In the words of Dolly Parton, “Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living…”. Well for some maybe.
In a follow up to my last post on how I managed to live rent free for the past 3 years (BTW, I broke that record in February this year). I thought you might find it interesting to know my work to travel ratio during that period.
This post may seem like I’m lazy to some, smart to others. It all depends on your point of view, but either way, it’s a way of life that I’ve tested from 2012 to now and so far it’s working well.
In 2012 I worked full-time for 4 months in Australia which helped earn me the money I needed to travel to 11 countries! Yes, that’s right, 11 countries! (Sri Lanka, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, France, Italy, UK, Switzerland and Australia). I’m not sure how much I earned during that time, but an average office job (I am signed up to 5 temp agencies) pays about $23 AUD an hour so I’ll let you do the maths. If you’re living rent free on that wage, you can imagine how much money you’re able to save, and travelling within 5 of the above mentioned countries is cheaper than staying put in Australia, that’s for sure!
In 2013 post travels, I meandered back home and picked up with my usual office temp jobs for the first 6 months of the year. It was during one of those temp positions that I received an email from UNICEF Australia looking for people to sign up to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and raise funds for a mobile health unit in Ethiopia. Bingo! That was my big trip for 2014 decided! The last 6 months of the year I spent volunteering in France at Velo Vercors and travelling to 4 countries (Spain, Italy, the UK and China).
In February 2014 I made my way back home to Adelaide but was unable to find work until March. My Kilimanjaro trip was taking place at the beginning of June which meant I had 3 months of temp work prior to my travels to Tanzania. Of course I didn’t just do a trek in Tanzania. No, I spent 3 months over there! 10 days in Arusha and the rest of the time in Zanzibar volunteering at a school and at The Mangrove Lodge. Back to Adelaide in September, I worked until the end of the year for 4 months. 3 months at the beginning of the year plus 4 at the end makes a total of 7 months.
Meaning over the last 3 years between 2012 and 2014 I worked a total of 17 out of 36 months! 19 of those months were spent visiting 12 different countries and 17 months were spent at home working. Not a bad percentage if you ask me!
Don’t get me wrong, I like to work and I particularly like to try different jobs. But let’s face it, life isn’t just work, work, work. If I am able to sustain a lifestyle where I can balance work and travel – what’s wrong with that?
It’s amazing how much money you can set aside when you don’t need to pay for rent or accommodation. Think about it. If you add up how much your outgoings on housing are per year, you’ll be blown away when you see the figure (sorry to be the one to point it out). Now, imagine how you could spend that money on living an alternative lifestyle! People associate travel with being expensive. This is a myth. It all depends on how you travel and what your needs are. If you flitter between 4 and 5 star hotels – of course your travels will be expensive. With airbnb, couch surfing, house sitting, house swapping or even short term rentals, there are much cheaper ways to go. Alternatively you could volunteer in exchange for food and board. The options are endless. One needs only to have an open mind.
I’ll leave you with your thoughts now and hope to see you on road somewhere out there.