Many people have asked me how I afford to travel. Being born by a teenage minority meant there were a lot of privileges I was not born having. My mother, despite her age and position in society, worked hard to try and create opportunities for learning and experiences that would benefit my siblings and I in the future. Traveling was one of those opportunities. Whether it was near or far I could remember a bulk of my childhood consisting of trips to the museums, parks, and very often spontaneous trips to cities close to New York. Early on, this created a desire in me to see and know the world. That same desire prompted me to travel on little to nothing.
As I said earlier, I was not born into privilege. When I first moved away from home I still had a desire to see the world but I wasn't sure how to do that on a student budget and without financial assistance from my parents. I would try and take trips to cities I had never visited but my efforts always turned out fruitless and I became distressed by my lack of mobility. It wasn't until I finally realized, money or not, the world is passing me by and I could very well die without having seen London or Paris. So I took a trip. I found a study abroad program at my university and though I had a lot less to spend compared to the other students on this trip, leaving the country served in pushing me to travel despite my economic situation.
I've taught myself about the bits and tricks that can aid you when booking a flight. I've learned first hand how not going to Starbucks everyday could save you a couple hundred a month. I have also learned that driving to a larger airport can cut the cost of traveling in half. Since having left the country last year, I have left the country twice more and I have another trip booked for December and one in the works for February.
So am I rich? In a sense, there have definitely been some economic benefits from traveling. The pictures I have taken have successfully earned me bookings for my photography, and further traveling has helped my writing which ultimately got me my job on a newspaper. More than that though, traveling has made me rich in my experiences with this world we live in. It has changed the way I interact with people who are different than I and it has helped me think about things through another perspective. Traveling has made me rich because it has made me a better person and so long as traveling continues to enrich who I am, I will continue to find ways to travel. The first step has always been to just make the choice.