Tag Archives: wanderlust

How do you Travel so Often?

You know you’ve got the travel bug when every time you open a pay stub you look at your vacation time accruals rather than your pay cheque amount. There isn’t a clear way to describe how I feel about travel, but others who suffer from wanderlust or fernweh conditions understand.  You measure your bills in flight tickets (that property tax bill could have bought me a flight to Europe, or that car repair could have got me to Hawaii), you check seat sale alerts in the morning before checking any other social media or email, and you have anxiety for that two week waiting period during your passport renewal, worried that you might “need” to jump on a flight somewhere while passport-less wondering if you should have paid for the express renewal despite not actually having anything booked.  This is me.

So how do I travel so often? 

This is probably the most common question I get asked. I’m a regular person with a full time job, a mortgage, a dog, a hockey and softball team, and a yoga membership. I’ve got roots and am grounded in loving my life at home.

But I love to travel. 

It is my passion and so I find ways to make it work. A few things that work for me are:

– I work 3 jobs. In addition to my full time job, I hold a causal job allowing me to pick up shifts with no notice (typically when the weather isn’t so conducive to my weekend outdoor plans) and another teaching at a local college when I can commit to staying in town for the majority of a semester (usually about once a year provided another instructor will cover for me for the inevitable need to travel mid semester).

– I’m cheap. Frugal. Whatever you want to call it. I fully embrace my post World War 2 immigrant Dutch roots.  I don’t waste money by eating out, driving a nice car, or excessively shopping for shit I don’t need. Everyone has their spending priorities, mine is travel. Proof is in my ancient tv (which never gets turned on anyway!) I wouldn’t even know how to use a smart tv if I was gifted one – because I’d never buy one (that’s a ticket to Europe!)

– I collect Aeroplan points, follow posts that notify me of seatsales, and put into practice all the tips I’ve shared on this site to make travel more affordable.

– I keep a solid crew of friends who share the love of travel and are willing to roll the seat sale dice and end up in Cuba or the Philippines, or book a quick getaway to Mexico with less than two weeks’ notice, but I am also not afraid to travel alone and enjoy solo travel.

– Unfortunately I have a dog who hates being kennelled, and it would be unfair to lock him up so often, so I rent out the spare room in my condo (more travel money!) at a cheap rate in exchange for dog sitting. The dog gets to stay at home, and I have a built in house sitter.

– I maximize my time off. I travel over stat holidays to save vacation days and never have more than 24 hours between my flight times and work schedule. I often go straight from work to the airport. I usually have my work bag packed and ready to go and work clothes laid out when I get home since I often only have a few short hours to sleep before heading to work. I’ve also been known to take a red eye or early morning flight back and head straight to work. Those people who “need” a day or two to unpack, grocery shop, and rest after a vacation are people who either have way too much vacation time, or would rather spend a day with their washing machine than on a tropical beach.

– I have a rule that I don’t return from one trip without another one booked. This prevents any post travel blues and always leaves me with something to look forward to and plan for.

I continually hear people say they’d love to travel but can’t because (insert excuse here). It’s bullshit. If you’d love to travel, you’ll find a way to make it happen.  Follow my blog for some tips to make it a little more affordable, stop making excuses, and start getting that passport stamped!

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

When Fernweh hits… choosing a destination.

You’ve probably stumbled on this site because you have a slight case of the travel bug, wanderlust, fernweh or simply the desire to explore and see somewhere new.

Hopefully this site gives you some ideas of cool places to go but this particular article may give you some specific thoughts on choosing a destination.

Some of my trips have been a result of impulsive booking when a seat sale drops on www.yvrdeals.com. Turkey had never been near the top of my list to visit until there was an awesome seat sale and next thing you know I was hiking around the caves of Cappadocia and dancing in a hookah bar with locals in Istanbul.

Because I tend to focus on budget travel, I like to remain fairly open to where I’ll end up. For example, some friends and I knew we wanted to head to a beach destination for spring break 2018 but were pretty open minded. We checked who had decent weather and beaches this time of year, then checked flight prices for Central America, South East Asia and the Carribean, and landed on booking the Philippines as it fit our criteria for price, beaches, weather, and somewhere we had never been before.

Since not all destinations are created equally, and sitting on a beach in New Zealand can cost you significantly more money than a beach in the Philippines, you may also want to factor in cost once you arrive. The flight is just the beginning.

Once you’ve determined if budget, the weather, and activities align with what you’re looking for, you may want to do a Google Images search or Instagram #hashtag search to get an idea of what to expect before booking.  By looking up #philippines we were able to get an idea of which islands we wanted to visit based on user photos.

I wish I had more interesting tips to share or an algorithm to help you figure out the perfect destination and when, but for me, scrolling through Instagram has been inspiration for a large number of my trips.

If you are looking for more guidance on how to choose a destination, and even an algorithm to follow, I recommend Lonely Planet’s Where To Go When book.