I thought this travel lifestyle was meant to be easy. As is often explained, just cut out the unnecessary spending, save a few thousand pounds and off you pop for a lifetime of happiness.
Obviously the problem comes when that money starts to run out, what do you do? Well in our case, we set up home in Bangkok for a year to give the funds a little top up while Kirsty teaches English as a second language. Saving while working abroad, perfect! Problem is, That’s not as easy as it sounds.
Unfortunately, saving in Bangkok is pretty hard in fact it doesn’t matter where we are. Anywhere that’s not our ‘boring old hometown’ makes it harder to save. We love where we’re from, it’s home to our friends and family but we’ve seen it all before, no excitement comes from walking out the door each morning.
At home my friends could come round on a Friday night and we’d stay in because we didn’t feel like we were missing anything by not going out. As I look out my window here across Bangkok’s skyline that’s not the feeling I get, I want to get out and make the most of being here, explore the streets.
Before we started our life here I remember us saying to each other “We’ll still live like backpackers and just save the extra money we’re making”, it sounded like a great rule to live by but in reality it’s a very tough one to follow.
We’re not backpackers anymore, we’re not waking up every few days somewhere new surrounded by new people. On the road luxuries such as nice food and fancy clothes meant nothing because so much else was going on, there was so much more to take in.
We’re not so easily distracted anymore, we have a routine, we hang around with the same people and go to the same places.
We want to go out to expensive restaurants, spend each sunday piggying out at the expensive buffet with all the other expats and go out and buy nice clothes. Wearing the same outfit every time I leave the apartment doesn’t cut it when we’re with the same people all the time. When I’m living a life that’s so much about making money, I don’t want to feel like I have to budget every last penny but there’s no other way.
This isn’t to say I’m not loving living in Bangkok because I am, that’s the problem, I’m loving it too much. I just wish I was a millionaire so I could make the absolute most of it, because that’s my biggest fear.
What if I live here for a year and don’t enjoy it to the level I could? I might look back at my time living in Asia with regret.
But there’s another side to the coin, I worry that if we do spend too much, go to the posh side of town each weekend and drink in the fancy bars and spend freely in the shopping centres that I might go home with nothing. I want to travel after Bangkok, I don’t want this to be the end of my journey.
At the moment, the truth is, we’re probably spending more than we would like, we try to avoid a few things to save money but the lure of many is too much to resist.
We’re trying to find a balance, one that gives us the best of both worlds, but is it possible? Have you taken time out of travel to increase your savings? How did it go? Did you reach your goal?