Boom shakalaka, sexy readers! Coffee is ready after a day of cleaning the house, an activity that I haven't done in quite some time due to living in a hostel for several months. Fact is, being back home not only resurfaced some responsabilities, but also caused a gigantic post adventure blues to this soul of mine. However, we won't let such a trauma put us down, instead, we'll use the situation as an opportunity to discover, learn and post about these things, maybe someone will benefit somehow.
Furthermore, Spring has just arrived to the southern hemisphere, which is supposed to renew my energies; weird thing is that it's my second Spring arrival in the same year, after living for almost 12 months of consecutive winter - Yeah, the perks of changing hemispheres two times in a year's time spam.
Today's post is part of a series of thoughts I've been having about freedom, and why many people fail to pursue their dreams of discovering the world, even places in their own country: the number one reason is called MONEY. I encourage you to keep on reading as this is a subject that extends beyond the niche of 'frustrated' travellers, this topic is relevante for our lifes as a whole.
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash
Understanding the Function of Money
It's a fact that in order for our society to function we do need means of facilitation and 'standarlization' when it comes to satisfying our needs, that's why the fiduciary money was created, and more lately cryptocurrencies. This simple commodity allows us to function easier, everything can be exchanged for it, plane tickets, hotels, food. We obsess about it, we live and work to obtain more of it, we think we can't do stuff without it [travel] and, in some severe cases, it summons the worst of human greediness. But, does it need to be this way?
Well... to be quite honest, no. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about wanting more money, or desiring to have money at all, it indeed makes life easier - I wish I had a little bit more money on my adventures, I wouldn't have suffered too much. The real problem is when we give up on our dreams because we think money is the solution, when it's only a means of facilitation.
Money is just a commodity that can be exchanged for goods and services to satisfy our needs.
When it comes to fulfilling our dreams we need to plan with a view of indifference towards money, we sure need to value when we have it, but we can't let it be a fundamental part of our planning procces. Money thinks nothing of us, it doesn't care if we'll follow our dreams or not and it won't be there to comfort us when we realise we missed that adventure because of not having it. Once we have it clear that money is just a part of a bigger picture, we'll be able to let go and pursue what we want [travel]. Having this knowledge will make it easier to visualize ways to obtain money in order to facilitate life while on the go, instead of sitting on the sofa waiting for things to happen.
There's nothing bad about wanting more money, or desiring to have money at all, it indeed makes life easier. There should be a way to obtain *some* money, to work in conjunction with alternative methods, this way making a trip possible.
That's my secret to travel, I try to earn enough before the trip, for emergencies or for situations where I can't deal in a different way, at least an amount that would allow me to go back home. Then I let go and figure out on the way how to save by creating alternative ways to exchange for goods and services.
Creating Alternative Subsistence
Now that we understand what money is in its functionality, we can start looking for alternative ways to transact for goods and services. It's pretty simple, so simple that the methods are getting sufocated in a world of heavy consumerism.
If you go back in time you'll discover what is called the Barter Economy, which is basically a cashless system where goods and services were traded for pretty much anything! On the barter mostly everything is based on reciprocity, it requires a mutual coincidence of wants between traders, that means both parts need to fulfill the other needs to make a trade possible. The fun of this is that we can be travellers and also providers for a lot of 'wants' around the world. Offer yourself, just try it at least once to see what you can do.
Let's say you need to sleep somewhere, offer your services (cleaning, maintenance, gardening) instead of money. You need food? Ask the restaurant if there's something you can do in exchange. You need to move from A to B? Share a vehicle, offer to tell your story for the ride.
As you can see I've just listed some basic ways, but you can go way deeper into your skills, such as building websites or taking photos for some establishment. Chances are that you'll either be paid in cash; or paid in other goods or services that you need.
By understanding the function of money and stopping to overestimate it, allied with creativity to generate alternative means of subsistence, by for example exchanging goods and services for your skills, you'll discover that exploring the world is achievable if you manage to put down the fear wall holding you.
Also be respectful when you have some money and don't waste it with things you don't need, learn how to be minimalistic, learn to save whenever you can for emergencies. I've done it multiple times, and so did many other travellers around the world. You can do it!
The posts below are related subjects, they are a bit old but still relevant if you are broke and still want to travel.
TRAVEL: CREATIVE TIPS TO EARN MONEY - On this one I talked about some uncommon ideas to generate some income while on the go.
TRAVEL: HOW TO HITCHHIKE LIKE A BOSS - Here I gave you some tips on how you can move at zero cost.
TRAVEL: HOW TO TRAVEL AT ZERO COSTS LIKE A BOSS | FOR THE STRONG ONES - This one is hardcore, advisable only if you have the guts.
On the near future I'll write some posts to open a discussion to see if we are really free on this world and how the whole system is created so we keep ourselves inside borders like cattle waiting to die while 'feeding the system'.
Have you ever tried exchanging skills for goods and services? Would you try it? Share on the comments!
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~Love ya all
Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broken backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.