You don’t need to be rich to travel the world

don't need to be rich to travel

Many say that is only rich people who can afford to travel, that travel is very expensive and you need a lot of money to leave the city where you live and explore the world.

I can tell you that this is not necessary true and something more: You don’t need to be rich to travel!

My travels started when I was very young and my first solo travel outside Chile was when I turned 18. At that time I was a student and not even close to have a fortune (I didn’t even had a bank account back then).

At that time I worked in many things, sometimes as a waitress in restaurants and with a catering company, I gave massages and done different “pitutos” (the Chilean expression that states doing odd jobs through someone you know) in all and random things that was possible to get some money from.

As I never liked to buy “many” things , most of the money I was gaining with this jobs (as I’m still doing this nowadays) was saved with one and only goal: to Travel and see the World.

One of the questions I get most often is about this and how or what to do to travel as much as I do. I can tell you I have not received any heritage, not even I have become rich.

I will tell you here how I’ve done it so far to travel to many of my dream destinations (my trip to Macchu Picchu cost me just under 300USD for a month including air and bus tickets) and how am still able to keep traveling for long periods of time.Macchu Pichu

Organizing life around a goal

When you have your goals clear it is much easier to make them happen than when you don’t know what you want to achieve.

When I decided that my biggest dream was to travel I undertook a life plan and I was living as austere as I could, which meant doing savings in many areas and not spend unnecessary money .

It’s amazing what you can spend each month partying (especially in alcohol and cigarettes) so I try to leave it as little as possible when I’m in savings plan. Many will say to me: But that’s boring!

It’s all a priorities thing my dears.

If travel it is a priority to you as it is for me, then you can do this savings plan and to live without all those things that you spend your money every day and that could mean your next ticket to Southeast Asia. If travel does not mean something important and priority will clearly be more difficult to save money and to not buy that overpriced underwear fashion brand.

If you really think that is very expensive to travel, so why not consider change that expensive clothing brand in which you spend most of your income? Or in everything else, as all the makeup and perfumes you pay as soon as you get your paycheck? Or do you spend on eating out several days a week?

If you do not win all the money you want in your current job you can make a savings plan and cut all those expenses that are not so necessary and can mean to save in a year enough money to travel to almost anywhere in the world, even coming from a South American country from where I come and not having big money from your current job.

Don’t wait for the perfect time to travel

If there is anything I’ve learned over my lifetime  (and something that applies to EVERYTHING else in life) it is that if you wait for the perfect moment to whatever, that day may never come.

For many years I was calculating how much money I should have to go to India, and for how many days would last that money. I knew the name of each city that I wanted to visit and the name of every dish I wanted to try there, you know what happened? Years were passing and that moment could never came if I waited longer! Because that’s what usually happens in life and that perfect moment in your mind can be very different from real life!

My trip to India turned out to be wonderful and totally out of my plans, and being there I realized I could have gone on forever waiting for that perfect omentum and had spent many years before coming to my dream destination.

We ourselves are the ones who put impediments and barriers to achieve our goals, often this comes out of fear, lack of experience, insecurity, or,  as I think: for listening too much others opinions.

nomadic chica on the road--3

Work while you travel

If you have some skills you can work while traveling and keep having some cash flow. Many times I have done therapies and massages while I travel, which is something I’ve practiced and studied for many years .

Many people teach languages while traveling abroad​​, being English and Spanish highly sought in several countries as a second language.

I guess you already know that usually Hostels are cheaper than a Hotel, there’s even luxury Hostels at not very high prices​​. Currently many hostels have an exchange for your working hours for a room and food, but be careful with that, many times the cost of a room is much cheaper than it would cost those same working hours. So keep it in mind to make a fair deal and that means not only a benefit to the Hostel .

There are many websites for hospitality exchange at different levels, the one I know better is probably Couchsurfing, and while it is not a place to only to find a free place to sleep , it’s wonderful to connect and meet with locals and find opportunities in the city where you want to travel and stay longer. I’ve had found very good job opportunities through whom I have met in some of these networks.nomadic chica on the road--2

Without any doubts, the most harmful can be not try it

Many times we stop trying to fulfill our dreams. The routine can consume even the most positive and motivated and the different circumstances in life will influence our mood. I can attest to how the routine can change our state of mind and is very easy to fall into the circle to make money-pay bills and lose focus of our dreams.

Each life story is different and I have very clear that there are often situations that make it difficult to achieve the goal of traveling. Extreme poverty of course will make it much more difficult to save money to pay for a ticket, but even many people who can and try to are the most respectable travelers I know, hitchhiking everywhere and working on the most unexpected things in such cases.

Also, I always come back to the priorities topic, travel it is not as important to everybody at the same level and is equally valid not feel the need to explore and move beyond, but if that is what moves your deepest feelings of happiness or fulfillment then I can only say: Please try to avoid the idea that it is difficult or not possible to travel the world.nomadic chica on the road-

I’m convinced that we can do what we want if we really try.

The main impediment is what we believe we can do, or we can have. If you think to travel the world it is only for rich and you do not consider yourself rich, then you probably will not be traveling beyond your doorstep.

There are times that to do what you dream you have to take the chances. I once heard or read that if your biggest dream does not scare you a bit, then that’s not really your biggest dream.

To me the idea to travel constantly and all the time you want even gets me into little panic at times, because it’s something I’ve dreamed about for so long that I’ve gone through periods where I think it is a ridiculous dream, but now I’m working and realizing it can be true and there are still some days when I must admit that scares me to finally make this a reality and all that happiness would be closer.

Clearly this kind of life journey is not easier than one more traditional, but it is what I dream and vibrate, each has their own and should at least try to make them come true, otherwise why have all the tools and skill we have in this life? I think it is to at least try it!

And you, do you also believe that you don’t need to be rich to travel?

Nomadic Chica

Gloria, the Nomadic Chica, is a native of Santiago Chile. Growing up dreaming of travel and international exploration, Gloria set out to make her dreams come true. Having traveled through Asia, Europe, and South America, Gloria has a wealth of travel knowledge and experience to share. was created to inspire others to travel and empower solo female travels with knowledge. Follow Gloria as she brings the world of travel to you.


  1. Wonderful tips! I believe its easier to work while travelling today than it has ever been! Social media managers, photographers, digital marketers, even chefs can practice their trade on the go and make a living from it!

  2. No tenes el mismo post pero en español? Algo entiendo pero no completamente y me interesa mucho!

  3. Thank you for the amazing post! It’s very inspiring! My boyfriend and I travel a lot but we find that we have to save up quite a bit before we commit to a trip! You inspired me in trying to pick up and go somewhere with what we have on hand! We definitely need to stay in more hostels and think of fun and adventurous was to save while connecting with the communities!
    Keep up the good work! Love the post!

    • Thank you Jenn! I think we put a lot of barriers waiting for THE perfect moment to do something and that moment could actually never be as we are expecting it to be…so start with what you can in the moment, plan a bit for bigger plans and it will happen! Best wishes for both of you and keep me updated!

  4. At 25 I decided that travel was important to me. I was on the road for 15 years, how you say ? I worked for club med. I ve been to (lived in) Thailand, the Ivory Coast in Africa, New Caledonia, Tahiti, most of the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Italy, France..and I still travel at 54. Every year I go to some country I ve never been. This fall it was Ireland…and all this because I read long ago that travel is the only expense that makes you richer and guess what, it’s very true.

  5. Love it, we are thinkling about taking our big international trip to Europe I am nervous but excited!

  6. Hi Gloria, it’s definitely well said. Reading this one encourages me that I’m not the only one think like this and of course, this post inspires me more to go travel and experience more. Keep inspire and happy travel!!

  7. hello there. Myself and boyfriend have travelled Canada on the cheap (and it aint cheap there) we hitchhiked and stayed for free in people’s lovely homes and camped near highways, volunteered on farms, hostels etc and it was fab. We felt so much excitement for this way of life. To live with dreams and passions.

    Since being back, the fear of the unknown has crept in, more so with him.. but it is true what you have said. We only impair ourselves from our dreams and let opinions and the ‘normal, conservative way of life- house bills- job security) stand in our way.

    reading this has increased my passion more so and I shall be getting my boyfriend to read it also.

    Have a bloody brilliant time travelling as I intend to.

    🙂 TravellerToad.

  8. Completely agree – well said! I took a half-year to go travel around the world, primarily in Asia, and my friends thought I was spending so much cash. Think about how much money you spend in rent – that money goes waaaaay further in SE Asia if you gave up your apartment to travel around the world!

  9. I completely agree! You could not have said it more perfectly! I think you can travel on most budgets & that travelling can be affordable (sometimes even more so than living at home)!

  10. That’s so true travelling is affordable as long as you do your research of cheap flights and accommodation your good to go.

  11. You couldn’t have said it any better! Traveling don’t have to be expensive. It is affordable, sometimes, even cheap that staying in one place. 🙂

  12. It’s true – travel really doesn’t have to be expensive! I got an email once from somebody who estimated he’d need a minimum of £4,000 a month to travel; I told him that I didn’t spend anywhere near that much even during my busiest travel month and he refused to believe me! It really is all about prioritizing what you do with your money, rather than the actual money itself.

    • Wow! All that money for one month only? Yeah, I could do it, but also I could travel a whole yer with that same amount of money being little bit more cautious, lol. It all depends on your taste I guess. If you prefer to stay in 5 star hotels and go to fancy restaurants, that money would be for a month, but if you prefer to travel more but can sleep in not so expensive places that could last for months! Thank you Jessica for your thoughts!

  13. Yep, you’re so right. We’re far from rich and we travel full time. People don’t realize how much they are spending to acquire and maintain a conventional lifestyle. Eliminate or reduce those expenses and there’s your travel money. Most people won’t, though.

  14. Thank you Gloria for this amazing inspirational post.

    Loved it and I love you whole blog very much 🙂

    I’d say your blog and this post will open many eyes
    for the desired reality everyone is capable of creating for themselves.

    As I’ve come to realise, most people operate from the state of lack.

    Lack of resources, information and belief.

    Thankfully your passion and mission will
    light fires in the hearts of thousands
    and change their lives forever 🙂

    Love and light,

  15. Pingback: Traveling The World: Cheers, The World Is Yours

  16. I totally agree! People think they can’t afford to travel, but it’s most often priorities. Happy travels!

    • Hi Shelley! Many thanks for reading me and happy travels to you to! 😉 It’s funny to see when people say they can’t afford to travel but they spend so much money in other things, no?

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