Friday, February 21, 2014

Traveling the World, Saving Money

Something strange happens when you go to one of the less developed places in the world, you spend less money. There simply aren't as many opportunities to spend more money. The most expensive place to eat is $4. The most expensive hotel is $22. There are no shopping malls. When you add up the spending that comes from gas in the car, food, and all those other little expenses we seem to accrue, spending time in a remote corner of the world is pretty cheap, once you get there.

The other side of the coin is that many of us have recurring expenses, like electricity, heating, and life insurance which don't totally dissappear even when we are away from home.

Overall though, it is possible to save money by living abroad. In fact, some of the professional US climbers that I know live in a van or on a friend's couch the few months of a year they are in the US and the rest of the time live in tents and hostels throughout the climbing world. That's the trade off, to really save big bucks you can't keep renting an apartment you only spend four months in a year. Still, as I think about my upcoming expedition, it's all paid up. I won't go grocery shopping or go to the gas station in April or May. My thermostat will get turned even lower than 66 and my lights will be turned off.

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