“How can you afford to cycle around the world?!”

A while ago I wrote about the 7 most common reactions you get when you tell someone you’re cycling around the world. One of those mentioned is that people view money as a huge barrier to such an adventure. I’ve regularly been asked how I can afford it, and it’s a question frequently loaded with the assumption that I’ve won the lottery or have rich, generous parents (who won the lottery). I don’t think the cycle will be as expensive as many people believe, but that’s another story altogether. What I do believe is that something as boring as money shouldn’t need to be a barrier to achieving your dreams. It may not be easy, but if you want to achieve something enough, re-thinking through your priorities and making a few (small) sacrifices can go a long way!

  • While all my friends were skiing and boarding in brand new flashy gear throughout the ski season, I was repping second-hand cheap skiwear, looking way less stylish, but hardly affecting my enjoyment, or ability to ski in the slightest!
  • While all my friends were shelling out hard-earned cash for a car, insurance, petrol, servicing and other associated costs, I’ve not driven a car in the 3 years since passing my test; instead you’ll likely find me walking or cycling everywhere, occasionally relying on public transport as a last resort. Such a decision was good for my fitness, the environment, and my wallet!
  • Virtually all of us buy our food; that’s pretty standard. For my last year of University, I dumpster-dived, grabbing my food from the bins behind supermarkets. I actually seemed to eat better food than when I was buying it, and it was a pretty exciting and adventurous experience, as well as encouraging me to think about the scandalous amount of food waste within our society.
  • Like virtually my entire generation, I wanted to travel and see some of the world during my long University summers. Like many others, I could have paid to go and visit some exotic faraway land. Instead, I spent two summers working on a camp in America and a horse ranch. Those six months were some of the most exciting and memorable of my life thus far, even while earning money, and I don’t feel I missed out on ‘travelling’ at all!

It is no exaggeration to say that the examples shown above have saved me thousands of pounds, and, to those who ask how I am funding the cycle, it is such compromises in which lies the answer.

What do you want to achieve most? Once you know that, start taking the steps working towards it, and don’t let money be a barrier, but instead a mere hurdle to overcome!

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