Step 1: let go
The first step is the most difficult: letting go and renouncing habits that you have become fond of. But with a clear goal in mind for what you do it, it is much easier than you think, as Florian Blümm writes in his book “With little money around the world”, published by MVG in 2019 - it is about getting through save the necessary funding to get around the world.
A trip will be nothing without saving a travel budget. Saving means giving up, and you have to be motivated to do so. The saving phase does not have to be terrible. The most important thing is your attitude. If that is true, saving can even make sense. Think about how the trip around the world will reward you for your thrift. Remind yourself of this every day, for example by hanging a world map in your apartment so that it is clearly visible. So you always have your savings goal in view. Another reason for saving can be geo arbitrage. The term comes from the business and financial world. It is about the efficient use of different wages and living costs worldwide. The principle has been adopted by backpackers traveling in cheap backpacker countries. Digital nomads go one step further and earn their travel money where they are paid in euros or US dollars and spend it again as pesos or baht. Not having lunch at home in India or Vietnam is easier if you remember that you get five lunches for it in India or Vietnam on the go. And for every cappuccino not ordered in your favorite café, you sip three cappuccinos in Thailand or Bolivia. Is it a good savings rate or not? Of course, you can only do without cappuccino and chai latte if you like to drink them as much as I do. So that you can save, you first have to know what you are actually spending money on. Write down your expenses for at least a week. Look at the posts and try to lower everything unnecessary. There are sure to be some surprises. Go over the top and save aggressively. It's only temporary, and the better you save, the sooner you can get going. You should definitely refrain from going out to eat and visiting pubs. Cook for yourself and take sandwiches for lunch. It is best not to buy anything other than food and everyday items, so really nothing. You do not need new clothes and certainly no home furnishings before you travel. You can't take that stuff with you anyway. If you need travel accessories, buy them second hand. Or even better: let it be given to you. If you want to give up your apartment for the world trip anyway, you can move into a smaller apartment or a flat share in the savings phase. Or, if possible, make your apartment a shared apartment. Cancel subscriptions that you will cancel anyway in the savings phase. Research cheaper gas tariffs, electricity tariffs and cell phone tariffs - also prepaid. Arrange a savings goal per month. In order to save 6000 euros in a year, you have to put aside 500 euros per month. It is best to set up a standing order for a world travel passbook. So you automatically adhere to the savings rate. Take the tax refund into account. In a calendar year in which you work less than twelve months, you will get the excess prepaid taxes back. Optimally, you quit around the middle of the year. My tax refund on cancellation in September has filled the budget for a good two months. The same goes for the return. If you come back halfway through the year and start a new job, you will get a refund the following year. Of course, you can not only save money by cutting costs, but also by increasing your income. This can be a part-time job or some other additional income. For example, sell a large part of your things at the flea market, on eBay or via eBay classifieds. This makes moving out easier. After the trip around the world you have many wonderful memories and probably a penchant for minimalism. After experiencing how little you need to be happy, you will get by with much less consumption. You know that experiences are more important than things, otherwise you wouldn't want to go on a trip around the world. Ideally, you can live out minimalism before you travel the world.
Step 2: control your life!
Most of the time we know what we don't want. However, this is often not very helpful when it comes to reorienting yourself and emulating those people who have already turned their passion into a profession. They recognized that it is less about a big salary than satisfaction. That security can also restrict. That only those who are wholeheartedly involved are successful today. And that it is not the perfect life plan that counts, but personal passion and the ability to adapt flexibly to new events.
Having control over your own life sounds easy at first, after all, that's what we all want. In fact, however, we don't all have control over it, but let others dictate it. To change that is what it is about. Because if you have your life under control, you can make changes more easily. And for that we have to be honest with ourselves first and find out where we stand. You have to take an honest inventory of your life in all areas.
Controlling your own life also means staying on the ball with your own goals. Therefore you should always consider the following points:
- Motivation is important to think about the reward
- Count expenditure to find savings potential
- Rethink your own habits - for example, by taking a closer look at your running costs and possibly rethinking them
- Unnecessary letting go - this applies to things but also to appointments, for example
Step 3: get rid of the fears. Design your life!
This is perhaps the funniest step. Take time to dream: How do you really want to live? What dreams did you have as a child that you want to fulfill now? To travel? Have a hobby? Family? Do voluntary work?
A good practice in my opinion is to imagine what you could do if you had enough money. And if you couldn't fail. This step is not about “yes, but” and not about realism, but about collecting good ideas for your own life design. However, you should consider one thing that is often overlooked in the entire "Realize-yourself" literature: Maybe you are already living the life of your dreams, you will find fulfillment in your job and your family. Then why would you change that? Because: Complete satisfaction will never be achieved and it is also not worth striving for.
What is important is that you have to realize that often only irrational fears prevent you from realizing an idea. Becoming aware of these can provide clarity - and helps you get rid of your fears. For example:
- The change does not necessarily have to cost a lot of money. Maybe there is savings potential?
- Changing something in your own life is not per se dangerous. And you can minimize the risk. Traveling for several months does not mean a career break
- Doing something alone does not automatically mean loneliness. You can also meet a lot of new people while traveling.
- With partners and family, you don't have to give up your dream. It's all a question of organization.
Step 4: get funding
Now comes the “but”! Now it's about funding his - maybe crazy - ideas. And that's the part where most people fail. The goal is to find out how to use the money to realize your ideas. Tips and suggestions usually go towards part-time work - for example by selling something or doing something online - and thus having more time for your own interests. I think that's difficult to say the least: even in the simplest of jobs, full commitment is required today and there is stress to be brought home in the evening. In the future, we will simply be able to afford what we are really interested in only in our free time.
What I think makes more sense: trying to bring your own ideas into line with reality. Maybe not have the big life change in mind, but go to success in small steps. Selling yourself - which unfortunately often sounds negative - so convincing other potential employees or clients of your own ideas, which can only be achieved if you stand behind your ideas. And then gradually adapt your life to your wishes.
The authors Vicki Robin Joe Dominguez offer an approach to this in their book “More money for more life: How to change your relationship with the financial in nine steps and retire earlier”, published in 2018 by MVG. On the subject of financial freedom, you write very clearly that you can't do without rethinking:
“What does it mean to" redesign "your attitude to money? This does not mean getting more or less money; but to know how much money is enough for you to live a life you love now and in the future. It means no longer being a slave to money and the economy, but consciously making decisions. Everyone can do it. What do we mean by "financially independent"? Fundamentally, financial independence means no longer having to work because of the money. In addition, more money for more life leads you through a process of liberation that first frees you from the illusion that buying things will make you happy, or that "more" is equivalent to "better". You will see so clearly what controls your financial behavior that this behavior resolves itself. As you go through the steps of the program, your debts will vanish. With the decline in debt, you will automatically build up savings. Unexpected expenses no longer trigger the panic button. Saving becomes a habit. You save more. And more. Finally, you can choose to work for fun or for money. This is what happened to many people - and it can also happen to you. Then you will see that you do not have to give the majority of your waking hours to make money. Loves to toil eight hours a day be common in our society, but you can control your life on other expressways - with exits to your true destination and a more pleasant future. What will you do if you don't have to work for the money? You may not know this right now, but following the proposed steps will build up so much clarity, focus, and confidence that the dreams are just waiting to be discovered by you. ”
Step 5: live your life!
The last step is the best. But not the easiest. Because now it is a matter of actually implementing his plans. And to keep his life interesting - that is, not to say “Can you make a living?” to spoil the mood. Staying on the ball, with the goal in mind, even when things are not going well.
Michael Berndt provides his very personal experience in his book “100 COUNTRIES, 100 WOMEN, 100 NOISE: My crazy trip around the world”, published by MVG in 2017:
“When we landed in Sydney, I had no idea what to expect there. The plane was mostly freshly graduated, seventeen or eighteen, who knew exactly how and where to go. Some had fully planned the coming year, week after week. Everyone knew where they would stay in Sydney. "And where do you sleep?" I was asked again and again. "I don't know," I said, feeling worse with every question. Everyone had a plan, except me. I only knew one thing - it had to be cheap. Some had bragged on the plane that he could hit five thousand euros on the head. I wanted to make do with a ridiculous seven hundred euros in the first two to three months. "What, so little?" Asked these cared for little mothers and put on a worried expression. "You won't get very far with that." It was like a slap in the face. They had just left school and already had their pockets full of money - but I was now twenty-four years old and had to save. But at least I had arrived in Sydney, and only a few people at home in Saxony could have expected that. ”
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