10 things I learnt about wealth from a year of travel

Gail Bainbridge
Jun 3 · 6 min read

Can you believe it I have been living my life of travelling for a year already!

For those of you that don’t know I sold my business back in March 2018 and I bought a Motorhome so that I could spend more time outdoors and explore this beautiful island I call home.

Over the last year I have spend 9 months on the road visiting and exploring the UK.

Its taught me some great things about wealth (amongst other things) and I wanted to share them with you!

Now obviously I’m not expecting you all to suddenly give up work and buy a motorhome (if you do though definitely give me a shout) but I have a feeling that these things are useful for us all.

1. You do not need anymore stuff!
Until you try and put everything you own into a 7.5m long van you have no idea how many possessions you have! Add to that the daily stress of tidying everything away and keeping the place neat and you soon come to be in love with the idea that less really is more. Do I miss the stuff? I can’t even remember what it was!

2. Your best life might not cost as much as you think
So this wasn’t really planned at all — but it turns out that I can live off less than £1,000 a month. I think because I’m always doing things I love out in nature I don’t spend so much money on quick feel good stuff. I still enjoy a really good meal out here and there when I want to be sociable but mostly my money goes on campsite costs, diesel and food.

3. The National Trust is amazing
Okay so this is for those of you that love the outdoors or a good stately home. I think the membership is something like £60 a year and then entrance and parking to any of their places is free! Amazing — I’ve definitely had my moneys worth this year! (And they do such a good job of looking after our gorgeous landscapes I’d probably pay them anyway!)

4. More time = more wealth
Having more time has definitely given me a feeling of wealth, it sometimes feels so extravagant to spend a day meandering along the coast or with my nose stuck in a good book. I thought that to do nothing I’d have to have loads of money. I have never felt so wealthy so much of the time. I have time to explore, time for people, time for conversations, when I meet someone new and interesting I’m not trying to get away to catch a bus or get to a meeting. I can just be present, everyone I have met has had an interesting story to tell.

For example I really loved meeting Peggy who at 73 years old had found the courage to take her first trip alone in her lovely vintage Motorhome, I noticed her as soon as she parked up opposite me. Peggy had lost her husband three years earlier but had recently found a group of other widows and widowers that love to go out in their motorhomes. She was lovely and she was out every night socialising!

5. Slowing down benefits wellbeing
I think I have spoken before that the word wealth comes from the old English ‘weal’ which meant well-being. Not so long ago, in fact maybe only two years ago, I used to get really painful trapped wind quite regularly (in fact I always had a secret stash of medication with me and panicked if I left it at home). I think in my time travelling I have experienced it only once and it was no where near as painful as the previous episodes. I’m not stressed, I take time to sit and eat instead of typing with one hand whilst shoving a sandwich in before a meeting, it has made a huge difference!

6. Live your values
I’ve really started to rediscover what I like and what I don’t like, what gives me energy and what I find draining. Knowing what gives me energy means I can tap into it at anytime for a boost. Mostly these are free things too, music, dancing, walking, talking! (Disclaimer: I do still have bad days they are just further apart and last for less time than they used to).

7. Practice saying yes to gifts
People are generous, I have had offers of a bed for the night from local strangers when storms have hit, I have been invited to barbecues or for wine by people I bumped into on a walk or whilst doing the washing up. I’ve been offered the opportunity to house sit and I’m writing this from the coast of Pembrokeshire where I’m staying with a friend for a week. It took me a while to start accepting the kindness of people, some of whom were all but strangers, but when I did all I felt was gratitude for their generosity.

8. Giving brings joy
With reduced expenses I am able to give to people I care about through donations or gifts or even just with my time. I can make myself available if I’m needed by friends and loved ones. There is definitely a balance between self care and contribution, and I have to be wary of it because my nature is to help, and when I do it from a place of ‘I have more than enough’ its incredibly rewarding. Is there any way to feel more wealthy than realising you had more than enough?

9. You are the creator of your life
I am literally making it up as I go, yes I bought a van and created a plan to travel around the UK and now its evolving. I started off hopping from one place to the next but it felt too frantic so I slowed down, I spend at least a week now in each place exploring.

I then found I wasn’t seeing enough of people so I started visiting friends and family, going to festivals and events. It then turns out that my brain didn’t really like being inactive so after about 9 months of nothing I started reading, learning about money, doing some online courses and researching how I could be better with it, that started to evolve into the course I am running now.

I am excited about my new business but now working on creating a balance between the freedom of the road and creating a business that makes a difference to others (and hopefully sparks more adventures) and provides an income for me to live.

I didn’t have a master plan, life is evolving.

10. Magic is real
Okay I’m running out now but I guess one of the other magical things I’ve discovered is the moments that you can’t buy like buzzards swooping in the forest, an otter appearing at my feet while I was trying to find a way across a river, ‘fishing’ in rivers with my nephews and watching other people breathe in deeply and relax when they come to visit for a few days.

Now I’m not suggesting that my life is the life you want, its my dream life. I invite you to take a look at your life, where is the magic? Feeling wealthy sneaks up in all kinds of places if you pay attention and notice it!

Come share on my Facebook page about where you see the wealth in your life I’d love to hear some of your stories.

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Gail Bainbridge

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Living the dream! I’ve done it I’ve sold my business, bought a motorhome & set out on an adventure to explore both me and this magnificent island I call home ❤️

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