I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s really hard to drop everything and travel the world.
Or is it?
Well it turns out that you can do just that by using one simple method to get what you want…
… something that allowed me to spend over six months abroad on multiple trips.
And in today’s post, I’ll show you exactly what that method is and how you can use it to make your travel dreams a reality.
The MTM Method
Dropping everything in your life seems impossible. That’s because it is.
In the same way a smoker has a hard time quitting cold turkey, you’ll have problems if you treat the solution like one big act of god.
So what should you do?
Turn that mountain to molehills (MTM, patent pending).
If you treat your dream traveling lifestyle like a massive unclimbable mountain, it’s easy to become discouraged and say to yourself “I can’t do this”.
But, if you break that mountain down into smaller parts of the journey, the whole thing becomes more manageable. It then turns into multiple smaller molehills instead of trying to climb mount everest in a day.
Solve a bunch of small problems in order to conquer your big goal.
The best part? I’ll solve them for you right now.
Common Excuses for Why You Can’t Travel (and their solutions)
Chances are you’ve put one on these problems in your way before.
From the expenses to the timing, let’s explore how we can get you on that once in a lifetime journey you’ve been dreaming of for years.
Let’s start with…
1. Plane tickets are expensive.
This is by far one of the biggest obstacles we put in front of ourselves to delay our trip. So much so that it can sometimes be the only excuse we need to throw the dream off entirely.
We say to ourselves – I don’t have $700 right now to buy a plane ticket so I can’t afford to go.
Besides the real ability to earn free plane tickets, let’s use MTM to solve this problem.
Instead of thinking of a flat $700 expense, amortize it into a daily expense.
So, for the next 350 days set aside $2 every day.
You can reduce the cost of the coffee you purchase, forgo it completely, or figure out a way to earn $2 extra every day. It may not look like much to start, but keeping the habit active will surprise you in the long run.
Tip: Use Mint to track your plane ticket goal!
2. I don’t have time / I can’t leave my job / What will I do for money abroad?
There are a few ways to break this down – let’s start with the least extreme.
1. Use PTO
Surprisingly most people don’t use their paid time off. A recent study of vacation time usage found that 51% of Americans hadn’t used their vacation days or PTO.
Just check out this eye-opening advertisement from Mexico.
Use your vacation time for your vacation! It may only be two weeks, but it’s a good way to travel and keep your job.
Or you could take it a step further and…
2. Transition to Remote Work
Though it may not be feasible to do quickly or at all, there is a growing trend of remote workers. Try talking to your boss about starting remote work for one day a week.
… or find a new job 🙂
Tim Ferris’s bestseller 4 Hour Work Week is a great resource for tips and tricks on converting to this remote lifestyle.
3. Switch to Travelancing
You’ll be able to work at your own pace, complete projects remotely, and build your own brand that you can continue to grow at home as well.
4. Build an Online Business
In the same vein as travelancing, you can build an online business in order to fuel your travels. There are dozens of ways you could do this from blog advertising to dropshipping products, but it can take time to get started.
5. Save Up and Quit
Arguably the most extreme advice in this section, you can simply grind away and save up money to sustain your trip abroad.
It’s not the best long-term solution, but can be very effective if you combine it with PTO and really hate your job and planned to quit anyway.
3. I don’t have anyone to go with.
This is a tricky one because it’s actually two fears baked into one. Let’s MTM this sucker.
1. Fear of Failure
Traveling alone is a lot scarier in your head than in practice. In fact, I’d say traveling by myself was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
You’ll be forced to grow a self-reliance that you may have never had AND you can literally do anything you like without regard to how it affects the people in your group.
Honestly, it’s super easy to handle the basics. Fly somewhere, find a place to sleep, wander around and eat at places, and then come home. As long as a you stick to somewhat of a budget, you’ll be just fine.
Have some faith in yourself – you can do it!
2. Fear of Safety
This can be a huge deal-breaker, especially for women who fear that traveling alone will leave them vulnerable and unsafe.
Well, you don’t need to go too far off the map in order to be abroad for the first time. There’s no need to pick Southeast Asia as your first destination if you worry about your safety.
London and Paris are perfect first-time destinations for solo travelers – especially if you only speak English.
They’re also perfect hub cities for cheap flights and they make it easy to come home early if you want to.
You can even travel within the United States because if there’s one thing I learned while traveling abroad it’s that I have seen nothing of my own country.
4. I have rent or mortgage payments.
Monthly bills are a huge drain on money. I completely agree that paying for your living space if you intend to spend a good amount of time abroad is a waste of money. Luckily, you have options thanks to MTM.
If you’ll be gone for a while, look into subletting your apartment to a tenant. You may have a subsection dedicated to this in your lease already.
In fact, some landlords will take the onus of subletting on themselves so they can protect their property and ensure they get paid. Speak with your landlord about your plans and see if they can help.
Though some leases will strictly forbid this action, you can rent out your apartment (at a profit) to people looking to stay in your home city.
Worried about maintaining the property while abroad?
3. Break the Lease
It may seem impossible, but there may be conditions in which you can break your lease. Read through the lease and see if there is anything you can do. Sometimes the penalty is minimal.
Alternatively (and maybe absurdly) you can simply ask your landlord to break the lease for you. If you’ve been a tenant for years and have rapport with your landlord, it can be as simple as working with them to find a new tenant.
Don’t believe me?
To her disbelief, Michelle got out of her lease 4 months early by asking nicely. It works people!
Get Pumped and Get Going!
You already know where you want to go. You already have that list of places to go before you die. So get going!
It’s not impossible. Say it out loud a thousand time. People no smarter or wealthier or luckier than you have already done it.
Start solving these smaller problems using MTM and soon enough you’ll be on the cuff of that once big epic life-changing decision to click the buy button on those one-way tickets you never thought you’d have.
Go out there and live the life you always wanted! Woo!