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30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
INTRODUCTION ................................................. 5 GETTING STARTED .............................................. 6
THE MENTAL SHIFT TO BEGIN THE REDESIGN .............................................................................................. 8 THE TRAVEL DIET ............................................................................................................................... 13
EARNING A LIVING............................................ 16
TURNING YOUR JOB DIGITAL ............................................................................................................... 18 WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T BECOME A TRAVEL WRITER ............................................................................. 24 BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD, FREELANCE EDITION ................................................................................. 28 BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD - SMALL BUSINESS EDITION .......................................................................... 34 ADVANCED DIGITAL NOMADING - THE TIME SHIFT .................................................................................... 39 THE PART-TIME DIGITAL NOMAD ........................................................................................................... 42 67 TRAVEL FRIENDLY JOBS TO CONSIDER ................................................................................................ 46
PLANNING TRAVEL ............................................ 50
BRINGING YOUR PETS AROUND THE WORLD ............................................................................................ 52 SAFE, AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN - FINDING PLACES TO STAY WHEN YOU TRAVEL ............................................... 57 PLANNING A TRAVEL BUDGET THAT WORKS .............................................................................................. 61 TAKING THE CLASSROOM ON THE ROAD ................................................................................................. 67 THE NOT-SO-SECRET TRICK TO FINDING CHEAP AIRFARE ............................................................................ 73
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
........ 107 PAYING BILLS WHILE AWAY AND OTHER SUNDRY TASKS ................................TRAVELING HOMESCHOOLERS SPEAK ......................................................................................................................... 137 THE ART OF UNPLANNING .......................................LIVING IN ANOTHER COUNTRY ........................................... 130 TELLING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ...........com .................. 134 WHEN YOU TRAVEL .... 77 GETTING READY TO GO ...... 86 THE TROUBLE WITH SAVING ............................................................................................................................................. 128 CONVINCING YOUR LOVED ONE TO TRAVEL TOO .............................................................. 118 GETTING A JOB WHEN YOU RETURN ............................................................ 95 STAYING FOREVER ........ 126 FAMILY AND FRIENDS ........ 139 COMMON SENSE SAFETY WHILE TRAVELING ............................................................................. WHAT HAVE I DONE? (PRE-TRIP JITTERS) ........................................................................................................................................... 91 EXTREME DEBT ........................................................................................ 144 WATCHING TV/MOVIES OVERSEAS ............................................................................... 101 GETTING HEALTH INSURANCE WHEN YOU TRAVEL ...................................................................PAY OR STAY ................................................................................................................................................... 84 SELLING YOUR HOUSE IN THE DOWNTURN .......................................................................................................HOW THEY DO IT .......................................... 113 HOW TO MAKE MORE MONEY ..... THIS IS HAPPENING .. 149 TAKE A BREATH.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 123 HOLY CRAP............ 153 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.....................................
I’m very happy to share this ebook for free. I need you. subscribe to my site. but in exchange I want a small favor. I had written a small book. And if you find yourself sitting on a beach in Thailand. I’d love to continue producing ebooks like this for free. Do you know someone who needs to read this? Forward it on. spread the word. I’ve gotten hundreds of emails and comments asking me the same question: how do I do it? This ebook was originally posted on my blog. I live and die by the support of my readers. The idea was to help someone thinking about traveling long term turn that into a reality. If you like what you read. not just a series of blog posts. There are lots of people who have done the same thing and even more that are thinking about taking the plunge. but in order to make that happen.INTRODUCTION When I quit my corporate manager job in June 2008 in order to completely change my life and travel the world. I started the site almostfearless. As a writer. with the real world practice steps that would get you there. If it helps you travel. I want a postcard. because of the tips you read here. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Since then. it’s quickly become some of the most popular content on my site and I knew that at 30. everyone I knew thought I was crazy. as a series of 30 posts.000 words. In the past year.com .com to document my transition and I’ve learned that I’m definitely not alone.
GETTING STARTED 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com .
com .30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
Here’s your test: When are you leaving? If you have a date. dream itineraries.THE MENTAL SHIFT TO BEGIN THE REDESIGN If you’re thinking of ways to travel the world. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. but you’ve already completed the hardest part: the first step. I didn’t know. When does research to make sure it’s possible. trying to fit how their steps into my own circumstances. I just made the decision to go– honestly committing myself to redesigning my life and traveling in the next six months– a simple but difficult step. congrats. I set a date. It’s not coming. Eventually. anyone that waits for a guarantee waits forever. look up flights– important research but it can’t go on forever. I’d research residency visa requirements to countries that I’d like to visit. Making that decision changed everything. I’d re-read “How it feels” posts trying to find some clues as to what it is really like to give up everything to travel and summon my own courage. I would study travel blogs. you are well on your way. Sure there are lots of details to work out.com . become a roadblock in and of itself? If you’re not careful the problem becomes: • You can’t take the leap until you’re sure it will work out • You won’t know it will work out until you take the leap In other words. you might have wondered: how do you go from planning to actually making it happen? What’s the crucial step from wanting to travel to just doing it? Only 2 years ago. here’s where it gets tricky. I’d make budgets. For those of you who don’t have a date.
Taking a job is placing your short term financial future in the hands of an employer that you don’t know very well. Placing your money in retirement accounts is a statement that you feel pretty confident that you won’t need that money this week to survive. The same as you would for anything in your life. I’m asking everyone to take a small step with me and change their expectations from finding what will definitely work to what probably will. Then you must set a date. Buying a house is placing a bet that you won’t be laid off or the market won’t crash. others have done it” as your trigger to take the plunge. “I can’t do that. Every time you say to yourself. But how do you really know? The answer: we never know.Today. leaving you 25% underwater on your mortgage. Yes. Rather I ask that you change your thinking as you research your options from looking for the “absolutely. failsafe. But I’d also caution that there is inherent risk in everything we do. spouse. Breaking your own rules The second step is to become a diligent rule breaker.com . careers. there is inherent risk in redesigning your life and traveling the world. children or pets at undue risk. For example: • I have a dog and I can’t bring it with me and I can’t leave it behind • I can’t travel with my kids • I know everyone says this. I’m not asking anyone to put their financial future. but I really can’t save any money 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. must work” to “reasonable to assume. because…” I want you to ask yourself why.
For example those concerns then become: • How can I ensure my dog is comfortable and happy when we travel together? • How can I travel with my kids and stay sane. This is your to-do list. Problems we can deal with. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Huge amounts of debt? Empty savings account? No ideas of where to start? All fixable. Unless someone alters the space-time continuum and makes it possible to neither bring nor leave your pet at the same time as you travel. But it will be an informed decision. you’ve just changed a problem into a deal breaker. you’re effectively closed the door. release yourself from controlling the outcome and try to get to the core of your concern. As we go through this eBook. we will be (hopefully) crossing those items out. Go through your list. Breaking the laws of physics? Not so much. The goal is to not live by rules you’ve inadvertently set for yourself. You will make the choice. Instead of preemptively deciding that it’s impossible. you may decide that the tradeoffs aren’t worth it. Have you created any impossible barriers? Have you set an impossible rule for yourself? Try re-wording the problem in a way that addresses your core concern without jumping to conclusions about the outcome. So why can’t you? Why have you set that rule? When you set a rule for yourself. Write down every item that is preventing you from traveling right now.There are people who travel with their pets. take their kids abroad and make an art form out of living cheaply to save for travel. afford it and maintain their schooling? • What are some ways I can raise the cash to travel? After you answer these questions.com . 2. Your homework: 1. not your initial fear/reluctance/negativity.
based on how your estimate to address each item. that’s okay. If you’re not ready yet. Start thinking about a date. As you go through your concerns.3. adjust the date as you get closer to working out all of your details.com . but you might set a soft date based on the items on list #1. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com .
unless it’s worth the travel time it costs. It’s simple: Don’t buy anything. It takes a mindfulness to not spend. But first. Remember this: Money spent = Time not traveling. after you go wildly over budget in your first few weeks and over time you learn how to live on less than you ever thought possible–and still have an amazing time.com . Nothing makes you more aware of what you spend and why than not spending anything at all. The irony is that the same skills you learn on the road will also get you traveling that much faster. It’s often learned on the road. Every dollar you spend is a certain amount of your finite life spent working for it. homeschool kids. I don’t want to waste any time. deal with debt. I’ll be looking at many of the questions that readers sent in to my website: how to save money. travel more. And when you’re spending an extra month in the South Pacific. The concept in practice 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. The easiest way to begin this process is becoming acutely aware of your relationship with money. you’ll thank me. before we do any of that. It’s never too soon to start. The goal is to work less. get a visa. We’re not talking about just saving money. $15 pays for an extra day in some countries. we’re talking about changing your relationship with it.THE TRAVEL DIET In the upcoming chapters. The travel diet becomes the lifestyle modus operandi of any world traveler. I’m putting you on a diet. travel with pets and so on.
This is exactly why sales people want to rush your purchases. holding the item. Have you ever talked yourself out of buying something? Maybe you walked around the store too long. cash second. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. It’s hard at first to start living more frugally. take a moment to stop and breathe through the impulse.Stop. What if you couldn’t buy your way out of the problem? How would you solve it then? I suggest going through this decision tree (in order) before making any purchases: Workaround: Can I find another solution? Reuse: Is there something I can mend. with a little creativity. It helps to make it game-like challenge and set short term goals: Try to buy no groceries for 10. reuse or re-purpose? Borrow: Does anyone I know have one? Barter: Can I trade services or goods to get what I need? Buy Used: Have I checked Craigslist/Salvation Army/second hand stores? Buy New (at best price): Will the cheapest model met my needs? Can I get a discount? Make it a fun.the initial impulse is often stronger than the actual need. contemplating and in the end decided against it. breathe.com . Sometimes what seemed like a “must have” will not seem as important after a little time. 30 days (depending on how big your pantry is). You’d be surprised how long you can survive on the food that you have. instead of what you will be gaining. You begin to focus on everything that is missing. I need this X. 20. If you’re considering buying something. Use creativity first. so I can do Y. think. Often we buy things to solve problems.
This month. commit to convert one potential purchase into being free. borrow. Little things. a gym membership. will be the first things to go. Even if you’re just contemplating travel. 2. reuse. 3. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.you might see a side of your area that you never appreciated. cable. magazines. You’ll find alternatives. put yourself on the Travel Diet– at minimum. The next time you feel like you need to buy something. Will you be able to (or want to) carry it with you? If not.Look for free local events for the weekends. expensive cell phone plans. don’t buy it. like subscriptions to Netflix. You can watch your favorite shows online or workout at home or live without a cell phone data plan. Start living the travel lifestyle now. For every household purchase. 4. no big purchases. thoughtful shopping and reduction in expenses. when traveling.Can you make a delicious dinner for under $5? What’s the cheapest meal you can make in bulk? Can you beat that? How many days in a row can you go without spending a cent? Or make weekends a “spend-free” zone. using one of the spending alternatives: workaround. You won’t miss them. or barter.com . Set dinner challenges. put it to the “backpack test”. Homework: 1. give yourself 5 minutes ‘cooling off’ period before making the purchase. and so on.
com .EARNING A LIVING 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
com .30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
either. Also. Even my direct boss lived in another state. check these four conditions: 1. If you’re not lucky enough to work in an environment with an established remote employee program.com . You are a trusted and valued employee. Even when a team member was based in my office. getting your boss to let you work remotely can be a great way to travel the world. If you think you’ll be able to buy your own and use if for work purposes. you may still be able to convince your boss to work outside of the office. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. You don’t need to physically interact with machinery. customers or venders to complete your work (for example. keep in mind that your boss may have to budget for it a year in advance. it’s going to really depend on the IT security policies at your company. Any sizable company should have a problem with business info on a personal PC. Also be sure to check that you can access everything at home that you can at work. it’s highly unlikely a boss will trust you to work even more independently. To determine if you’re a good candidate.TURNING YOUR JOB DIGITAL If you can swing it. It’s not as rare as you might think. In my former corporate life. You have a laptop for your job already or some people in your company have one. Can you check email and voicemail from home? Can you log into your companies network? Download files? Use work-related software? 3. The company already has the hardware (like speaker phones) and/or software (like video conferencing or teleconferencing service) and you’ve seen them in use within your department (even if it wasn’t specifically for a remote employee). 4. 2. I managed almost completely virtual teams. If you’ve just gotten written up for being late or missing assignments. it wasn’t unusual for one of us to be working from home. nurse or sales rep would not be a good fit). a PC technician.
In two weeks. for now. and work your butt off being the superstar that you are. a backup plan. Let your boss know that you have an appointment at your house one morning next week that you need to wait for. You’ll want to be prepared with how you’ll stay in contact. Good and true reasons like. “I am sick of the commute” are often easier to swallow than “I’d like to backpack across Central America”. Now is the time to give him a little air. (This is better than faking sick and working from home. Goes well? Continue on… 2.Do you meet all four conditions? Then it may be worth approaching your boss about working remotely. But your boss’s first question is going to be. pop into the office and casually mention that you “just finished XYZ awesomeness. While both may be true. how they will keep track of your assignments and a communication plan. They are concerned that you’ll keep doing the work and won’t make them regret the decision. Your boss probably said something along the lines of. If you get a “no” it can be hard to come back from that. your boss isn’t ready for the latter yet. Use your gut instinct. as you might make the wrong impression– like kiss up). “let me think about it” or “I’ll have to check with HR”. Leave your big travel plans out of it. Schedule a meeting with your boss and ask him directly about the ability to work from home.com . oh and by the 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Reassure him that you’ll bring your laptop home and keep working as you wait. How to Broach Going Digital This is a case where you’ll want to be very sensitive to your company’s culture. but here are some ways to approach it: The Litmus Test 1. “why?” You’ll want to keep this simple and objection free. Goes well? Continue on… 3.
Not for the weak stomached. Maybe your spouse got a new job? Try not to say your mom’s sick. Is there any way that they could accommodate you? Be prepared to have information on how this would work if they did let you. The Big Fat Lie Well the last one was a lie.com . You would love to stay where you are– but it’s just so hard to pass that up. You really don’t want to take it. 1. Perhaps suggesting something absurd like working 80 hours one week and zero the next as you fly between cities. but that’s a business lie. 1. that’s just immoral. and it may mean goodbye. The I’m Gonna Quit This one is uber-risky. Craft an elaborate lie about possibly. Schedule an appointment with your boss. work hard and be productive. would it be possible. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. start forming your backup plan. maybe having to move just beyond what would be reasonable to drive. It’s a quick way to find out how valued you are– or are not. right? This one is lying about your personal life. but it’s working 100% remotely.way is there any update on the work remotely thing?” Be persistent but friendly. Let her know that you’ve received an offer to work at another company. It may take a few months to get an answer. 2. to work from home? Goes well? Hug your boss and try to keep your story straight. which is something that is very appealing to you. which doesn’t count. Then it comes to you… could you. The decision will come fast. but don’t be surprised if your boss drags his feet. in the meantime. Schedule an appt with your boss. Set out your very compelling dilemma and ask them to help you figure out how to make this work.
com . Other Tips: If you can’t get a “yes” from any of these methods. then you can always to ask to do it on a trial basis. Try 1 day a week for 90 days. Schedule an appointment with your boss or just send an email. I mentioned this above. Then work your butt off in that time to prove how easy it will be for your boss. Then sit back and wait. If you’ve worked remotely before. mention it. Assure them that you’ll be able to complete the work and you understand that for any reason they could let you go if they weren’t happy. because you’d like to travel to X. do it! It’s no more protection than what they already have. In my husband’s case they made him sign a letter saying he’d still do his job while traveling—and if he didn’t they had the right to fire him. If they ask for that. you might want to take some time earning that designation before you approach your boss. How will it work for meetings? What if you need to see the client? How will they get in touch with you? Will you pay for your own phone line? Do you have high speed internet at home? What about sensitive information on your laptop? If you’re not considered a rock star in your office right now. don’t underestimate it. Ask if you can work remotely. Have a list of your accomplishments ready if you need to justify why you deserve this “perk” 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. 1. but be prepared to answer their objections.The Truth This one worked for my husband.
A word about honesty… I would suggest you go the honesty route. I’ve personally seen people negotiate nearly 100% remote working based on some “personal situation” when it was absolutely not allowed for anyone else. you’ll want to spend some time working out the kinks from your home. And if you don’t like your job. They want to help. before you hit the road. One step at a time. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. but I’ve included the other options. hey. Be aware that a change in managers can mean that your work remotely agreement is revoked.com . because. then you might not feel very bad about painting an inaccurate picture of your home situation. Always have a backup plan. but your boss is human. If your boss does bite. sometimes they work. and probably will quit anyway but wouldn’t mind squeezing a year or two of remote work out of them.I specifically didn’t mention how to go from working remotely to traveling the world in this post. Is it fair? No.
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com .
You’re working on razor thin margins. Yet. Everyone loves food. Loving travel and being good at writing about it is not the same thing. year after year. The same can be said about travel writing. Are you meticulous? Do you like to research? Can you write at a professional level? Would updating a guidebook and running around a city 12 hours a day making sure that phone numbers and maps are correct make you happy? Are you willing to spend 20 hours researching and writing a piece for $50 in the beginning? Have you ever worked in the industry before? Most of the travel writers that you read in magazines have been doing it for over 5 years.WHATEVER YOU DO. rather than where they would have a competitive advantage. Why? Because they picked a business based on what they liked to do. thousands of people open their first business as a restaurant and most of them fail. And there are a lot of travelers. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. The same phenomenon happens in the small business world. Want to travel the world. you’ll combine two things together and you’ll have an advantage because you’re already traveling. write about it and get paid all at the same time? Of course you do! The connection is obvious. The problem is that it’s obvious to everyone. DON’T BECOME A TRAVEL WRITER I’m addressing this in a separate section because this question was one of the most common emails that I received about this series. So why not open a restaurant? The answer is that the skills needed to cook a great meal or host a dinner party are not at all the same ones needed to run a restaurant.com . You need a mercenary’s command of budgeting and your staff.
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com . Try not to burn too many bridges in the beginning with your newbie ways. Then prepare to spend all of your free time writing. reading about writing or thinking about it. There are 101 other ways to make money while traveling and we’ll cover a bunch of them before the end of this eBook. Don’t forget: the industry is small. researching.7. Are you suitably scared off yet? Good! That’s the point.
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com .
Which Comes First the Website or the Client? The first thing everyone does when starting out is to spend a month building a web presence. Now is not the time to spam everyone you know. wait. The most important thing to becoming a freelancer is getting work.BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD. savvy and work hard it’s still possible to make room for yourself. If you’re good. If you’re not so great at networking. Set up a LinkedIn account and feed it the emails of all your former coworkers (or let it access your email and grab your whole address book). • Use online sites like elance. You don’t need permission from your boss or start-up money or even a complicated legal structure. we talked about turning your job digital.org postings. But what if your boss won’t agree to allow you to work 100% remotely or your currently job doesn’t translate well to a digital one–or more importantly. but it is the time to put yourself out there. I say. now is the time to start.com . • Check out the Work Wirelessly job board and search for Craigslist. Presuming you have some experience. The good news is that most freelancers are horrible. Mine your network. Remember that old boss that loved working with you? These are potential clients. have some people you have worked with and can speak positively to your experience– you already have your first line of attack: the referral. FREELANCE EDITION Previously.com to hawk your skills. Getting work without a website • LinkedIn is your friend. Going freelance is the path of least resistance.com or guru. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. you just don’t want to keep doing what you’re doing now? Option #2: Going Freelance. This makes it really easy for people enter the marketplace– making it extremely competitive.
• Create a Monster. Three Ways to Be a Kick Ass Freelancer 1. • Go Local. Do it and on time 3. Know what you’re doing 2. then the fun begins. It comes with practice and most of it is learned from being on the receiving end of someone who is clearly not professional. start attending networking events in your area or participating on conferences to get your name out there. helpful. because it’s so subjective. honest person who is both confident and excited but practical and realistic (even when you feel like strangling your client). You’d be surprised how the online world neglects the businesses right in your home town. Once you get the work.com . I think of it as emulating this kind. a middle 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Even when you’re delivering a “no”. Everything you say and do should have the underlying message: I am here to help and I’m happy to do it. A helpful analogy I learned in my corporate training (and believe me there was plenty) was to “Sandwich Your No”.com profile that specifies remote only. • Find the consulting firms/artists agencies/placement agencies for your niche. (You might get contacted by a lot of headhunters–depending on your skill set– but they often have short term contract work). Sometimes they can throw you higher profile work than you’d get on your own. • If appropriate. One layer compassionate understanding. Be a professional Being a professional is the toughest one.
An example would be: • I understand that it’s important to have this done by Monday. except very good records. You don’t need to pursue a LLC or S-Corp legal status yet. you can do it later: it costs money and makes filing your taxes more difficult. Your home office is a deduction. prorated based on square feet. so that I can hit the ground running next week? It sounds cheesy. then your deductions will probably be enough to prevent you from paying any real taxes– so why go through all that until it makes sense (i. it just prevents you from having to disclose your social to clients). I’m not going to be able to accommodate your request as I have prior commitments.layer of heck no and bottom crust of I really understand and maybe this will work instead. Being a sole proprietor under your own tax number (social security) is fine for now (or you can purchase a Tax ID for a few bucks.” The Business Side of Being Your Own Business You don’t need anything at first. • Unfortunately. “Oh you understand my needs but aren’t able to meet them but are trying to do whatever you can to help? Ok. One person I knew went to Italy every year for “research”. write it down. There are benefits. For everything. Extremely good.com .e. write it down. Industry publications and memberships can be deductions. you will be absolutely scrambling if you didn’t keep track all year. but you’re still a sole proprietorship. If you spend any money. If you get any money. • What can we do now to prepare. detailed records. Anything could be a deduction and when tax time comes. but only if you’re making money! If you’re pulling in less than $1000 a month. including the cost of rent and utilities. with receipts. will save you money)? 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. but seriously it’s like a Jedi-mind trick for pouty clients.
Set expectations. Be firm.com . There’s absolutely no work. Every client in the world says that because they think it prevents you from taking forever on it. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Then the work ends. There will be times when your phone is unnaturally quiet. You will burn out. You’ve made it. Golden rule of freelancing: Always be looking for new work. surfing the job boards. Nothing. You might work for 2 months sending out bids. But. because it’s never possible to have perfectly consistent levels of work. Too much work? Negotiate later start dates. but they are full of crap (usually). Yeah! You’re finally taking off. you can’t say ‘yes’ to everyone. you need to keep putting yourself out there. contacting people. You can’t accommodate last minute requests all the time. even when you can’t breathe. you will disappoint people when you under-perform and in a year from now you’re not going to like freelancing very much. You can’t take a project when you’re overbooked just because you’re afraid another one won’t come. Then one day you will get 5 clients at the same time and work around the clock for two months. you finally look up and there’s no one around. Even when you’re working.Why Freelancers Give Up: The Client Cycle The hardest part of being a freelancer is that it takes almost all of your time to find work. There will be times when you scramble. Limiting the Boom and Bust Cycle of Freelancing I said limiting. I know the client said it has to be done by X.
You will lose some clients. then fire their butt.com . There is one of you (limited supply) and a high demand (many clients) which means prices have to go up. getting work and keeping clients. don’t talk about it on Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s basic economics. If you’re consistently working at 90%. just to keep things separate. while you have plenty of good work to take their place. but it all starts with you. Be strong! You’re obviously worth it. but giving a referral buys you enormous goodwill and it’s just the nice thing to do. pass it to a friend. Fire your annoying clients. but it’s a really smart idea to have at least a few clients before you take the plunge. getting out there. you’re undercharging. setting up new profiles under a new email. there’s no reason that you can’t begin looking for clients now. Maybe they’ll repay the favor. They will never improve. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. if you have current coworkers as friends. there are a million things to be learned about freelancing. If you think your boss will mind. they will always be a pain. You Can Start Now If you’re still at the day job. but that’s the point. nice clients. It may mean a little stealth work. You have to say no sometimes.If you’re going to lose the account anyway. so might as well cut them loose now. It may be difficult to manage after hours work. Raise your prices. Ultimately. If they take up a lot of time for the same price as your appreciative.
We were able to pay for the S-Corp status and a lawyer.BECOMING A DIGITAL NOMAD . Why? Because it sucked. It was a 7 day a week. working hard is rewarded.com . we had a sales staff and some artists working for us. The business did fine. It was a little design studio. We tried to use the same skills we used in the workplace for our business. Our biggest mistakes: 1.SMALL BUSINESS EDITION I started a small business in 2002 with my husband. We were essentially working as full time freelancers plus running a business. overseeing staff and trying to find and woo clients. It’s short-term thinking and what happens is that you are too busy to chase quality work as much as you should or create any systems that would lessen everyone’s work flow. We didn’t have cash. You might identify inefficiencies but be powerless to do anything about it. and an office space across the street from Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. Talk about burnout. I’m convinced it’s not the way it has to be. Our rent and business phone/internet checks never bounced and we paid our staff on time. after a year we closed it down and got regular jobs. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. The problem is that when you’re an employee. 17 hour/day job. We made about what we would have made working full time at that point in our careers. This forced us to take on clients that paid little and go after a quantity strategy approach verses quality. You don’t want your cash flow to determine your business strategy. We walked into the business will very little cash (we had both been laid off from our dot com jobs) but with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. However. We were scrambling from the beginning. that’s a very bad approach. it’s about working smart. The business is running you. When it’s your business.
we were instead missing an opportunity. Because we didn’t focus. If you’re answering phones. We didn’t outsource enough. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. focus just on our core competencies and waste less time. If the work was there and it was even tangentially related to design. The number one piece of advice I’d give anyone trying to start a small business is to plan you out of it. taking on every project. 5.com . The first thing to think about is getting everything off your plate and how to monitor that with the least amount of daily involvement. You’re running the business. Your job is to think about how to make more money.2. designing our website. You. We got an office space too soon. We tried to do everything — I mean everything ourselves. We would be able to take on more clients. updating the books and sweeping the floors at night. I was building databases for clients. We could have actually earned more by outsourcing. we never became specialists in any one area. You have a freelancer. doing the work. We didn’t create systems. You are not every employee. At one point we were doing voice over work for a medical video on varicose veins. Not exactly what we had planned in the beginning. We missed out because we tried to be everything to everyone. you don’t have a small business. not literally running it. we took it. 3. 4. We didn’t focus. Every single thing your company does must be done by someone else. Thinking we were milking all the value out of the project by doing it ourselves. and we should have stayed there for the whole first year. pitching clients. but the truth was that we could have saved all that money and reinvested it into the business in ways that would have increased our bottom line. We worked for about a month in our basement. It felt like we needed a real office to be legit.
Major League Baseball. In fact. but we did pitch everyone we could: Yahoo. it’s the only way to land someone big. “You can put this in your portfolio!” which is just silly. we could have been hit with massive taxes. In the design world. What We Did Right: 1. 3. other times not. you name it. plus the invaluable advice they shared. I went to the Small Business Administration and got connected with some mentors who ended up throwing me thousands of dollars worth of work. working remotely (the job my husband still works to this day). see above #1). cost money. We cared about doing extremely good work. If you’re just starting out. We worked sales. 4. free samples of our work to show off what we could do for each potential client. hard. In the beginning we spent most of our time creating mock-ups. 5. but it was one of the smartest things we did. A more subtle trick is when someone puts an ad asking for a logo design but wants to see mock-ups first. there are lots of people looking for free services. If we had ignored it. We did gain some name-brand clients. This made such a big difference in our retention rate. It was a pain. one client was so impressed with an animation we did. he offered my husband a full time job. We did manage to pull in a healthy income. since our company did over the six figure mark in the first year. but at tax time it was a life saver.com . 2. We didn’t waste our time with free work seekers. They say. Sometimes we’d get the work. It didn’t feel like a lot because after expenses and our salaries we were just squeaking by.We didn’t fail completely. We didn’t sleep. We reached out for help. then work (unless you approached them first and they are a big name. We knew if we could just 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. We treated every project as a potential reference so we really gave 110%. We took care of the accounting and legal structures. Rule: get paid first. Ebay.
that we could make them very happy. we had more time to look for other work. If you can. Every time we kept a customer. which as 100% remote is part of what lets us travel full time. You need to figure out how to do things cheaper.convince someone to take a chance on us. better. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. your strategy and your time is best spent doing that. Let someone else do the repetitive tasks. It’s a full time job to analyze the market vs.com . I’d suggest saving enough money so that you can afford to hire people to do most of the dayto-day work for you. faster. Ultimately. this lead to my husband’s current job.
we pull out the ponies and put on the whole show. For most of you. We spend a lot of time talking about how working 100% remotely is not only possible but a better alternative to working in a cubicle. Then we take you further down the primrose path and show you all the wonderful ways you can get free of the cubicle. You agree. And most digitalnomading-travel-the-world types are pretty loathe to bring it up.THE TIME SHIFT There’s a dirty little secret Tim Ferriss doesn’t mention in the 4-Hour Workweek. The 4-Hour Workweek was a NY Times Bestseller. But there are things you can do: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. It’s a big fat problem and it only gets worse the further you travel. Don’t go to Asia. we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. You see. 3. that. That’s true. We dance. But once you’re committed to becoming a digital nomad. So we leave it at that. we sing. Get a job or client where you don’t have to be available via email or phone during their business hours. it’s not enough. what about the time difference when you’re in Asia?” Ah. Some would say you have three options: 1. We convince you of that. you suddenly find the advice has dried up. Sleep all day. 2. You’re not sure if you can pull it off.com . The time difference.ADVANCED DIGITAL NOMADING . One reader innocently asked me. Work all night. “But wait. but how many people are actually quitting their jobs? It’s a tough sell.
Unplug your client. For some employers it would be a bonus to have someone working overnight on their projects.com . If you’re clear from the beginning. You’re available to talk at a certain time and everything else will be handle via email. Need something turned around for the next day? Give it to our “overnight” person. For those who complain find replacement clients. say moving from 6 hours past their business hours to a full 12. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. If it’s doable. it’s still possible to make that traditional hours work. If you’re living just 6 hours away from their business day. If you’re a freelancer or small business owner. Your overnight will be during the day so it works perfectly for everyone. Maybe this is a 2 year plan. time shift your life. it’ll minimize issues later. The best way to own all of your time is to buy it back from the world in the form of working for yourself. Consider starting a small business. but it’s never too soon to start planning what that would look like. it’s possible to set expectations early. If it’s a US east coast company and you’re living in Spain that means working from 3 PM until 11 PM… just in time for Spanish dinner.Negotiate the night shift. Start weeding out your needy clients. If you know that you’ll be time shifting. begin putting everyone on a low contact diet.
com .30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
The best way to become a part-time digital nomad is to become a full time one. construction. you’ll live like every other digital nomad. That’s why you don’t want a boss. short of landing one of these temporal gigs. The first option isn’t rocket science. perhaps you imagine summering in Greece or taking month long trips once or twice a year. landscaping.most college students have perfectly the work and dash lifestyle.com . That means starting your own business (as long as you can leave periodically). this eBook has been covering the lifestyle redesign involved in moving overseas or traveling long term. tourism. While You’re Gone 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. giving up their house or traveling year round isn’t the goal. Instead. getting a boss to let you unplug and take off for 1/3 of the year will take significantly more finesse. However. golf courses. For most of the year. that’s not to imply that traveling is an all or nothing proposition. How does this affect the planning process? Breaking Free to Travel Career-wise you can go two ways: quit your job every six months to take off to some far flung destination or find work flexible enough that you can schedule those same getaways. except your location of choice will be your hometown. There are a handful of seasonal jobs: school teachers. For many people. the chances of convincing your boss to let you take the summer off or to extend unpaid vacation as a job benefit are extremely low.THE PART-TIME DIGITAL NOMAD To date. However. becoming a freelancer or getting a job where you work 100% remotely. However. university jobs etc.
to be able to confidently hand it over to someone else while you travel. Which is better? Full-time or part-time? I have a theory that most full-time travelers eventually become part-time digital nomads (if they continue traveling). completely free and enjoying their time because of its finite nature. you may be able to spend your traveling time work-free. Unfettered. after a while most people settle down. That doesn’t necessarily mean they settle back home– perhaps they spend the winters somewhere warm and then travel. If you’re a freelancer. throughout the rest of the year. On my travels. While traveling around the world for a year or five is wonderful. this won’t be possible. If you’re traveling full time you might be tempted to feel a bit sad for their short term plans. so that your livelihood doesn’t come to a screeching halt. then you need to be a strict time-master and be clear with your clients that you absolutely are not available during your scheduled travel times (you don’t need to tell them why. Just don’t be surprised if your coworkers are less than impressed with your healthy tan and travel stories when work picks up again. The key is to create the systems before you go. but it’s not at all uncommon for the selfemployed to travel sans assignments.com . For someone planning their first big trip.Unlike a full-time digital nomad. you may have the easiest time picking up and leaving. If you’re working seasonally. Most people travel 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. not despite it. Having a trusted freelancer that is willing to cover you during your away time is a good strategy to keep clients from straying too far. If you own a business you need to plan from the beginning . at least a bit. I’ve met many people in this situation… small business owners taking six weeks off to learn Spanish in Guatemala or the IT Guru that would work six months at $100/hr then take the rest of the year off. just be clear). albeit more slowly. they’re making the most of their travel time. I’d advise you not to worry about this too much. but as you’re banging away on your laptop during the day. Of course if you’re working for an employer remotely.
We’re all doing this and making incredible sacrifices–but it’s only worth it if you love it. If you’re bored again. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Which is better? I always think people should travel as much and as far as feels good and no further. it’s okay to change plans and leave early.for a full year before they start day dreaming about having their own bed and a place to put things (that’s bigger than just what they can carry). stop traveling.com . If you’re burned out.
18. 15. others are links to job boards you might not have considered and a few are how-to articles. If you’re struggling to find a way to make money while you travel. 2. Or in Japan for that matter. perhaps one of these offbeat stories will give you a new angle. 6. Start up a business in Hong Kong. 14.67 TRAVEL FRIENDLY JOBS TO CONSIDER I’m sure there are 1. 9. 7. Work in the Foreign Service. 8. Turn your full time job into freelance 12. Teach English. Get a job in Hong Kong from the job boards.000 different jobs you can do overseas. “I have an incredible job”. Find a paid internship in IT in India.com . 17. Be like this guy. 13. Become a wildlife biologist 11. Find jobs online in Thailand 16. 3. Find jobs across Asia at the PacificBridge 10. Act your way across Europe. 1. Take your US based strategic communications job on the road 4. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. 5. Most of these are firsthand accounts. Guide Bicycle Tours. See Antarctica up close with the many job opportunities. Work in an Eco-lodge. but here are 67 just to illustrate how varied the options are. Help on a farm. Make money with your blog and showing other people how to do it. Work as a Theatre Tech.
29. Work in a hotel in the UK 30. 27. 24. 26. Be a bar hostess in Japan 34. 23. Check out jobs in Singapore 40. Work in a Ski Resort. 36. Beyond teaching English… use your English skills to land other customer facing work. Snap up an IT job in Europe. 38. Become a Diver Instructor 20.org 31. Work in New Zealand wineries.com . Help businesses and writers polish their prose as a freelance copy editor 32. 25. Take care of little ones anywhere in the world: become an Au Pair. Sell your photographs to glossy magazines like Vogue 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Become a geologist. Start your own import/export business 33. Join the bon fire and work at campsites worldwide. Managing Editor of an online travel network slash guidebook writer slash translator slash…. Join the legions of IT professionals working remotely and become an IT consultant. 39. Help individuals and small business get off the ground in developing countries by working in Microfinance. 35. Be like Rolf: become a Travel Writer. Get a pub job. Get a job on an Alaskan Fishing boat. well you get the idea. 37. 22. Search for jobs in Malaysia 21. Find jobs from house-sitting to farm hand at wwoof. 28.19.
Become a local. Bollywood Extra. Do what you love and teach others how to. Search the Gajin Pot for even more jobs in Japan 51. Search the online listings in India 58. 45. 61. Get your hands dirty and work on a farm in Tuscany.com . Search the online classifieds for jobs in Japan 48. Be an on-the-ground journalist as freelance foreign correspondent. See the world from the open sea: find work on a sailboat. 53. corporate English gigs and more. Become a bush pilot. Become a company’s Twitter Guru 56. 47. Take photography to the next level and become a freelance photographer. Be an English language radio announcer. 59. Be a nurse overseas. Write what you love and become a freelance writer 44. 50. 43. 62. 55. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Show tourists the sites in Rome as a Tour Guide. too. Become a Backpack Filmmaker 52. and then find opportunities like voice over work. 60.41. Fund your travels by playing online poker. Take your corporate job abroad 42. Put your design skills to work and be a long distance Art Director 49. Search the online listings for jobs in Korea 54. Play the market and sell stocks 57. 63. and 18 more weird travel jobs 46. Chicken Sexer. Travel port-to-port as you crew Cruise Ships.
66.64. 67.com . Check out the job listings from the Maldives Become a professional freelance web designer Search the job boards on ExpatForum. 65.com Learn how to become a freelance translator 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
com .PLANNING TRAVEL 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
I’ve also left the dogs behind. these can double your price in some cases (Consider this example: For a certain NYC to Paris flight the cheapest option is $600 but that airline doesn’t allow pets. expect that list to get even smaller. Having a pet can make flying much more expensive and limit your options for airlines. You won’t have the flexibility to move as quickly. For many that’s not a problem. The cheapest pet-friendly ticket is the actually the fifth cheapest option at $1100 not including pet fees). consider a few things: Having your pet with you will limit the kinds of transportation you can use. trains. but when traveling with your pet. they may require them to be caged or muzzled. some don’t. They’ve camped with us across the US and Canada and lived with us in Madrid. It was really fun walking the dogs around Madrid and they loved all the attention they got from locals.BRINGING YOUR PETS AROUND THE WORLD One of the most frequent questions I receive is about bringing your pets overseas. Can you do it? Yes. you’ll want to have some kind of routine. But before you pack up Fido in a regulation sized airline carrier. Combined with fees for your pet. having them stay with relatives while we backpacked in Central America. What do I need to do? 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. I’ve traveled with pets– my two 80 lb+ lab retrievers. and if your cat or dog is over 25 lbs. even though it takes more planning and cost. While many airlines do allow pets. or if they do. subways and shuttles won’t allow pets. Personally. you should be thinking in terms of months not days at any destination. Many buses. Finding pet-friendly accommodation will take longer and for the sanity of your pet.com . I prefer traveling with the pups.
a 6 month process before you leave (UK) or has mandatory quarantine (Australia). For going to Europe. There are 190 countries listed.com. They may also need a USDA certified form (or for nonUS your official agency) from your vet (you’ll need to get the form. (Some airlines have rules about time of year– either too hot or too cold and they won’t take pets in the hold). Each airline has a page about their pet policy. An even smaller number won’t allow your pet at all (Iceland. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. something to consider if your dog is Lab-sized or bigger. First you need to determine every country that you will be visiting on your trip. have your vet fill it out. send it to the USDA and they send it back stamped) and/or they may want your pets micro chipped (be sure that your use the international standard chip.1. A very few countries require advance permission. Be careful not to get transferred to cargo shipping. which was the cheapest and allowed x-large travel kennels. If it’s a 25 lb+ animal. it’s not always possible to do so on the fly. they will create a pet reservation. Look up the rules for each country. but in general. When booking your flight. These are just generalizations. 3. I’ve always used Iberia. 4. be sure to call the airline directly. Check each airline’s website for their rules around pets. rather than booking online. unless by special permit) or will require rabies blood/titer testing. 2.com . so be sure to look up each country’s rules (which can also be different depending on if where you’re coming from). Each country has their own regulations (although most of Europe shares the same rules) and while it’s usually easy and simple to comply. as there are limits to the number of pets for each flight (first come first serve). not just at home). but sometimes it’s so well hidden. They will probably not charge you for the pet fee until you arrive at the airport. which is not the same and will cost a lot more. you’re better off calling to ask. so it’s readable everywhere. I use pettravel. the rules include some combination of the following requirements: at minimum a letter from your vet saying it’s a healthy animal or a rabies certificate.
Arrive at the airport early! If you’re medicating your pet. if they do allow pets) and if you hire a dog walker/cat sitter you can even take off for the weekend. Now what? We like to have a private transportation for us. can allow you the flexibility to leave your pet alone for a few hours (many hotels don’t allow this. just be sure your pet is allowed. Whatever transportation you decide to use.5. it’ll be waiting for you in baggage claim. Even renting by the week. To the top of this. If you have a small pet (>25 lb). If you’re checking your pet into cargo. they need an airline approved kennel. you’ll want to tape a leash. pay for their tickets and bring them to a separate security line. 7. Renting an apartment. since the dogs are so big and the cages are huge. 6. give it to them when you arrive. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. they’ll allow your pet (but it may be confined to your car for the duration). instead of staying in hostels or hotels. all before you check in for your flight. For larger pets. Many ferries do allow pets. is a great alternative for those traveling with pets. either with sleeping pills (talk to your vet) or something over the counter (we use three Benadryl per dog to knock them out). in case you and your pet get separated for any reason. if your pet wasn’t under your seat. The size of your pet will determine what kind of carrier you need. expect to be whisked off to have your dogs weighed. They go for about $60-$120 depending on the size. Usually. they’ll check your paperwork and scan the microchip (if required). When you arrive at your destination. if they allow cars.com . As you pass through customs. you’ll need a carrier that fits under your seat (they label these at the major pet stores). water bowl and food.
and get used to their new “owners”. it’s that it’s new. bring poop bags! These are hard to find when traveling. Be patient. If you have a dog. It comes back over time. they may get a little mad about moving overseas. the heartbreaking part is that your pet will adapt. our dogs did some revenge peeing for about a week (Oh are these your favorite shoes? How about after I pee in them!). While we handle change as exciting. Now it’s like nothing changed. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com . but a complete life saver for being a good dog owner abroad. it can be very stressful for an animal. try to establish a routine as quickly as possible and give them lots of positive attention. Having your own transportation with animals makes a big difference. If you decide to leave your pet with someone else I know this is a really tough decision. in exchange for a place to sleep or a few bucks. but that was the saddest part for us. Try to plan your trip so you minimize flights and long drives. Your pets will adjust. It’s not that it’s a new country. When we moved from Texas to Boston. so you may be acting in their best interest by leaving them in a stable environment. In fact. Our dogs barely seemed to recognize us when we returned.It’s relatively cheap and easy to find college student/travelers abroad willing to watch your animals for the weekend. it may make more sense (although you’ll miss each other) to leave your pets with someone you trust. but believe me it’s harder on you than them. If you’re planning a whirl-wind year around the world. If you’ve never moved with your pet. Be ready for some negative behavior.
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
SAFE, AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN - FINDING PLACES TO STAY WHEN YOU TRAVEL
Before traveling long term for the first time, you may spend a lot of time worrying about the safety, cost and cleanliness of accommodations along the way. Some people have written me and asked where they should stay because, “I’m not planning on staying in hostels.” Hostels are not for everyone. Personally, I don’t mind using them when I’m traveling alone– I like getting to know other people. But if you’re not up to it, or you’re traveling with kids, pets or just want some privacy, it’s definitely not the only option (who wants to bunk with their husband with 6 other people?). In fact, if you’re willing to spend the time doing the legwork, there are some amazing places to stay that are still affordable. Finding those beautiful, cheap, safe, affordable, clean and well-located places to stay 1. Consider longer term rentals. Renting by the night, even at the cheapest of hostels, can often cost more than renting an apartment by the week or month. We’re not talking managed properties, where a realtor is trying to get 4X market value for those one week vacationers, but rented directly by the owner. Where a hostel might cost you $20/night, you may be able to rent something weekly for $100. The benefit is that it’s private, furnished, has a kitchen and a private bath– oh and it’s actually cheaper than sleeping in a dorm. 2. Use Couchsurfing.com, but not for the couches. One of the greatest benefits (besides offering free place to crash if you’re so inclined) is that you can use it to connect to folks in a city before you get there. They can give you advice on where to stay, help you find long term rentals and even meet up with you for coffee when you get there. The site is all about relationships, so I’d only suggest using it if you
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
also have an interest in making friends with locals (that is, they aren’t there just to be your travel agent) that being said, it is one of the best resources for getting an informed perspective. 3. Connect with the language schools. Many schools help students find places to stay and have relationships with people renting out apartments or rooms. We found an amazing apartment with 180 degree views of the city for cheap by doing this. You don’t necessarily have to take classes at the school, they are often happy to funnel the business to their contacts. 4. Look on the hostel sites for bed and breakfast listings. These will typically cost a little more than a private room in a hostel, but the quality is often much higher. In many countries, these listings are found among the hostels sites, even though they are very different. 5. Negotiate a weekly rate discount at a hotel slightly over your budget. I used to never think of this, I would just spend a week in a city and not ask for any kind of discount. That is, until I saw other travelers doing it, and was able to score 2 weeks at a reduced rate at a hotel with air conditioning in Costa Rica (they are more likely to do this in the slow season). 6. Use the sites the locals use. If you wanted to find an apartment in the US, you’d use Craigslist. For the rest of the world, it’s up to you to find the equivalent. If it’s in another language, you can use Google translate. If it comes to booking a place and you need to communicate via email, you can use the same translator to draft your letter and then ask folks on a language board to proof read it for you (translators very often do crazy things to certain expressions). By skipping the sites aimed at tourists you’ll be getting better value. Taking the time to use the local language will also give you access to properties that simply don’t have a website.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
8. but it often makes sense to only book 1 night at your destination in advance and then walk around the city to find flyers or stop into hostels/hotels or read the local paper to find something for the rest of your stay (unless you’re traveling in the high season or during a festival. Don’t stress! If it does happen. It’s a little more adventurous. but usually that’s not the case.com . I promise. It’s tempting to be polite or to assume all hotels in this area are as dirty/scary/unpleasant. You’ll laugh about it later. when it will be nearly impossible to find anything). Don’t be afraid to walk. you can look inside before booking or even ask to see the room first. While online reviews and research can certainly help. many things become very clear once you’re on the ground. and move on. If it doesn’t live up to your standards. There’s no way to ever know what the crowd will be like at any place. The location and relative safety become apparent after you get there. There is no substitute for your impression of a place. just keep your spirits up. Wait until you get there. don’t be afraid to check out. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.7. Now that you’re at your destination.
but don’t use it once you’re traveling you’re only getting half the value. perhaps having a running total for the day or week and confident that any overspending can be made up elsewhere. detailed budget. if you create a budget to plan and control costs. Did creating that budget help you? The second dilemma is that most budgets micro-manage your activities. we really need to talk about your level of travel spontaneity. the tool is meaningless. What good is it to say. Will you be going to the museum? Taking a bus to the ruins? Renting a car to tour the country side? How do you know? If you do know. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. In other words. our money and how we plan to spend it. you may have accurate day-to-day numbers but unless you then record every penny you spend against your budget. There’s no shortage of advice on the matter– quick how to's to turn your paltry salary into millionaire’s escape– or stern warnings about the importance of tracking every penny. The truth is no budget is going to be very accurate. and manage these details in the back of their head. Here is the dilemma: if you plan a complex. is there is no trick. You’ll fail to control your costs.PLANNING A TRAVEL BUDGET THAT WORKS Planning a budget is a personal matter– it’s about money. “I plan on spending $50 a day” but then run around and spend $75 a day. The real trick though. Wouldn’t a rough idea and complete autonomy be more ideal? If you’re going to create a simple budget. where do you start? Most long term travelers have a sense of how much they can afford. unless you’re willing to make some major flexibility sacrifices.com . The best budget is the one that is simple enough that you can memorize it.
you’ll need to know approximately what the cost of living is in the area you’re traveling to. I multiple that number by 3. You won’t be buying a house or doing all your shopping at the market. Could you use the cost of living index? Yes. I’d have a budget ($20 X 3) of $60 a day. it’s valuable to use this as a benchmark for a few reasons: it’s available internationally in virtually every country of the world you can use a single website to look it up the numbers are always up to date it’s the cost for a traveler to stay there and generally at the same level of quality so you’re comparing apples to apples • it tends to reflect the cost for someone traveling on a budget– whereas a hotel cost can fluctuate wildly based on quality. That’s my per day budget. and need to plan how much to save. where do you start? First. This gives me: $20: accommodations $20: food • • • • 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Once I have the average cost for a hostel.But if you’re getting started. Even if I’m not staying in a hostel. hostel cost per night X 3= Accommodations + food + other expenses So if the hostel cost $20/night. verses to travel through.com . The method I use is to look up the average cost of a hostel. so I prefer to sample the cost from the travel market instead. but I don’t because I think it generally takes into account what it costs to live somewhere as a local. Avg.
If I go over on my food costs. like taking a $12 ferry somewhere. what if you’re planning on flying? Or taking a $400 sailing trip? Or 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. If this isn’t possible. can usually be absorbed into your budget and made up for over a few days. and you’ll be able to keep these numbers in your head. “What! This will never work!” This is the typical budget that I use.com . I would suggest that whatever factor you use. Compare it to the hostel cost in that area and create your own factor. and plan my spending based on what I have left. You may be able to get by on a factor of 2 or you may need at least a factor of 5. I’ll keep my food costs a bit lower. I’ll keep a running total for that day in my head. If I’ve come to the end of the week and I’m ahead. I’ll have to cut back from my “whatever” bucket. If I know that I’ll be going out that night. to do a detailed budget for one destination to put the theory to the test. and I have a certain standard of living. I will take out the entire week’s worth of funds at one time (to save on ATM fees) but only carry on day’s worth of cash on me at any time. However. The advantages are that you will always have a quick way to figure out the cost of going somewhere (valuable if plans change on the fly). The practical application is that you’ll always know where you are financially.$20: whatever else If I decide to rent an apartment for the month. I need to find something for less than $20 X the month (30 days) = $600. Exceptions Little expenses. Making this work on the road If you know that you’ll be spending $50 a day for the week. I’ll splash out on something nice– maybe that great restaurant I had been eying up or rent a Vespa for the day.
Test the theory.com– be sure to sort by price) and this is your factor. Your budget might look something like this: Destination X.com or hostelworld. Based on your priorities. When it’s time to pay for it. 1 week: $30/day ($210 total) Destination Y. Divide the daily cost by the cost of a hostel for one night (you can look up hostel costs at hostelbookers. but don’t track them on a day-to-day basis.com . Advanced planning for the long term traveler Once you have a handle on how much it will cost by destination. much too much? One way to balance your spending is to offset those high cost destinations with multiple days in low cost areas. 2 weeks: $40/day ($560 total) Destination Z. Homework 1. do so. but it’s a way to keep costs down if you’re planning long term travel. but don’t deduct from your daily budget. Create your travel budget.signing up for language school? I would get hard costs for these items. you may spend 3 months in Europe. Use the estimated daily costs by destination but also be sure to include the big ticket items separately. 2. budget for them. 3 weeks: $50/day ($1050 total) 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. this may look different. but offset that cost with twice as many days in somewhere like Central America or SE Asia. Is it averaging you $25/day? Or $75/day? Is the total amount. For me. 6 months cheap. it’s worked out to a rotating schedule of roughly 3 months expensive. For example. Round to the nearest whole number. Create a detailed budget of what you think it will cost for one of your destinations (or use something that you’ve already created). you’ll want to look at your overall costs.
3 weeks (was 1 week): $30/day ($630 total) Destination Y. 2 weeks: $40/day ($560 total) Destination Z. but don’t ruin your trip by being stuck somewhere you don’t like). if we flipped the last example budget to spending more time in the cheaper places. 1 week (was 3 weeks): $50/day ($350 total) originally: $43/day now: $36/day 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.Flight from home to X: $660 Scuba lessons: $400 Grand total: $2880 for 6 weeks 3. For example. If you’re looking to manage costs. look at whether adjusting your travel schedule will work (if it feels okay. then it would look like this: Destination X.com .
Do you need a psychology class for your own kids? Probably not. So what are we left with? About 2 years of 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Even if you have the best teacher in the world. but that’s not required at first). You’ll have some teaching assistant time to learn how to handle a classroom– for you. You don’t need them to be their parents. but a teacher has a major disadvantage. So you can skip those. For a school district. Let’s be clear: the teachers of the world do something very amazing and important. In fact. you’ll have to find some way to educate your children. they just can’t compete. These micro-classrooms automatically outpace even private education. the reality is that homeschooling is often higher quality than classroom education. Other classes are about developing curriculum. The question of homeschooling often comes up around travel. many of these classes are about child development and child psychology. and you’re not trying to teach kids you don’t know. This isn’t about what teachers aren’t doing. but on your scale it’s affordable). The first worry parents have is about quality. but the options when being in a classroom just isn’t an option. While they teach 30 students in the classroom. right? Ok skip those. because if you want to take more than 3 months off a year. doesn’t apply.TAKING THE CLASSROOM ON THE ROAD Is there any way to talk about homeschooling your kids. it’s important to have teachers who know how to write a lesson plan. If you look at their required coursework. Who wouldn’t want that for their kid? But are you qualified? Let’s look at a teacher’s education. They dedicate their lives to improving those of other people’s children. But you’re just teaching your kids. It’s not fair. They will typically study education in college and earn a four year degree (and later get a masters.com . at home it’s all one-on-one. as far as student-teacher ratio. surely you can just buy those materials (schools have budgets. without inadvertently dismissing teachers as insufficient? I definitely don’t want to do that.
Besides. Just yours. you’ll want to make sure that you’re covering your bases if you plan to return back to school after the trip.com . not specific to the education major. But what if I don’t remember the math? or science? or what a gerund is? That’s not your job. But you’re not trying to teach a roomful of kids. the requirements of a college degree in general. Or you might suggest a resource where they could look it up. You’ll teach them how to find answers. Your job is about 1/30th easier than theirs. It’s a hard job and not just anyone can do it. will my kids fall behind? This mostly comes down to jumping through the right hoops when you return home. I was homeschooled for my ninth 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. You might ask them questions to help them clarify their own thinking. Your job is to teach your kids how to self-teach. When they reach the college level. your kids will be doing all the heavy lifting (we’ll get to that next).liberal arts classes. It won’t be about how much your kids have learned (they’ll have cut out all the distractions. what’s a trachea?” Your answer. In other words. They have the education and experience to wrangle a classroom full of young folk while simultaneously educating their little minds. “Let’s go look it up!” Next question. Your time as a parent teacher will likely be spent talking through issues and making sure that your kids are making progress. “Hey Mom. they will be expected to have this skill and it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give a young person. have a supportive environment and one-on-one support– why would they learn less?) However. Teachers are trained to teach in classrooms. either using their glossary or the index or in a dictionary or an encyclopedia or on the internet or asking questions through a website or watching educational videos.
I suspect this fear is from the idea that your child will be relying on your to explain materials– how will they take a Spanish class. you might feel comfortable with teaching your kids at first. it won’t seem strange to strike up a conversation with a stranger and your kids will adapt too. but a little worried about high school. just as they will. As far as being isolated while on the road. so be sure to research that before you leave. It’s certainly possible to arrange your travels so you find your way back to the same place every year or make it a point to spend summers with family (or some variation). this doesn’t seem to be a problem. I would never presume to give a pat answer for everyone. Ultimately. But to me. If you’re planning on traveling longer than a year. if I don’t speak Spanish? The good news is that there are resources online that can connect your child with native speakers and the kind of video and audio resources needed to learn those tougher subjects. which I used my time riding horses to count as credit). After a while. You’ll be learning how to make friends quickly. What about the “social” issue? Long term relationships are important and constantly traveling will mean that you’ll have to spend more time and effort to keep in contact with folks back home.grade year. should you travel with your kids and homeschool them? I think it’s a very important decision that you should make as a family. and when I returned I was able to receive credit for all of my coursework (including gym class.com . I went on to take honors and advanced placement classes through the rest of high school and it was a non-issue when applying to college (I was accepted to my preferred and back-up colleges). Some states have testing requirements. there are several benefits that might make it a smart choice for you: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. or specific course work.
This constant stimulus bounces them from one activity to the next. But kids learn from the people they’re around.com . It’s necessary in schools because they are forced to become more efficient and to streamline education. and it’s pretty good). Character! Confidence! Courage! The only way to gain these positive traits is to have the opportunity to test yourself. An opportunity for your child to pursue subjects they are interested in more depth. Being stumped on an academic problem. but trying it anyways (oh. An engaged. For instance. interested student will learn so much more than one that’s bored. figuring it out for yourself. I’d argue that these little one-day adults need to start practicing thinking for themselves and figuring out how they feel about the world. At home. 4. your kid’s teacher is out numbered 30-1. Buying something with foreign money. exposure to older kids or adults is a positive message in expectations. but they don’t have time to reflect. In a traditional school. Would it be better? Yes. Making friends with people who don’t speak your language. well before they actually reach adulthood. The materials available to parents are as 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. A chance for your kids to be around adults and children of different ages. In this over-scheduled world. but then allot more time for their favorite subjects– like reading science fiction books (and writing reports about them) or categorizing the bugs they see on your travels or learning more about each city you visit. 3.1. 2. it’s not possible to create a custom curriculum for every student. Every day is an object lesson. kids don’t have time anymore to just absorb the world. Parents who are considering homeschooling have a lot going for them. Being afraid of a new food. but with hard work. Even if you feel the school system would do a better job. Time to think. Some people argue that the age-level grouping of children slows their development. Their world-view isn’t limited to their current age level. you can purchase a well-rounded base curriculum.
Also. world class online resources and the time and flexibility to learn how to use these materials independently (something you’d never see in a public school). take the family. So if you want to travel.good or better than you’d find in the school system (especially with budget cuts and outdated textbooks). You’re able to provide your kids with a state of the art learning experience: a laptop.com . it’s more accepted than ever as people are dropping out of public education— not because of religious reasons or because they’re “crunchy” but because they feel they it’s possible to get a better education inside of the home. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. access to audio/video materials.
THE NOT-SO-SECRET TRICK TO FINDING CHEAP AIRFARE
I’ve seen two eBooks published on the subject this year alone. How can you find those super-cheap airfares? There is no secret. It’s all about flexibility. You’ll pay more for: • • • • • • • • Flights on Monday/Friday/Sunday Flying the morning or at night Flying non-stop Traveling in certain seasons (for example to Europe during the summer or to Hawaii during the winter) Buying too early (more than 5 months before your flight) Buying too late (less two weeks before flight) Certain Destinations (NY to London is cheaper than NY to Dublin, yet almost same distance) The day you happen to buy– who knows the next day the airline may adjust prices
So how do you find cheap flights without spending hours running multiple searches? Passive Search I’m personally a big fan of Kayak (apparently so is Microsoft) for its flexible, anywhere-in-the-world, anytime-frame searches. You can search by a continent– say EUROPE, and they’ll give you the cheapest flights by country. So instead of checking each country– trying to find a good deal– they give you all of them at once. You pick where to fly based on what’s cheapest.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
I recommend setting and leaving a few of these fare alerts so that they will send you weekly email updates and keep you passively aware of the marketplace. Steps: • Go to http://www.kayak.com/buzz • Pick your home airport, a destination continent and a timeframe (by the month or leave it as is for “anytime”) • I picked NYC to EUROPE for NOV 09 and had some surprising results: The cheapest three flights are: $481 to Moscow, $497 to Dublin, $509 to Geneva. This tells me that a flight to Europe for under $500 is probably a pretty good deal. • Click the “Get this by email” link to schedule a fare alert direct to your inbox. • Repeat with other areas of the world as needed. I set one for Asia and found deals in India on the top of the list at about $720. South America had a flight to Peru at $347. I’m starting to get a sense of the relative costs. Pounce When a good deal comes, don’t wait. Cheap prices in one market usually means that the other airlines will rush in the next few days meet the price. Even if you’re not flying that exact day, it’s worth doing a quick price check across a few sites. Steps • Search the airline’s site and make sure they are in fact offering that price. (And if you’re flying oneway to make sure their one-way price isn’t wildly expensive).
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
• Do a quick search on Kayak for the same flight, and then check the second and third cheapest option’s websites to see if they are offering cheaper deals. • If it’s a long haul flight, you’re done. If it’s a short flight, say Madrid to Paris, you’ll want to check local carriers, like Ryan Air, who might not be listed in the search sites. A Google search for your flight area will usually bring up a few local search engines you can double check. Don’t Worry Too Much Spending hours trying to figure how to save $20 on a flight will drive you crazy and waste your time. The truth is that the pricing mechanisms are complex and don’t always follow the so-called rules. If you can get a good price, lock it in.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
Soultravelers3 Currently traveling around Europe Homeschooling since: always Age(s): 9 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. I’d definitely take a look through some of the links they’ve provided and read more about it on their blogs.HOW THEY DO IT I’m very excited to share this section. If you’re thinking of homeschooling.com . Big thanks to Jeanne Dee.TRAVELING HOMESCHOOLERS SPEAK . Brenna and Nancy for their help! Jeanne Dee. which includes interviews from three very interesting families.
We find we that we can get much more education out of much less time put into it.What’s homeschooling like? It truly is the best possible education and much easier than most people realize. We also do her piano lessons via Skype webcam from a teacher on another continent and do classes with John Hopkins University CTY program online and other online opportunities.gomilpitas. literature & culture.com/ Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Families on the Road 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Tips for getting started: Read John Taylor Gatto and John Holt (”father” of unschooling). How do you make it work? Our child is an advanced learner so can go at her own pace which is many years above her grade level. It is a perfect combination with travel. Recommended Links: Why Schools Don’t Educate Do Schools Kills Creativity? homeschooling. Much of her homeschooling is done through her reading (geared to our travels) & other ways where she just thinks she is having fun. We homeschool a small amount daily at her level in English all year round and also use the local school in Spain for 4/5 months out of the year for deep immersion into her 2nd language.com . Digital libraries and Brainpop are great fun for traveling homeschoolers too. We plan to also immerse her into a 3rd language-Mandarin Chinese in the same way when we get to Asia.
College Without High School Did You Know? “We are living in exponential times” MayaFrost.com Articles you’ve written that you’d like to share: Drawing in Lisbon.com . Portugal Venice Via Kid’s Books Swimming with Amazing Dolphins How to Travel the World as a Digital Nomad Family Education Resources Kids Lit Itinerary Homeschooling Books 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
com . and is currently obsessed. Knowing success stories. Follow your children’s interests. If they don’t know what they are interested in. and by.Brenna Gibson Redpath. don’t panic. other homeschooling families. and is illegal unless you yourself are a certified teacher in some countries. They will soon. Legal homeschooling varies widely across the US. Read books about.we planned to travel Europe for a year. Homeschooling since: always Age(s): 7 and 11 Tips for getting started: Find out the legal implications of homeschooling in your state or country. and pitfalls. Sigh… 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. From Here To Uncertainty Currently in Scotland (this week anyway). is helpful in daily homeschool life. like Germany. Having said this . and once we got here my son fell in love with Japan.
and worksheet print-outs. which is a wonderful curriculum that I used with both my kids for beginning reading and writing. who is in 6th grade. and go to park days and field trips that they offer. It offers lots of choices in curriculum. find a homeschool group if it’s available. be an accomplished speller. promotes independent work. as well as cursive. Listen to other parents and ask questions. really loves a company called Time 4 Learning.letting your traveling play a big part in your schooling life? Do you plan to be gone for a set amount of time. Take advantage of on-line school websites. and want your children to be in-line with classmates when they come back? Does a regularly scheduled day feel best to you. It’s light on history and science in my opinion. Do you plan to travel indefinitely . Time 4 Learning has on-line quizzes. Another company is K12. but will never. You need to decide what feels like a good family schooling experience to you. I brought along workbooks for my daughter by a company called Handwriting Without Tears. or a looser see-what-the-day-brings vibe? There are so many different ways to successfully homeschool your children.com . and let those goals guide you. My son is a whiz at Language Arts and higher math. Recommended resources: My son. and allows for strengths and weaknesses in different areas of learning. but we’re living history every day. Decide your goals. I fear. all under the legal K12 umbrella. Articles you’ve written that you’d like to share: So We Homeschool 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. He feels successful with this program. I like the way the website documents progress for parents.How do you incorporate travel into homeschooling? If you start homeschooling before you’re traveling. which offers an on-line curriculum. He goes as quickly (or as slowly) through the material as he needs.
present Age(s): 11 year old twins Your Experience: Classroom teacher in Special Ed.com . and middle school math & science for 21 years Tips for getting started: Just do it and trust in your kids. Recommended Links: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. mountains. parks. Take them out to every place you can think of museums. Homeschooling since: 2006/07 and 2008 . Never. and lakes. elementary.never doubt your child. doubt your child. Enjoy your surroundings and help the kids see the magic of what is around them! But mostly .Nancy Sathre-Vogel. ever. Family on Bikes Biking across the Americas.
familiesontheroad.com Articles you’ve written that you’d like to share: Family travel: a life-changing event Living your dream with your children Homeschooling Your Children on the Road Roadschooling: Are health care concerns holding you back? Roadschooling 101: What is roadschooling? __ Additional Resources (thanks to Soultravelers3) Advice for Older Kids (contains dozens of links to resources) Books for Kids that Travel 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.gomilpitas.com homeschooling.com .
com .GETTING READY TO GO 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
special features.000 more than we paid for it). Comparison shop. not much has changed. Since then. this was about as close to break even as we could have hoped (the final sale price was $20. But what else? How does your home compare as far as square feet. that’s just a fact. style) and location? This will give you an idea of what potential buyers will be grading your home against– and ideas of what you can improve in order to better compete. plus all the closing costs. one of the first questions you might have is: what about the house? The bad news is that right now you may be facing similar or worse numbers. Appropriately priced homes sell faster. 1. Price your home well. we were in a depressed market. The key is to find a good agent that will be able to set a price that is most likely to move your home. Now is not the time to test out the market to see if you can get more. The flood of uber-cheap foreclosed homes in your area may not help either. Here are some things you can try to get that house sold faster.com . You may find that the foreclosed homes are a bit stripped down (before the bank kicks them out many people take everything that isn’t nailed down. Your meticulously maintained home has a huge leg up on these bare-bones models. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell your home. If you’re trying to plan for a trip around the world. Pretend to be in the market and look at houses in your price range and neighborhood.SELLING YOUR HOUSE IN THE DOWNTURN Two years ago when we sold our home. rugs. 2. We sold our house in about 3 months at a $2000 loss after living in it for less than 3 years. cleanliness. lot size. Considering how little we paid down the mortgage. and sometimes those things too). cosmetically (paint. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. but it does mean doing everything that you can to be competitive.
If you already have a home full of “stuff” you’ll just need to strip out a good portion of your belongings. You can roll these expenses (plus charge a bit more than you would otherwise) into the price of the home and you’ll re-coop the cost once all the checks clear. Be flexible on financing options. If you have time… There are so many projects you could start to fix up your house. but be careful in bogging yourself down in further expense (you’ll see only a fraction of the cost in added value to your home) and delaying putting your house on the market. An unclean home sends the signal that you don’t take pride in your house and begs the question about what else you’ve been neglecting maintenancewise. First time home buyers especially may ask that you cover the closing costs for them or help them with the down payment. If you have anything bulky or broken that needs to go. painting the 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. While it won’t sell your home alone.com . We had a broken hot tub removed within an hour by someone who was sure they could fix it. You don’t need to buy anything to do this.3. As a buyer. don’t be afraid to use the “free” section on craigslist.org or even the curb with a big sign. nothing is worse than walking into a dirty home (unless it’s a real fixer upper and that’s what you’re looking for). 5. Now is a good time to borrow a money from family and friends (if you get such an offer) if it means closing your house and being able to reimburse everyone in short order (usually 30 days). positive impressions can make a big difference. Aim for things with the biggest visual appeal: cleaning up the front yard and planting some flowers or filling in gaps in the landscaping. 6. Clean. clean. Putting up fresh flowers or baking cookies (nothing better than that smell) are some small touches you can add. It’s not too early for a yard sale! Setting up your house so that it’s just minimal furniture and a few decorations will get rid of that cluttered look. make the space seem larger and leave a better impression on potential buyers. Stage your home. 4. clean.
be patient. And then. then perfect. facing a huge ARM interest rate hike or have missed any payments on your loan. made any easy fixes that you could and priced it correctly and it hasn’t sold in 6 months. Can you still travel? Yes. others take a percentage of the rent (like 15%) and still others ask for both. Property managers are often realtors and their real estate site will have a section on their management services. Other scenarios might include being “upside down” on your mortgage (owing more than it’s worth). If your mortgage is higher than what the average rental goes for.inside using neutral tones.com . you’ll be looking at hiring a property manager to oversee things for a cut of the monthly rent. Rent instead of sell. Some ask for a flat fee. If your goal is to avoid the monthly mortgage payment while you travel. but the sooner you can get on their radar the better. cleaned it up. Also check out some of the federal programs in your country. now is the time to call your lender. (like the “Making Home Affordable” program in the US). 2. getting the carpets cleaned. From all accounts they are severely behind in their account departments. “What if my house won’t sell?” First. or completing (or covering up) unfinished home improvement projects. The question is. then yes. Otherwise. you may end up paying the management fee out of pocket. is it worth it to you? 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. it’s time to move on to plan B. Here are some options: 1. I’d caution you from assuming that it won’t sell. renting may be an option. Get help. taken away the clutter. If you’re “upside down” on your loan. If you have put it on the market. having lived it for under two years (capital gains tax will apply) or just not wanting to sell it. If you have someone you trust to manage the property and make sure your investment is safe. can you swing a few hundred dollars a month to travel and if so.
They see hundreds of listings and have the experience to better predict where you’ll be in a year.com . Wait it out. 5. 4. HomeExchange.3. but the upside is that you’ll return to your home and things without having to start from scratch. When will the downturn end? It depends greatly on where you live. and over time.com is a good place to start. it is always possible to start paying ahead on your mortgage now. Home swap! You’ll still have to cover your mortgage. but you’ll have all of your housing expenses overseas covered. High priced/high demand areas may have been hit less hard and you could see an improvement next year. If you’re looking at travel for a finite period of time. bank up enough time to take 6 months or a year off. Eat the cost. It may take you longer. Right now southern Florida has more people leaving than entering and foreclosed properties litter the classifieds. Who knows! Give your local realtor a call for the local insight. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
you eat less or exercise more.com . Americans saved in the negative numbers– meaning they not only didn’t save a penny. All it takes is one digression. we’re stopping ourselves from spending. but there is no specific action called losing weight. Saving is actually inaction. but they came out more in debt. It’s an expression that describes the end result. it’s not what you do as much as what you don’t do. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. It’s like losing weight. and yet at the end of the month you might be wondering where it all went. not the process. if you say yes once and spend that $5 it’s still spent. saving is hard. that money sits in your pocket for the next temptation. Does knowing that you didn’t lose any weight last week make it suddenly easier to exercise every morning? You may be more motivated. This section isn’t for you. you have to make the decision dozens of times a day. For saving it’s the same way. Changing the game We all know this. “it’s worth it” or “I need it” but even if you had said no 100 times. You don’t just eat less once. Same with saving– if you save $5 by not buying a magazine.THE TROUBLE WITH SAVING Some people have no problem saving for long term travel or a round-the-world trip. Spreadsheets and money management software might reveal to you that you spend $200 in this category or $1000 in that– but it doesn’t change the behavior. In recent years. Every year. The Saving Myth The way we think of saving is misleading. At the time you might say. Like losing weight. you don’t just lose weight. millions of people set out to save money and fail. but the challenge is the same.
You’ll want to figure out your pain point. They get the big promotion to $100. For instance. Neither is Netflix. You swear it won’t happen to you. Flipping the problem Instead of trying to save. Not having money reduces all kinds of temptations and you can continue to live and spend like you normally do– not really thinking about it. To me this is the easiest way to save. they live paycheck to paycheck. keeping an eye on your total in the bank and cutting back only when it gets too low. gas. or beer money.What if we changed the game? What if instead of trying to not-do-something. And then you get there and your expenses magically expand to fit your new salary. the least amount of money you can live on. because this feature is important when you’re on the road). which doesn’t seem to work for most people. Next find your salary deduction amount: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. going out. what if you just made less money? What if your paycheck when down by 25% tomorrow? You’d cut back.000 one year. They get a raise to $50. food and student loans. clothing. it’s spent. you just eliminate that choice. magazine subscriptions.com .000 and it’s gone. You imagine how much money you’ll have if you just made X amount. How to give yourself a pay cut Most banks let you link a checking and savings account and schedule automatic transfers online (if not. utilities. car payments. add together your fixed. Gym membership is not an unavoidable expense. If they make $30. right? When your checking got down to $100 you’d skip eating out and figure out what to do with the 5 lbs of lentils you have sitting in your pantry. unavoidable expenses like rent/mortgage. you’ll want to switch now.000 and still. Think of it this way… most people manage to spend about what they make.
We moved into a smaller apartment. Is it worth it? Can I do without it? Is there something cheaper I can get? When you reach this point. Since we’ve been traveling. Welcome to Saving. You might have more free time because you shop less (seriously).com . We’ve just been able to reset our spending so it allows us the freedoms to work less. we had to majorly cut back. These days. you’ve broken the cycle.unavoidable expenses = salary deduction amount (i. Does this work? I used this for about a year before quitting my job. But we made it work. Yes. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.e. It moves the money into savings before you ever have a chance to spend it. savings) Set a transfer that is scheduled for the day after you get paid for that exact amount. travel more and live anywhere. homemade bread and so on. and we live on 25% as much as we did two years ago. We’re not saving. congratulations. beans. I still put away everything I make. You’ll begin looking at everything with a critical eye. we didn’t pay for internet or cable. lentils.Total salary . it’s easy. My husband and I put away my entire paycheck. and I got really creative with whole foods like rice. we didn’t use the heat (in Boston) until December 1st. Why it’s worth it After a few weeks. you find something amazing happening… you’re living on less than you thought possible. we rarely even think of money.
it’s easy to blame the borrower. even the most frugal saver could take up to five years to get caught up. What are they are they going to do. Medical expenses you couldn’t avoid. It’s knowing that I would be able to make six figures if I wanted after I returned and the hindsight to know that I would have missed less in those first few years of work than I would have gained traveling. I’d probably do the same thing. Obviously it’s best to pay off your debt first. not much I know) and travel as long and as hard as I could.000 of them at the time. If I had $100.com . it’s essentially hopeless. Of the 150+ comments it received.PAY OR STAY As I was preparing this series. a surprisingly large number of people emailed me with their stories of extreme personal debt. someone would say: “Oh Please. but not always. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. 10 years working a job you don’t like. I’d defer my loans ($12.000 or more. there was a number of people who practically spat on such an idea.000 graduate-level education? Should you be stuck for the next 5.EXTREME DEBT . But that’s just me. wherein I suggested that young people fresh out of college could defer their student loans in order to travel for a year or more (among other things). Or a $100. But with extreme debt $100. The question is always the same: what should I do.000 in loans. But what if you’re debt was for a noble cause? A business plan that didn’t work out. I don’t want to stay but I can’t afford to go? On the surface. It comes down to a judgment call. putting your life on hold? I think the sternest of advisers would say: “Travel? Ha! You have to pay off your debt first!” If I was to advise against paying it off first. “How Irresponsible!” How dare I even suggest it? The truth is if I was indeed 22 again. 8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22. I would do just that. file bankruptcy and pass on their bad judgments to consumers who actually pay their bills?” I know this because last year I wrote a post called.
“ah well that puts it into perspective. Despite all the varying advice out there.000 increase in debt”– then you too have your answer. there really is no right way. If you don’t already.000 law school degree is a monthly payment of $1200. If you see $6. working her dream job. If you see the number $6. that’s $6. Is this too much? You don’t need a fancy table to tell you. to get married. say for one year. What will this cost you? If you’re planning to travel.000 to start a business in Central America and ended up paying everything off faster than if he had stayed that he was wrong? Or will you look the other way at the post-doc who wanted to follow her passion and ended up living overseas. or to have kids. Will you tell the guy who left his massive debt behind. that’s up to you to figure out. but unable to afford a house. 2. So if that $100. you should know what your total debt is and what it costs you per month.com . The second part is as important as the first. I can deal with that”– then you have your answer.000 and you say. travel for one measly year is definitely not worth a $6. In this case. then the cost to you is your interest ($500 from the case above) per month. when the time came? 1. “heck no. That’s how much more debt you’ll have in a year if you defer payment. scrounged up $5. You need to calculate what it costs you to travel.Formulating Your Own Personal Gut Check I won’t presume to tell anyone what’s best.000 and you say. then $500 of that is interest. How to Pay Off Debt 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. You have to know what you’re dealing with.000 for one year. 3.
Pay as much as you can across your debt. tell them you are struggling to pay and see if you can make some arrangement. I used the methods below when I was cleaning up my credit report post college recklessness and as I paid off my debt before travel (that’s right. sit down and write a letter and contest everything on your report. chances are you won’t out earn the interest on your debt. 4. Even if you invest your savings. but in the back of your mind. we took a year to pay off everything. When a bill gets paid off. 6. pay down the smallest balances first. 5. it’s not the end of the world to be in debt. 1. Get your credit reports from all three bureaus. That’s okay. and finally from the next collection agency who bought your debt from the first. from the collection agency he sold it to when you didn’t pay. not once but three times. Call everyone you owe money to. Pay everything off and then save. Options for the Debt Weary So yes. you just know that you are not going to do it. Keep working through your debt until you’ve paid everything off. If you have extra. If your credit report is a big fat mess. 2. Start paying everything with the lowest monthly rates you get from your creditors. Saving money comes last. I don’t know where I first heard about this method. From the doctor.First. apply that amount to the next smallest bill. Sure it sucks and sure it’s better and 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. paying everything off is ideal. if you can.com . Debts are bundled and sold. including some old expenses from a short-lived business before we started traveling). get professional help. Work the pyramid. but every debt-guru seems to use it these days. You could be getting dinged from one $100 doctor’s fee you never knew about. so that you avoid no payment fees or more dings to your credit. (Just do it!) 3.
Here are some interim steps you can take if travel is priority now: 1. maybe it makes sense to eliminate the high interest credit card debt before traveling. now is the time to start).000 in credit card debt. 3. that would mean saving or earning an extra $6. If you are in the process of foreclosing. Assuming you are living within your means now (if not. This has worked for many homeowners to delay or stall completely the foreclosure process as it’s required by law that they have the original signed documents in order to collect on your loan.cheaper to pay it off first. bundled into securities and resold. For her. it’s better to sell at a loss. but it’s not a zero-sum game. but she also had $12. you might want to demand to see the original loan documents. sold. than to go into foreclosure. but leaving her student loans in deferment. I would check with your alumni office for programs. then planning to pay just the interest on your debt will allow you to travel without putting you further behind. Just pay the interest. but you might also consider the Peace Corps and other volunteer positions abroad that help pay down debt and let you see another country.000 student loans. one reader wrote to me and mentioned her $130.000 during your year of travel). 2. If I Didn’t Say This Before… 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. If your deal is high student loans. If you have a large mortgage. With the way home mortgages were packaged. (From our example above. For instance.com . you may be able to alleviate some of your responsibility and still travel at the same time (depending on the type– are they Stafford or Perkins loans? Are they private loans?). It’s not pay it off or die. 4. there’s a fair chance that you’re current mortgage company bought your loan as a part of a large bucket of loans and the paper work has long been lost. Try to negotiate lower rates for what you can and pay off some of your debt.
Sure there are options. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. pay it down.com . If you can. but it’s postponing the inevitable.The best thing to do is to become debt free.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
STAYING FOREVER - LIVING IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
You want to travel, but you’re not satisfied with spending the 30, 60, 90 or 180 days allotted to tourists by your country of choice. What should you do? Whatever you do, don’t believe everything you read. I was doing some research for this piece, and I found a post that I find to be emblematic of some of the advice available online (but not all). The #1 search result for a certain visa topic suggests that getting a legal visa to stay longer than 90 days is too much hassle. The author begins, “Lots of travelers in Europe do not abide by that stupid 90 day in 90 day out restriction, and most countries that are supposedly a part of the Schengen region do not seem to acknowledge it.” He gives an example of one non-EU traveler who overstayed for a year, left, had a layover in the UK, they noticed that he had overstayed, sent him back to the EU for “punishment” and when nothing happened, he then spent another year there illegally. One story and he’s advising people to not bother dealing with the hassle of getting a residency permit. I won’t link to the site, but if you had read through the 46 comments, you’d find that about 5 months later, the author does a complete 180 on his position. Why? Because he was talking out of his butt! And because people who had taken his advice were getting caught. They were given fines or banned from returning. By the end he says in response to a traveler who overstayed her student visa by 4 months and was worried about being fined or banned (I’d like to point out that 5 months prior when she was still legal he would have advised her to stay), “I don’t understand why you think you did nothing wrong: You overstayed your visa by four months. I am sorry but I have nothing positive to tell you.” Complete 180. Unfortunately a little too late for the reader.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
Lesson #1: Don’t take advice from people online. Even folks billing themselves as “experts” are often dead wrong. Forums? Fact, gossip and rumor (which one will you get?). Or worse, things that sound correct but are outdated. You may even be able to confirm these details with other sites (incorrect information tends to flourish). Ultimately, take everything with a thick grain of kosher salt. In the vein of bad advice, here are some other cringe worthy suggestions (all from various threads of Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forums): • If you overstay your visa, try to leave the country via boat and avoid border control. • Or, if you overstay, pretend like you lost your passport and get a new one from your embassy. Without a stamp they’ll never know. • If you get caught, just pretend like you don’t have the money to pay the fee. • If you get caught and they ban you, just go home, change your last name and get a new passport issued. The main reason why all of these things are a bad idea? You can’t predict the outcome. Even if you hear 100 stories about people who got away with these or any number of schemes–you will still only probably be okay. Why? A certain number of people get busted but there’s no way to know percentages. Anecdotal information is largely skewed towards positive results– everyone loves telling and spreading a good story. The “I’m an idiot and can never go back to Indonesia” story just doesn’t play as well at parties. Times change. Policies can become more strict starting today. There’s no way to tell when it will become unsafe to break the law until enough people get busted and rumors spread, and word gets back to you– possibly too late.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. you could have a lot of problems. What can happen if you overstay? • • • • • • • • • Probably nothing You’ll pay the guy a bribe and he’ll stamp your passport and let you go Big fines and they’ll hold you until you pay them A “black mark” that will prevent you from ever getting a residency or work permit Jail until you’re deported or pay fines Banned from the country until you pay fines Banned from the country for a set period of time (think years) Banned permanently A combination of any number of the above depending on where you are (not all apply everywhere) Maybe everything will be fine. but depending on where you are or your luck.Computer systems change. wouldn’t it be horrible to be locked out of the country as you take a short trip back home. does scanning it tell them? What if that changes? Can they link your old passport number to your new one? How would you know. just be aware of the consequences (and realize one positive story doesn’t mean you’ll be all set).com . Even if they don’t look at your stamps and do the math. until it’s too late? Trying to get out of trouble by skipping the border or lying could massively backfire and compound your problems. If you’re serious about staying somewhere long term. all of your things left behind and unable to come back for 5 years? Do it if you must.
30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. There may be countries that allow you to extend your stay once you’re there. My husband and I are going through this process now. being a researcher. Here are some things to be aware of: There are multiple ways to qualify: being a student. Patience. The options vary widely from country to country and I only offer these items to illustrate that there is often more than one way to find your way into the country long term.How to really stay in a another country long term There are no short cuts. And like college it’s a pain in the butt but lots of people make it work. having an employer sponsor you and many more. we can’t even remember everywhere. Some of it seems downright draconian (give a police report for every town you lived in for the past 5 years– um what! for us. The general rule of thumb is to get your paperwork dealt with before you leave. making a substantial investment in the country. Some countries won’t let you stay or they’ll make the qualifying criteria very narrow (like being married to a citizen or investing huge amounts of money). Asking how to get a residency visa or work permit is like asking how to get into college. Lots of forms.) Every year people manage to get the legal permission needed to move abroad– you can too. For example. having family in country. having independent means. It depends on where you’re from. many places in Europe require you to get your residency visa from your home country’s embassy.com . where you want to go. being self-employed. Money. a task that requires you be in your home country. but it’s always better to at least research before you go. It takes time. Creativity. having a grandparent or parent born in that country. never mind track those places down. what qualifications you have and how much money you have.
The latter will often require (but not always!) an employer to sponsor you.” There will be a million of websites that offer visa submission services– something you’ll want to avoid. Where to start researching? I would look for the embassy website in your country for that country. so be careful.Getting permission to live somewhere and work somewhere are often very different things. Sometimes they get a little clever and make their site look like an official website. move abroad and get the work permit after you arrive– depending on where you are. it’s not a bad idea to talk to other expats who have gone through this process about specific steps you have questions on. Keep that in mind as you research and plan. I’d Google “Spain Embassy New York. I would always double check their advice with someone official. does it have to be on official letterhead?” much. It could take a year or longer in some cases to get approved. if I wanted to move to Spain. For example. It is possible to get the residency permit first. When it is a good idea to read forums and take online advice? After you’ve found the official application and guidelines for your country. The official embassy will never charge you to download forms or to read the rules.com . much better. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. You know that saying about eggs and baskets? It applies here. but “I have a question about the bank statement requirement. You could also be denied. “How do I get a residency permit for France” isn’t very good. Good questions get better answers– for example. You’ll want to try to find an expatspecific website/forum since general travel forums can be chock full of really misleading information. but they may be able to give you ideas on how to satisfy certain requirements.
There is no way to predict the level of coverage. Aetna and so on): Will they cover you overseas? Maybe. If you live somewhere other than the US. If you get stuck. It’s more expensive than where you live and we have very smart people working full time to try to cancel our insurance the moment we get seriously sick. ask HR for help. then you’re not getting reimbursed. but unless you’re on the border of Mexico or Canada and their hospital is closer than the nearest US one in an emergency or you’re on a cruise ship docked in US waters. you may want to look into additional travel insurance that specifically covers medical expenses. It will vary from plan to plan. Blue Cross. For Americans (be sure to read all the way through): Employer-based coverage (the plan offered by your work. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. like Cigna. It varies from state to state.GETTING HEALTH INSURANCE WHEN YOU TRAVEL Most of this section is directed at Americans. so be sure to read the fine print). Bootsnall has a great break down of the plans and what they cover and there is someone you can call if you have questions. Things to look for: Will they cover emergency evacuation? ER visits? Routine care? Is there a copay? Deductible (for instance you’re responsible for the first $1000 of care)? Will you just pay out-of network fees? Is there a cap on coverage? Medicare: Will they cover you overseas? Probably not. I know that some people are reading this from other countries.com . (Not all of these cover international non-US travelers. but here’s the deal… healthcare in the US is tough. until you drill down into your company’s policy.
there are risks of not carrying traditional insurance like pre-existing conditions rules and gaps in coverage.CHAMPVA/TriCare (Veteran’s ins): Will they cover you overseas? For Champva. for example breast cancer. be sure to look for the same things as employer based coverage: Will they cover emergency evacuation? ER visits? Routine care? Is there a copay? Deductible (for instance you’re responsible for the first $1000 of care)? Will you just pay out-of network fees? Is there a cap on coverage? So you don’t have overseas coverage or you’re under insured. Now what? The cheapest option is to buy something called Medical Travel Insurance. There are multiple plans. They follow the same reimbursement rules as Medicare. Pre-existing condition is a term used in the insurance industry that basically means you got sick before you they started insuring you. but more information is here. The same as your employer based coverage. this will be specific to your policy. probably not. These plans are typically for up to one or two years.com . See below for more on pre-existing conditions). so routine care for a known medical condition will not be covered. That means having no more 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. The only way to get around being excluded for a pre-existing condition is to have continuous coverage. probably yes. Depending on your age. (Most of these plans don’t pay for pre-existing conditions. Before purchasing. However. For TriCare. length of travel and which plan you choose you could pay between $40/mo for the under 30 set to over $200/mo for over 65. Even if you don’t detect the sickness. Bootsnall has a great roundup of options that I mentioned above for our non-US readers. Privately purchase insurance: It depends. if they can reasonably prove that your breast cancer started before they covered you and you should have detected it with routine exams (which you skipped because you were traveling) they can refuse to pay your claims (sometimes effectively stopping your treatment).
you can supplement with travel insurance for any emergencies and pay routine medical costs out of pocket (I’m making some assumptions here that we’re talking about insulin shots. Preventing a gap in coverage: Obviously if you have a medical condition. Otherwise. Now’s the time to double check and see if being a digital nomad– working remotely for a US based employer as you travel. Even if it doesn’t cover you overseas fully. but will cover you for expensive illnesses. Travel Medical Insurance is probably not going to be considered insurance for these purposes. And since it’s in the insurance company’s best interest to not approve you. If so. Every state has a limit on how long they can deny you. not chemotherapy). that you receive regular medical treatment for or you are of the age that you would be concerned about having gaps in coverage. then there are options for buying coverage. so if you (or your partner) get pregnant. 24+ months for others) so if it’s something minor. you may qualify for a high-risk pool in your state. is a good fit. it’s not forever. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. so eventually can get care (12 months for some. like diabetes. This isn’t to scare you. The good news is that if you did get denied for pre-existing condition.com . you do have other options. By the way. pregnancy is never a pre-existing condition. and then get insurance you’ll always be covered. which will allow you to buy insurance at a very high rate.than a 63 day gap in health insurance. First. The cheapest option is to get something through an employer. you can get coverage and finance your trip at the same time. I’m mentioning this because some people asked me about it and you should know what your worst-case-scenario is. they will not give you slack. you may be able to put it off.
com . You could save a few hundred bucks just for signing up. gaps in coverage aren’t a big deal. Some states in the US have a high-risk pool that makes it cheaper. because it’s not uncommon for them to require health insurance (often quoting specific coverage amounts) before giving you a residency visa or permit. acting. if you’re not able to find an employer or organization to get affordable insurance. you may have a hard time getting coverage or be quoted extremely high rates. For folks over 30 and more so every year. Until things change in the US.If this is not an option many professional and trade organizations offer their members insurance at a discounted rate. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. This is cheaper than buying on the open market. because they can buy in bulk. If you’re a lawyer. you can begin looking on the open market. writing. be sure to check out the member benefits. If you’re high risk. If you decide to pay out of pocket for normal hospital bills (as they come up) and given that you’re a normal healthy 20-year-old. Summary– What Should I Get? Medical travel insurance is always a good idea. because even if your health plan covers overseas ER visits. you’ll probably be okay as long as you have some medical travel insurance in case something major happens. I would personally be really scared about having my life-saving treatment postponed because it’s considered a pre-existing condition. like your employer does. have a trade group for design. I would have both traditional medical insurance plus travel insurance to cover those gaps. Finally. For the writers out there. boat making– anything. For those seeking permanent residency: Be sure to check the rules for your specific country. they may not cover everything (like medical evacuation). Media Bistro has an insurance plan for its members. For most people under 30. work in the medical profession.
you have a big expense. If you want research in advance. What’s the healthcare like overseas? I can’t speak to most places. the Expat Forum as an excellent round up by country.For those with medical conditions. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. it’s similar to paying off the mortgage for a year. because high-risk insurance can be extremely expensive. Hopefully you won’t have to find out.com . On the other hand. if you save for it. It really may be worth it to look seriously into finding an employer who you can manipulate/bribe/beg to let you work overseas. but I found the ER in Madrid to be very nice.
I enter all the data into Turbo Tax. How will you get your mail? Deposit checks? Pay your cell phone bill? Vote? Renew your license? Short answer: online. which is one of about six online companies that offer a mail scanning service. My experience with ECM over the last year has been flawless and they have hands down the best customer support. If I have a refund. scan it and when you log onto their website. Jackson St. Then if you want to open it.PAYING BILLS WHILE AWAY AND OTHER SUNDRY TASKS Ah yes. get a pdf copy for my records and electronically submit. ECM will also deposit checks or ship your mail to you.com . Getting Your Mail I currently use a product called Earth Class Mail. Be sure to search around for the best deal. But I’ll probably be changing companies this year. wherever you are (for a fee). you can see each piece of mail you received. it is deposited directly into my bank account. It’s genius. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. All online. I get my W2’s and 1099’s mailed to me. they’ll scan every page for you. the little details that threaten to upend any good plan. they receive it. Paying Taxes This can be done 100% online and in combination with a tax program like Turbo Tax and your online mail service you should have no problems filing. #7363 in Seattle. WA) you forward your mail there. Or you can have them shred it. because there are some cheaper alternatives. since they doubled their price ($10/mo to $20/mo). I have my mail service scan them in and online I take a look at the numbers. Here’s how it works: they assign you a mailing address (mine is 93 S.
I’d suggest getting 100% online with your bill paying before you leave. Finally when the license hits your online mail box. Then it’s easy to vote from overseas and online. you can pay to have it shipped overnight to your current location. you’ll want to do that. just in case you need to transfer money on the road (it’s cheaper and easier than Western Union if you need someone to send you emergency funds– although it can take 3-5 days to land in your bank account) Vote! First.gov/ Renewing Your Driving License Yes. When the time comes go to http://www. Sometimes there are forms to sign (in the case of EFT) and it’s just easier to handle before you go. (You can probably only do this once. The shipping may cost you but it’s cheaper than flying back home to renew. Next follow your state’s DMV steps for online renewal. you should probably do this before you go. This means going through each bill and figuring out what they’ll accept. using the online pay feature (if supported) with my bank or setting an automatic EFT. I’d also set up a PayPal account and have your bank account verified with them.Paying Bills There are three ways I’ve had to pay bills back home. Calling the company directly (using Skype) to make a payment with my debit card. First. they typically want to update your picture for the next renewal). are you registered? Yeah. Depositing Checks 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. but it is possible to do it online for many states.com . change your address to your new online mail box.fvap. so the license gets sent to the correct place.
but the fees are just too high. Skype also allows you to have those incoming calls forwarded to your local cell phone. they can still use their credit card to send you money) or through direct deposit. please let me know. they wouldn’t have very 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. The cost to pay out of pocket was often cheaper than our copay back home. The big problem? Getting the drugs. To be fair. Earth Class Mail (and other services) offer check depositing services. Or if it was. Making and Receiving Phone Calls If you haven’t heard of Skype. if you get mailed a check.As I mentioned above. Getting Prescriptions Overseas This one is tricky. it has some problems.com . But what if you’re traveling through a country that has slow internet everywhere? If you need to make work related calls. it’s so easy to get a prescription in many parts of the world (walk into a pharmacy and tell the doctor on call what you want). If anyone knows a better way. However. I’ve also tried to use my Blackberry overseas. go check it out. The amazing thing is. even with AT&T’s socalled world travelers program. it’s not all Skype’s fault– your internet speed is going to be a big factor. you can still connect. We have struggled with this as my husband takes meds for ADD. Personally I prefer to avoid that and try to get all of my payments either through PayPal (convenient even if the payer doesn’t have an account. so even if you’re offline. He uses a specific brand and it works. But it wasn’t available in many places. I highly suggest getting a cheap local pay-as-you-go phone as you travel. I use their paid service so that I have a permanent phone number people can call no matter where I am in the world. but a little shaky for business calls. It’s perfect for calling back home.
It’s not the most elegant solution. and depending on your internet speed it could be significant. Now. travel rocks. Seeing Your Mom (or other loved one) Yes. who then mails them to us overseas. we get a three month supply in advance (the most our insurance will allow) and have them delivered to a family member back home. There will be a lag. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. so it might behoove you to make sure that: a) your mom has a web cam and knows how to use it (before you go) and b) that you have a web cam that you’ve tested. There are a lot of programs out there for video chat (Skype has it. but you’ll probably have family just dying to see your face.com . but chatting via video is a very nice way to keep in touch. so does Microsoft Live Messenger). He was able to get a cheap $10 web cam attachment for his PC that works just fine. My laptop has one built in and I use it like crazy with my husband when we’re apart.much. We’d go to half a dozen pharmacies in each city trying to track it down– not fun. but it will guarantee you have the exact prescription you need. Or they’d only give us 10mg instead of his prescribed 30mg.
well… come on. More Money = Less Time = No Travel Don’t believe me? Ask anyone with a lot of money how much they travel. First.you buy a little advertising to make sure people will click through. Christine. Then ask anyone who travels how much money they have. but because no one does. Not even Tim Ferriss pulls that off. Being more efficient is one thing. how do I make more money? Because that’s the only thing I need right now. Retirees don’t count. I could set up a website to sell something. let me quickly tell you why more money and travel don’t necessarily go hand in hand. you’re going to make more money in less time.HOW TO MAKE MORE MONEY I’m writing about it today not because I have some secret advice to share with everyone. Yes. “Traveling sounds great. But the whole passive income thing is kind of a joke. but first. it’s almost impossible to achieve unless you’re willing to compromise something else. but first you have to test (straight from the book). Neither do lottery winners. Sitting back and watching a healthy wage roll in on literally four hours a week.” The problem is. Passive income is the result of active work I love Tim Ferriss. How many hours per week do the people who make double your annual salary work? Ah. I love what the 4-Hour Workweek has done for so many people: it’s made the idea of redesigning your life possible.com . but you’ve figured it out. I’ve received a lot of emails and comments about this. as far as goals go. you monitor results. you 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. I’ll get to that in a minute. You’re going to earn income passively. along the lines of. You run with your idea.
so he doesn’t count that time (as he says on his own blog). Calculate your per hour rate.com . you’ll outspend your earnings. Will you love your passive business? Ok. knows this too. The added benefit of starting a business is that you can also outsource your responsibilities for less and by building efficiencies you can profit off of other people’s work. How to make more money… Transition from your day job to self employment. And Tim Ferriss. the wonderful marketer that he is. But when? In a year? In two? Are you really earning passive income if it’s the result of slowly building up your business over a few years? I don’t think so. you have to cut out the middle man: your boss. but unless you get control of it. fine. One idea fails. a learning curve and a bit of luck. He loves it. If you truly want to increase your earning potential. that will only take you. Don’t spend as much. As long as the company makes money off of you. I know spending feels like a reward for all that hard work. I’ll guess it’s about 10 hours a 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Forget for a moment that you have to figure out how to use Google adwords or build a website or how to set up a buy now button or a dummy sales page or save enough money to pay someone else to do it or learn what click through rate is good enough to start your business. let’s get to it. you’ll always be making less than you’re worth on the open market. to getting out at the end of the day. If you’re working a full-time job. from getting into your car in the morning. This all takes time. no matter what you make. Cut your spending in half and you just gave yourself a 50% raise. He’s built his brand with hard work and lots of hours.make a decision on whether or not to proceed. calculate the hours you spend. 30 minutes? But then. another succeeds. what. In most careers there is a limit to how much can make. You’re really smart. what if your idea doesn’t work? How many ideas will it take? Eventually you will find a business that is profitable and requires no hand holding.
use that accounting degree to start your business. Do a sample run. ditch what doesn’t. but also those networking events that haven’t resulted in a promotion in five years or spending a few extra hours at work each week with no raise. It’s tempting. but don’t do it. Try it out as a side 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. monitor the results. It doesn’t have to be an on-the-nose interpretation of it. Try something. but it wasn’t until after I did the math. The problem is it doesn’t work like that. If you’re a freelancer. this number is your cost to your client minus your overhead. then move on. I did this once when I was a manager at a small publishing firm and came up with $13/hr. and which ones stink until you take some time playing with the real-world applications. They are waiting for the big idea.day or more. even the boring ones. is this helping me move forward or is it giving me the illusion of action? Am I spinning my wheels and seeing very little movement forward? It’s time to treat your income like the big experiment that it is. Test the idea on some people. It was my first big job of college. for instance. Then divide your take home pay by the number of hours you spend “working”. Don’t just turn your hobby into your business. The way to figure things out is to get in there. you might combine football and accounting (having a website with exhaustive stats and performance predictions) to give you an edge over other folks. So instead of starting an ill-advised career writing about high school football. Keep what works.com . Instead use the skills you have. Cut loose those activities that aren’t moving you forward. because I know people in my life who have been talking about starting their own business for… ever. that I realized my new 80+ hour job wasn’t actually paying me that well. We’re not just talking about low paying clients. as your base. Have they started? Nope. Ask yourself. You’re not informed enough to know which ideas are big. This always kills me. The first question should always be: what is my competitive edge? Don’t wait for the big idea.
That’s why I waited until I was over 30 to do something about it. The money thing. It’s not going to give you permission to travel. It’s you. First. I finally hit all my financial goals and I was left thinking. “Huh? That’s it?” I still had to go through the same process as everyone else… having money didn’t change a thing. but the truth is you already have plenty. you have to get your hands dirty. It doesn’t take more than a minimum wage job and a year to save. no more and no less than getting your passport or booking a flight. Make more money if you want. Put it on the list.project for a few months. It’s not going to change your life for you. You’ll get that next raise or promotion or big bonus check and it doesn’t mean a thing.com . Oh. You have to want to travel. and It’s Not the Money Preventing You From Traveling I used to think like that too. You will learn so much and then it will come to you… the big idea that changes everything. No one ever has enough. but keep it there. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. but don’t let it become more than it is– a means of exchange so you can buy your life back. it’s just a thing. You have to commit to doing it. It’s a detail to be handled.
to make your job search easier when you return. You’ll need versions of your resume that show off your staff skills as well as your management skills. The benefit is that in a year or two when you return from traveling. If you’re planning on rejoining the 95 there are some things you can do now. Chances are the last time you updated your resume was when you got your current job. However. If you work in a field or at a level where headhunters will contact you. it’s a good way to have a base of contacts for when you return. For instance you may go for a senior staff position if the pay is right. If they email you.” (If the emails are too much. If you don’t already. Create or update your profile on the job boards. it won’t be possible to secure future employment before you leave. Keeping in touch with former coworkers is a great way to scope out potential jobs in your industry. you might want to create detailed notes so you can do that when you return or write a few versions before you go.GETTING A JOB WHEN YOU RETURN For most travelers intending to return to the workforce. that’s not to say you should do nothing.com . “Hey. If you typically go after several types of jobs and tweak your resume to fit for each one. I’m not looking now. those coworkers may have moved on too and you can still contact them. but you’d really like to be at the management level. In a year from now it’ll be tough (if not impossible) to remember all of the details of your current projects. Should you have an active Monster account while you’re away? Absolutely. but check in with me again in X months. especially as they move to new companies. Get personal with your coworkers. Now is the time to get it absolutely up-to-date. it’s okay to say. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. you can set up a new Gmail account for your job search and leave the emails unread until you return). Update your resume now. try to get as many of your coworker’s personal emails (rather than just their work email).
and your references’ phone numbers (and personal emails in case they change jobs). suckers!” as you flip your desk and run screaming out the door. performed professionally. Best to play nice. because you can see where former coworkers are working just by checking their profile. your coworkers will never forget you if you announce your departure with. It may seem obvious now.com . and believe me. Some people get recommendations. Today’s coworker could be tomorrow’s interviewing manager. LinkedIn is a great tool for keeping in touch with everyone you know on the job front. Or they may want to speak directly with those people you’ve worked with before. A quiet exit. Depending on your career level. so that you can link to those people who are currently using the site. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. will buy you goodwill when you need it most: in your future job hunt. Say goodbye with grace and humility. a written recommendation may help you get your next job. Go ahead and connect LinkedIn with your work email before you leave. I’ve known a few people who have quit dramatically. but I think this can wait until you return and it’ll be a way to let people know you’re currently looking for work. Most people remember to get recommendations before they leave. “See ya later.Create or update your LinkedIn profile. It’s particularly useful for job search networking. but in a year you may have completely forgotten some of the routine details you take for granted now. but also email yourself the numbers of your HR department. your employer’s address. Get recommendations and the little details now. the general phone line at your company.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
HOLY CRAP, WHAT HAVE I DONE? (PRE-TRIP JITTERS)
If you haven’t reached this critical milestone in your planning– don’t worry it will come. A sudden realization of the weight of this life change will come crashing down on you like a bucket of cold water. You may become momentarily religious, “Dear God…” You’ll think some combination the following things: • • • • Am I crazy? Who am I to think I can do this? I am going to screw up my entire life. I am just being (pick your favorites) selfish/immature/irresponsible/unrealistic/foolish.
Then the real fun begins. Your imagination, sensing an opportunity to shine, will step in. Not only will you be traveling a world filled with danger, everything will go wrong and you’ll be powerless to fix any of it. You’ll be homeless and penniless; ruing the day you ever decided to travel the world. You are freaking out. Don’t worry it happens to everyone. You are not crazy. Crazy is never taking a chance on yourself, living a life based on fear. You can do this. Once you get out there, you’ll see it’s surprisingly easy to do. It only sounds hard. You’re not going to screw up your life. You made your life what it is and you’ll still have those same skills and qualities that got you where you are now. Give yourself some credit. Your life isn’t as fragile as you
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
think. Let go. When you release something you’re holding onto because of fear, you make room for a surprising number of positive things. About being selfish or immature– it can be painful take something we really want. It feels like we haven’t earned it. We can’t claim it for ourselves because we’re waiting for someone to give it to us. They aren’t coming. The difference between the people who live the life they want and everyone else? They just do it. They make the decision, come up with a game plan and make it reality. Just like you’re doing now. This is the hardest part. You’re amazing. You’re almost there. You can do this. You may come back to this feeling several times during your planning. When you sell the house. When you sell your things. The day you quit your job. I stayed up late on many occasions, trying to convince my husband to let me cancel the whole thing. I can promise you one thing: I swear that you will feel completely different once you leave. You’ll be amazed at how stressed you were before and how far away and distant that feels. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this years ago. Everything will change, but you won’t want to change a thing. The hardest part is the first step. Traveling? That’s cake.
Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com
FAMILY AND FRIENDS 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com .
If you can toss in some details about the amazing food or nightlife or sites to be seen. Unlike our previous trips. no set destination. it can be a source of tension when one person can’t wait to go. we had no plan. We found hidden beaches. I had an apartment 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. say Cypress. we didn’t just sling on our backpacks and head out the door. (especially if they are related to your partner’s interests) this can help too. but it takes time and compromise on both sides. Compromise on the mode of travel After I quit my job. Even if you both love traveling. Before you throw in the towel on convincing your wander-averse partner.CONVINCING YOUR LOVED ONE TO TRAVEL TOO Some couples are naturals at sharing their love of travel. For others. I’ll dig up the best photos I can find. Give ‘em a taste Planning a short vacation. met locals and just enjoyed the island breeze as we zipped around. Flickr is your friend. For my husband and I it was a week riding a Vespa around Bermuda. here are some things to try: Wet their appetite In this case. may help your partner better understand and appreciate what you’re proposing. A photo is often much more powerful in conveying why you should visit than any travel guide. tiny restaurant shacks. traveling in the style you imagine your long term trip to be like. you can have very different ideas of what that means.com . no maps. My husband and I worked through finding a travel balance that works for us. Often when I’m proposing a new destination. and the other is perfectly happy to stay. A really great vacation that illustrates the beauty of spontaneous travel can get them craving more.
Be willing to handle all of the details In the beginning. he stayed behind and enjoyed easing into travel at his own pace. so he couldn’t travel. The good news is that with travel experience. Last summer. and Lisbon. If your partner is balking at backpacking around. they may be feeling some anxiety about everything that could go wrong. your partner will become more and more comfortable with the often ambiguous nature of travel– my husband had no problem backpacking last spring with me through Central America with little more than a LP and a vague notion of heading north. it is okay to travel alone. Give them the reliable information they need to be convinced. locals are 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. you’ll find it to be a completely different experience from traveling as a couple– you’ll make tons more friends. Paris. but a couple of US travel advisories (there are no “stay away” warnings for Croatia) eliminated that concern. my husband was worried about me traveling to Croatia. Assuage their fears Are they concerned about safety? Getting sick from the water? The expenses being more than you can afford? This is where doing the research (with documentable. By the end of the summer. he couldn’t wait to travel more with me. but being willing to explain how it will all work. we decided to send me to Central America for Spanish lessons. Instead of sulking around the house. In fact. If they can’t.rented and waiting for us in Madrid for the summer. the idea of renting a villa in Italy for the summer might be more palatable. you still can Last fall.com . Addressing this proactively will take some of the energy out of the resistance. reliable sources) can help. While I took short trips out to Dublin. my husband was helping his dad with his house. or they just can’t go with you. this meant not only taking care of all the travel plans. If your partner is hesitant. If you’re unable to convince your partner.
more likely to approach you and there’s a value to being able to travel 100% independently. be patient It’s a big decision to travel long term. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. Finally. Some folks take a while to warm up to the idea. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever travel or that you’ll be doing it solo forever. your partner is bound to want to share that with you.com . If you love it. You’re likely to learn a lot about yourself and return happier and refreshed.
albeit a bit unsettling if you weren’t expecting it. Your mother’s fork clinks against her plate as she drops her hand.com shared this story. You brace yourself for the cheers of congratulations. Finally. Their response: Forty-five full seconds of silence. You’ll read dozens of stories of others who have done this and loved it. You might feel exhilarated. Dead silence. Then.com . They might try to avoid talking about it.” This is completely natural. It’s time. you’re prepared. maybe even years. You might worry about money or safety. Their first response is more about how they 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. They might guilt you or get angry. Confident. You’ll do some research and reassure yourself. Self-assured. “What. Try to remember that while you’ve been thinking and planning for this for months. “Pass the potatoes. “You’re what?” Craig from thewidewideworld. then panicked.” And they never mentioned it again for three full months. You have dinner with family and you make the big announcement. “My wife and I told her parents over Christmas dinner that we were going to travel around the world for a year. you just want to run away?” They might bring up concerns about your career or money or responsibilities back home. They might tell you it’s a bad idea or question your intentions.TELLING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY As you plan for your escape you might experience several emotions. they are just finding out now. mouth still agape. You are Zen Let all of this roll off of you.
” Timing the Conversation The best time to start telling people is when you’re solid in your decision and have made major steps (like buying an airline ticket. give them plenty of time to adjust. You’ve decided something else would be better. It’s okay to address it. but sometimes. The first time you mention it. before you’ve had a chance to work it out for yourself. to someone on the receiving end. but try to do so diplomatically. “I understand that this might take some time for you to get used to the idea. Inherent in the decision to travel long term is an implied judgment call. others laugh it off. When They Don’t Come Around You broach the subject. that can feel like: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. before you’re committed could work– or it could establish you as a bit flaky and make more serious conversations difficult later. Or worse they could talk you out of it. your only job is to answer their questions and ignore everything else. some people in your life will have a hard time supporting your decision. Some people get angry. let their negative comments roll off your back. setting a date or saving a good portion of money).com . Now is not the time to accuse them of not supporting you or letting yourself participate in an argument. It means that you’re close to leaving. If you’re looking for a benchmark– about three months before your departure date seems to be a good balance. but with plenty of time for people to adjust to the idea and say their goodbyes. Testing the idea on other people.respond to change than about you. Sometimes. It has very little to do about whether they will eventually come around.
In fact. but saying they aren’t important.com . Have compassion for your loved ones. you’re saying your old life was broken (which included them) • You’re not just giving up material possessions. Except… well. you might not think so once you’re on the road. really what they are saying is “don’t go!” It’s possible they might not support it until you come back home. You can’t force it.” 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. This might manifest itself as comments like. Let them feel and behave how they want. “I’m quitting my job/selling the house/starting a business and traveling the world. just rip it off. Even though they are being a bit hurtful. Say the words and it’s done. they may be so excited that you get multiple offers to meet you on your travels. Overstaying in a few locations can put you off schedule and force you to rush (when you’d rather stay) or skip things in order to meet people on certain dates. And Yes You Have to Do It It’s like taking off a band-aid. and hopefully they’ll come around over time. you’re leaving them. “It must be nice” or “I’d love to travel but I’ve got to work” or “Not everyone can go jet-setting around the world” or “Once you’re done with this phase…. • You’re not just changing your life.” Don’t drive yourself crazy over it.• You’re not just leaving. Oh My Gosh. In your excitement to see friends and family on the road. you could be one of the lucky ones with a super supportive and instantly understanding family. This is great. you might be creating a situation where you’ll later resent the imposition. We’re So Going to Visit You! For all the warnings I’ve issued about the potential negative reactions.
com .WHEN YOU TRAVEL 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
Following your instincts when picking where to stay. but now it’s time for a little chaos theory. You will have traded your hard earned freedom for an arbitrary schedule you created. one week. will you end up loving it or wanting to leave as soon as possible? Did you meet someone? Did they share their plans to bike southern France and invite you along? Is it hotter than you thought and you want to head north now and finish the southern route when it’s cooler? Are you running out of money and want to skip over to SE Asia ahead of schedule? Here you are two months before you leave knowing none of this and you wonder: should you book two days. That’s for vacationers. Blindly heading into the night to see what finds you. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. But we don’t quit our jobs or become digital nomads to follow a schedule.com . Allowing kismet to pick your next destination. No more and sometimes less. glorious thing. Until you get there. Travel is a messy. A Vague Notion is Enough A good travel plan knows where you start and generally the direction you’re going in. It’s also a great for a backup plan. you’ll always be handicapped in your understanding. We’re travelers. you’ll never be able to predict how you’ll feel. Be careful. How long to stay in Paris? That depends. you’ll be traveling but stuck. Giving chance complete control over that evening’s dinner. We’ve been talking about planning for travel. who’ll you’ll meet or the chance encounters you’ll have. It makes you feel more comfortable. If you plan too tightly and can’t ditch everything for the unexpected adventure.THE ART OF UNPLANNING The world is massive. We want something more than rigid itineraries and daily activity lists. a month? Even if you read every travel guide. It makes taking the leap possible. Planning is a wonderful thing.
even if you’re not sure. A plan is just a plan. If you’re not feeling a place. You don’t feel bad that you didn’t spend enough time somewhere. you leave.com . Like a tourist seeks items on their list you seek experiences. show up somewhere and wait for something to happen… probably nothing will. you might be used to the kind of travel that involved checking monuments and museums off a list. it’ll be the seaside fish stew you made with the local who rented you a bike that morning. Say yes. You’re Searching for Experiences If you don’t plan. Or it’ll be a sun-drenched day. Do something on a whim. The most memorable times of your travels won’t be at the foot of some attraction. But Don’t Commit A plan is what you follow when nothing else interesting happens. Maybe you may have countries on your list that you skip altogether in order to spend another month where you are. in a spot you only found because you got incurably lost. Your mindset needs to change. snapping the same picture as a million other tourists. but discovered something more beautiful and rare than your intended destination. You don’t compare yourself to other travelers. Get lost. You start a conversation and let it naturally unfold. No. so you can collapse after a long day of travel. but only if something better doesn’t occur to you. You’re open to anything. As a former-vacationer. You might pick out a hotel for the first night. You might make plans to take a certain train or bus to the next town. Plan. It’ll be the family you stayed with because of a chance encounter and helping the kids set the table and practicing their language. It’s not what happens. Let Go of Expectations 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. How do these things happen? You seek them.You Are Not Looking for Sites. but the next day you might walk around town to see if there’s somewhere better. You smile at people and make eye contact.
Are you wasting it? No! It’s okay to be disappointed. things are slower. When people ask where you’re going next. You’re perfectly happy skipping the 100th old church in order to play chess in the street.As you travel. just walking around.at the time . what the menu actually says or what kind of food you’ll be eating. You might leave that night or in a month. and especially not what a pre-trip you thought your travels would be. like.com . and then letting it go. it’ll be there for you later. It’s about feeling it. or living in a monastery with the sisters in 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. In fact you’ll likely feel all kinds of negative emotions at some point in your trip. The New You You walk out the door in search of breakfast. You spend the first day in any new place. You have that story… or a few of them: the month on a strangers yacht in the south pacific. “I don’t know. You always seem to be meeting people. You might have had big ideas about how many pictures you would take or how fluent you’d become or how you’d actually end up spending your day. So be lazy one day and skip the big important thing. And in the end.doing as much as possible. I was thinking south”. You imagined this big trip for so long and now the phantom memories of those days cloud what you’re really doing. Why? Because this isn’t about what other people think. Now on the road. Someone asks you offhandedly if you want to hike the volcano tomorrow morning and you say yes. you feel a little bad. you might find old expectations haunting you. with no idea of where a place might be. but you don’t give an end date. It’s not about not feeling those things. you offer an annoyingly vague (to the asker) response. You sign into your hostel. But still. You won’t die. More than likely you imagined squeezing every glorious drop out of this experience and that meant . even though morning is only 4 hours away. You should do whatever you want. making friends and bringing unlikely groups together.
perfect silence or working at a vineyard just because. It’s those things you remember. what you’ll consider the best times.com . 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. It’s the adventure you never planned.
there were 387 homicides of US citizens overseas.000 in the US. Also. but if I’m going out for an evening.com . but they aren’t meant to keep us locked up in our rooms at night or fearing the smile of every stranger. Minimizing your losses in case of being robbed Keep your money. In 2008 alone there were over 14. when I tell them that I travel. I will admit that I occasionally harbor some of those irrational fears too. Sometimes. However it’s important to still travel with confidence. These fears keep us sharp. when I’m traveling. passport and credit cards somewhere safe. there’s no accounting for plain dumb luck. You’re always supposed to have a passport on you. so that I can’t possibly have mine stolen. In the last three years. like an interior pocket. and for a flash I imagine an unlikely scenario: them grabbing me in broad daylight in a busy street and robbing me at gun point. Other times. I’m more likely to die from a car accident and I’m almost equally likely to drown or commit suicide than being a target of a violent crime. when a local is overly nice to me I wonder what they want. I become paranoid and imagine someone is following me. a money belt or locked up in your hotel room. We can’t control the outcome by being afraid.COMMON SENSE SAFETY WHILE TRAVELING Many people are concerned for me. Even family and friends living in Boston have concerns about me getting raped/murdered/robbed even though those things are more likely to happen to me in Boston than they are while traveling. In fact. I’ll bring a photocopy of my passport. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
There is no way to completely avoid it. Most of the time they won’t lift you up to steal your stuff. Affluence is affluence and trying to send socio-economic signals saying that you’re not upper middle class. So sure. eventually. stash the rest away. Listen. if you travel enough– so stop blaming the victim.com . but for the most part this falls under the same rule as looking like a tourist. Don’t leave your stuff unattended: Yeah. sit on them. Even the stinky hippie backpacker ones. Don’t wear fancy clothes or otherwise look affluent. Keep the most valuable things physically on you and if you go to sleep. So yes. If you’re going anywhere. Avoiding getting robbed Ha. You are a foreigner and foreigners have money. You have to trust and hope. leave the suit made out of 100 dollar bills at home. You can try these: Don’t look like a tourist: too late you already do. Yes. even your trying looks like a tourist. MA– don’t you think there are subtle cues that are going to be screaming “Hey this guy is not from around here”.Never put anything you don’t want to lose in a pocket. Leominster. it’s just money. Besides. a bus or a train. Three perfectly good reasons to be separated from your luggage and three great times for the other travelers and/or the staff to rifle through your stuff. but more like usedcar-Target-shopping lower middle class to people who make $400 a year is kind of a waste of time. Only carry as much cash as you need. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. MA vs. but don’t be surprised if they do that too. especially if the zippers face away from your body. this works great until you start traveling. this makes sense if you’re wearing diamond studded tiaras. but I kind of doubt that pickpockets are that discriminating. I can tell if someone is from Revere. Everyone gets robbed. that means taking a flight. maybe not wearing a t-shirt with the country’s name on it might help. backpack or purse. but otherwise don’t worry about it.
so don’t buy a safety whistle or pepper spray just yet. If you’re traveling with kids. saying he opened for Bjork. If you’re going out drinking.com . He kept telling us stories of him as a musician. keep them close in crowds. but then later it was Red Hot Chile Peppers. but my friend got completely hosed on a huge drink bill and some other not-sonice-stuff. Professional Con Artists. Then he invited us out for drinks and bought us all a round. Help them if you want. We saw him around the rest of the week working his circuit. Oops. Did she drug you? Maybe. Someone at your hostel got robbed! Or an American approaches you on the street they “have been robbed and just need some money to get back home”. She is smoking hot and just wants to hang out and get drunk. doing drugs? Just saying. Probably she just got you drunk then cleaned out your cash. Could we cover him? I left after a bit. and Dumb Things We Do If you want to worry about something.Scams. As For Everything Else You already have the common sense you need. Hot Girls. Or they are having money Western Unioned to them but it won’t get here until tomorrow… can you loan them a few dollars? Probably they are lying. take a cab home instead of walking the streets late at night. You wake up the next morning with a bad headache and empty wallet. An incredibly hot girl wants to talk to you (you’re a guy). there are some common ways to separate tourists from their money. You know. but do they look like a regular traveler or are they a little rough around the edges? Maybe living on the street. common sense stuff you’d probably do anyway. his wallet was missing. Sometimes it might feel like everyone just wants your money. Hmm. I met one of these in Cancun on my way to Cuba. but mostly they’re willing to just 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
You’ll sense when someone is trying to sell you.com . but only for a bit. even when there is no product on the table. You’ll spend more time fending off vendors than watching out for criminals. It will hurt and make you mad to have something stolen. You’ll get better at reading people. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.overcharge you on knickknacks for it. World poverty is a serious issue but for the most part the people you meet will be more helpful and kind than you could possibly deserve. After a bit you’ll feel just as safe as you do at home.
com Pay per show: Netflix. Or The Daily Show. curl up with my laptop and just veg out.com Pay/download: Amazon.com 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. (Disclaimer: this is for information purposes only. I’m out and about most of the day.) Assumption: you have a laptop and an internet connection. let me tell you a little secret.WATCHING TV/MOVIES OVERSEAS I like The Office. I don’t care.com PBS: pbs.com .com CBS: cbs. Sometimes when I’m tired. I’ll go back to the hostel.org Comedy Central: comedycentral. Direct Downloads NBC: hulu. Or the BBC’s The IT Crowd. I haven’t owned a TV in years. Oh and you can too. I’m not suggesting anyone break any copyright laws or download anything illegally. When I travel. I read at least 3 books a week. Now before you get all travel self righteous on me. very far away from a TV or any other kind of passive entertainment. But if I want to watch a little good old fashion tee vee.com (Hulu also has programming from many other channels plus free movies) ABC: abc. I’m going to do it.
You can find everything from movies to HBO series to last night’s Glee. making it look like you’re coming from where ever that server is. Project Free TV and Sidereel are two sites that collect the uploads from various sites and just post the links.Depending on the site. Torrent Download 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. an easy search online can tell you the latest methods. How do they know where you are? When you connect to the internet you are assigned an IP address.com have gotten smart to this and have blocked people with IPs from Hotspot shield too. you may be blocked from accessing programming because of your location if it’s outside the US. which is just a series of numbers. (Tip: look at the date of the post. websites like hulu. There are sites that do this for free. But. not your actual location. Other methods are TOR. which is a free download or Hidemynet. then read the latest comments. “How to watch Hulu overseas” should give you lots of results. How to get around blocked sites You need to hide your location and make it look like you’re in the US. Hotspot Shield is a good example.) Indirect streaming People are constantly uploading the latest episodes to sites like Youtube.com . These numbers are issued by location so it’s easy for a website programmer to write code to block people from certain countries.com but these days they tend to get pulled faster than you can even watch them. which connects you to a third party server and they connect to your destination website.com which costs $5 per month. Since the technology changes so often. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a VPN. What worked six months ago might not work now.
com. They are often cam versions of movies with subtitles. If your internet is very slow. Oh and expect a 6 month to 1 year delay from US release to availability. To find the torrent file.com. or you want to watch it later offline (like on a plane or bus) then downloading the full program first as a torrent is the way to go.com . which means that it downloads as you watch. demonoid. iTunes and Amazon offer video on-demand services. There is software that handles this: vuze. Go local You can always get copies of movies locally. The way torrents work is that many people have a copy of the file and you download a little from each person. so you shouldn’t have a significant wait to start watching. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.com and limewire. sites like thepiratebay. where ever you are. This means you can buy an episode or a movie and download it to watch immediately. Pay and watch Netflix.com have lots of listings.So far we’ve talked about streaming.
You’ll be intimidated by customs you don’t know and navigating a language you don’t speak. Holy crap. saving. it’s finally here. Later. aware of the moment. compromise. You’re ready to go. you’ll learn what most travelers conclude: the experience is almost as much about your attitude as where you are. but don’t make it torture. You’ll be frustrated and tired. You’ll be freaking traveling the world. There’s a lot of advice out there about how best to travel or how to blend in or get the most from each day. THIS IS HAPPENING Everything is arranged. Have fun. you might look back at this as best time of your life. what’s the point? If that means changing plans. If you don’t love it. research. Laugh. There are travelers who have seen more or are better read or have a distinct ability to make everything they’ve done sound way more 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless. It’ll never be the same as the first time. You’ll be overwhelmed and amazed.TAKE A BREATH. Push yourself. My best advice is to try everything. Those things back home that made you a little shy or easily frustrated or quick to make friends– you packed those with you too. Sure there are travelers who live on $4 a day or spend six months learning a language spoken only by 200 people. and imaging what will be. After so much planning. But as you travel.com . skipping destinations. until you don’t want to. Be yourself. You’ll feel like you’re floating above yourself. You’ll be giddy. The big fat leap. You’ll get sick from the change in food and schedule. However I’m a strong believer that there is no best way to travel. You’ll only change as much as you let yourself. splurging on a bed with high-thread-count sheets from time to time– don’t worry that you’re not doing it right.
We’re all tourists. Strange food disgusting. Sometimes that will be hard. The only thing you have to worry about right now is enjoying it. Any distinctions are the constructs of travelers trying to elevate themselves above the rabble.com . Don’t forget to send me a postcard. Getting lost annoying.cool. Even the most experienced traveler is just another clumsy foreigner in a new land. We’re all out there. But if you can laugh it off and chalk it up as part of the big adventure. But are they better travelers? I don’t buy it. you can officially call yourself a traveler. Traveling can be exhausting. 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World Copyright 2009 Christine Gilbert http://almostfearless.
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