The Money Factor

April 4, 2007

There’s no denying the fact that traveling costs money, sometimes a lot.  In fact, that’s usually the number one reason why people don’t travel more.  However, it’s all about your priorities. 

First of all, I choose to prioritize travel and new experiences over other things like buying property or having tons of stuff. (besides, investing in property doesn’t exactly fit in with the nomadic lifestyle).  My philosophy about money has always been “it’s nice but you can’t take it with you”.  I’m more interested in what money can do than accumulating a bunch of it. 

So why should anyone prioritize travel?  First of all, it opens your eyes and enriches your life in ways that nothing else can.  It’s not all about laying on a beach drinking umbrella drinks (you don’t need to leave the country to do that), it’s about experiencing other cultures and learning that there’s more than one way to live.  It’s about realizing how much we all have in common, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.  As Americans, we tend to look inward and to reject, even fear outsiders.  Travel breeds open-mindedness and an ability to adapt. 

Second, travel is an investment – an investment of your time.  Life is short, and in the end what are you going to remember?  That you managed to buy a house before you turned 30 or seeing the sun rise over the Taj Mahal?  That you owned a Porsche or the people whose lives you changed by volunteering your time and skills?  He who dies with the most toys does not win at life. 

*Traveling doesn’t have to cost that much – flights are expensive, yes, and I like luxury as much as the next girl.  However, living like the locals can be much more rewarding and is almost always amazingly cheap, especially in developing nations. 

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