Funding this trip was a process of planning for years, lots of hard work, and a fortunate turn of events.
Before we even had started dating, over 5 years ago, one night Scott and I sat on a couch together all night discussing our aspirations to travel, while our friends passed out around us from partying. At that point we both realized that traveling the world was something we both wanted to do, and the rest was history. We went on to get married in September of 2010 and travelled here and there for both work and pleasure along the way all leading up to now.
Scott owns a small business which he has spent the last few years building up, and I am an Electrical Engineer. We both earned a decent wage, however, when we moved to Dallas in early 2010, we decided to live solely off of my income and all of Scott’s earnings would be dumped back into the business to really help the business grow. We had built a new town-house in a nice area of the DFW metroplex which came along with a hefty mortgage, HOA fees, and pricey utilities. We knew we eventually wanted take an extended trip around the world, but we had no idea when we would actually be able to do this.
From the time we moved to Dallas we started a little travel fund that we hoped would grow large enough over the next several years to make our trip happen. But like most homeowners, things would come up, repairs needed to be made, unplanned trips back to New Mexico (where we are from) happened, and our fund did not exactly grow as large as planned using this method.
In the fall of 2012, a business opportunity came up for Scott that would require us to be back in New Mexico long term. I was able to convince my management to allow me to work remotely from New Mexico on a more permanent basis in order to maintain my work/family life balance. Once my remote work was approved, we decided to sell our house in Dallas so we wouldn’t have to pay the heavy price tag that came along with owning a vacant home (or having to deal with renters).
Luckily we were able to sell our house quickly, and at a minimal expense. We moved all of our stuff back to New Mexico where we would be living for free in a house that was already paid for. After several months of no mortgage or HOA, we realized that we were able to save a hefty chunk of cash. We also sold a bunch of our stuff that we didn’t need or want anymore, including one of Scott’s work trucks, old electronic gadgets, and some of our furniture that we no longer had space for. That all added up to travel ca$h!
We also had a very fortunate turn of events when we purchased several storage units (that would have otherwise gone to someone else at an auction). We spent several of our precious weekends digging through boxes, having garage sales, and listing the items we found in these units on ebay. We had expected to make a couple thousand dollars from selling stuff, but as we continued to sell stuff from the storage units and some of our own personal stuff the money really started adding up!
Also, over the last few years I was required to travel quite a bit for my job, and had earned over 30 nights free worth of hotel points. Scott and I both had also done a bunch of flying which earned us lots of air miles. Our air miles had added up enough to pay for 1st class flights across the pond, and with over 30 free nights of hotels, a large chunk of our trip was paid for.
So all in all, getting rid of our mortgage, working hard and saving, taking advantage of frequent flier/hotel points, and hitting the so called jack-pot on a storage unit investment, we will be taking the trip of a lifetime.
We will be posting more about budgeting and cost breakdowns of our trip. So stay tuned!