while there it should be easier to establish residency.
As the guys above said it all depends on your personal situation. I am about to go on my 2nd travelling adventure in 3 years. In 2005 I went to SEA for 3 months and loved every second of it, so came back with the intention of going again within 5 years.
The first time i went was 8 months after finishing University; I managed to save enough money for my flight and a bit of spending money. At the time i had no commitments (mortgage, car, kids etc) and was desperate for a break.
This time around me and my girlfriend decided to go on a RTW trip for as long as possible because we can see all our friends buying house's and popping out kids and we weren't ready for that type of commitment yet. We both have good jobs that we are not that sad to leave as we are getting a bit bored with the day-to-day routine of 'life', and our contract is due to expire on our apartment, so we just thought; why-not?
A lot of my friends are not into the whole travelling experience, and prefer a couple of holidays a year, so it may also depend on the type of person you are. If you do fancy it I would recommend booking your flight (maybe one year in advance) then continue to work and save as much cash as you can.
Good luck in your decision.
I'm one of those student/gap year type travellers.
I live with my parents and have been working a part time job all the way through 3 years of school/5 years uni while staying at home. I'm funding my trip on my own but of course I'm lucky that I don't pay for board/food at home making it a hell of a lot easier to save up.
Also financially, I guess I'm also one of those people who doesn't spend much. Heaps of my friends have a similar income/living situation to me but spend their money on nights out, or the latest fashion, or cars/stereos. I'll splurge very occasionally, but generally I don't really see much of my point in buying that sort of thing as 1. its value always depreciates heaps and 2. no real point unless I need something, a flashy car or brand name clothing ain't gonna make me cool (at least in my opinion). I think Western culture is way too obsessed with this type of thing! Would prefer spend my money on life experience!
I didn't even want a credit card as I find loans a really pointless thing (beyond a mortgage), although I got one last year so I can book things online.
The other aspect is commitment. It's easy for people inbetween uni/job to go away for several months etc. as it isn't a huge interruption in their career and many employers look upon extended travel positively anyway. Also being single theres nobody else I have to compromise with! I feel this may be the only stage of my life until my retirement that I'll be blessed with this opportunity before I'll be more tied down!
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 5, 2008, at 4:13 AM by Erik85 ]
Well my boyfriend and I are off on out RTW trip in June and just can't wait. We've saved REALLY REALLY hard in the last 12 months.. no clothes, limited nights out, cheap food etc etc. We are also going to put a bit of extra money on our mortgage to top it up to what we think we'll need. We will then just rent out our house so we have something to come back to.. if we come back
We are planning to go for 18 months - 2 years. If we can make it last longer then so much the better.. even find jobs. We are just keeping it as open as possible and see what happens.
We are quitting our jobs, at the end of the day you'll always get some kind of work and we are far from the sort of people who live to work so it's no loss for us, I guess if I'd trained for years to be a doctor then I might think differently.
Anyway that's my two pence worth but like it's been said before every person if different and I guess it depends on how much you want to travel. I can't really help with the emigration I'm afriad as it's not something I've really looked into.. well so far anyway