Author Topic: Travel vs earlier FIRE  (Read 6536 times)

TribecksMustache

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2018, 09:35:29 AM »

That's the thing though, it is a side hustle. I'm just not hardcore enough that I'm willing to spend my free time on more work. Even as time-efficient as card churning is, my understanding is that I'd need to be applying for and cancelling cards at least every 3 months. That also means updating all places where the card is saved (paypal, bill pay, etc). I'd also need to carefully track my expenses to ensure I meet any minimums. Between the work itself and the worry/paranoia/stress of having missed something, it just doesn't meet my cost-benefit threshold.

so how much do you make an hour at your job? also you dont have to change the location and move spend over there are ways around that- this is the easiest way to meet both of your goals with almost no effort - meanwhile a 2-3k trip probably takes you 100 hours of work minimum pre tax to accomplish.  vs 2-3 hours of time to get it for free.

You're framing it like a tradeoff, but it's not. I don't get to take those 100 hours of work off because I did 3 hours of card work. It's not 100 vs 3, it's 3hrs of work vs 3hrs of actual hobbies or must-do errands.

Actually it is a trade off you're going to end up working many more than those 100 hours on the back end most likely.

You're not addressing my actual concern. Cutting a year or two off of my work plan doesn't do me much good if my mental health is shot to hell from stress. I do not embrace the workaholic attitude.

i mean you just answered your own question with this statement so - what exactly are you looking for now then?  You are going to choose travel and work longer - i'll submit that my solution adds little to no stress to your life and is the opposite of being a workaholic.  It gives you the best of both worlds without having to sacrafice either.  You clearly like to plan cheap vacations - this just give you an outlet to get them for free.  Most all other solutions proposed here involve more work than signing up and canceling credit cards - which contradicts not wanting to be a workaholic.

See bolded above for where we'll have to agree to disagree. The idea of tracking and changing cards constantly sounds decidedly stressful to me. So many ways to fuck up.

boarder42

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2018, 09:59:01 AM »

That's the thing though, it is a side hustle. I'm just not hardcore enough that I'm willing to spend my free time on more work. Even as time-efficient as card churning is, my understanding is that I'd need to be applying for and cancelling cards at least every 3 months. That also means updating all places where the card is saved (paypal, bill pay, etc). I'd also need to carefully track my expenses to ensure I meet any minimums. Between the work itself and the worry/paranoia/stress of having missed something, it just doesn't meet my cost-benefit threshold.

so how much do you make an hour at your job? also you dont have to change the location and move spend over there are ways around that- this is the easiest way to meet both of your goals with almost no effort - meanwhile a 2-3k trip probably takes you 100 hours of work minimum pre tax to accomplish.  vs 2-3 hours of time to get it for free.

You're framing it like a tradeoff, but it's not. I don't get to take those 100 hours of work off because I did 3 hours of card work. It's not 100 vs 3, it's 3hrs of work vs 3hrs of actual hobbies or must-do errands.

Actually it is a trade off you're going to end up working many more than those 100 hours on the back end most likely.

You're not addressing my actual concern. Cutting a year or two off of my work plan doesn't do me much good if my mental health is shot to hell from stress. I do not embrace the workaholic attitude.

i mean you just answered your own question with this statement so - what exactly are you looking for now then?  You are going to choose travel and work longer - i'll submit that my solution adds little to no stress to your life and is the opposite of being a workaholic.  It gives you the best of both worlds without having to sacrafice either.  You clearly like to plan cheap vacations - this just give you an outlet to get them for free.  Most all other solutions proposed here involve more work than signing up and canceling credit cards - which contradicts not wanting to be a workaholic.

See bolded above for where we'll have to agree to disagree. The idea of tracking and changing cards constantly sounds decidedly stressful to me. So many ways to fuck up.

lots of things can sound stressful until you attempt to do it. If you attempt to do this and its just overwhelmingly stressful you could stop - but its not as much tracking and updating as you may think

phred

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2018, 12:17:48 PM »
Your question's wording tells me you've already answered your own question.  Using your money for travel now will definitely postpone FIRE because you lose all the advantages of compounding. 
That said, travel while young is an important learning experience; we all learn what a-holes we can be.  The answer then is paid traveling.  There is teaching English while overseas, working on small farms (WOOFING), being a tour group liaison with travel groups (this is not tour guide).  My Mom did the latter an had a great time; flying to Russia in a cargo plane was an experience.
When I was (much) younger, I used to travel with AYH bicycle touring groups as assistant leader.  That way I got to tour New England without spending any money.  Ditto for parts of Europe.
If you travel as a "tourist" -- even cheaply -- you are just a customer.  If you actually work your way, then you can, if only briefly, embrace another culture so you can then compare it with your own.

Tour group liaison sounds interesting. Can you explain more about what that is?

My Mom used to work for a travel agency.  Travel agencies sell packaged tours (amongst other things).  Anyway, the tour guides, tour buses are all overseas.  Mom would be the babysitter to watch over the people from the time they got to the airport until they were handed over to the prearranged tour guide or overseas agency.  This was easy duty as most of the info was provided at the travel agency before hand.  For doing this, Mom got all expenses paid including a small bit of pocket money.  The tours she picked to go on always had some free/unscheduled days.

Many teachers do something like this.  If they can think up a good tour (art museums of London, etc), advertise it, and get enough people to sign up then a tour packager will do all the work in getting the tour put together.  The teacher will then get a free ride including air transportation.  If she only gets a few people to sign up she may at least get a personal discount

Reddleman

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2018, 12:18:00 PM »
Now in my 40s and closing in on FI, +1, again for travel.  I've regretted some purchases in my life, but travel was never one of them.

Yes hack, air b+b, split costs, etc.  But I'd say the best thing for me was to decide how much was "good" as far as saving for FIRE (like maxing out 401k and IRA) and automating it.  Then you can divert a little each month to a separate account for travel.  If you decide to do a side hustle, stuff it in that account as well.  As it grows you can think of it as "free" money for your next trip.  It's a bit of mental gymnastics, but it works for me. 

As your income increases, you can re-assess as necessary. 

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2018, 01:27:41 AM »
  But I'd say the best thing for me was to decide how much was "good" as far as saving for FIRE...

This is a neat mental hack, one that has been working out very well for me throughout all my finances. 

I have buckets for my savings, the first one filled is "old age" retirement.  The day may come where the choice to earn is no longer available, so I figure a baseline need for savings at a standard retirement age.  This one has actually already been filled for me, but I revisit each year as I have less time for growth and need to make sure it's keeping up with expectations.

Second bucket is FU money for today.  How much extra is enough to ensure I'm doing what I want with my life and not falling into the "just doing it for money" trap.  For me, the minimum here is 2X spending.  Two years is plenty of time to get my shit together and figure out what I want with my life at present, experiment with new careers, etc.  Call it an E-fund if you want.  All spill-over (not needed to fill #1 or #3) goes here and will eventually, probably, maybe, make me FI before the "old age" thing.

Third bucket is known wants.  Do I want to save for a house, buy a van and roam around BLM land for awhile, or maybe internationally travel for a couple years?  I fill it appropriately.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 01:30:52 AM by Classical_Liberal »

FatFI2025

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2018, 10:37:12 AM »
I'm a transportation analyst for a distributor. When I eventually get to more project-based work, I think I should be able to find something overseas especially with my middling German skills. But I actually took my first job because it was a company with a strong German presence. Even after a year there weren't any prospects and the original position sucked so I wouldn't do that again unless I was ok with the original position indefinitely.

If I were you I would seriously consider working for an oil company if you're not ethically opposed. I did it in tech consulting. Apply for a slew of overseas position and take the first decent offer. Once you breakthrough to the expat side -- experience working overseas -- you can become pickier. Your network will grow and you'll be able to find opportunities in different places. This way you can make a huge amount of money while traveling all the time. Granted with a full time job you're just going on shorter trips.

Why oil specifically?

Money and lack of requirement of highly specialized skillset. I see a lot of people recommending travel hacking, which is great if you're stuck in one place because of family or mentality. Also I respect digital nomads, which is what I plan to do after FIRE, but it would be hard to have a typical digital nomad income and FIRE. It doesn't sound like you're constrained at this point, so instead of scraping together cash or points, just have a company pick up the tab as part of your job. This way your proposed FIRE/travel tradeoff is moot or diminished if your international job pays more than your current one.

Other areas where there are big expat opportunities are in finance, consulting, and tech, but in my opinion those require more specific skills and experience than the oil industry. If you're interested, you could probably get qualled for a good tech job in less than a year. Keep in mind that you might have to take a not-so-great first assignment (Africa (not the Safari part)) to get your foot in the door. But I find that sometimes the less desirable destinations can be enriching in their own way.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 10:47:43 AM by RyaninLA »

rws

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #56 on: March 22, 2018, 02:16:16 PM »
I can't imagine not traveling for 16 years. Take those annual trips, you still need to enjoy your life and have experiences. Don't want to be 40 and regret not living your life.

Maybe try a side hustle to pay for the trips if it would make you feel better about it.

Rosy

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #57 on: March 23, 2018, 08:52:17 AM »
Can you compromise and do international travel every 2 to 3 years and road trip the other years. It seems to me that anyone who can afford to travel internationally every year must be rich. i.e. financially independent.

EDIT: or extreme travel hacking

Even without travel hacking, you can do a 2 week international trip for less than $2k.  If you think you need to be rich to travel, I think you might be doing it wrong.  Stay away from cruise ships, peak season, and don't sit down at a nice restaurant for every meal and you're most of the way there.  Forgo the fancy hotel, shop at grocery stores and/or eat street food, take local transport instead of taxis, and you've got it.

Sorry, thought we were on MMM forums. Going to Europe every year is pretty extravagant, even if done cheaply than most.

Well, actually, no, because since we are on the MMM forum - we are giving advice based on our values - in this case, travel. Using travel hacking or any of the other tips discussed here is just the icing on the cake or if you prefer a discussion on frugality and therefore totally mustachian:)

OP - one more vote for TRAVEL while you can. Don't even think twice, make it happen, via travel hacking and a side hustle if you have the energy and opportunity to make the side-hustle worthwhile.
I agree, two weeks is the absolute minimum for going overseas unless of course, you run into a dirt cheap flight bargain that simply cannot be ignored or you'll kick yourself for the missed opportunity. (in your position and at your age you can afford to be spontaneous)

Take it from an old lady, I don't regret any of my travels or living overseas. You never know what life holds in store for you down the line so do it while you can. The shift in perspective you gain by traveling internationally is priceless.
It will energize you like nothing else and you never know whom you might meet on a trip and what that may lead to:) - I'm speaking of job opportunities of course:)
BTW, insurance is another profession that can open doors for an international career. Global insurance and re-insurance. All of the top carriers have offices worldwide.

norabird

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Re: Travel vs earlier FIRE
« Reply #58 on: March 23, 2018, 09:49:44 AM »
Two weeks a year isn’t very much! And with mileage cards and backpacking, you won’t spend all that much. It’s absolutely a worthy expense, especially since we are talking about sixteen full years. You have to learn to live a little bit in the now and to be okay on spending within reason for what matters to you.