Accommodations

How to travel the world for free and save money


I had a dream and for a very long time that was all it was, a dream that seemed unattainable, unrealistic and most definitely one I could not afford.

For the longest time I fantasied and day-dreamed, but that was all.

Then, life happened. Let’s just say I was forced to rethink where I was heading; I discovered my reality was nothing like my fantasy and I didn’t like it.

How does one obtain something that seems so unreachable?

Stop seeing it as unreachable.

I believe nothing in this world is impossible if it’s something you truly want.

If you believe strongly enough in it, it will come to you eventually. I started believing in my dream, I starting planning how I could achieve it and guess what – It eventually happened!

It’s all about thinking outside the box, being open to ideas and possibilities and finding a way to make it happen.

So what was this big dream of mine?

To travel indefinitely and live nomadically.

Let me go back a little bit and explain how I made it happen.

1. The Dream

I didn’t start traveling internationally until I was 29.

Growing up, we didn’t have the means for travel so it wasn’t until I had become financially independent that I could travel overseas. But, I was born with the travel bug. Even as a young girl I was fascinated with the world. At bed time, I would look at the family atlas instead of typical bedtime stories.

In 2004, my hubby and I took our first overseas trip together to Fiji and Hawaii. Well, that was it for me. Now that I had had a glimpse of the beauty in the world, I knew I had to see more of it.

Each year we took an overseas trip. While I was very grateful for all those vacations, I would come home miserable and left wanting so much more.

The fantasies of long-term travel began. I dreamt about living in new countries and immersing myself into their culture and customs, eating amazing foreign foods and meeting wonderful people with beautiful stories to tell.

It became an obsession; a dream I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, let go of.

Then a few years ago, life kicked me around like a soccer ball and I was lost and broken. I retreated into my fantasies even more. I found this wonderful world of travel blogs and oh my god, it was amazing!

I read stories of people who travelled a lot, some of them even perpetually. I was hooked. Instead of working, I spent most of my day reading these blogs and discovering that my dream might come true!

2. The Plan

Housesitting around the world

I’m not a single woman so I had to convince the other half that he wanted this travel life too.

It was a little tricky at first; he was a sceptic, but after I showed him my research he became intrigued by the idea.

I started planning out travel budgets and the one thing that was really killing the idea was the cost of hotels. I’ll be honest, at 38 years of age, I’m not fond of the idea of hostels or couchsurfing. So it was going to have to be hotels and they are quite expensive!

So I started researching other accommodation ideas and there was one that stood out from the crowd – Housesitting

We had house sat 13 years previously when we were building our first home together. It was a great way to save on rent while we were also paying a mortgage. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier! It was a perfect solution.

Once we had that sorted out, our budget looked more realistic so we made the final decision to go and set our departure date!

3. The Result

Housesitting around the world

We have been housesitting our way around the world for 16 months now.

We completed 11 house sits in 5 countries. The best part – We have saved over $30,000 (USD) in accommodation costs.

That’s not to be sneezed at. We would have been forced to go home after 8 months had we not been housesitting. But instead, we see this is our new lifestyle to enjoy for a few more years yet.

And while the money savings is the biggest benefit to our new housesitting life, there really is so much more.

As we travel we are able to immerse ourselves into the local culture and customs by ‘living’ there.

We get to meet amazing people, usually the neighbours and homeowners, and have made some wonderful friends along the way. And for us, as animal lovers, we have pets in our life which is wonderful (we had to leave our two cats behind with family when we left Australia).

But most importantly, we have learned that no matter what your dream is, no matter how far fetched it might seem, if you have a passion and the determination to see it through, anything is possible.

Never under estimate the power of positive thinking and never ever think you deserve anything less than extraordinary.

Nicole, and her husband Michael, are an Australian couple in who gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 16 months and see no end in sight.They launched Suitcase Stories to share their stories, travel tips and destination guides. They hope to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable. You can follow their journey on Facebook & Twitter.

Have you managed to travel long-term and save money? Have you experienced housesitting before? Tell us all about it..





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