Deciding on a RTW budget & setting a date

Today I was on a walk with one of my co-workers, she is older (60) and working so she can retire.  She is aware of my plans & I am finding talking to her day after day is very helpful, because she has done everything right & will be retiring to a very comfortable income.

She is also very aware (and supportive) of what I am trying to do.  I was telling her today, that I am actually shocked how quick I could get on the road once my debt is paid off (debt is killer) and that my biggest concern is what is that “budget sweet spot”  so I could travel for as long as I want and be able to do any last minute things that may come up.   She said well I know the date I am going to retire, do you know the date you are going to leave? I told her no, not yet as I am still trying to get out of debt, which she is also aware.  She then brought up a valid point of if you don’t set a date, then you will always be looking for another reason you can’t go & that if I had a date, then I would more inclined to set a budget & make sure I save enough to get to that sweet spot.

So here I am trying to decide on a budget and debating how long would it take me to go on this trip.

I read travel blogs every single day.  I have seen people spend 6k in a year and I even follow a blog where they spent over 100k per year (for a family of 4).  So as you can see it is vast.  While luxury travel would be amazing it is not something that is 100% feasible for me.  I also know I have to have private accommodations due to my light sleeping habits so I can’t do 6k.  So my sweet spot number is somewhere in the middle.

I plan on traveling slowly & doing work stays & really try to get to know the local area.  I know I will start in Central America work South, venture back home for a month or two before I go and spend a year in Europe.  Ideally that is my plan.  Then if time and money works out then I am hoping to spend another year in Asia and the venture into Australia.  I would also like to fit Africa in there I just have decided when.   Then hell maybe the Peace Corp? Truth is after year 2 I am very open to ideas & my route will likely change a thousand times before I get to that point.

So this begs the question, if I want to travel for 3-5 years then how much money do I truly need?  When I am out of debt (which will be late this year, early next year) it will be time to save for my trip.   I truly write as a hobby, I am not planning on monetizing my blog or anything like that so earning that sort of income is not really for me (I know that could change) I am not a trust fund baby or anything so I am really going to try and save the money I need prior to my departure.   I do plan on doing work stays, woofing & once I am TEFL certified teaching English, so I plan on working for some of stays & food.  I am planning on doing this to help me learn languages and dive deeper into other cultures.

I am going to be in the very fortunate position that I will be able to save the majority if not all my income early next year and because of that I know realistically I can leave as early as late 2017 if I was going away for a year.

Which in the grand scheme is only 18 months away, so that is why I am focused on what I want to set my budget at so I can start tracking it.  I have thrown numbers from 12k to 75k.  Problem is I really don’t know but I am inclined to lean towards 75k

I think that is why I am truly going to shoot for 75k.  Why?  well if I lived on $50 per day that will be enough to fund me for 4 years.  As I am planning on doing a lot of work share stays on my trips that will cut my accommodation & food cost I think 75k is ideal for me to last for five years.   I also think given my current situation, income, assets & everything else I have I think I can realistically have this amount saved by the end of 2018.

I will have some things that will boost my income at the end, I will sell my stuff, I will cash out  PTO, which will add a large chunk of money last minute.  I get a bonus the last week of March so and considering it is typically 10% of my income it is worth staying until then as it will likely be a large chunk of change to boost me last minute.  Due to me staying until my bonus, I am going to set my departure date of April 1, 2019.   God that is forever away, but when you are trying to save 75k that really isn’t much time.

Plus I can always leave earlier, the goal is to set a date and work towards that goal.

This is why I think I am formally going to announce my departure date of April 1, 2019 and I am hoping to save 75k for my trip.

What do you think of the budget?  Anything I should consider?  I am currently saving a nominal amount for a “oh shit I need to get back home for XYZ fund” anything else I should consider for my budget?

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