Asked on 07 Dec 2018
I have been frugal since my JC days, never gone for exchange or grad trips because I saw them as luxuries. However, it feels like I missed out on a lot of things by keeping my head down and just focusing on working and saving. Kind regret after hearing so many stories of someone younger than I am.
Truly travel experience with seeing it yourself is an experience that cannot be replace.
However, there's nothing wrong for being frugal. I am a frugal person too. You have a target, knowing to save for future and work hard for it. It is a good attribute.
Don't regret, you're still young. There's plenty of time.
I suggest you start with :
1) Reading travel blog.
2) Viewing travel video.
3) Read lonelyplanet (library has it too)
Continue the hardwork, someday you'll be in a position where you'll need to travel for work. With that you can ask to extend your ticket to come back later, where you only need to pay for the extra days on weekend hotel, food etc. This will help save a lot and yet still get to travel.
On the other hand, after you've read / view quite some travel blog / video, you can target to start with Bangkok / thailand / taiwan, it won't cost so much and research about how to save during your trip. Find 3 friends who wants to go also and travel together to share and save cost on accomodations, transport or event air ticket and work out the cost. Allocate a small budget monthly and work towards it to fund your total cost of this and try to go like at least once a year. It can be nearby and start with these places, slowly when you earn more then you can go further :)
At the end of the day, beside relax, recharge, it is also a way to enrich your life :)
Don't need to #FOMO but also need to balance and enjoy life a little :)
As always, many experience travellers here in Seedly or over at Shopback Smarter Way community and you can always ask questions and someone would always be happy to answer your question and share their experience :)
It's never too late to start :)
Happy Planning! :)
It's never too late to start!
But in fact, you are not losing out. You had different perspectives and priorities on how you want to use your money at, and that doesn't make you not as good as your colleague. She or he can be sharing about his or her experiences traveling, you can always share on areas you have invested your time and money in! The probable reason why you're feeling that way is because you cant seem to understand those true real excitement your colleague shares because you didnt experience before. And.. who says that traveling a lot = more creative? It might just be her or him being a creative individual, even without traveling!
So turn those "envy" into reality by setting a new goal for yourself! Of course, just dont end up too caught up wanting to "be like him/her" and forgotten about what you truly value.
Everyone is unique and has their own creativity, dont live a life thinking about how another individual can be so great, live a life where you feel great about yourself would be so much more important.
Hi there. Rest assured, you are not missing out on much.
I personally have travelled a fair bit at a very young age. From places in ASEAN to London, South Africa, and multiple states across the USA, I’ve been to pretty much most places that millennials wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.
While at that age I felt it was an experience to remember and almost something people revered me for, it didn’t quite add up in the end. I might have gained a lot more insight on how different places looked like, how different cultures worked and operated and celeberated and lived, I also realized it wasn’t deep enough an experience to really understand the country, its politics, its economy, its history and its people, which is something to really be proud of if you could even glean that much information and retain it. On top of that, such information would only be useful if it were even applicable to your life and your work. If not, it’s merely something to brag about.
Over the years of working, and now as a financial planner, I grew to realise how insanely impractical and irrelevant such trips can be. Impractical, as it encourages unnecessary spending. Irrelevant, because why would you really need them in your day to day life? Travel should be something to indulge in as a form of entertainment and relaxation, so don’t worry if you feel like you’re “missing out”!
If you feel the need to learn beyond your curriculum, or given education, there are so many places to start. Your peers might even start looking up to you!
Explore online courses via Coursera, or LinkedIn. Join online communities via Slack to meet people from all around the world who’re interested in the same topics as yourself. Participate in webinars, online seminars, online events.
Keep up with the latest news from international channels, and join channels that allow you to understand the real scenarious and opinions behind such news articles.
If you ever want to travel, traveling frugally is definitely doable and twice the fun. Sharing Airbnb spaces with your friends or other locals, or Couchsurfing, are fantastic ways to broaden your perspectives of the culture in the destinations you travel to.
Lastly, don’t ever allow yourself to feel pressured or as though you mean less than your peers. Being frugal is a very respectable and very rewarding trait and habit to have — trust me. You’ll see in time!
Always strike a balance. I was like you - constantly working and saving from my early 20s. I was fortunate though, as my job required me to travel to many different countries. Consider the following list of countries I went to as a solo female traveller, and which ones I went to for work vs for leisure:
2011: Hyderabad, India (multiple times for work)
2012: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (work)
2012: New York, U.S. (work)
2012: Semarang and Jakarta, Indonesia (work)
2012: Manila, Philippines (work)
2013: Delhi and Bangalore, India (work)
2014: Tokyo, Japan (work)
2014: Paris, France (leisure)
2014: Vienna, Austria (leisure)
2015: Jakarta, Indonesia (work)
2015: Beijing - Shanghai - Harbin - Shenzhen, China (work)
2016: North Carolina, U.S. (work)
2017: Taipei, Taiwan (work)
2018: Irvine, U.S. (work)
2018: Los Angeles, U.S. (work)
As you can see, most of my travel was for work (think airport hotel office meetings hotel - rinse and repeat), and that really affects how much of the country you can really see.
So I would say, start reading broadly on the countries you want to visit, watch travel vlogs and get inspiration on the places you want to visit. There are many places you can travel to on a budget.
Most importantly, really immerse yourself in the culture. Stay with locals and friends if you can - it often is also more cost effective, and you truly can experience the country like a local, instead of a tourist or business traveller.
Having creative ideas and travels alot may or may not be related.
To travel a lot is easy.
To have creative ideas is not. The best proof is us Singaporeans.
Not saying it won't help but it is unlikely to help most folks especially if the wrong mindset.
I do not think you have lose out either.
Consider what has your friend gain with all the travels and "creative ideas"?
this is life. life sucks. Some are born with silver spoons and better financials. I also dont travel much to european countries or US but heard others who did really experienced great things.
Well, that's life. Live with it.
If you intend to stay out of your comfort zone, try look for a job with regional exposure, such as project engineer/manager, sales engineer/manager, this way you get to travel around for business needs and personal exposure.
Nonetheless, I must warn you that such jobs get frustrating over time due to possible cultural conflicts, especially when you want to settle down....
I believe everyomne of us has their own priorities and their own timeline. When you look at others who are well travelled, it doesn't mean they are doing good in other aspects of life. They might seem more learned after experience the different cultures etc. but who knows they might be living from hand to mouth just to feed their travelling desires. To be truly happy is to know when to stop comparing with others and be the best version of yourself. Do what you like, like what you do. Good things will surely come to you, don't fret :
Don worry, the countries will not disappear over night. You can watch some youtube videos on those travel vloggers First. once you had earned enough money, you can then go and experience the country first hand.
Perhaps change your mindset about the situation you're in -
1) travelling to visit other countries doesn't mean that one need to splurge.
2) gaining experience and cultural exposure doesn't require one to travel very far... being chinese, a visit to an Indian temple on my off day and 'becoming' a tourist for the day is in itself a culturally enriching experience.
3) just because someone is able to tell good stories and have the influence of people around doesnt imply that you don't equally have things to share.
4) learning to take things a tad slow in daily pace, observing the things around, and sharing your observations with others, are good ways to start learning how to share/tell a story.
my recommendations -
1) go do volunteer work around the region.
2) read books, novels, stories. A person who doesn't read a book, has but one mind and one eyes. The reader's mind expand by a hundred fold, and sees beyond just a single pair of eyes....
3) share your stories, and let others into your life. Being vulnerable to people whom you are familiar and safe-to-be with is not a disadvantaged situation.
4) budget for your Trips. I won't even say travel because you need not 'travel' out of town to experience a 'different life'. example, the air in the farm-stay at lim chu Kang farm-chalet is really different from the air of my HDB flat no matter how high i stay....
5) stop thinking that others are ahead of you in being 'interesting'... you're who you are and if people does not accept you for who you are, time to change 'friends'.
To catch, do what he did.
But why is there a need to catch up? There are many many people doing better than you, way ahead of you, younger than you, that you will never be able to catch up no matter how hard you try.
At the same time, there are many many dying to be in your position.
Just focus on being the best you can be, and have your own goals and work toward it.
Probably not in the best position to give advice considering how much I still can learn, but you could consider applying for a job overseas, somewhere perhaps with a language you understand so that the living adjustments won't be too tough on you, but also a place where you know would surely test your boundaries.
Everyone only have 24 hours a day. This is something that you either,
1) make full use of it
2) think but no action
Being frugal is nothing wrong. You can still plan overseas trip, at budget cost, and still go for sight seeing. There are two ways to go about doing this. For every dollar you spend, seek to maximise the use of it. Be it on cashback cards, to using it online for booking hotel, and using shopback, and also deals on air ticket during low peak season (which may cost $61 including tax). But also, plan with friends who may have gone before. Leech all the experiences they have. Its way easier to lead a fulfilled life while also doing value spending / saving.
At the age of 28, I decided to study and work part time in the UK after a 4 years-stink in the industry. I took the opportunity to travel some places in the UK and Europe. Some of my friends took the holiday visa to explore the regions. These are the alternatives which do not cost you a fortune if you wish to have different life experience. Note that, after 2 years of sabbatical, I had to start fresh in the industry. But I have no regret about it.
There should be a balance in life.. if u r afraid that u may overspend n need to save up for a big ticket item.. try budgeting a budget for your overseas trip that u r comfortable with.. so that u will not spend with guilt n still managed ur finance well..
In addition, I hope u r also making full use of ur savings and not just putting everything into the bank..
In conclusion.. nobody will cry that they did not work enough on their death bed.. but is the memories created that they will miss..
It's never too late. Start by planning your next vacation soon! You can start with somewhere nearby, say Thailand/Indo or even Korea/Japan. These are awesome places to start with! :)