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Have you ever wanted to live abroad? I know I always have, but there always seems to be the issue of time, money and planning. For Humans of Ptownlife, I interviewed a Pleasanton local who had spent a year living abroad in the Netherlands and got some advice on how to plan and save up for the big trip.
But first, be sure to get caught up on the top tips and tricks for living abroad.
Now on to the essentials of traveling: money and planning. There are two essential phases for your trip abroad: the before and the during.
So how can you actually do all this?
Before – plan and save
“Some advice if you are able to stay a whole year: obviously, you want to save up so that that is possible… People ask us all the time, “how did you do that? How did you afford to do that?” You just have to save. You just have to make choices. And people say “ugh, I could never do that.” Well, yeah, you could. You just have to save for it. It took us years to save for it and it was totally worth it. For us, it was probably about 5 years of major savings. You’re looking at about a couple thousand dollars a month. We had, personally, two incomes, so we could make the choices to do that. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. It means that you can’t buy your favorite DVD the day it comes out or… well, nobody buys DVD’s anymore, but you just have to make those choices and it was worth it to us. We didn’t eat out as often and that kind of thing.”
During – have a budget but take opportunities as they come along
“Once we got there, we had a budget we had to stick to, but it turned out not to be that hard…we had a couple of rules about our budget. One is that if a travel opportunity came up, we took it, even if it meant going out of our budget because we figured there’s never going to be that opportunity again. We’re never going to just be able to get on a train and go to France or whatever. So that’s what we did, and we would go to Paris, and we went to Oslo in Norway, and we took a cruise of the Mediterranean and we took a cruise of the Baltic Sea so we could just get a feel for all of those. Even though that started to push us out of our budget, we felt like travel was the one place where we could break that rule.”
Stay tuned for more information on how to live abroad!