As I meet people, I learn there is more to life than working until you retire. There is more than life that the simple things of just earning money. People have different views. People have different experiences. I truly believe travel is something that everyone should experience. It is often hard due to the means and the expenses, but it can be life changing. I met David Lowenthal (Travel Blogger for the Perpetual Traveler)in Chicago, Illinois. We were studying for a TEFL certificate together at the International TEFL Academy, and we were connected on so many different levels. We both had different stories to share. His story was very fascinating, and I wanted to learn more. I wanted to hear more. I did a Q&A with him via Skype, and was able to learn so much more from him.
Hi Dave. Thanks for the interview. Tell us about yourself!
I was born in California, grew up in Idaho. I went to school there and realized that school may not be for me. My roommate and I moved to Portland to do various different jobs. When I heard my dad was not doing well I moved back to Idaho. After my dad had passed away I decided to move to Washington, D.C., and I worked for several Libertarian Think Tanks. I had eventually graduated from college. I then started reading Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, which led me to seek out traveling to over 20 different countries. This experience alone granted so many opportunities and ideas that I could not get anywhere else. It forced me to go out and meet people, and to take advantage of several opportunities.
How did you save for your first trip?
I didn’t have to save too much. I was fortunate enough to have an inheritance from my father that helped fund my travels. I did not travel in the luxurious way. I often stayed in hostels. There were also various different ways to enjoy the freedom of travel without necessarily spending money. The parks, beaches, and public areas of cities were often free. These things alone helped me to stay on a good budget.
How did you afford to travel? Was there a budget?
A great way to stay on budget was thinking of budget friendly things to do. Staying in hostels, doing free things like going to the park, free walking tours, couch-surfing, going to the beach were some of the things that I used to stay on budget. Meeting new people in hostels helped to give opportunities to show new places that you cannot find in the guide books. It was good to be able to save. It gave me the opportunity to see so much more.
How did you keep to that budget?
I made a plan that to use a formula that I would only need 3x the amount of a hostel stay. I would save at places, but loved to enjoy the new and wonderful food that was abundant. Food was a luxury that I was all about. Any place I went, I wanted to try out the food and be able to enjoy those luxuries. I would save money on everything except for the food. It is all about what you want your experience to be. If you want to live fancy you can, but you have to save somewhere. Budgets are important.
I know you are trying to work as an English teacher. What gave you the idea to teach English?
It would help fund my stay in Berlin as I try to set up my own business. I want to create a blog to show the bar scene in Berlin. I want to be able to show the best places, some great date ideas, and even some secret places. I also want to create a mini documentary series on Berlin people.
What advice might you have for others doing what you are doing?
There are 3 Things:
- Plan some of the things. Some people just say go where life tells you. You need to have some sort of plan to help you enjoy the things you would like to see and do.
- Have someone at home that you trust that can help in case of an emergency. Have that person also take care of back home things, which you may not be physically able to do.
- Have two different bank accounts. One is for travel and one will be for back home things. It will also prevent the case in which one debit card may be stolen.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Traveling will change you. It will make you a more educated person. It will give you a better sense of what the world is like.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
Sometimes you have to be an introvert and an extrovert. You have to force yourself to go out and meet people. They will not automatically invite you out. Sometimes you will be alone. There will be times when you are the only one in the hostile. You have to tread that line to be able to fully enjoy the experience.
What is your number one piece of advice for new travelers?
If you decide to go out and travel just go and do it. Plan it, and do it. Time will not wait for you.
I want to thank David for the great interview we did with each other. He has now created a blog about some of his travels as he has been traveling the world. His blog is “The Perpetual Traveler.”
If anyone wants to be part of my interview series please let me know. I want to get insights into the various different types of people that travel. Life changes and sometimes a trip or vacation can help point you into the right direction. Leave me a comment, or send an email. I would love to hear from you all.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine