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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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Old 30 Nov 2004
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How does one afford this lifestyle?

I feel rather silly asking this questions but here it goes. How does one afford to traveling around the world? Between the cost of equipment, maintenance (both machine and human) etc etc, it seems to be a expensive venture. I'd love a little enlightenment on this issue.

Thank you.
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Old 30 Nov 2004
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First time on the road was 2000, 2001 and we financed the trip with our savings. And having a few garage sales to get rid of unwanted or unused possetions. we already owned the bikes and the riding gear. Food is needed even when you stay home so that bit doesnt count. Thought that that would be our only adventure. Not long home when we decided that we wanted to go again but had no money. Sold our house, our home of 26 years, a huge thing to do, and bought another house in Queensland. We are now on the road spending the difference. Spent the day on the beach in southern Thailand today. It was a good decision to sell the house..... And the bonus is that our house in Queensland is on an island, a beautiful house with a great swimmimg pool and the rent from the tennants help pay our travel costs.
Not sure how others do it though.
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Old 30 Nov 2004
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Similar theme for me. Sold everything but childhood photos, and thats only because nobody would pay for them. Sold all my clothes, other motos, CD´s, car, everything. There was an nice chunk of money in the ´junk´I had collected over the years. Add to that the savings and thats the lump sum. If I was smarter, I would have waited until the house was paid off to become a landlord and let the rent pay for the trip, but i was 20 years from that, or have a job I could do from a computer anywhere in the world. So for me, when the money runs out, so does the trip. And then its time to start all over again.
Go slow, be well.
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Old 1 Dec 2004
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Same here. Sold the house, bikes, cars and all our other worldly possessions, twice, for our trips. All our family and friends thought were completly mad, but it was the only way we were ever going to have the cash for our trips and we have absolutley no regrets, even though or trip to Oz was cut short by a family illness. At the end of the day you can always buy another house, car or whatever.
\"Bon Chance\"
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Old 1 Dec 2004
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On a smaller scale & without selling everything you own, you could tighten up on your lifestyle & save as much as possible.

I did this for three years in the early to mid 90's so that I could raise a large deposit to buy a house.

Went without a decent holiday for three years, holiday time from work was spent working for cash at bike shows & in my spare time I bought & sold bikes. Never made a loss, least I made was £200, most was £700+ on a couple of occasions. Obviously you need a basic knowledge of bikes & repair facilities.
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
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Old 1 Dec 2004
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We aren't doing any major travelling yet. Only 'smaller' trips for a month or so.
But we have some sort of a plan. I looked around for a house in a region from wich I know that it will be rented easely.
I also wanted a house with a lot af work to do in. (cheap...)
I found one after about a year searching and looking around. Bought it with a minor loan.

Then we started rebuilding it. For this we did not get an extra loan. We live cheap so that we can each month spend money on the house and still do some travelling.
That is going on for 2 years and will surely take another 2 years.

Once the house is done, we can rent it for quite a bit more then what we are paying montly. That combined with savings will give us the freedom to de longer ventures more often then most people.

And in the end, 16 years from now, we can live year round from the rent we get since the loan is paid off then.

When we decide to go travellig for more then 2 months my hardest part is to quite job. I am a fireman and EMT. I will have to leave my station since I can't get a year off or something like that. Little change I can get back into the job afterwards...
But one day I will have seen enough. At that point we wonna have the freedom to go.
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Old 3 Dec 2004
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Use a cheap bike, go to cheap countries. I'm riding an R65 which was valued at AUS$ 950 before i left. Take your time through cheap countries (you can get by on $1000 a month in many Asian countries), then ride fast through expensive ones!
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Old 3 Dec 2004
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This is something that really doesn't get talked about much. I'd be interested to hear more stories about how people did upon 're-entering' society.

Money issues are the biggest thing holding me back for a really long trip. I feel that the trip expenses are managable because most of the interesting places are cheap. The real problem if you have fixed costs at home like a mortgage, or if a career path that you want to keep would be lost by an extended leave. The career considerations I think at more easily surmounted than it may seem initially. In fact, it seems many people use the trip as part of a redirection in their lives. If you are just out of college or have a financial cushion you can just get on the bike and go. The couple from Ulitmate Journey were able to do what the did only because they made a killing selling an apartment; and the trip cost more than the money the gained on the transaction. If they didn't have the fortune of having a hot real estate market would they have gone anywhere? (diddo for those who had the brains to sell before the stock market bubble burst)

Well, I see I am going on so I will stop, but I do suggest you think about what happens when the trip is over before you go. On the other hand don't have a fixed plan because you may meet someone who gives you other ideas

(I'm obviously having a very slow day at work )

Brooklyn Dakar
Prevously known as JSherm
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http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/sherman/ I will up date this soon, really Grant, I will....
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Old 3 Dec 2004
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In reply to JSherm.

The first house we sold was bought with the intention of selling it to fund our first trip. A bit like 'firebomber' we bought it cheap and spent as little as possible to modernise it and sold it on. Kind of property developing on a small scale. Property prices in the UK during both times we bought and sold were sky rocketing which helped alot. We made enough to fund the trips and have enough for a mortgage deposits on our return.

I was lucky in that I was able to take a career break on both ocassions, but my wife resigned from her jobs. On returning to the UK she was able to get another job within a couple of weeks.

We rented a house for six months on our return, both times, while looking around for somewhere to buy.

We've now been back from our second trip for about 14 months. We have lot's of small future trips planned, including Morocco and France this year. However, we don't intend to sell our house again to do it. The next big adventure, if you can call it that, is to buy a second house in France, which needs loads of work, which we will live in permanently in eight years time when I retire.

\"Bon Chance\"
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Old 7 Dec 2004
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I have to agree to doing things as cheap as possible. Cheap bike, cheap countries, cheap food accom etc.
There is alot of adventure in that.

I chose a lifestyle working as a humanitarian for a large NGO. This gave me the freedom to work whenever I was running low (financially, morally etc). The pay is low, but easily gave me enought to travel. I could do meaningful work helping others, so I always looked forward to working as much as riding. I could work in many of the countries (developing world) that I had travelled and some that I was unable to travel.
My round the world travels have been punctuated with short missions to other faraway places. I would leave my bike behind and pick it up later to continue where I left off. I was in perpetual travel for nearly a decade. I have also been lucky enough to have a girlfriend who is doing the same thing as me.

Funnily enough, many of us are just as qualified to do much the same thing. I am not some highly qualified, overeducated Mother Theresa with an advanced degree in saving lives.
I am just your average Joe whose skills as an overland biker were probably the most impressive thing on his CV, who quite easily found a niche working as a Logistician for a humanitarian NGO.

Last year I had finally settled back home, started a family, bought a house. Promised not to leave for the next ten years, lied, worked in Pakistan for 2 months, came back and now this is it. I am here for good. or at least until our 1 year old baby can sit on the back of my KTM Adventure without falling off...
I invite any questions or comments, and my door is always open to those wayward nomads looking for a bed and a place for the night

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Old 7 Dec 2004
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I had many people in the USA ask me how I did it. I would always ask them back how much their car was worth and then do a calculation of how long on the road that would last me. It was invariably years rather than months. They never believed me.

I was fortunate yes: I won the lottery. Or, as we call it in London, the housing market.
But it is not necessary to do a huge trip with loads of money.

Having been on the road for a lonhg long time, I think a three to six month is just about right. Property rental contracts in the UK are often six months so it is not that hard to cover your major outgoing.

It is perfectly possible for people in the UK who are in work to save enough for a trip to India. Maybe two years of saving, but not penury.

Maybe easy for me say...
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 9 Dec 2004
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So someone has bought up the subject . . . . what happens when you get home. That was a real problem for us. We could not settle down and that is why we decided to sell the house to finance the 2nd journey. Not sure how long you have to be on the road before you get totally sick of it but I know that it happens. Read Peter and Kay Forwoods latest story on this web site.
It is harder to fit back into society than it is to find the money to travel. Well thats what we found. Perhaps it is easier to fit back in if you are younger than we are!
Do be prepared for a long time feeling unsettled and 'lost'.
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Old 13 Dec 2004
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i bought my house just five years ago ,in that time it has almost tripled in value ! ! ! i have also been saving for my big trip for about three years now ,so in about two years time i will stop work ,rent out my house and hit the road for a few years . i was just VERY LUCKY to buy at the same time as the biggest property boom in uk history was just around the corner .
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Old 14 Dec 2004
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What about the young people without any house to sell, are we reduced to stealing old womens handbags at their way out from the bank office ehn?
l say so but l usually earn money working, living cheap & making buy/sell deals with bikes on spare time,
though l'll need much time before leaving for a RTW,,,l guess the housing enables you faster for it,
maybe the stock market is an option for the
well knower, anyone good on that?
One other thought, if each member of the horizons unlimited would give a let's say 30€ monthly for a jackpot, then one could ride away as winner each month ! great no?
Only l don't wish to be the winner n° 999 of 1000!


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Old 14 Dec 2004
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The comment from Simon about how much an American's car was worth made me chuckle. I know plenty of people here driving new cars and wondering how on earth I can afford to take a year off and travel. Meanwhile, they are spending several hundred dollars a month on their cars which will ultimately devalue to nothing.

I think, like anything in life, its a matter of priorities. If you really want to live this "lifestyle", you will find a way to do it. Work out a budget and stick to it. If it takes you 5 years and working three jobs to fulfill your dream, so be it. Like anything, if you don't set a goal, you chances of achieving it will be zero.

I decided two years ago that I wanted to travel for a year. Asia was high on my list because it was cheap and exotic. I set a budget for the trip and looked at what I could save and figured I could leave in two years. Most importantly, I set a date for departure. In the last year and a half I have kept track of every dollar I have spent and tracked my budget monthly. I have been very tight with my money and I have saved, saved, saved. I am on track to leave in 4 months, just as I planned a year and a half ago.

Setting a date of departure and telling all your friends and family you are leaving on this date is probably the best way to keep your budget and your trip on track.

Dave McMillan
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