Unlike most millennials, I discovered the joy of travel much later in life. Before that, the only “travel” I was familiar with were long walks around the house and casual jogs at a family park in Quezon City. Not exactly traveling, huh? But like many of the people my age, with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I also needed a respite. I craved the rewards of rest and relaxation.
This was how traveling came into the picture.
I fell in love with traveling because it was a way of gifting myself for all the hard work and sacrifices, career-wise and in general. Just as comedienne and a writer Jamie Lyn Beatty puts it, “Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.” Traveling became a way for me to recharge, take a step back, and introspect and plan for the next phase of my life. It goes beyond the fun and thrill of being able to tick off an item in my bucket list. Rather, it’s a spiritual time for me, when I step on the brakes amidst the demands of life and just breathe. Life can be monotonous and routine. Travel fills my soul anew.
I personally find traveling therapeutic. It gives me that boost of positive emotion and breaks me out of auto-pilot mode. From planning the itinerary to preparing my travel essentials, I anticipate the joy of arriving at my destination. Once there, I let my hair down and become worry-free. I let go of the pressures of life and forget about the things that make me feel anxious. I focus on the good and the affirmative.
The best outcome are the humbling experiences I gain from it. It reminds me that I am but a small speck in the universe, and that I need to do my part in caring for the wonderful places I see, wherever I may be. I gain a broader appreciation and understanding of the world, the people I meet, and the culture of every place I visit. It fuels me to better myself so I can deserve the place I was given the privilege to explore.
Part of this journey of earning my place is striving to fill my pocket. After all, sustaining travel as a way of life requires saving. Thankfully, it’s not really a big adjustment for me as I know how to tighten the belt and save. I learn as I go, but I’ve managed to figure out some tried-and-tested ways to manage my funds for traveling:
1. Opt for one-time splurging.
In the same way that people on a diet have a “cheat day,” I also spend on myself during pay days so I do not feel deprived. But I make sure to limit that to just one day, still within moderation so I don’t end up a one-day millionaire.
2. Choose to spend on alternatives.
While my budget is enough to cover the rent of a condo unit, I stay in a dorm where I share the space with five more people. It’s a bit of a sacrifice, but by making this choice, I can fund my next beach trip.
3. Cut back on fancy things.
Aside from that once-a-month spending spree, you need to pull back on things such as fancy coffee or pricey meals. Opt for regular coffee and bring your own packed lunch. Such cutbacks would be good for your wallet, not to mention your health.
4. Plan ahead.
A well-planned trip will save you money. Get help online by reading about your destination and review other travelers’ experience as well. Take advantage of sites that help you compare airfare and accommodation fees. Research on tour packages that match your taste.
5. Commit to that dream trip.
Make that trip happen. Set a concrete date for that getaway. Share the plan with your friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll have buddies ready to go on an adventure with you to your dream destinations. Remember to keep photos and souvenirs. Let travel fuel your desire to make more memories for yourselves.