I am constantly torn between my life goals. I want to travel and live a life rich in experiences while at the same time building financial wealth. For the last decade this has meant two year stints of working full time jobs, saving hard and buying investment properties, split up by long periods of travel – usually at least six months at a time.
Now I am a mother, financial security is even more important. If anything happens to me, my husband or if my child is ill, I want to know we can access the best care available and that means having the right travel insurance and funds available. The public health service in New Zealand is wonderful, however we can’t count on getting the same help when we are travelling and odds are we would want to come home if we needed medical treatment. I’m worried we haven’t saved enough, and as we decided to bring the trip forward a year our savings goal went out the window.
With 5 weeks left until we embark on our next adventure I am having buyer’s remorse. A part of me is a bit resentful that our usually achievable financial goals are being pushed aside for this trip to Mexico and Guatemala. Meanwhile I sit around wasting valuable packing time furiously browsing the real estate websites for good deals knowing no bank would touch us with a barge pole during our (apparently self- indulgent – well that’s how I am gauging the reaction when I tell people what we are doing) year off.
Here is my dilemma – firstly, I want to be financially secure by 40 years old. To me that means completely mortgage free on my own home (which we could then rent out as a holiday rental while we were travelling) and with ten good investment properties under our belts. We currently own three, so will need to purchase one every 15 months or so after we return from this trip next year. With interest rates rising that is not a simple task. On the other hand, I want to travel long term, live in new cities and experience day to day life as much as a foreigner can.
Finding ways to realise these two dreams simultaneously is difficult as I don’t have a portable job (yet – I am working on it though) and my husband (a tradesman) certainly doesn’t. That means we need to find work while we are travelling. The only way to make enough to survive seems to be Teaching English. I am currently studying for a graduate business qualification in the hope that I can return to the corporate world if I need to. But ideally, I will use it to get a TEFL job teaching Business English. I will be studying on the road, sitting exams overseas and reading textbooks on flights and bus rides.
I read a lot of travel blogs by people that have portable jobs – graphic design, writing, programming – and I must admit to being a little envious of people are able to earn a decent income whilst living the slow travel lifestyle. I hope that eventually I can become one of the lucky ones but in the meantime I will stick to what I know.
This week I am trying to focus on the massive ‘To Do’ list – which includes my least favourite thing in the world – complete Tax Return, as well as the heavy-going Will-writing that we have put off since Dylan was born. I feel tired already!