If you would like to travel more, and are craving a more fulfilling and meaningful experience (both for you as a traveler and the communities you engage with) — while keeping costs down — consider volunteering. Here's my experience with the platform Worldpackers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a favorite travel credit card, highly recommended by many international travelers, including myself. I've had the card for 3+ years — here's my honest review, the good and the bad, and some real-life examples.
People look at what I did — downsized my entire life into a few boxes and suitcases — and think: "Wow, good for her, but I never could!" and that doesn't surprise me. When the seeds were first planted, I thought the same. But my transformation boils down to ONE single quality that I nurtured to become a minimalist, and that is...
How does a full-time solo traveler (with a car and a dog) spend her money, living and traveling Mexico? Peer into my spending the last three months, and take it from me... I can't afford *NOT* to travel!
I’m a nomad, who sold her house, quit her job, and is traveling the world... and I want to tell YOU, and anyone else who looks at me in AWE of my rebellious and fearless escape: I am not a superhero. I’m an average woman, WHO DID AN UNAVERAGE THING. I see money and time differently than most folks, as a result of some pivotal and life-changing experiences. Read all about it.
I’ve been traveling full-time since 2020, and while I started out strong on the platform, I now use Airbnb as a last resort due to a couple of bad experiences. So here's my tried-and-true formula for best results (for me, a solo female nomad) — for long-term stays, I rent direct-to-owner, and for short-term stays, I use hotels. Read on.
I last wrote a spending breakdown at the end of 2022, when I shared with everyone that I lived on $74 a day as a global nomad (mostly in Mexico and Eastern Europe, with two months in the U.S). The lifestyle I lead would cost probably twice as much in the states — and while I wouldn't call my post-employment, full-time travel choices luxurious, I am comfortable. So, what does "comfortable" look like for me this year traveling in Mexico? Here's what I spent my first three months in 2023...
Six years ago, I was unintentionally jobless. My severance package had run out, I hadn’t found another suitable job, and my emergency fund was all but drained. It took awhile, but I turned it around — and now, I’m semi-retired, working on my own terms and own timeline, and traveling the world. Let me tell you how.
I spent $27K traveling the world in 2022 — $74 a day — and one thing I keep hearing is: “Teach me your ways, Julie!” Well, did you know, I DO teach?! I have a ton of in-depth, free information available on my blog, I hold webinars for those visual learners and do one-on-one mentoring for people who want a little extra attention, and I recently published an eBook entitled “Money and Mindset: How to Take a Sabbatical” — because finances are one of the biggest deterrents to having the lifestyle we want most of all — and limiting beliefs are the other. It’s a mission of mine to prove to YOU that a fulfilling life, full of travel and immersive experiences: is ATTAINABLE and POSSIBLE… so I’m counting down my 10 commandments of international budget travel!
In the year-plus since I semi-retired, I’ve noticed something unexpected: just how polarizing and controversial the word “retire” is. (Especially among the generation older than I.) And it’s really no wonder that some people straight up scoff at retiring early, in a nation where busy-ness and overwork is a badge of honor... and when the first question we are asked when we meet someone new is, “So what do you do?" But many of those reactions confuse me. Here's why.
Last year, I shared that I socked away $30K in cash to fund my sabbatical, and I just revealed how I lived on $27K in 2022. So... $30K minus $27K = $3K left to work with in 2023, right? Not exactly. I have a few tricks up my sleeve... dominos I put in place in years past. It turns out the moves I've made allowed me to "earn" ~$13K in 2022 without a job, real estate, or lifting a finger (except for a few clicks of my mouse!).
I’m coming upon the end of my first year of mini-retirement, and as usual, I’m sharing yet another spending recap with you (as I’ve done all year long as I’ve traveled across Mexico and Europe)! You’ll recall, at the end of 2021, at age 36, I participated in the great resignation/financial independence retire early (FIRE) movement. After quitting my job, my goal for my semi-retirement was to take back my time, energy, and creativity for MYSELF, vs. my employer… and to get the most out of my travels sans the demands of a job. Now that my first year “on sabbatical” is coming to a close, here’s my total spending for the year (as an unemployed person spending five-sixths of the year traveling across 14 countries): $27,014.26, or $74 a day. This is how I lived. P.S. Want to join me for a free webinar and Q&A where I dig in deep to my budget and spending? Enter to receive the details by email.
I like to run for exercise. Running can be done just about anywhere, it doesn’t require equipment, I can do it solo, and there’s no special ability required (I just adjust my pace accordingly). In fact, I've ran five half-marathons (none of them very fast, mind you). When I train, I work on improving my physical endurance, my speed, AND my mental fortitude. These three mindset shifts have revolutionized my running performance AND, interestingly enough, my financial well-being.
December 10, 2021 was my last day of full-time employment, and if I were to sum up my first year of semi-retirement in one statement, it’s this: I am prioritizing myself like I’ve never done before. And while this could be a side effect of the fact that no employer owns my workday, this is also me making a conscious choice… I’ve chosen this. I’ve re-prioritized. I’ve identified what matters to me, decided how I’m going to live my life, and I’m doing it. And ever since then, this choice has shown up in my life in several ways.
“Julie… where was your favorite place in Europe?” I’m not a mom, but I reckon it’s kind of like choosing your favorite child: each place I visited is unique and special in its own way, so I literally cannot pick a favorite! So, instead… how about I do superlatives, high school-yearbook-style (in a completely biased, non-scientific way, of course)? And the award for most beautiful city, prettiest old town, best food, and nicest people goes to...
Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. Trading and bartering has been around for centuries, and the internet has made it more possible than ever to exchange work, expertise, and camaraderie for lodging. So here are four actual, real-life, TACTICAL ways to travel without spending bucket loads of money... and all you need is a keyboard and a mouse to get started!
My third month in Europe has rolled to an end, and I'm here to share another spending recap. But first, in the last month, I’ve been in five countries, I’ve taken buses or ferries in between 10 cities, I’ve spent 20 nights in hotels or Airbnbs, and I’ve dined out about once per day… What do you think I spent? Please, close your eyes and guess. (All will be revealed momentarily!)
Health insurance! With the astronomical cost of healthcare in the U.S, I've heard from a lot of Americans that losing company-sponsored health insurance is one of the main concerns they have when it comes to quitting their job before they’re of retirement age — and that was once one of my main concerns, too. If you're a self-employed or unemployed nomad... you have some options when it comes to insurance coverage. Here's my experience over the years.
I was 15 years old when I got my first job working at Panera Bread for $5.25 an hour. Like most people, I’ve been working ever since, without so much as a few weeks off or a few months between jobs — until my “great resignation” at age 36. I’ve worked at coffee shops, restaurants, big box retailers, golf courses… and then post-college, in two TV newsrooms and a few big corporate organizations. Sometimes, I worked side gigs and temp jobs simultaneously with my salaried job, to the tune of 60-70 hours a week, just to pay the bills or get ahead. (Damn, those days were rough.) Then, I quit. I took a chance on myself and my future: to grow and monetize this blog, publish a memoir about my journey, and THOROUGHLY ENJOY MY LIFE. I call this Julie’s Financial Independence Recreational Employment (my take on FI/RE)! Hereby, these are 7 confessions of a corporate job escapee... who's never been happier (spoiler alert).
I have another 30-day, full-time-traveler, nomad-in-Europe spending update for you! I spent most of my second month of my stint in Europe in the Balkans and Mediterranean, so you'd think my mini-retirement spending would be lower than western Europe, buuuuuuut... I had a couple bills come due and a few "splurges," like my 7-day sailing trip in Turkey. So, in days 31-60 in Europe, I spent (and please excuse me while I mentally cringe)...