Although we have a blog open to the public, we’re typically quite private by nature & we’ve hesitated to add this page. We’re doing so, however, with the idea that perhaps one of our readers will find motivation in the shockingly low amount of money it takes to live, travel, and learn, if that’s what one wishes to do. If you can use our experiences as inspiration, we’d be honored. If you’ve already got a good thing going, well, keep on keepin’ on!
Our observation of society is that too many people get caught in the daily grind and convince themselves that buying new possessions is making them happy, when underneath there’s a set of true aspirations in their souls that are going unfulfilled. We’re not on a mission to change anyone, but if you’re looking to change on your own, we challenge you to start thinking about TIME as the king of currencies, not MONEY. But, everyone needs money to live, right? So, without further ado…
How are we financially able to travel around the world?
The short answer: Very focused spending using income from rental homes.
The longer answer: We’ve done a lot of thinking about what makes us happy in life and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t. Over the past few years we’ve made a concerted effort to downsize our lives in order to pay more attention to the things we truly enjoy. Examples of things that have made the cut are travelling, learning new things, and spending quality time with each other. Many things did not make the cut, like having a big home or owning lots of material possessions. We don’t buy many tangible items. We share one vehicle, a 1998 Toyota Camry named Carl with 245,000 miles on him as of February 2016. That’s not to imply we feel poor or deprived. Quite the opposite; we feel privileged and grateful.
We are purposefully underemployed, meaning we are capable of producing much more income if we’d like, but have made the choice that our time & mobility are of higher priority than having more income. We live on about $30,000 US per year. It’s not a function of being limited to that amount; it’s a function of recognizing that any more than that, in our experience, has not added to our happiness. A single person could easily travel the world quite comfortably on less than $2,000 US per month.
It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.
-William of Occam
Further research on this topic and sources that have inspired & challenged us:
The book 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss