Who is this article for?
Anyone who’s considering international travel as a lifestyle. Anyone who is too frightened by the though of solo travel.
Who’s the author and what makes him qualified to give advice on this subject?
Hi! I’m Mike Ferrari. In 2016 my partner and I sold everything we owned and traveled the world. We saw 12 countries in 12 months, and lived in Thailand for 10 of those months. We both worked boring jobs and had enough of the mundane life most people are stuck with in the United States.
In the US, we rented an apartment for $900 per month. Our car payment and insurance was $350 per month. Our phone bills were $120 per month. Food $550 per month. We made just enough to pay bills. Which mean we were working, so we could live and living so we could work. Garbage. I worked retail jobs (FedEx Office, Starbucks), and Miguel worked service jobs (at a hostel in San Diego, and for Enterprise Rent-a-car). We didn’t make much money, and we didn’t think we could/would ever travel internationally like we have and love to do. If we could barely afford to pay our bills, how could we afford travel? Read-on young padewan…and learn how you’ll do the same in 6-12 months.
When we decided to sell it all and travel the world we set a deadline of 6 months. We met that deadline and even pushed it up a month.
It’s exhilarating to think about – selling everything and just picking up your bag and leaving life behind. Until the day you actually have to leave…and the moment before you step out of your home/apartment you think….what if I don’t make it…I should stay. It’s boring and I hate it and I could go later, but it’s safe here. STOP. Take the step, close the door, you’ve already made your choice haven’t you? After all, you planned this for hours, days, weeks, months. You trust yourself to make plans, so follow through.
It’s just fear of the unknown holding you back from your adventure. Right now there are thousands of young people traveling the world with just a backpack – at any given time. If they can do it, so can you.
How will I survive? I don’t speak their language.
So what? Everyone around the world does laundry, eats food, brushes their teeth, drinks coffee, takes public transit. You’re going to be fine, and you’ll find that anywhere you go people will speak English. At least enough for you to communicate your need.
What if I can’t find a place to sleep?
Travel somewhere easy first like Thailand. There are so many backpackers in Thailand you can’t even walk down the street without seeing tons of them. And they’re all getting along just fine. They have somewhere to sleep – ask them where. Or find a place on the booking.com app for $5 bucks a night. You’ll always be able to find somewhere to go.
What if I’m hungry and I don’t know how to order food in their language?
In the chance that your food stall or restaurant doesn’t have a photo menu or doesn’t speak even a bit of English, simply point to food that someone else is eating to order for yourself. Pull up a photo of chicken and rice on your phone and show them a photo of food. You’d be surprised how easy it is to order food anywhere you go.
How will I get around? I don’t know the area.
Google maps, Apple maps, there are tons of options and they all work just fine. Getting around is just as easy as it is in the US, actually it’s probably easier because the rest of the world has good public transportation. In the US you need a car unless you live in a big city like New York or Seattle with decent public transportation options.
What if it’s not safe?
It’s likely safer where you’re traveling than where you’re from if you live in the US. Don’t believe anything you see or hear on the news. Once you travel outside the United States and see how much better the rest of the world lives, you’ll never want to come back.
How will I make money to live?
There are a lot of options here. Teach English online, join a freelancing website, teach a skill online and charge people for it, learn to advertise, sell digital products, photoshop for customers, edit videos. To live on a shoestring budget and still be able to travel, you’ll need to make about $50 US per day. Rent in Bangkok is $450 US dollars per month on AirBnb, meals are about $2 US dollars each. Cell phone data will cost you about $35 US dollars per month or less. Transportation is just a few dollars.
How do I start? What’s the first step?
I created a whole email course on this that will guide you step by step. It’s designed to keep you motivated week after week and teach you everything we’ve learned while traveling. Like…how do you get a haircut in a foreign country where the barber doesn’t speak English…
You can also ask us questions here in the comments. We’ll answer here and may share the answer in our podcast or in a video as well.