The cost of travel

The cost of travel

Several months ago I participated in a group writing project where several bloggers addressed the question of whether anyone can travel.  Is a travel lifestyle reserved only for the rich or the lucky?  Rachel Denning wrote that you have to be special if you want to have an awesome life like her family has.  She and her family are currently living in Guatemala and enjoying a little hiatus from their drive from Alaska to Argentina.  Gabi Klaf and her family are currently popping around South East Asia.  She wrote that only the very special, lucky, rich, and perfect (like her) can travel.

Me?  I wrote about pity, envy, and why anyone can travel.

Over the past week our family has been a pretty pitiful bunch.  The food in our kitchen slowly dwindled away.  We opted to leave the car parked all day on Saturday to conserve gas.  I grabbed a few things from the garage and put them up on Craigslist to get a few extra bucks in.  On Sunday I looked in the fridge at what remained and it was a pretty sorry picture.


While I was a little hungry, our kids never really noticed.  They’d ask for juice and we’d offer water.  Jackson ate a big bowl of oatmeal for dinner on Sunday night.  And besides, me being a little hungry isn’t such a bad thing.

On Monday the dam finally broke when a past due invoice to one of our clients was paid.  We went to the grocery store and  presently our kitchen counters are lined with fresh fruit and veggies.  There are a couple of steaks in the fridge I’ll grill later this week.  I’m drinking my sacred coffee again this morning.

Had any of our friends come over to our house and surveyed our kitchen over the weekend they would have thought we were a pitiful bunch.  When we spend 6 weeks in Central America later this year, they’ll envy us.  But there’s a direct connection between how broke we were this past week and the fun we’ll have in Central America later this year.


Monica holding Jackson, now 4-years-old, just before his first flight.

A lot of people who enjoy all the trappings of home wish they could travel.  They have 2 cars in the driveway, expensive TVs in their house that are hooked up to expensive subscription services, and a kitchen stocked with enough food until kingdom come.  They have expensive cell phone plans, go out to dinner regularly, have gym memberships, and spend their Saturdays going shopping for new clothes.

They wish they could travel — but they have no money left to do so.

They look at our family travel lifestyle with envy, assuming we have all those trappings at home that they enjoy and travel too.  But we don’t have all those trappings.  We’ve chosen what’s really important to us and we’ve prioritized.

So don’t pity me because our kitchen was empty this past weekend.  I had what I really wanted — 4 round trip tickets to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

For more on this topic check out my aforementioned article, Pity, Envy, and Why anyone can Travel.

If you’re trying to figure out how to enjoy more travel in your life or make sure your life reflects what you value most, let’s connect on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

Here are all the posts my blogger friends who addressed the question of whether anyone can travel.  Check ’em out.

Anyone can travel by Mary of Bohemian Travelers

Diet shouldn’t stop you from travelling by Amy of Livin’ on the Road

If Anyone Can Travel Why Don’t You? by Keryn of Walkingon Travels

Anyone can do this! by Kate of Experiential Family

Not Everyone Can Travel by Alisa of  Living Outside of the Box

You Have to Be Special Like Us if You Want an Awesome Life by Rachel of Discover Share Inspire

True Story: Single mother from Bushwick, Brooklyn, funds long-term trip without having to sell a kidney by Melissa of Break Out of Bushwick

Anyone Can Travel, Just Let Go by Diya at a Minor Diversion

Travel Possible? by Jarrad of Wandering Photographer

Even solo mamas on government handouts can travel by Jody of Solo Mama Travels

A Family Travel Lifestyle by Loreena of Little Aussie Travellers

Why anyone can travel by Lisa of New Life on the Road

Only the Very Special, Lucky, Rich, and Perfect (Like Me) Can Travel by Gabi of the Nomadic Family

Our path to becoming lucky enough to travel by Sabina at A King’s Life

  • Hey friend! “Pity the fool” was what came to mind when you mentioned pity…remember the A-Team? You’re no fool…sounds like you are pitying the fool (the rest of us.) haha

    I think ‘our’ problem is that we want our cake and eat it too. We want life to feel easier thus we stay home, have food to eat and cushy sofas, toys for the weekend. Yet, we’d like to travel too, but travel is not easy especially on a dime. The travel we (collective we) really want does require moulah — even if we gave up everything here, traveling in ‘style’ or comfort as the case may be costs real dough. As we age, we (collective we again) prefer comfort b/c our bodies aren’t experiencing quite the bounce back we used to have when we were young. I am generalizing the perspective here b/c I do have a retired friend who travels the world in his converted truck/camper and he’s hitting 60 and hikes mountains on an almost daily basis. For some of us we prefer the roots of living in a town on a more permanent basis which requires a stable income in a field we were trained in and happen to enjoy. I think God calls us all to unique paths and we can’t pity each other for what the other chooses. I LOVE that you are living the life of your dreams and enjoy following it – kind of living vicariously through you. After health crisis made travel more difficult for me, I find that in my head or imagination I would LOVE to live a travel lifestyle, but in reality, when I do manage to travel (even short distances) I am disenchanted with how hard it feels.

    I obviously love the post for inspiring these thoughts – thanks for being so consistent with your writings…

  • It’s like my favourite saying – you CAN have everything. You just can’t have it all at the same time! I’d give up a few meals for tickets to Honduras!!

    • That’s a great line, Tracey! And probably one more reason you’ll never get an Olympic medal!

  • True true! It comes down to priorities, not money 😉

  • I think it’s also about the difference between travel and taking a vacation. We like to travel – have experiences, see as much of the world as we can – instead of thinking about taking a vacation and just relaxing for a week. It can be expensive to take a vacation – to pay to have someone make your bed for you every morning, to eat out every meal and pay lots of money to visit the big tourists traps. But there’s always a way to travel – which I think is just temporarily living in a different place from where you’re used to- living in the same way you do at home.

  • Pingback: A cheap date and confessions of a full time dad | Family Trek()

  • It is certainly about priorities. You are conscious of what you’re doing, that makes a big difference.

    I can’t wait to see how Honduras goes for you guys. I’m very much looking forward to going myself soon. I’ll be watching.

    • Some people would like at my life and say it’s irresponsible. I think I just happen to know what I really want.

Sign up for updates on unWorking

  • Exit the rat race
  • Live like a millionaire
  • Be happy....NOW.

Don't worry...we don't send that many!