Western Red Cedar's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1162
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Western Red Cedar's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Your corner of the world looks incredible....thank you for sharing with us!

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Western Red Cedar's Journal

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Travel and Cognitive Dissonance

International travel is a major component to my strategy for transitioning away from a traditional career and lifestyle. I've wrestled with an ethical dilemma around travel and its detrimental impact on the environment for years now. I've never fully come to terms with this, but I've tried to structure my travel in a manner that at least minimizes some of the environmental impacts.

If I choose an international destination, I try to spend at least a month abroad to maximize the value of the trip and limit the number of flights in my lifetime. Once abroad I travel regionally using local public transportation. In the past DW and I have brought our own water filters to limit the amount of plastic waste. We've also started traveling much more regionally in the past decade to fulfill our love of travel in a manner that doesn't require flights.

I realize that limiting international travel is a more environmentally responsible choice, but this is the one area of my life that I've decided to be a bit selfish. I wanted to preface this before diving in to our plans for a sabbatical.


Ideas for our Sabbatical:

I asked DW to start thinking about some locations she would like to travel to if/when we take a year off in the next couple of years. If a potential trip is 18 months away, we need to start planning for vaccinations, travel hacking, and an itinerary that makes sense in terms of weather/season in particular countries.

DW came up with the following list:

Asia: Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong

Europe: Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain

Middle East/Africa: Israel, Egypt, Morocco

Central/S. America: Mexico, Belize, Colombia

I'm pretty happy with most of these destinations and they reflect a lot of our discussions about potential travel destinations. I'd add the following to her list:

Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Jordan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Canada.

I think I'd like to target 6-10 countries as part of a year-long trip, and spend a couple of months in certain low cost countries such as Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. We'll definitely plan on traveling regionally, and will likely focus on Central/S. America and SE Asia. I was looking at some travel blogs for budgets and surprised when I saw recommended budgets of 15-25 thousand per person for a "budget" round the world trip. After doing some more digging and looking at budgets for digital nomads I found budgets that were under a thousand dollars per month, sometimes half of that. Digital nomads tend to travel more slowly and save significant funds by renting accommodation on a monthly basis.

We spent less than a thousand dollars per month on our past trips, but I designed an itinerary around some very cheap travel destinations. I think we could limit expenses if we volunteer or do some WWOOFIng for portions of the trip. Housesitting would also be great, but DW is allergic to pet dander and I think many of these arrangements include pet-sitting.

7Wannabe5
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Western Red Cedar's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Unfortunately, being cognizant of environmental and economic issues can simultaneously make you feel guilty for wanting to travel and anxious to do it before it is too late. I think the Rule of 1Jacob or less spending is the best any of us can do in that regard, and fussing about what portion of that level of spending goes to jet fuel vs red meat vs property taxes is too limiting of freedom. That said, I have already devised a work around for myself and might apply for position as travel nanny sometime after COVID.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1162
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Western Red Cedar's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

You just gave me serious wanderlust again.

Looking even at AirBnB's in Southern Spain right now, really nice accommodation can be had for $500-800/month. The discount for stays over over 28 days is fantastic. If you can "hack" your accommodation costs, that will make the whole budget so much easier to keep in check. Travel/health insurance outside of the USA is dirt cheap, food is also extremely affordable when you're preparing your own meals. Between trains, public buses, and private bus service like "Flixbus" getting around is also cheap. We spent a total of $10,400 for 7 months in Portugal/Poland.

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Western Red Cedar's Journal

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@7W5 - Thanks for commenting. I like the way you framed the issue in terms of spending levels. I hadn't quite thought of it like that. I'm not completely convinced that spending half of one JAFI on jet fuel should be considered the same as spending it on locally produced food or something benign like that, but it's probably much healthier to focus generally on spending levels rather than overanalyzing every life decision.

@2B1S - I'm happy to share the pictures and always enjoy seeing the adventures and scenery in other journals.

I think you have a great opportunity to do some exploring domestically and WFH with your new setup. The US is so distinct regionally, we have a lot of amazing cities, and great outdoor areas. I'd jump at the chance to try some new locations if my wife was able to work remotely.

When we were in Spain and Portugal last year I was checking out monthly rental rates in Malaga, Lagos, Lisbon, and Madrid. I saw some decent monthly rentals for 600-800 per month. I could definitely see myself living in a place like Spain for a while when we hit full FI. Part of me developing the list was a means of dealing with my own wanderlust.

I was joking with DW last night that one of the reasons she enjoys travel so much is that we are constantly eating out. She's a bit of a foodie, but happy to scout out the best cheap eats in a city. This works okay when you're in places like Thailand or Guatemala, where accommodation and restaurants are very cheap, but doesn't work as well for budget traveling in mid-range countries.

I think travel budgets are much like a traditional budget. It comes down to the big three expenses: food, transportation, and housing. Lots of creative ways to limit or adjust those expenses. Slow travel dramatically tends to reduce the latter two.

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