“Travel is expensive”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these words and each time it kills me. After traveling overseas for 6 months I can tell you, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether you are traveling for a year, a month or a weekend, here is a list of tips and hacks that you can use to save money on travel.
My name is Edgar Hernandez III. I’ve always been up for an adventure. I remember hopping into the car as a kid and going on long road trips to Florida or Pennsylvania with my family. I remember the first time my mother took me to Disney World, we took a bus all the way down to Florida and I loved every minute of it, playing games and meeting new people. Also, the first time going overseas to visit my cousins in Germany; I remember being so excited to learn about another culture, see how they lived, what they ate, etc.
However, the travel bug didn’t really sink it’s teeth in me until I visited Hawaii in 2013. Hawaii was the first place I ever visited that I could see myself moving to. Beautiful beaches, gorgeous weather, awesome people and a vibe that I connected to. That trip really got me thinking about my life and how I wanted to live it.
After this trip I slowly started to make traveling a priority in my life. No longer would I settle for the 1 or 2 traditional vacations a year. I started to fit travel into my schedule whenever I could, going on road trips to cities within a few hours and flying domestically to places within 2-3 hours. I loved the more frequent trips but somehow it still wasn’t enough. Something was missing. I was supposedly living the American dream; the house, 2 dogs, good paying job. But I didn’t feel fulfilled.
My wife, Laurie, always dreamed of quitting her job to travel the world. I didn’t think it was possible. Who does that? Who quits a good job to travel without having a back-up plan. It wasn’t until the end of 2014 that I would finally make the decision to jump onboard. I remember visiting my aunt in Rhode Island around Thanksgiving. She had been battling cancer for a while now and it had been a long time since I had seen her. I remember spending the weekend with her reminiscing on the past and making plans to see her that Christmas. I never got the chance to spend Christmas with her. She passed away shortly after my visit.
Looking back I realize how much her death affected me. Life is too short to not do the things you want, to not be happy. There is a quote that I love by Randy Komisar, author of ‘The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur’; “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” I’ve used this quote many a time on social media and to describe to people who don’t get what I do how I feel.
In 2015, we hoped things would get better but that year was really tough. Laurie’s childhood home was lost in a fire. Almost everything from her and her family’s early years were lost. Thankfully Uncle Jimmy was safely evacuated by his caretaker, Bob. Later that year our beloved family dog, Bella, passed away. It was tough putting her to sleep and it was the last thing we needed to push us in the direction to live our dreams.
We started to go through the process of getting our house ready for sale. We decided that enough is enough, life is short and we wanted to see the world. So in 2016 we sold our house, most of our belongings and moved in with my mother. We saved up our money and started to plan our 6 month trip overseas. I remember clicking the “Book it” button for our one-way ticket to Paris, France. I was nervous but excited. We were actually doing it!
I remember arriving at the airport with my heart pounding from excitement. I still didn’t believe it was real. What were we doing? We actually sold our house, left behind our jobs to live out our dream. That was truly one of the happiest moments in my life. I remember seeing the Eiffel tower for the first time and tearing up. We did it! The next 6 months were filled with adventure, lots of laughter, some frustration but mostly joy.
When we returned I thought life would be different. I felt different, I thought differently but everything back home was the same. It was easy enough to get caught up in the rat race again, the 9-5 daily routine. I struggled with the thought of being put back in a box, of this being the rest of my life. All I wanted to do was travel, to escape. I realized that traveling long-term again wasn’t in my near future. I had responsibilities I needed to take care of, as did Laurie. So I started to look into ways I could travel more while still working a full-time job. Since we returned we’ve gone to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Puerto Rico (to help restore electricity after Hurricane Maria), Montreal and Iceland on my first solo adventure.
During this time I rebranded my website and social media platforms from Couple of Roamers to Weekend2Wander. The name change represents my focus for the future. I want to give my readers (you) the knowledge to follow their dreams and visit the places they’ve always wanted. I want to inspire others to make the most of their time away from work to see the world, including their own backyards. Life isn’t meant to be spent mostly at work, paying bills and then dying. Life is meant to be lived, to be experienced. It’s a journey, not a destination. Be daring.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Helen Keller
I hope my story has inspired you. If it has please share it with your friends and family. You can look forward to exclusive content and travel tips by being subscribed to my mailing list as well as my latest blog posts. Contact me and let me know what you expect from me and the blog and I’ll do my best to help. Thanks again! Remember, live your dreams.