I grew up in a very traditional, catholic, brazilian family. My siblings and I went to public schools, my father was the main provider for our family and my mother stayed at home with us. We used to go to church on Sundays and reunite the whole family for a sunday barbecue at midday. I played football and hide and seek with my cousins until the street lights came on, I'd go back home, take a shower, eat and go to bed and that was it. Our life was simple, there was no fancy gadgets around, we played outside, we walked places. we'd hopefully go on vacation once a year. Hopefully, and I absolutely loved my little world, well. until I realized things would not always be that way and there was more of the world to be seen besides my little hometown, my street, my school, my friends and family. And that's when life got hard and way better, too.
I started working when I was 12, it was a very simple job selling Avon, but I absolutely loved it. Work has always been a big part of my life, I've always enjoyed having my own money and buying whatever i wanted with it. Funny enough, I have never spent any of that money on clothes or candy, teens magazines or anything, I'd always save it and save it until i could buy something way cooler than all that, which got my cousins wondering how i got such things if i didn't have the money for it. Well, first it was cooler books, trips to visit my friends in other cities, language courses and all that, then it became plane tickets, visas, college tuition and all that.
If you made this far then you're probably wondering wth i am talking about and that's the part i wanted to get to: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE RICH TO TRAVEL, YOU NEED TO BE ORGANIZED AND DRIVEN!!!
Ok, so I cannot remember how many times I avoided expensive stores and shopped at thirft stores, or even swapped clothes with my friends. I can't recall how many weekends i stayed at home instead of going partying because i was saving money for something bigger. I do not go to hair saloons, ok, maybe once a year, i don't spend money on expensive clothes or on drinks, and i don't own any make up because i honestly do not know how to wear it (i think i need to say that this is me, and im telling you how things worked for me, it may not work for you).
I have traveled to more than 30 countries, worked odd jobs and lived on boats, hostels, tents, in a van and on a friends couch for a bit, and all of this hassle paid off because i had a purpose and i knew i was doing the right thing: well, i wanted to travel the world, i couldn't afford to do it in a luxurious way(and even if i could i would not) so i had to do it my own way.
It all started as a "let's see how long 600 euros can last" thinking a couple months, but five years later here i am, in Hawaii, living a very simple life but in a place that i could never imagined stepping a foot on a few years back. Needless to say that the 600 bucks did vanish but i needed it to start and thats it, because i was slowly figuring out my way in different continents and failing miserably but still not so bad since i am still on the go.
I do not have high end clothes, a fancy car, nor do I dine in expensive restaurants but none of this matters to me because thats not my purpose, that is not why i am here.
I have slept under the stars in the Sahara, I have surfed in Hawaii, biked in Amsterdam, hitchhiked all over Europe, eaten pasta in Italy and seen Machupichu, I have road tripped around Mexico and eaten oysters fresh off a fisherman's boat, i have fished salmon in Alaska, I have dove in an island in Panama and gone to Costa Rica with random people i met on the road, I have partied in Budapest and Prague and spent my 24th birthday in Berlin with some of my closest friends, i picked up a hobby and a career that changed my life in Morocco and I camped in a freezing night in Portugal. These are the things that matter to me, these are the things that i will remember for the rest of my life, and not what i am wearing or the car i am driving.
Again, maybe this is not for everyone, and that is absolutely fine. But, please, please, please don't be fooled by the idea that you need to be rich to travel, you need to have a dream and work on it. It won't be easy but most of the things that are worth it aren't.
HERE ARE A FEW WEBSITES/APPS THAT HELPED ME ON THE ROAD:
easy and free. set up a profile (do not be lazy) and it allows you to host people traveling to your city or meet up, and vice versa. It works based on reviews so you can see what you're getting yourself into.
here is my cs profile: https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/carolinecarniel
* workaway/ world packers/ woof
i only used workaway on my travels, you pay 40 dollars a year and it gives access to people posting volunteering jobs all over the globe. Most volunteering jobs give you food and accommodation for 5 hours of work per day, 5 days a week.
you can message anyone there.
i use these two websites to book flights because they can show you how much each day costs. For example, if you are trying to fly on a thursday they will display the whole graphic to show you the prices of each day and sometimes you are saving 40 bucks just by traveling a day earlier or later.
It's about time you pick yourself up and start working on your purpose, set goals and make things happen.
lots of love,