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Travel Blog: Leaving a Life of Security for a Lifetime of Adventure

Posted by Bob Newman on May 19, 2014 - 0 Comments

When we first made the decision to leave our jobs, pack our lives into a 55L backpack and explore the world, I wasn’t entirely sure how we would finance long term travel. The idea was so alien to me. The thought of revoking all ties to the normality we’d known for so long was a little overwhelming, and the question of sustaining such a lifestyle was one I hadn’t found the answer to.

While my other half had always known that a period of travel was something he wanted, I had never felt the pull of wanderlust. Graduating from university I found myself with a job offer I couldn’t refuse, and soon settled into life under the bright lights of London.

Making the decision to remove myself from that world wasn’t easy. My parents were strongly of the opinion that I should keep two feet planted on the career ladder and carry on down the path to financial security. To my Dad the concept of long term travel evoked images of tie dye wearing teenagers partying on beaches in Asia, thankfully the reality of our nomadic existence is actually quite different.

It was around six months before we were due to set off on our adventures that I first came across the concept of house sitting. A low cost accommodation option for those who wanted to sample life in unfamiliar territory it appeared to be the perfect way to subsidise our travel fund and experience cultures all over the world.

Choosing right then to incorporate this tool into our itinerary we decided to travel at a slow pace, stay for as long as we could in each country we visited and reduce our spend on airfare along with our carbon footprint.

Since signing up to Trustedhousesitters.com and securing our first assignment three years ago the concept has allowed us to live rent free in Costa Rica, Canada the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Coupled with our road trips across the countries we’ve visited, which have involved buying a vehicle and travelling on our own terms, we’ve spent just a handful of nights in hotels.

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Charli at White Island. The inner crater of New Zealand’s only active marine volcano.

This combination has drastically reduced our spend on accommodation, one of the most costly elements associated with travel. In all honesty I believe it’s this recipe of reduced accommodation costs and minimal spend on airfares that has allowed us to sustain our nomadic existence.

In the last three years we’ve driven across continents, camped out under the stars, scuba dived on tropical reefs and hiked across active volcanic craters. We’ve lived in six different countries and each property we’ve cared for has enriched our experience of travel to a far greater extent than any itinerary I could have planned from guide books and research online.

Spending 12 months driving the length and breadth of Australia we have learnt that channelling part of our travel fund into a vehicle can be a wise investment. Spending weeks searching online listings when we first arrived in Sydney, we finally found what we thought was a great deal on an ageing Winnebago and set off to explore. 12 months later, after a lick of paint inside and some TLC we sold our Winnie for a small profit which covered our fuel costs for the 25,000km we’d driven.

Being careful with our travel fund and spending wisely has helped us to sustain our travels and with a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of common sense it’s not hard to make travelling full time a reality.

Whilst it was just three years ago that I sat contemplating my future after handing in my resignation, I now find it hard to visualise returning to the life I left behind. Our adventures have offered me more in terms of education than my previous 22 years of schooling, and the experiences we’ve had have strengthened my character and given me room to grow.

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Charli and Benjamin Moore have embraced a life of on the road travel. Spending 12 months driving the length and breadth of Australia.

As I type this I’m sat in a caravan, the latest addition to our road tripping CV. Today we’re camped on the outskirts of the Tongariro National Park having hiked the 19.4km Alpine Crossing just yesterday, and tomorrow we’re heading north to Waitomo for an adventurous excursion underground in the famed Ruakuri Cave.

Much like our Australian road trip our time here in New Zealand has flown past in a patchwork of varied landscapes and picture perfect views. I must say I am positive that it’s thanks to our decision to travel at a slow pace and immerse ourselves in each location, that we’ve had so many memorable experiences.

From here we’ve no plans to return home. This year is shaping up to include some exciting new destinations and where possible we’ll be house sitting and road tripping our way through each country we visit.

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This blog was posted in Travel and tagged in Adventure, Australia, blog, Caravan, guest, House, New, road, Sitting, Travel, trip, Zealand

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