What My 3 Years on the Road Taught Me About Money (and Life)

Traveling the world taught this woman a lot.

Yep, you read that headline correctly: I spent three years on the road. Well, by now, I have been working and traveling around the world for 3 1/2 years. I’ve been going on one adventure after another, stopping along the way when money has gotten low to save up again.

This is an unconventional lifestyle for Americans to live, but for me it’s perfect. I’ve never been the “desk job” type. In fact, I know I could never stand one, so I’ve never had one. Instead, by waitressing in Sydney, tour-guiding in Croatia and more, I’ve been able to save up enough money to take trips through South America, Asia, Africa and other places — all while also making money through my blog documenting my adventures.

Read More: This Author Shares Her Favorite Money-Saving Travel Sites

This lifestyle has not been easy, and money has been tight at times, but I have learned so much about myself, money and life. Here are just a few things in particular that my three years on the road have taught me.

Make Your Money Work for You
If you had to guess where I was in this photo, where would you guess? Would you ever guess URUGUAY????? I took this photo on a huge coastal road trip with @hertzuruguay last month, where I was totally blown away by the unexpected beauty of the coastline. Did you know there are surf schools here, amazing sculptures and architecture on the coast, tons of beach party towns, and miles and miles of pristine sandy beaches? I would never have discovered half of these places if I didn’t rent a car and drive almost the entire coast of the country, and for the reason I think it’s one of the best countries to have an epic road trip. Is Uruguay on your bucket list?✈️ . . . . . . . . . . . #uruguaynatural #uruguay???????? #sheisnotlost #femmetravel #girlsborntotravel #uruguayo #solotravel #femaletravelbloggers #travelinladies #womenwhoexplore #freewanderess #dametraveler #radgirlslife #girlslovetravel #uruguay #roadtrip #coastline #modernoutdoors #exploretocreate #travelblogger #adventurevisuals #forgeyourownpath #puntadeleste #joseignacio #joseignaciouruguay #hertz #adventureculture #discoverearth #southamerica #theoutbound
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Money Comes and Goes, but Experiences Are Priceless

It’s easy to be stressed about money when you aren’t sure where your next paycheck is coming from, but when you’re on the road, it would be silly to miss out on an experience that you might never get an opportunity to repeat — like going on a safari in Africa, climbing an active volcano in Chile or going sailing in Panama.

Make Your Money Work for You

Traveling for so long has taught me that spending a bit more on once-in-a-lifetime experiences is always worth it in the end, even if you have to go back to work sooner than originally planned. I’ve learned to loosen my grip on my bank account and allow life experiences to take precedence over financial stress.

More on Life-Changing Experiences: Breathtaking Sights Around the World You Can See for Free

If You Put Your Mind to It, You Can Save Money

I’ve managed to save money while living in expensive cities like London and Sydney, and you can too.  If you put your mind to being frugal, cooking your own meals, forgoing expensive nights out and so forth, saving money is inevitable. Don’t waste your paycheck on frivolous things when you can put it toward chasing your dreams. That’s my opinion.

Strict Budgets Aren’t Totally Necessary — If You’re Careful

Strict budgeting creates stress. I prefer to spend as little as possible while making sure to get the most out of each destination. This means trying at least one typical meal, seeing the sights and National Parks, and doing a tour or two if I want to. I try to spend only on what’s necessary, and try to restrict spending on anything else that I can. This isn’t to say I haven’t bought a beer here or there, but discretion is important.

Make Your Money Work for You
????THIS????????IS????BUENOS????AIRES????????‍♀️ Friends, my new Buenos Aires city guide is finally live on the blog. After spending 2 weeks there and delving head first into Argentinian culture, history, food, sights, tours, nightlife, drinks, neighborhoods, and basically everything… I have a 5700 word city guide to show for it. A little long, sure, but when heading to Bs As you won’t need anything else! . . Here I was picnicking in my favorite square, eating the most famous pizza in the city. Did you know that some say Buenos Aires has the best pizza in the world?! It’s thick and cheesy – just the way I like it. . . In my guide you’ll find info on this square, the pizza, and everything from different tours to take, all sights to see, tons of food and drink recommendations, top city tips, and where to stay for every budget. Pictured here: . I stayed in one of the most incredible boutique art hotels (breakfast pictured in photo #3) @homehotelba ???? . I did a wine tour in Palermo, learning all about art and wine with @buenosairesurbanadventures. . I took a tour of the lovely Tigre Delta, a popular weekend holiday destination for porteños. . I tried the best Parilla steak in the city (something Buenos Aires is super famous for!) at @lacabrera_bsas. . I wandered the beautiful parks and colorful streets of Palermo, obsessing over the views. . . I think this is the longest caption ever, so check the blog to read more about everything else I loved in the city! #buenosaires #travelbuenosaires @travelbuenosaires #bsas #argentina #visitargentina #destinoargentina #photography #cityscape #travelblogger #argentina???????? #sidewalkerdaily #solotravel #globelletravels #ladiesgoneglobal #girlslovetravel #femmetravel #travelstoke #timeoutsociety #buenosairescity #girlsborntotravel #southamerica #femaletravelbloggers #forgeyourownpath #womenwhoexplore #southamericatravel #discoverearth #picnic #exploretocreate #cityguide
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Make Your Money Work for You

Related: 10 High-Paying Jobs That Let You See the World

A Life Spent Pursuing Your Purpose Is a Life Well Spent

When I set out on this journey, I only knew that I was following my passion to travel, discovering the world, meet new people and share my experiences with others who might (or might not) have the same dream as I do. Now, more than three years later, there have been some rocky times, but I am well on my way to making traveling and going to music festivals my actual career via my blog.

TRAVEL ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! There’s going to be some BIG changes in my travel schedule coming up, and I’ve just announced everything on my story!! As a hint, I’m actually in the last few days of my time in South America after traveling through here and Central America for the last 5 months. Im actually heading back stateside for a little while before going to Burning Man and a few more very exciting things… such as Europe and Australia… but head to my story to get the entire low down! . . It’s bittersweet to be leaving here, but I have so much travel content to catch up and and I’m looking forward to staying put for a minute while I do that. But.. just for a minute????✈️⛵️ And also excited to get back to the northern hemisphere where festival season is in full swing… I’m basically having festival withdrawals???????? Check my story for more! . . Oh, and here’s another epic self timer shot I got in Punta del Este, Uruguay… where sunrises AND sunsets happen over the water a five minute walk from each other. Can you say paradise?! . . . . . . . . #sunset #sunset_ig #sunset_hub #sunsetsniper #sunsets_fx #sunsetsky #sunsetmadness #sunset_madness #cloudporn #sunset_pics #ladiesgoneglobal #femmetravel #solotravel #uruguayo #uruguaynatural #travelblogger #travelstoke #uruguay???????? #peoplescreatives #freewanderess #puntadeleste #southamerica #sheisnotlost #explorerbabes #globelletravels #womenwhoexplore #exploretocreate #welivetoexplore #sidewalkerdaily #girlsborntotravel
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I’ve found ways to make money when I needed it, seen some great successes along the way and now, can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t taken the first step towards my true purpose. It may sound silly, but if you pursue what is important to you, you can find a way to make money follow…eventually.

Read More: It Costs Less Than You Think to Visit These Picture-Perfect Spots

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About the Author

Kimmie Conner

Kimmie graduated from UCLA with a Communications Major and Film/TV/Digital Media Minor and jumped straight into the world of blogging after moving abroad after college. For 6 years and counting, she jumped between working different jobs abroad, traveling the world, and learning how to make her blog Adventures & Sunsets into a full-time business. She considers herself a bit of an expert on saving money to travel, hacks to travel more cheaply, and making money on the road, and plans to continue this remote lifestyle into the foreseeable future. Also a photographer, her most active social media platform is Instagram.

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