Towards the end of my trip around the world in 2008 I started to lose interest in seeing the typical tourist spots, even if the destinations were exotic countries or ancient monuments from cultures long passed.
After visiting many amazing buildings and sites in cities like Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Paris, Rome and Athens, I was feeling a little tired. Not to discount the wonders of human history, I was just missing home and seeing building after building was losing its magic.
I had plans to visit Egypt on the way home, but I decided to skip it as I didn’t want the pyramids to be “just another monument”, so I put them on the list of places to visit in the future when I recharge my travel batteries.
This is going to sound strange and perhaps small minded, but towards the end of my trip, especially in my last European stop Athens, one of the remaining motivations I had left to visit the sites was to simply say “I had been there” and capture a photo of the experience.
Throughout this time I was thinking about what I wanted to work on next. My focus was turning towards the concept of the 4-hour workweek, or my spin on it, the 2-hour workday (this to distance myself from Mr. Ferriss – Hi Tim! – and avoid copyright infringement and because I like working a couple of hours a day).
Regardless of what you call it, clearly there is huge interest in the lifestyle I lead, especially when you can travel and earn great money at the same time. The idea of coming back from 8 months of travel with more money in your bank account than you left with is so appealing as a concept, I just knew I wanted to tap into that idea and help more people experience it.
The idea for a new training program started to germinate. I still wanted to visit ancient monuments to snap my photo, so I’d have lots of proof of all the places I had visited for the product I was thinking about creating next. The current design of this blog, with rotating travel photos at the top, is very much in line with this idea.
As you can see, it was hard for me to put the Internet marketer’s hat down, even while visiting amazing places around the world.
Travel Without The Financial Headache
I started 2009 fully intending to open up some kind of high-end coaching program to help people move towards living the 2-hour workday. Although my plans have changed, this idea is still in my possible to-do list, it’s really a case of “when” rather than if (let me know if this idea appeals to you).
Although I’m not ready to produce this course yet, there is one idea I wanted to begin discussing on this blog as it was instrumental in my ability to travel around the world for so long and not worry about money.
Being worry-free when it comes to money when you travel is such a critical factor. I didn’t want to be umming and ahhing about spending money on a nice apartment, or a meal, or a train or plane ticket.
I’ve traveled to Canada more times than I care to remember and I know that when you travel it’s inevitable you will find yourself in a situation where you will spend more money than you need to just because you have few choices or you’re tired.
When in a foreign place, sometimes just spending the money on the last remaining hotel room, even if it’s expensive, is so much more appealing than trying to find something better or more affordable at 11PM in a strange place.
Planning to travel for such a long time and to so many places, including expensive locations like Western Europe and the USA, I knew that I would hit many situations where I would spend a stupid amount of money. I’m not one to spend money frivolously, it’s not in my nature, but I will choose to spend to be more comfortable or avoid problems especially when tired, hungry and lost.
With this knowledge, being in a situation of financial security BEFORE you leave is a good idea. You don’t want to be in a situation where you rely 100% on the income streams you currently have to pay for things as you are going. In other words, you don’t want what you earn this month to cover what you spend next month, or you only go for a week or two before you have to return to work, which unfortunately is how many travel.
Traveling is stressful enough and not knowing how you are going to pay for accommodation next month if your business doesn’t bring in X amount of dollars is not a great situation to be in and is not how I wanted to travel.
So What Is The Answer?
When I left to travel for eight months I knew, even if my business stopped delivering any revenue, that I could spend months, possibly even years abroad without worrying about making another cent, and that didn’t mean I had to spend all my time in the “cheap countries” either, I could go anywhere on the planet and not worry.
The answer is capital.
Capital in this case refers to cash reserves I had in the bank, money available when I needed it and not required for any other strict purpose.
I say strict, because you can use the capital to pay down debt (like a home loan), but you don’t have to. It’s an “extra” payment that is optional beyond your required payments so the money is available for other purposes.
I discovered the “comfort” that capital in the form of cash provides the first time I sold a website. Earning over $13,000 in one hit from my first website sale showed me what is possible when you sell assets.
I’ve written many times before that you may never realize true financial independence until you sell your business. This really depends on the business model you are following, but one thing has certainly proven true in my experience – selling a business or a website or any asset can result in a huge cash windfall.
If you’re debt free, or at least in a situation where you comfortably manage your debt, any big cash lump sums you earn make for great “travel buffers” as I call them. Capital gives you the financial comfort to leave your home knowing that if push comes to shove, you’ve got the liquid cash available to cover yourself for whatever comes your way.
How To Raise Your Own Travel Buffer
If you’re considering an extended trip overseas and you’re worried about the dependability of your current income streams to sustain you, then having a financial travel buffer is a good idea.
Here are three ideas you can apply to raise capital online for the purposes of a travel buffer. I’ve used all three of these to create my own buffers –
- Save business profits – This is a pretty straight forward method of creating a capital buffer, but it does take discipline, as any savings plan does. Most people who work a job know what it is like to save money for a holiday and in business the same option is available. The difference is that in business you have a much greater upside potential if you’re following a good model, so you’re not capped on how much you can save based on your weekly paycheck.
If in doubt, read “The Richest Man In Babylon” and you will know how powerful this technique can be.
- Sell an existing asset – For speed, selling something is one quick way to make a lot of money, but of course you have to have something of value to sell. Remember your websites, especially if they are income producing, are assets, so you might be sitting on something of value if you just change how you look at it and consider selling it.
- Buy an asset with the intention of flipping it for profit – My initial travel buffers were all created thanks to websites I bought and sold, and although I was making enough money to cover myself while I traveled thanks to my blog, it sure felt good to see thousands of dollars in my bank account thanks to website sales.
Website flipping is a strategy anyone can get into, especially if you are prepared to take the time to understand how income is generated from a web asset. Understand how something works and you’re in a great place to improve it and then sell it for a profit. I suggest you read How To Invest In Websites In Your Spare Time, in particular the links in the resources area at the end of the article, for more help with this strategy.
I hope you now see the power of capital and how it can be used to create a travel buffer so you can move about the world free from financial worry.
I’ve got a couple more posts planned on the 2-hour workday and I value your feedback regarding what you want to know about this subject, so please leave a comment if you have a request or any feedback.