I recently returned to America from living in Japan for 13 months. What a wonderful experience it was! Actually, having traveled to Japan and back is a large inspiration for starting this blog. You can bet I’ll be sharing more about my experience and teaching about how you can do it too in some of the posts to come. Being immersed in a totally different culture and practicing the customs and learning the language was such an eye-opening, valuable, and mind-opening experiences in my life. The decision to pause my life, take an extended vacation from my job, and eventually quit and become employed in Japan, was one of the most amazing decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
One of the craziest things about me moving to Japan was that it was a decision I made just one month prior to moving. From the time I decided I wanted to commit to living abroad to moving into an apartment all took place within the period of one month.
The amazing thing about traveling or living abroad is anyone can do it. It’s astounding. What’s also astounding is the number of my peers dumbfounded as to how I dropped everything in my life to move there. By the way, I was 24 years old when I moved there and now I’m 25 years old. If I can do it, so can you. If you want to take an extended vacation to travel abroad, live abroad for a longer period, or just visit another country for the first time for a short visit, it’s all possible. And it’s not difficult at all to do.
Out of all of my peers I’ve spoken with about my trip, I hear far too often the lament that “I wish I could do that but…” or “I’ve always wanted to do that! But…” Even many older people I’ve encountered have given me the same lament.
There are many reasons for those objections like family and time. But the most common objection I get from 20-somethings is the cost. “It’s so expensive to travel to another country! I don’t have the money to spend on that!” Since that’s the primary concern of people around my age, I’d like to tackle the issue of cost.
Even if you have $0 in the bank, you can still quickly and easily scratch that itch for experiencing the world.
To be honest, you’ll at least need a temporary source of income. Any source will do. if you do happen to have $0 in the bank and no job and living in your parents’ basement, you should stop playing video games and apply for a fast food job.
$1000 is all you need. With some patience and a bit of time searching, you can find a round-trip plane ticket for no more than $1000 to Japan. Other countries may be more or may be much less.
To this you may say, “Cody, $1000 is a TON of money! How am I supposed to save that much to waste on a trip? How am I supposed to leave my job like you did for an uncertain life in another country?”
First, if you think it’s a waste to travel, don’t go. Your mind clearly isn’t in the right place. To me, travel was an investment. Travel broadens the mind and gives valuable life experience that is unmatched. Long-term travel is even more valuable in my opinion in that it gives you exposure to an entirely new mindset in a different culture, whatever that culture is (even other western cultures are significantly different from America).
Here’s how to make $1000:
In America, let’s assume you’re making the lowest possible salary of $7.25.
How long would it take you to save up enough to travel across the world and back?
Let’s look at the numbers.
$1000/$7.25 per hour =137.9 hours
Let’s round that up to 138 hours. That number may seem intimidating at first. But how long is 138 hours in workdays?
138 hours/8 hour workdays = 17.25 days.
We’ll round that up to 18. That’s all it takes. 18 days is all you need to save up enough money to travel the world if you’re working the lowest-paying job in the country. You may say this isn’t realistic if you have bills or other payment obligations. Fair enough. Let’s assume you can only save 50% of the money you make. Then you need 36 days. Just over one month. One month is all you need to travel the world. Interestingly enough, buying your plane ticket one or two months in advance will give you all kinds of time to make that money back and more to spend wherever you choose to go.
Isn’t that wild?
For those of you who would love to travel and cost is the biggest fear getting in your way, that’s no excuse.
Depending on where you want to go and how long you want to stay, the numbers will change. I thought $1000 was a very fair number to not only get you to another country, but at least give you a few days to explore. Alternatively, it can definitely get you a plane trip there to your new job if that’s your avenue.
If your dream is to travel to another country, I hope this gets you one step closer to that dream. I really believe travel broadens the mind and is an investment in your character.