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From Era One: "Spending - How Much Does It Cost to Travel?"

This is from Era One, a 23 page writeup of my last year of travels, with some included lessons. I'm going to have a few excerpts of Era One this week, alongside our regularly schedule programming. You can download your free copy of Era One here - Era One - Download PDF

Spending – How Much Does it Cost to Travel?

I get this question a lot. People wonder how I can travel and hop around the world when I’m not working?

The truth is, it’s cheaper to spend a few months in a developing country than it is to stay in a city in the Western world. The expensive part is getting there – airfare. But after around three months, airfare+expenses becomes cheaper than staying home. Cheaper rent and much cheaper food.

I’ve got some friends here and there, so I might stay with friends for a while and get them gifts or take them out in lieu of getting my own place, but even renting a place can be done cheap. Like I said, I was paying $12/night in Seoul to stay in a jimjilbang. Now, if you lived in Seoul, you wouldn’t want to stay in a jimjilbang all the time. But for a month, paying $360 to stay at a place with a gym, sauna, pools of water/minerals, sleeping areas, restaurants, snack stands, and more – it’s a fantastic deal. Yes, I didn’t have my own space there. Yes, I had to check out during the day. Yes, there’s some hassle involved. Yes, it’s not always good sleeping. But $360, man. For a month. And that includes the hot rooms, cold rooms, the various mineral and herb baths, and all the weights and cardio I want. Fantastic.

How do you know you're solving the right problem?

Another good question. I'm paraphrasing here, it was something like, "How do you know you're fixing the right problem if things seem wrong? In relation to habit change, improvement, changing moods - how do you know you're solving the right thing?"

My answer -

Well, I think the first thing worth saying is that most people don't fix most of their problems. I don't say that as a pessimist - they could fix their problems. But they don't. Most people don't change much after their early youth is over. If they overeat, they overeat their whole life. If they're an alcoholic, they're an alcoholic their whole life. If they work at some shitty job they hate, they work there their whole life.

I say this just to give you an idea of how hard it can be. In my experience, it takes me a lot longer than I want it to to change fundamental aspects of my character and habits. Oftentimes, it takes 6+ months of regular focus on it, if the old habit was burned in a lot. That sucks and it's hard, which is why most people don't change.

I think fundamentals are typically the way forwards. When feeling low, unproductive, frustrated, annoyed, angry, whatever - typically, the answer is fundamental stuff. Eat right, stretch, breathe, get into motion with some exercise or at least some walking, spend time in nature, spend time around people you respect, read good books, get on a normal healthy sleep schedule, take vitamins, clean up the area around you, things like that. Wash all the clothing, clean up computer/email files, shave (for a guy)/cut fingernails/cut toenails. If in a country where it's inexpensive, go get a massage. Go sit in a quiet cafe or on a beach and fully relax if very tired. Do planning/goal-setting type stuff in a notebook.

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