Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where Are You Going THIS Time?

Rob and I travel...a lot.  Part of what drew us together in the first place was our mutual desire to explore the world and we have been lucky - and committed - enough to fill almost every vacation time with a special trip.    
Every year, one (or more) of my friends will ask, "Where are you going THIS time?"  and I've been asked on more than one occasion how I manage to do this on an educator's salary.

This was our very first international trip together - 1999 - halfway up the Eiffel Tower 
I think the key is setting your priorities.  Rob and I set a goal of traveling, so that is focus for our finances.  We both drive used cars.  (Rob is a master at finding the right car owned by the right owner!  Our last purchase was a low mileage car owned by a private pilot who maintained it as if his life depended on it!)  We live in an older home in an "okay" neighborhood, and we don't have a gorgeous garden or a fabulous pool.  (Although the lack of a gorgeous garden is due more to my laziness and busy life than it is to lack of money.)  Unlike many of our friends, we do not have a housekeeper.  The only expensive shoes I invest in are nice comfy walking shoes for exploring the highways and by-ways of faraway places.

Eating out?  I won't say we never do, but we have found some great, tasty recipes in budget meal cookbooks and magazines and cook most of our meals at home.  I love it when Rob sits down to a meal I've prepared and says, "This is better than anything we could get in a restaurant!"  We have also saved by eating vegetarian about three times a week.  (Really!  Try it!  You'll like it!  You just need to explore and try out the right recipes!)

Do we feel that we miss out on anything?  No!  Sure, it would be fun to drive around in a cute little convertible, but I'd rather bounce along in a jeep following a cheetah chasing down its meal.  It would be great to eat out every week, but we will save the special dinners for a balcony overlooking the Bay of Naples.

For a look at a couple who have taken their love of traveling to the ultimate, check out Betsy and Warren Talbot's blog, "Married With Luggage."  A few years ago, they saved every possible penny, sold everything, and set out on a five year journey around the world.  Betsy's book, "Dream, Save, Do" lays out a strategy for reaching any dream you might have.

Maybe your dream is to travel.  Maybe you have a completely different dream.  But whatever it is, I believe that by setting your goal and making it your priority, you can achieve almost anything!