Wednesday, November 16, 2011

one wonders how you're able to afford it.

I got this message from a friend on facebook just now:
"This trip of yours is awfully expensive. one wonders how you're able to afford it. you're not drug dealing are you?"
Nope, I'm not a drug dealer :P thanks for the vote of confidence that I'd be able to pull off that job! Actually one week in Paris was almost the same as four weeks on the camino. Some people do the camino on a budget of 12€ a day. Then in Madrid and the South, Costa del Sol, I'll be with family. I lived with my dad for a few months before leaving Toronto and waited tables and saved as much as I could. There were some other factors too, an old boss owed me some $, my family sent me off with some generosity. The Camino is doable on any budget really. I kept a record of my spending for the first four weeks. My cheapest day was 12€, my most expensive day was 111€. The expensive day I bought thermal long johns, a thermal top and a 16gb memory card for my camera. I thought I would be able to upload photos along the way but that wasn't the case. Those three purchases will last for a while so its more of an investment for winter and future travel than just splurging on things. The least expensive week was 144€ and the most in a week was 253€ (the week of my most expensive day) I ate really well, I slept in a Pension when I needed, I didn't hold back on my needs and it was still rare to spend more than 25€ a day.
I met one woman on the Camino who is staying in a hotel every night and having her pack sent to each hotel, and not doing very many Km a day. Her trip is costing $4000AUS. Another guy did his trip on 12€ a day. A few pilgriams do their trips on the kindness of others for reasons such as to humble themselves, learn how to ask for help, and trust in the goodness and generosity of others.

I did a lot of research before my trip, and I mean years of browsing online of how to travel on a shoestring budget. Any time I would have the opportunity to buy something I would weigh the options, 'If I'm thinking of buying X where else could I put that money? How many plane tickets out of YYZ is that purchase?' I read sites like The Professional Hobo, Matador, Mixergy. Where I read about all different types of ways to live, to make money and to travel the world. The Four Hour Workweek is one of my favorite books. I have three copies that I lend out frequently. It changed my perspective on how people can live. It shows you the extremes, but also the possibilities that are available to you. Why spend your life waiting for what you want? Why not see if you can do that now? Every day on the camino was a day where I realized I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but right where I was. How often can one really say that? Travel doesn't have to break the bank, it depends on what you want from your travel experience. People all around the world are house sitting for eachother, working on organic farms, hooking up with a multitude of programs. I have a lot of resources on my computer that I'll have access to in a few days so please feel free to ask me any questions!


  1. Brilliant work Sam, I think Tim Ferriss would be happy to hear about your story. He likes featuring success stories, and sends them out to his followers every now and again:

    Maybe that could help create more traffic to your website and help with ad revenue perhaps.

  2. Thanks Ryan :)

    I'm not sure if I would consider myself one of the success stories just yet. We'll see how I fare over the next few months. But I guess making this trip is part of the first steps of living the life I want now.