No Excuses

Because now it is so easy to travel and still make money, someone who wants to start their own adventure needs only a backpack. Jaryd Adair, a painter and adventurer started biking one day from his home in Calgary, Alberta with the goal to go all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina, a journey of 10,000 miles.

As luck would have it, while I was in Costa Rica this past month, my mom and I met Jaryd one day when he was painting a wall for a new bar that was being built in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Jaryd painted in Tamarindo for a few weeks at a few different places and now is on his way south.

His journey started because he wanted to show his art to the world and saw that there is a road that goes all the way from Calgary to Ushuaia, so he decided to bike. Jaryd has been on the road for a year and a half now. In his backpack, Jaryd brought weapons to protect himself and watercolor, paper, other art supplies, and a couple sets of clothes.  He started his trek with only $1800 and makes money by painting and bartering for other goods or services. Obviously, Jaryd’s story is not over and he still plans on making it all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.

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Travel Is Possible

Relatively recently, people have started to travel for long periods of time or for work. More and more jobs are available online, so people can travel all over the world without giving up their jobs.

Several people have left their homes with little money and managed to live amazing lives through constant travel. All one needs to begin their life’s adventure is a backpack and a few hundred dollars.

A man who calls himself “Wandering Earl” left his home in 1999 for what was then a planned three-month trip to Asia, but he has been traveling ever since. Earl left home with only $1500 and a duffel bag. To be able to afford this constant state of travel, Earl works online and also has written three books which he sells online, which are actually a huge source of income for him. As he moved around Southeast Asia, Earl taught English, making enough money to pay for the costs of living in whichever country he was in at the time. After returning to the United States in search of better job opportunities to save up money, Earl saved up a few thousand dollars and continued his journey. He has been traveling for 16 years now, demonstrating how easy it is to round up some money and start traveling.

Through my years of travel, though not constant, I have met so many people who are constantly traveling. Many of them settle in a town or country for a while (like a month or a few months) and make some money and explore the place where they are. I think this is a great way to travel because travel is not just a week-long vacation, it is truly knowing a place, meeting people who live there, and interacting with the community that makes an impacting travel experience.

My friend/ Spanish teacher Trisha Alcisto has been traveling for about two years now all around the world. She lived in Costa Rica for five years and then followed her wanderlust to Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and many other places. She has made money by teaching English and also editing books online for writers. Trisha keeps track of her experiences on her blog. She shares funny happenings she has come across and also explains why and how she has traveled for these two years. Trisha only reserves the first night she enters a country at a hotel and then explores the city to see where she can stay for cheaper and a more enriching experience. Her way of travel is perfect for anyone seeking a long-term adventure.

How Travel Can Be Your Unplanned Plan

“The most meaningful and enlightening experiences have been those that seem the most frightening,” says Trisha Alcisto, an avid traveller, who learned this travelling for what is now twelve months and counting.

Alcisto gained an interest in travel after taking a summer abroad in Costa Rica during her sophomore year of college. She returned to Costa Rica after graduating college and taught English and Spanish there.

Throughout this year of travel, Alcisto learned that there are better ways to travel and has discovered more suitable and affordable accommodations. When first entering a country, Alcisto stays in a hotel for the first night and later figures out where to stay “based on the energy of the town.” Depending on the type of city or town or city she is staying in, Alcisto finds the right accomodations and says that airbnb.com helps her find affordable and culture-immersing places.

During her earlier days travelling, Alcisto planned everything ahead of time, but now that she has learned easier ways to travel, she buys plane tickets just weeks before leaving. The more spontaneous approach to travel makes it more enriching.

Alcisto explained better ways to work and pointed out that it is easy to make money online and in the community, especially by teaching English classes as a second language. She works in coworking spaces because they help her “connect with people and get to know where [she] is organically.” Coworking spaces are usually open spaces like lofts used by dozens of people daily to provide an easy place to go to work productively. They prove effective for Alcisto especially because she can make friends and converse with travellers from across the globe right in the coworking space community.

“The limitless kindness of strangers that I have found in the most obscure of places has been, on many occasions, so unmerited that I couldn’t help but be suspicious,” she says on her blog thereisnectarinthemargins.wordpress.com regarding people she has met.

Her travel lifestyle keeps her out of her element and forces her not to be afraid of people and interacting with them. Alcisto began her yearlong journey in Europe and continued into Southeast Asia, including where she now is in Indonesia. While travelling, Alcisto is working to get her masters degree in linguistics online through the University of Massachusetts-Boston to further her education and be able to do more with language, one of her many interests.

When there is a need for change, travel is a great alternative because in certain places the cost of living is less than in the United States, and the only extra spending would be the initial cost of the plane ticket. The cost of the ticket can then be ignored because the lower cost of living allows for the extra spending at first. The enrichment and knowledge gained from the experience is worth so much more, especially by living more affordably. By becoming more like the locals in a community, a traveler like Alcisto can have eye-opening experiences.

Alcisto plans on continuing her journey but doesn’t yet know where or for how long. She is now travelling in Indonesia, where she has been before but returned because of “it is beautiful, safe for a woman to travel alone, and affordable.” She says that “If you ask yourself why you’re scared, you’ll often find that it is rooted in what you don’t know.” Alcisto’s advice for anyone considering long-term travel is to “keep it simple in the terms of the plans that you make; stay in a hostel, carry as little as possible”. She says that a traveller who does this will “find that the frightening world of the unknown shrinks ever and ever smaller while your world grows larger and larger still.”