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This is indeed a very interesting thread - and I would like to add my humble opinion...
After having done my Africa-trip, returning to Europe, I also felt something missing... so I took the chance and searched my luck in Africa - which was nice for a while but then didn't turn well in the end - so after having spent most of my money on the trip (and other stuff) I was again without money - apart from what I had from selling my house, but not really wanting to touch that...
So I decided to go work in the NGO-sector in Africa, which is actually a great way of saving money for a next trip! Although I earn quite less than what I did before, the thing is that I hardly spend anything - the two major costs i.e. housing and transport are being taken care of, and apart from that there isn't a great deal of gadgets or whatever on which you can spend your money here.
Other added advantage is that they usually work with fixed-duration contracts, so no dilemma about quitting job or anything - you just finish your contract, you do whatever you wanna do with the money you saved, and when the money is finished you just look for another contract.
Although it's not always easy to get an entry in the NGO-world, they are always looking for people open to and experience with other cultures and willing to live and work in not always easy conditions - which I think fits 90% of the travellers here...
I guess in the end it's all a matter of being prepared to take some risks, and making the balance of what's important in your life - there will always be 37 reasons not to do it, and it's never a good time to do it (family, career, house, ...) - but then, if you make the choice, you'll notice if your one reason to go is strong enough, not one single reason can or will stop you...
This is a long and a rather round about way to answer your question, and it contains a censored expletive, but i had to answer it truthfully and i hope i answers your question and gives you inspiration.
It is a personal record of my last five years and why i am going to do an RTW and how i am gonna finance it, it is no way meant for sympathy for myself or to pump my ego up in anyway.
I went through my life over planning for the future, i was married, and was gonna have kids etc. But my future plans were sorted out by my now ex-wife who ran off with my (ex)friend and had a baby with him. Of course she shacked up with him after i had worked my arse off for her putting her through university to obtain her degree and her carreer. I was devestated thirteen years of my life with my partner, just trashed and thrown out of the window
I was dragged through the UK divorce courts system for two years, my wife and her new partner were using every trick in the book including blackmail, to try to take assets from me which i had before i met her, She wanted one 100k the court gave her 25k and it cost me 15k in legal fees.
I was 43yo and approaching a mid-life crisis, i looked back at my life and looked at people that had died at a young age around me, my step father 42yo (heart attack) a cousin 30yo, (blood clot on the brain) and the list goes on, i realised that money is not the most improtant comodity in life....... time is! you can get back money but you can never get back time.
I was on anti depressants, i was drinking alchahol which is something i don't usually do, and i had started smoking cigerretes for the first time in my life.
I was a lost soul i had devoted my life to my ex-wife for so long that i had forgotton about myself. So i started a new regime, i went to the gym and got fit, i saw a grief counsellor and pushed myself forward. I had taken a few European trips on a motorbike in my younger years, so decided to do what i wanted to do. For the first time in my life i went a bought a brand new motorbike , a Kawasaki ZX6R to compliment The Harley Sportster i already own, i toured Spain with a friend on his Blackbird and me on the Kwacker for three weeks, when i came back the fuse was lit, i wanted more.
Last year still suffering from depression i decided to ride on the Harley solo to Denmark, Norway,Finland,Sweden,Russia, Estonia and other countries in Northern Europe. Eurika i had found what i was looking for all my life, it felt great relying on myself and what i was carrying on my bike for five weeks. I met my current girlfriend in Oslo whilst i was on the trip (she is from Poland) she was camping around Norway, so we just hung out together in Norway until she had to back home, once we parted i carried on my journey. I had a blast,taking an American bike into Russia had a certain ring to it.
When i completed the journey and got back to the UK i gave a metaphorical middle finger (the bird) to the legal system, my lawyers, her lawyers the judges and my ex wife and my ex friend, i thought to my self F***k you all, none of you could have planned and completed this trip solo or otherwise, instead of hiding behind your computer screens and books making peoples lives a misary, come in to the real world and see what your made of. I now had fantastic memories and no one in the land could take them away from me, you can take my money but you cannot take away my thoughts and dreams......oh! and the depression? gone, no more drugs or booze for me( i am still smoking though)
I am by proffession a London cab driver, i work at night and although sometimes it can be dangerous it is a monotonos job, but the people make it interesting. In the course of a shift i can meet hollywood stars to the lowest form of life. For a few months after my trip i found it difficult to settle in my job and surroundings. I was observing the passengers in my cab and at the public on the street, i could see just how unhappy they were in there hum drum lives. Whilst i working and looking at these people i kept thinking of the film 'The Sixth Sense' where Cole, (Haley Joel Osment)the young boy in the film uttered the statement 'I see dead people' and thats what i saw around me....dead people, people existing and not living..... they were dead from the neck upwards just going through the motions of day to day living, waiting to die with no fulfilment in there lives.
I was also a lot calmer internaly after my trip, where as before i used to confront violence in my job with violence, i now handled it in a very different and calm relaxed manner.
Rightly or wrongly nowadays, i look at people in goverments and other national instituions with contempt, as i do with the vast majority of passengers in my cab who think they are so superior to others below them in social status.
Last xmas i recieved the book and the DVD of the long way round, and i found this web site. Once i saw film and read the book and stories on this web site, i realised what i had been missing in my life, and I have commited myself to doing an RTW in about three years when my girlfriend leaves university.
So the long answer to your short question (have you fallen asleep yet?) 'how do people finance there adventure' is, I will either sell or remortgage or rent my properties, i am making small preperations now, i have sold the ZX6R and i have bought an Africa Twin, and i am about to sell the Harley, i am working hard to pay off debts and save money. I will sell every thing i have to to make it happen, except my soul.......well unless any body makes me a decent offer on it (lol) I will have to take some small euro trips in the mean while, to introduce my girlfriend to the biking lifestyle (thats my excuse and i am sticking to it lol) I do not want her to have any illusions about what bike travel is about.
I belive if you want to do something bad enough you will do it, don't make money or anything else an excuse not to do it, use every cell in your body to make that dream come true, when hurdles get in the way of your dream overcome them in anyway you have to, to stay on the path of your dream, always have a sense of humour about you, you will need these qualitys and the determination and mindset to get you through an RTW.
Life is like a game of Snakes and Ladders,(if you know that game) sometimes you go up the ladders and sometimes down the Snakes, but you always roll the dice for your next move to see what number will take you forward. If you need to work your nuts off to finance your dream then do so, do whatever it takes, and if your younger than i am, believe me it is a lot easier when your younger.
Erm.......i think i got carried away with a reply (Blush), hmmmmmmm....i hope it helped
I spent 2 years running overland tours in North Africa, The Middle East and Central America saving my meagre pay and living on about $14US a day -I even saved a lot of that ! - then as soon as I finished I spent 6 months in Canada and the next 6 months in West Africa in a Land Rover - I've never owned a place to live or rented a place - currently living in the roof tent on top of my Rover and saving up to ship it to South America....
My Girlfriend and I are currently into a 'Work a year travel for two' routine - she sold her house in Canada and works a year contract in healthcare - I work a year and can walk back into the job I am in no problem, I work outdoors and its very chilled out - then we are off.
Like a lot of Overlanders 'The Road Is My Home' - Its where I am happiest - The whole work all year for 2 weeks 'fly and fry' holiday is just scary.
Also planning a 'short' West Arica trip to keep my eye in on 2 wheels - when I get a replacement for my Sazook... ;-(
Ex Rockape, Ex Drago,
LR 90 300 Tdi Overlander - Lighter than CF 80 Fridge
Ex Suzuki DR650 Overlander *Stolen - L185 KDA *
..and Bloody Nice Bloke!
I started my trip and rented out my house via a good realastate agent.
This went fine the first 2 years but since then the house is empty.
Being on the road there is little you can do to "fix" things.
When I started to calculate I discovered that if I would have sold the house and had put that money (minus what the bank wants) in a deposito for ten years, it would have left me with the same amount (just the intrest) every month... but without all the hassles... Yes I felt very stupid!
So, now I am selling the house, but still have to go there to empty it etc...
My advice: sell everything you have, put the money in the bank and burn all your bridges... It is far easier to "rebuild" those bridges when (or if) you come back then it is to arange these things while on the road.
And remember... it,s only things that you sell.... You can buy them all back.
Also do not rely on people back home to help you... It is fine the first year, but then they get bored with it (understandable) and again, you can,t arange anything on the road.
such a great website, and this is the best thread i've seen yet. i like the working for ngo idea. i am currently working on a phd in agriculture, and dreaming of a world tour after graduation. perhaps i could get a job or two with ngo after graduation, and tour around that. tour the world on a bike and work for humanity at the same time. i should be highly marketable with my degrees. how do i go about getting employed with a ngo?
I joined this site 4yrs ago...(my god don't time fly)ready to embark on my RTW....alas it did'nt happen ...5heart attacks... stent treatment and a quadruple bypass later... i'm on the road and have been now..for 15mths ..And i have to agree with all who have replied to this topic ... a house... a telly ..a..pc... are all material things and can be brought ... the experiance of travelling the road can not!!! ...i have savings ... but also do some work while travelling ....at the end of the day ... all you need is petrol in your tank ... and enough for a loaf of bread... I shall hopefully be travelling the road for the rest of my life ..I'm 53now ....Safe Riding ....
Sometimes i wish I didnt speak english so when I sat in a local cafe i didnt have to listen to the meaningless drivel that is the background chatter, while travelling I could imagine people were talking on a higher level..of course they werent really! But how was I to know
I know the feeling mate, you want to drive a London cab at night like i do, some of the inane drivel that comes out of ny passengers mouths in different states of soberness and inebriation. When i first became a cab driver i was full of the joys of spring, wondering why all the other established cab drivers had a look of resignation on there faces, now twelve years plying my trade in London i understand them fully.
I have had many 'celebs' as passengers in my cab, i can't wait until the day i pick up Mr Mcreggor or Mr Boorman, well if i do you can be sure the full transcript of our conversation will be on this site......you heard it here first folks! i wonder if they would sponser me for an RTW? (lol)
This is something I have wondered about and here is where I am at: I am 28 and just finished 5 years of engineering school for my degree in Mechanical Engineering. I got a good paying full time job that I was able to arrange the start date to be in September. I will be taking a 6 week trip across/around the country in this time. I am selling a lot of the junk I have accrued over the years and trying to get it to the point where its just myself, bike and travel necesities. My plan is to ride the Alaska => Terra Del Fuego in a few years...to do this I figure I'll have the KTM 950 adventure I just bought (financed and down payment) well broken in. My hope is to do a job transition and once again do a delayed start date. Eventualy I see a RTW trip happening...though I'd also like to compete in the dakar rally...so we will see.
On another note, if you are trying to decide whether to leave your current job, house/apartment, living situation for a long trip consider this: The world could end tomorrow and suddenly the only thing that would make any difference would be if you fealt you had lived your life to the fullest. The modern world seems to be all about buying things to achieve happyness. I find that this is so not true. The more stuff you have the more tied to the system you are and the less happy. You have to work more to cover the cost of living, food, toys etc. So many people get stuck in the work, buy house, get married, have kids track. If this is what you want then its fine. I think there are a good number of us who fear this since we know it endangers our ability to get up and go. My hope is that I will travel, go adventuring, and one day either be satisfied, or not feel the need to take off and then the other world may be more appealing. Ultimately I look at it this way: When I am 85 years old I want to look back on my life and think wow I did so many things and I am pleased. Rather then, wow I wish I did this or that.
Originally posted by Seth S: On another note, if you are trying to decide whether to leave your current job, house/apartment, living situation for a long trip consider this: The world could end tomorrow and suddenly the only thing that would make any difference would be if you fealt you had lived your life to the fullest. The modern world seems to be all about buying things to achieve happyness. I find that this is so not true. The more stuff you have the more tied to the system you are and the less happy. You have to work more to cover the cost of living, food, toys etc. So many people get stuck in the work, buy house, get married, have kids track. If this is what you want then its fine. I think there are a good number of us who fear this since we know it endangers our ability to get up and go. My hope is that I will travel, go adventuring, and one day either be satisfied, or not feel the need to take off and then the other world may be more appealing. Ultimately I look at it this way: When I am 85 years old I want to look back on my life and think wow I did so many things and I am pleased. Rather then, wow I wish I did this or that.
Thanks for reminding me of one of my favourite quotations.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain.
I'm not really brave enough to go travelling in countries like Thailand. What I prefer to do is spend winter in somewhere like Morocco and then spend the UK summer working 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week for 6 months in order to finance next winters 'holiday'.
I'm 44 years old, unmarried with no ties, ride a 1982 Yamaha 750cc Maxim which cost £500, drive a £100 Rover to & from work, live in a shared house that costs me £200 a month and work for an agency that understands that I do not want to spend a couple of months every year scraping ice off the car windscreen.
One day maybe I'll go further than Morocco but deep down I think I'm just too lazy.
The people who turned their swords into ploughshares generally end up working for the people who kept their swords!
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