Quote of the month:
'Everyone can fly, but not everyone can spend. Malaysia ringgit like diarrhea!'
The above quote supplied by a facebook friend's status update. You know that feeling when you get overwhelmed by a giant crashing wave of wanderlust but your bank account gives you the side eye? That's how i feel for most of the year, as my starving writer salary can only afford to let me go on mini road trips or short trips in southeast asian countries once a year.
So, as my dear friend and solo traveller extraordinaire Anis wrote, if:
A. you want to travel
B. you don't have a trust fund or extremely generous parents
C. you are an asian living in a third world country with extremely low exchange rate and low minimum wage which makes it impossible for you to follow the advice of those American bloggers who can travel for months in asia after their summer job or something
then just save up for it. work and save up until you have moneh.
You can't expect to obsessively share those instagram-filtered romantic tumblr-y images of wanderlust/roadtrip-related quotes, passive aggressively 'like' photos of your friends' travels and then expect someone to magically sponsor you a trip around the world. hahahha. but that's a nice thought, though.
Anyway, once in awhile i get hit by this crushing urge to live an instagram-filtered experience, buy a ticket and just go, all to a feelgood romcom soundtrack about my whirlwind adrenaline-charged life, but my bank account says no. no no no no no.
if you're like me: a twenty-something person who's still scrimping and saving, what to do?
Here's what to do:
1. Stop reading travel articles
The Guide to killing (or temporarily deadening) wanderlust:
Alright. maybe it's my self-fulfilling prophecy behavior, facebook algorithms or just a media trend, but my facebook wall is usually awash with articles proclaiming why you should travel before you're thirty, travel before you have kids, travel to these 100 places or you'd never die in peace, and so on, and so forth.
Making things worse are those articles on how they managed to take the plunge, quit their horrible 9-to-5 cubicle job and travelled on odd jobs for five years, and how they plan to continue doing this for the rest of their lives while hahahah you in the cubicle is reading this.
These people either had crazy high-paying jobs that allowed them to take the plunge, or they're prepared to go the extreme hitch-hiking-couch crashing-busking for money route. if you, like me, doesn't earn a lot but also doesn't dare to go that way of extreme skimping (i still want some good local food la, not just subsisting on apples and instant noodles the whole time i'm in Europe), then stop reading them.
Unfollow these media sites. Close the webpage, count to ten slowly (until your breathing has slowed down), think of your bank account, calm down, then distract yourself with cat videos and raccoon videos.
baby panda videos help too, but those might make you want to visit China.
2. Stay away from airline sites
Low cost airlines love sending you deals on their latest zero-fare offers, free seats, anniversary celebrations, etc. it's their job, after all.
Do not, i repeat, do not fall for these. While you're saving up for your blowout trip to Iceland, that free ticket to Hanoi will only serve to delay your Iceland adventure. Yes, free seats are all very good, but how about the accommodation and food and transport?
Noh noh noh.
So, unsubscribe to Skyscanner. unsubscribe from everything. Un'like' Airasia on facebook. Unfollow all of them on twitter. Stay away. Breathe slowly. in... and out.... deeeep breaths....
3. Stop reading travel blogs
Those pesky travel blogs teaching you how to do house sitting like a pro, how they did Asia on a shoestring, and their Guide to Luang Prabang over five separate posts complete with absolutely amazing photos and one click will lead to another and this wonderful lifestyle will make you go... hmmmmm maybe i can do this too. Then you'll be awash with wanderlust but your bank account sneers and says:
'surprise, you can't even afford the flight tickets to go house sit for others HAHAHA!'
4. Cut all ties with travel-loving friends
These friends are the worst of all. They talk about their latest escapade to this amazing place, spam-instagram their family-sponsored trip to beautiful places, or mysteriously post #latergram pics of their trips from three years back but you have no way to be sure that they aren't travelling all the time.
Anyway. they are the worst. They bring on the wanderlust symptoms like crazy and before you know it, you'll be shakily clicking your way through Airasia's website.
These friends will also be the ones cajoling you to join them on this trip and that trip, while your carefully-fattened account will shrink speedily.
Cut all ties with them until you go on a trip yourself.
5. Go on mini trips
What i personally do is, i go on walks. Everywhere. It sort of helps when you discover something new in your city. These walks serve the purpose of feeding and nourishing the insatiable wanderlust bug.
After you've followed all these steps for a year (or two), you'd probably have saved up enough for the adventure that you'd always wanted. hehehe. Until then, let me know how it goes. It hasn't worked for me though. My resolution to 'not travel until i managed to save up RMxxx' is failing miserably so far. Maybe because i love my travel-loving friends too much to ignore them :(
psst. by the way, check this out! :D