Month: October 2015

Travel Agency

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Woot woot! On the 3rd I am meeting with an agency to get all of my Visa questions ANSWEREDDDDDDD- I think. I hope.

I need to ask about the Shengen zone, and how much money it costs to travel there for along period of time. Hopefully it all goes well and smoothly, but of course, life is flexible so I’ll be prepared to have a rough time.

Let’s see =]

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Visa Information

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I’ve contacted the couple (Their blog here) that has been traveling all over the world for some Visa help. I asked how they travel from country to country for so long when they don’t have any money and visas costs quite a bit, even if you are an American citizen and receive complimentary guest visas for countries such as the United Kingdom, it is expensive if you want to be there for a time that exceeds 3 months (or was it 6?).

Now looking at the countries that follow the Shengen Agreement, well that’s a whole new game!! Needless to say, I was very excited for their response which they promised to give me via E-mail.

That was about a month and a half ago. Womp.

SO I think I might start pestering them for more information because something sounds fishy. (Visas are seriously like 150-200 USD So…. are these people filthy rich?)

If that above theory is right, then they will not be of much use to my traveling under 100 dollars a month plan as they adhere to the same principle that I have been taught all of my life: You need to be rich to travel.

Hopefully, however, they are just bad at remembering peoples questions and comments and just haven’t gotten to mine yet.

Here’s one for the hopeful! It’s time to start pestering =] Wish me luck!

*Update!!*

So after E-mailing them directly, they got back to me! YAY!!!!

They said that they just included all visa prices in their budget when they saved their money. They also stated that they have not received any money during their travels besides the money they make through Workaway, which is encouraging =D

I asked how much in advance do they start working on their visas, they said, “About a month in advance.” So that’s good to think about.

As for Travelers Insurance (the worst thing ever), they suggested some sort of youth insurance. It lasts a term of 365 days, so I can ask about that when I meet with Johanna Green at Mayfair Travel. I’m going to see her on November 3rd to get some advice.

A+ for making progress on my plans (Sort of).

Visas

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Right now, one of my biggest concerns are visas. As an American citizen, I don’t need to buy a visa for any European Union country (Or do I?? If anyone stumbles upon this post, your input would be greatly appreciated =D)

If that is true, then I’m set for the first 7 or 10 countries that I will vagabond in. The general concept is that I receive a free three-month stay at any country so long as it is apart of the European Union. I think.

If I want to stay longer than three months, I can purchase a year long visa for around 100 Euro… I think.

I’ve reached out to the blogging couple that travels and involves themselves in Workaway Opportunities; they said they would give me the details in an E-Mail but I have yet to hear from them- that was a few weeks ago. Womp. I hope they get back to me soon, otherwise I will need to schedule an appointment with a travel agency, gross.

Travel Plan

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I would like to spend at least a month in every country we go through, and for the really good ones, perhaps I will pay for a longer visa and volunteer at a WWOOF farm or a Workaway host- who knows? The plan is Flexible and anything is open. However, it’s not entirely smart to go without any plan at all, so… My plans are divided into parts.

  1. Europe to Africa
  2. South America to the USA
  3. Canada to Alaska
  4. All of Southeast Asia

Here is the very, VERY rough drafty plan:

  • Part One
  • Fly into Dublin, Ireland
  • Travel throughout Europe
  • Make our way down to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Part Two
  • Catch a plane, or cargo ship, (If I have enough money) to Buenas Aires, Argentina
  • Backpack up through South America
  • Somehow get to Panama (perhaps by boat?)
  • Backpack through North America
  • Hit every state in the United States
  • Part Three
  • Hit every Province in Canada
  • Spend 6 months to a year or so in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Part Four
  • Catch a cargo ship to South Korea
  • Mystery of Mysteries: A.K.A., Who knows what’s next?

That’s as far as I got right now. Of course, I could end up hating the entire experience and decide to go back home- though I doubt that will happen =]

1170.00 Dollars Spent…

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…ON GEAR!!!

I’ve taken to creating a checklist of all the things I will or might need such as Tent, Pack, Pots, Etc.

This is the current list that will be coming with me- it will be updated as I acquire more items and attempt to pack them all together. Under the “Check” column, a 1 symbolizes that I have it in my possession right now. I just spent around 400.00 for the pack and other backpacking gear. That put me down a lot. Also, one of my revenues for earning money has been taken away: donating blood plasma. I fainted during the process so I can’t do it anymore, bummer. So my biggest concern is this expensive Tent- but from all the reviews, I am going to try my best to find ways to make money elsewhere!!

It is really important for you, if you are going to travel anywhere, to think of all the things that are necessary for your adventure. Why? Because you don’t want to die from starvation, hypothermia, or illness. Getting Dysentery in Egypt taught me that much.

Here is my current list:

Back Packing Checklist
ITEM CATEGORY PRICE WEIGHT CHECK
Pack: Osprey Talon 44 Packing 149.95 2 lb 1
Tent: Big Agnes UL1 Packing 319.95 1 lb, 15 oz
Therma Rest NeoAir Pad, Regular Packing 130? 1 lb
Sleeping Bag Packing Free 3 lb, 9 oz 1
Guyline Cord 10 feet Packing 4.39 5 oz 1
_ 1
Adidas Hiking Shoes Clothes 109.89 2 lb 1
Socks (2) Clothes 32.09 4 oz 1
Pants Clothes 89.99 1 lb 1
Money Belt Clothes 11.59 5 oz 1
Shirt Clothes 21.53 1 lb 1
Padagonia Rain Coat and Pants Clothes 1.05 1 lb 1
Glasses Clothes Free 1 oz 1
Underwear (2) Clothes 42.05 4 oz 1
_ 1
Stove Cooking Free 10 oz 1
Titanium Pot Cooking 28.5 3.8 oz 1
Chop Sticks Cooking Free .5 oz 1
Bic Lighter Cooking Free .5 oz 1
Pot Cozy Cooking 2.05 .5 oz
Regular Plastic Water Bottle Cooking Free .5 oz 1
Life Straw Cooking 19.95 2 oz 1
_ 1
Toothbrush Hygiene 4.26 ? 1
Sunscreen Hygiene 4.99 2 oz 1
Toothpaste Hygiene Free 1 oz 1
Toilet Paper Hygiene Free 4 oz 1
Small Towel Hygiene Free ? 1
Deodorant (Arm and Hammer?) Hygiene Free ? 1
Shampoo (Arm and Hammer?) Hygiene Free ? 1
Hairties Hygiene Free .5 oz 1
_ 1
Cellphone, Nokia Lumia 1020 Misc. 127.05 8 oz 1
External lens Misc. 28.95? ?
Microsoft Band Misc. 159.95 ?
Maps Misc. ? ?
Knife Misc. ? ?
Rubber Bands Misc. Free .5 oz 1
Compass Misc. Free .5 oz 1
Pocket Monkey Utility Tool Misc. 12 1 oz
Sewing Kit Misc. Free .5 oz 1
_ 1
Band Aids First Aid Free 0.25 oz 1
Neosporin 1oz First Aid Free 1 oz 1
Aspirin 10 Tablets First Aid Free 0.25 oz 1
_ 1
_ 1
Estimated Total All Categories $1,170.27 18 lb 1

Saving Money While On a Budget (And bullet lists are FUN)

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I make roughly 10,000.00 annually from my job- that’s after taxes. Here are my base income assets:

  • I work as a part-time librarians assistant (or assitant as my name tag suggests) with an hourly wage of 13.00 (24 hours a week).
  • I do not get benefits, I do not get paid when we have days off (Like for snow, holidays, and so on), but I do receive about three hours of vacation time and three hours of sick time every month.
  • I also receive 73.00 every month for food stamps because I have a low income.

Now for the things that suck away my money:

  • Rent: 675.00
  • Wireless Internet: 65.00
  • Electricity: 55.00
  • Food: 100.00

So let’s do the math: I have about 10,000 dollars a year.

  • Rent for 12 months is 8,100.
  • Wifi for 12 months is 780.
  • Electricity for 12 months is 660.
  • Food is (Well if I have food stamps, it comes out to be only 27 dollars that I pay to make the full hundred, so for 12 months I pay out of my income about 276).

Total amount: 9,816.00

Guys, that sucks hardcore. That means that every month, IF I ONLY SPEND MONEY ON ABSOLUTE NECESSITIES, NOT INCLUDING BUS FARES AND BICYCLE REPAIR, I ONLY SAVEĀ  184 DOLLARS A MONTH

Which means that it would take me a long time to save 10,000 dollars, right? Of course right. But the truth is that last month, I saved over 700 dollars. How is that possible?

  1. I do not have a car. I ride my bike (Yes, even in winter, it’s really not to bad), (An average savings of 9,000 a year).
  2. I split my one bedroom apartment down the middle and rent it out to another person (an average savings of 360-450 a month).
  3. I donate blood plasma (an average of 100 a month). *Edit* Not anymore =[ I lost consciousness and can’t do it anymore, too bad so sad)
  4. I buy from yard sales and thrift stores and resell them on Craigslist and eBay (An average of 300.00 a month)
  5. I also started giving guitar lessons to locals for 15 dollars a session , weekly, (30 minutes).

This is how you can save a whole ton of money: By reaching out and utilizing every single one of your assets and minimizing your expenses.

The excess money that I make from reselling goes to all of my gear needs. Everything that is in my Paypal account is what I use to buy my sleeping bags, my tents, my equipment, etc etc etc.

If you believe that you cannot save money while making a very low income, think again. If you know what you want, then get out there are take it, because ultimately,

“Money can’t buy you love or adventure”

Finding Ways to Travel On A Budget

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Traveling on less than 100 dollars a month. Is this possible? I believe that it is!!

I actually believe that I can travel on 60 dollars; mainly this is spent on food and food alone. (Occasionally, you will need to pay for visas which can be anywhere between 25.00 – 100.00 depending on your location and or national status)

But of course, this is traveling in a way that is anything but glamorous. No dining out, no paid museums, no trains or buses or boats to anywhere that I can’t walk, and certainly NO HOTELS!!!

The key?

Couchsurfing. Workaway. Camping.

Couchsurfing is essentially spending a night or two at a strangers home (Usually someone who does a fair amount of travel themselves) on their “couch.” Or floor, or spare bed, etc.

Workaway is when you stay for a longer period of time to offer work services in exchange for a place to sleep and sometimes meals to eat.

Camping is just like it sounds. You whip out your tent and sleeping bag, you get down and dirty with nature, and you wake to the most wonderful sight of the day: the golden sunrise.

Each one of these avenues provides a wonderful experience, far from the common tourist, that really digs into the culture of the land that you are vagabonding in. The less money you spend, the more adventure you will have- and that is the ultimate goal of this kind of traveling: to have an adventure, to grow in experience, and to connect with hundreds of fellow wanderers.

Traveling this way is sure to remain cheap and affordable, and you can easily make this happen with little money. You don’t need to be a billionaire to waltz across the world: You just need to think outside the confinements of currency.