According to a Buzzfeed post I read this week there are 198 countries in the world and a man named Gunnar Garfors made it his mission to see them all. I am sure he is not the first person to make it their goal in life to see all these countries and he definitely wont be the last. Although, Gunnar somehow managed to do it whilst keeping his full-time job in Norway.
I asked myself how this was possible, and later on in the article I was told that Gunnar did this by traveling at the weekends and using the five weeks of annual leave the company offers. The question of affordability came to mind and Gunnar informed Buzzfeed that it is all about priorities and dedication.
Many people always say that they do not have any money but according to Gunnar they do, it is all a matter of planning. At the moment I can really relate to this statement and agree that having a plan and being dedicated is the way to save. This is what I am currently doing in order to save for my Australia trip.
Initially I had to workout all my essential outgoing at the moment such as transport to and from work, rent on my flat, bills, etc. Once I had all the essentials listed out I deducted that from my monthly salary and decided on a food budget per week (as that is another essential). The conclusion of all my calculations was that I should be able to put away £400 a month for the trip.
When I began this planning I had five months of saving left before my plane leaves. This equates to £2000 which I hope will last me from the end of December until the beginning of March, as I plan to get a job after we have traveled the East Coast. I also have my birthday and Christmas coming up so I have asked my family for money towards my travels.
Luckily I had other savings prior to me deciding to go, which covered my flight, working holiday visa, STA work start-up pack, first weeks stay in Sydney (through airbnb) over New Years Eve, the camper van hire and the Whitsunday and Fraser Island tours.
Whilst I am traveling in the camper van I foresee my essential outgoings to be food, fuel and campsite hire. I therefore think that a budget of around £2000 should last me the two and a bit months until I am able to work. If not, the back up plan of starting work earlier will have to commence.
Since planning this trip I have not bought an item of clothing and I seriously think about the necessity of every purchase I intend to make before going to the till. I make sure that I am able to make a number of meals from the produce I buy, which often means eating the same thing for a couple of days in a row.
Luckily there are lots of free things to do in London, especially when it is sunny, so I do not feel like I am missing out on much by not being able to pay for things. In fact, it isn’t because I am not able, it is because I do not wish to part with the money. That is were Gunnar’s talk of dedication comes into play. I am dedicated to saving because I know that my money will be put to better use whilst I am away.
I have found that avoiding places such as Oxford Street is a big winner in being able to save. What you cannot see you cannot and do not want to buy.
I applaud Gunnar for being able to visit all these countries whilst still holding down his job and I truly believe that anyone can do it if they are dedicated enough. Maybe, on my return from Australia, when I have a job that I enjoy and would not want to leave, I can still plan to visit different countries alongside working.