We live with less in terms of material possessions and creature comforts in order to sustain a life that feeds our souls.
Before we left, we did not have much disposable income so we let go of material possessions we did not need. We did not have cable, Jenni’s cell phone plan was downgraded, we cooked at home and did not eat out except on special occasions, we kept our heat a little lower and our lights off when we left a room, we bought what we could second hand, we stayed in more than we went out, and we sold anything that did not get us closer to our goal.
We also worked to live in as healthy a manner as possible to prevent unnecessary illness costs. This meant (and means) eating raw fruits and veggies, avoiding things like cow dairy, sugars, and processed foods as much as possible, drinking fresh juice in the morning for added nutrition, and relying on natural cures for minor ailments. While in the states, we belong to a food co-op to make our healthy lifestyle more affordable. We believe that preventing illness by maintaining our health through nutrition and natural remedies is a cost that pays off in the long run!
We have spent a fair amount of time doing our research into cost-effective ways of traveling internationally. When you really look at the math, long-term travelers actually spend far less than short term travelers. How? Well, if you are in one spot for at least a month, you can rent an apartment or house for cheaper than what it would cost to stay in a hotel for the same amount of time. Renting also allows you to cook at least some meals at “home”. Since there are no “vacation days” to abide by, slow traveling also allows for over-land travel or traveling only when the cost of a ticket matches your budget. Traveling and living abroad really can cost less than staying home, if you make the cost effective choices. For example, before we officially left on our journey, I spent an entire summer in India while my landlord worked on some renovations in our Brooklyn apartment. It was far cheaper than staying in New York and finding a sublet!
Lastly, we are working hard to develop location independent careers. Writing has become a passion of Jenni’s and Aaron is continuing to develop his skills as an educator. Look for more news on our evolving income streams in the future!
Saving to get started living this way took some work but now that we are in it we realize that money comes and money goes. We are much more focused on our experiences than on our income.