Why travel in the 3rd world? Free time is one reason or living your life the way you want to! The cost of living is a good reason! If you are doing the 9 to 5 daily grind and life seems nothing but sleep, work and eat. Then maybe you are in need to escape for a couple years and reevaluate your life? The third world offers you the means to escape long term on a small budget.
Or do you have the attitude of, “I’ll do my 20 or 30 years and then travel?” How many people do you know that do the 20 or 30 years, and kick the bucket or their health fails and they just sit home in the so-called, “glory years?”
Travel young my friends, because, “tomorrow never comes.”
You can rent an apartment in Huaraz, Peru for about $42.00 USD per month. Or live in a cheap hotel for about $105.00 USD per month. Three meals per day will set you back about $6.50 USD if you eat in the local restaurants (not the fancy tourist restaurants.) You can even eat more economical if you cook your own meals.
But our main goal (at least mine,) is to sit back and read, write and think. If your major expenses add up to less than $3000.00 USD per year, then it does not take a math genius to figure you don’t need that much money to buy your freedom in the third world.
Now if you have the money and you can travel where you heart desires. My only question is what are you waiting for?
Most travelers I meet are usually trying to escape something. Maybe a divorce, job they hate, searching for the rainbow on the other side of the mountain or trying to escape their miserable life (you can’t.) If you are trying to escape your miserable life, then I have bad news for you. Your problems will follow you wherever you go, because they are in your head. It took me about 7 months to figure out that my problems would not go away, no matter what country I traveled to or what mountain I climbed. But with your newly acquired free time, you now have the luxury of looking inside your head.
But how can I escape my car and mortgage payment? Sell them! It’s that simple. Some people rent their homes, but being an absentee landlord in another country can pose problems.
There are ways to stretch you dollars on the road to extend your travel. You can work in a tourist restaurant or café in exchange for free food and a roof over your head. In Ecuador I met a lady that had a homestead and could not afford to pay for the maintenance and she also could not do the work herself. She offered free room and board for as long as you wanted to stay with her. You work about 6 hours per day and 5 days per week.
Now on the other side of the equation we have the “retired poor.” There is no better place to travel than in the third world when you are barely making ends meet as a retiree. Do you know why that is? Because you will finally discover that you are now rich in the third world! You can now do all the things you wanted to do, but could not afford to do in your present country.
All of Central America, except Costa Rica and Belize are a good place to live, in my opinion. In South America I would take a look at Ecuador, so far. Peru is ok. Bolivia is supposed to be really cheap, but I have not traveled there yet. I know Thailand is cheap. The Philippines is an option. There are many resources on the Internet that you can educate yourself with.
Traveling to a foreign country can be scary. You hear all of the bad stories and you have concerns about your safety. Maybe you are worried about health care?
Lets talk about safety concerns first. I have only been robbed once and that was out of a careless decision of trusting someone. They got me for 200.00 USD while I slept and a person went through my wallet. I have never been beat up or my life threatened. Once someone tried to grab my camera. Your biggest concern will be with petty theft.
Health care is pretty cheap compared to the USA. Dental work is roughly 1/3 the cost, compared to the USA. I’ve never been seriously ill, but consulting with a doctor is also cheap. You always have the option to travel home and receive treatment if you have insurance.
Will the local population accept me? Since you are not competing with them for a job and your travel money is helping the local economy, you will be accepted with open arms. Mostly you will be approached with curiosity and before you know it you will have many friends.
How can I make money? Well that is a good question and which a lot of long term travelers are always thinking about, such as myself. You can start a website and slowly make money with goggle adsense. Andy of hobotraveler.com is a good example of creating a website that allows him to travel the world. You could open a coffee shop and cater to the tourists. Live off your investment income if you have any left these days. Traveling back to your country and working for a while is an option. You have to be creative.
One thing I would suggest is that if you will need a computer for your travels, buy one at home. Computers can cost a lot more in the third world. Netbooks are fine for daily email, but if you need to do some serious work, I would recommend buying at least a computer with a 12-inch display. But if all you need is a computer for basic email, Internet cafes are usually found on every street.
But I’ll leave you with these thoughts and hope this article has helped. The bottom line is purchase a flight to a destination and pack your bags. Have fun and smile.