Photo Credit: Matt Hintsa

It has struck me lately that, if I were younger, I would do things a lot differently than I am doing them right now.

Operation Responsibly Irresponsible is in full swing and will see us moving to Calgary at the beginning of April to start new jobs, make new friends, and try out a new way of living as we save as much money as we can before moving out-of-country.

We’re not saving to be able to travel; I think we could make enough money while traveling to sustain ourselves. We’re saving to be able to set ourselves up after we travel. We’re not young and, one day, we’ll need to be able to take care of ourselves at retirement…whatever that is going to look like.

And so, my point. If I were younger I wouldn’t be waiting it out here….I would be out there. I think if you’re young there are a ton of things  you can do to be traveling right now!

What are you waiting for? You have a bazillion years before you’re old and have to worry about retirement. Are you married? Have children? Take them with you. Have a house/condo/townhouse? Sell it. A job? Quit it. Debt? Well, I do believe you have a responsibility to your debt but fill that hole quickly for crying out loud!!

The one thing you have that is worth more than anything is time. Don’t squander it, waste it, spend it on worthless sh*t, or undervalue it.

What? You don’t have enough money saved? Well, you can work while you travel. You’ll likely make enough to fund your travels; especially if you’re traveling in Asia and/or South America. You’ll certainly make enough to limit the draw on your savings as you travel.

There are other benefits too. If you’re working, you are more likely to be part of the community; either the local community if the work is local based, or the traveler community if the work is more tourism based. If you’re part of the community you are likely to learn more of, from and about that community. If you’re working, you are more likely to be living locally and traveling more slowly which gives you the opportunity to know the neighborhood and understand its ebb and flow.

Here are some ideas:

  • Teach English. You may need a TEFL certificate or a university degree…or you may not.
  • Seasonal work (farm work, fruit picking, sheep shearing etc)
  • Tour guide. The guides we met in Berlin were Americans with German history degrees…maybe your education can help you too?
  • Hostel work
  • Sling beer at a local beer joint.
  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Dive Instructor
  • Ski Instructor

Another reason to work and travel while you’re young is because it becomes more difficult to get a working visa as you get older. Many countries hand out under-35 working visas like their candy but, if your over 35, it can be much more difficult.

It’s your choice; you can work at home and try to save money to start traveling…or you can start traveling and work to keep yourself on the road. I know I make it sound as though it’s so easy and I get that it’s not but what if you didn’t have to stay home quite so long to save quite as much money? Just think about it that’s all I’m saying.