My wife and I have felt that urge, and followed it. We are in the midst of a grand adventure, a journey with no destination and unknown duration. It’s a lot like life in that way. We have been to many “somewhere elses” and there will be many more. With all of our worldly possessions tucked in our backpacks, we have no plans to settle down or to return to a traditional life.
Special note from Dividend Mantra: Today, we have a guest post from Jeremy and Winnie – the bloggers behind Go Curry Cracker. I’ve heard from readers that have specifically wanted to hear from people who have already saved and invested their way to complete freedom. Many of you want to hear from individuals out there that have already found the “promised land” and willing to share their vision of it with the rest of us. Well, today we’re going to hear from two people who long ago decided to change their life for the better. They started saving large portions of their income, invested the difference and are now reaping the rewards – spending their long, leisurely days traveling to beautiful locales, eating wonderful cuisine and keeping a record of it via their blog and photography.
Over there, just down that open road, beyond those mountains, and across the sea is a place many people long for.
Where will you go…? Paris, Tuscany, a tropical island with a refreshing breeze? Maybe you will know it when you see it; you just have to find it.
Whatever the place, there is a name for it that everybody with a sense of adventure can relate to. It’s called somewhere else.
A need to explore the unknown is a fundamental part of human nature. It’s what made us climb down from the trees, conquer the seas and the plains, and put a man on the moon and a robot on Mars. The urge for adventure drives us.
We are on the go. We are Go Curry Cracker!
The idea that one could retire early and travel around the world first took a foothold in my brain a short 10 years ago, before I met my wife. During my first real vacation as a workaholic adult, it was hard to let go. My mind was consumed by thoughts of the office throughout the first week. A week later, I had started to relax and enjoy myself. And before I stepped on the plane to go back home, I asked myself, “How can I do this everyday for the rest of my life?!”
There were fewer resources available on the Internet, and we learned by trial and error. What I wouldn’t have given for a Dividend Mantra back then. While many things were unknown, the heart of the plan was to increase our savings rate substantially. I figured if we could save a lot, then all of the things we didn’t know about would be less important. It turns out that was true.
While friends were buying new cars, I started taking the bus and riding my bike. While coworkers were remodeling the kitchens in their suburban palaces, we were moving into a small apartment in a walkable neighborhood. When everybody was watching the latest sitcom about people living way beyond their means, we sold our television and used the extra time to learn how to invest. These changes brought untold blessings into our lives as well as to our pocketbook.
As we approached our savings target, we tried to answer more of the unknowns, such as “How much does it really cost to travel permanently?” There is an abundance of travel information on the Internet, but we didn’t need advice on how to get cheap hotel rooms in Vegas or how to get last minute discounts on weekends in NYC. While some round-the-world backpackers and other permanent travelers do share some of their costs, without detailed information it was hard to compare to our own plans. To help fill that void, we share details on every dollar of our expenditures from the day we started our travels.
It turns out that permanent travel is a wallet friendly way to see the world. Without even trying to control costs, we are living like the royalty of yesteryear for a fraction of our modest life in the US. In contrast to mainstream vacation travelers, for the price of 3 nights in a hotel in New York City, we stayed for a month in a luxury condo in one of the most expensive cities in Mexico. For the price of lunch at Applebee’s or Chili’s, we have had amazing 5-star dinners. For less than minimum wage, we’ve hired skilled instructors in Spanish, jewelry making, and guitar. And since we don’t have a house or car “back home” we don’t have any of the typical recurring expenses.
We started our travels in Latin America rather than Rome or Tokyo, partially because we had never been, but also because of the lower cost of living. By targeting a location that would allow us to spend less than our dividend income, we could retire as early as possible while allowing for substantial future growth opportunity based solely on future dividend growth. A similar tactic could allow others to hop off the treadmill sooner.
Travel in foreign lands also brings great personal growth. The ability to think on your feet and deal with adversity grows, as does confidence and self-reliance. Assumptions we make, about our cultures and ourselves, are challenged as we witness others living differently, and in turn live differently ourselves.
We’ve met people from all walks of life, backgrounds, and business and personal interests. The road has a way of bringing people together that is uncommon in most home and work environments. Diversity of thought brings new ideas. If and when the time comes, the new skills, ideas, and contacts will all help with bringing in new income.
Because of a high savings rate, we are living the life we dreamed about, learning new skills and meeting interesting people, while sharing our stories, photos, and adventures with the world. Everything we are doing is repeatable. Whether you want a 5-star travel life, you intend to slum it, or you just want to participate in the popular sport of fiscal voyeurism, our spending data is on full display.
Is permanent travel in your future? Have questions? Feel free to contact us.
Hopefully our example can help you get to your somewhere else.
Jeremy and Winnie, Go Curry Cracker.
Dividend Mantra: Did you guys enjoy the post? Please comment below, and hopefully Jeremy or Winnie will stop by and respond.
Thanks for reading.