Choice. Not luck.
I’m currently on holiday for two months before I start looking for work again. Quite a few people have said “you’re so lucky to be able to do this”, “man, you’re living the dream”, “I’d love to be able to do that, but I can’t”.
My response to that…. It was a choice that I made, so that I can do this.
It wasn’t luck.
In 2015 I took two months off after being made redundant and I chose to take a new contract that didn’t start for another two months. In that two-month break, I took two weeks and went to London to see friends and did a Topdeck tour through Europe. After which, I spent six weeks doing nothing other than spending time with myself, running, training, going to the beach, napping and reading.
In 2017, I am doing the same. I have two weeks to do nothing other than (again) spending time with myself, running, training, going to the beach, napping and reading. I will then be spending six weeks travelling through Europe and finishing with 10 days in Bali on a retreat and at the beach.
How have I been able to do this?
I saved. I lived deliberately and I didn’t waste money on things I didn’t need.
Them: “you’re so lucky to be able to do this”
Me: No, I wouldn’t say I’m lucky.
I saved enough money in a year so that I could afford to do this. I will write a whole post about how I did that - but it came down to spending money on things I needed, not on stuff I wanted.
I looked at the best way of travelling that was value for money so that I could make the most of the money I do have and ensure I still see as much as possible.
I made a choice that travelling and taking time off is what I wanted – so I committed to achieving that and telling all of my friends and family what my goal was, so that it would make sense when I didn’t attend every event that cost money.
Them: “man, you’re living the dream”
Me: Yes, I'm living the dream. I’m living it because I want to live it and I made choices so that I could. You could too, live the dream – be committed to doing the things you want to do.
Them: “I’d love to be able to do that, but I can’t”
Me: Why can’t you?
If you're a homeowner you are a bit more strapped for cash, but you can always find other ways to save money (decrease eating out, clothes, “things”). It may not be that you can do this kind of thing all the time, but at least once in your life is doable. Not impossible.
Permanent job? I am taking fixed term opportunities to allow me to take time out when a contract ends – it may not provide long term security, but it gives you an end date to save for as well as plan for!
I’ve never been a big money spender, I don’t like shopping and when I do shop, I really do need something. I tend to live quite deliberately, in all aspects of my life.
A lot of people may say it’s easier for me because I don’t have a lot of expenses, a house, children – well….. I don’t have a lot of expenses, because I don’t need them. I don’t consume things I don’t need, and I don’t tend to buy things that I can’t necessarily afford straight away (credit cards). I don't own a house because it's not something I want to do right now and I don't have children because it's time for that just yet.
I pay rent, for food, my car and leisurely activities – but the difference is, when I pay for/consume those things – my bigger goal of “savings” or “a safety net” always underpins the decisions I make so that it doesn't impact my overall goal.
If you'd like to chat about how you can take some time off to recharge, fulfil your travelling dreams and save - leave a comment and I'll get back to you! Be sure to follow my travel series starting next week :)