Thrive Global
Published in

Thrive Global

Why the Best Time to Travel is When You’re Broke

There’s no better time to start traveling


The biggest excuse I hear from people who say they want to travel but never can is…

“I don’t have enough money”


Most people that say this regularly spend anywhere from $200–400 on the weekend getting drunk and wasting their time and money. These people will never experience travel the way you will. They regularly save up a few thousand dollars and book THE MOST AMAZING all-inclusive travel experience EVER!!!

…let me tell you a secret…

You can have 10x the experience while spending at least 10x less than these people.

If you’re broke and thinking your time to travel is nothing but a fantasy at the moment — think again. Traveling while you’re broke is the ideal time to truly experience everything the world has to offer.

If you want to travel and you’re thinking about putting it off — this is exactly when you’ve got to go!

Photo by Austin Neill

So why is this true?

Because when you’re feeling like you’re at the bottom, this is when you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. When you have little options in your current life, you have the opportunity for unlimited options elsewhere.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. — George A. Moore

If you have little money left in your bank account and a crappy job you feel stuck in — you have ZERO downside to leaving. What’s the worst that could happen to you? You end up coming back home broke and have to get a different shitty job!?

On the other hand — if you do decide to travel while you’re broke — what you’ll find is that you’ll actually gain skills that employers are screaming for. You’ll gain initiative, be more open-minded, have personal skills that are lacking in the workplace today.

If you haven’t left your hometown and worked somewhere else in the world…

Get. Out. Now.

If you have the right mindset — thinking the world is full of abundance (which it is) — trust me, you’ll find something along your travels that will completely change your life. Most people find what they love to do after traveling and learn how to make a living out of it.

I did :) Developing websites and apps for businesses around the world —

My Maldivian office :)

In the beginning, you’ll naturally appear like a chicken running around with your head cut off. A lot of people may begin to call you out for running away — from your issues, responsibilities, etc.

Tell them — “Yes, you’re absolutely correct!”

Obviously there isn’t something right with your lifestyle or you’re feeling empty for some reason. NEVER feel bad about getting up and leaving. It’s completely OK, and often times a great way to hit ‘refresh’ and start over. Our minds and actions can so easily get caught in unhealthy routines — sometimes we never even realize it (most people go their entire lives without realizing it!). The best way to rid yourself of these habits is to get away.

One of the easiest first steps I suggest before taking this jump is to sell your TV…oh hell don’t sell it — chuck that thing as far as you can out the window!!! It’s your biggest procrastination tool and will keep you from finding your own mindset and following your heart.

So, if you’ve read this far you’re probably thinking by now —

OK you’re convincing me a bit this is probably something I need to do…but I’m actually struggling and don’t think I can do this.

This is the thinking that will never let you truly break free and enjoy real, life-changing travel.

Why you may ask?



Those people I mentioned at the start of this article — you know the ones saving for that next big trip — well, they eventually go on that trip, but never really enjoy it because they’re so anxious about going back to ‘reality’. They can’t be spontaneous and have open plans because they have to get back to their ‘real lives’.

When you’re in a tough financial situation and have nothing to lose, you can freely go after every opportunity that comes your way.

What if you were offered a job for a few months at a tiki bar in Costa Rica like you always dreamed of?

Or how about a few month long adventure going cross-country in a campervan?

What about if you met some new friends in Panama that wanted you to hitch along on their sailing expedition across the Pacific?

When you have nothing to lose, it’s so much easier to say — HELL YES!

PS — Each of the examples are 100% true stories that either I’ve taken or met people who have come about these opportunities.

So now that you know this is possible — what sounds scarier to you?

A) Going away on a wild adventure and having to come back in the same financial position as when you left.


B) Continuing the Rat Race without learning anything new.

Unless you’re able to break free from whatever rut you find yourself in, you’re most likely going to spend the rest of your life working the same exact job you are now just to keep food on the table and a roof over your head.

Broke? Hate your job?

In the words of one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, whenever he came across an idea he fancied he’d always respond…

“Screw it, let’s do it”

Move away and find work while you travel. Volunteer your skills or labor to stay somewhere for free. Work on farms around the world. Create a YouTube video blog. If you’re reading this article from a computer your options are endless.

If one of my friends said they got fired from their job, they’d probably freak out — something along the lines of thinking the sky was falling.

If they ever asked for my advice — I’d simply say “did you love this job?” If their answer was no, which I guarantee is at least 80% of my friends — I’d reply “Then why are you so down — let’s go celebrate!”

A big life change like getting fired is one of the best opportunities you can get — it’s the opportunity for a complete rebirth. While emotions are high and you're in a highly-sensitive, mental state, it gives you the time to rethink about what you want in life.

Your self-confidence and self-esteem will no doubt have taken a hit. But just like any success story or successful entrepreneur, it takes a time of being knocked down to spur up those ambitious juices and create something truly great. It’s entirely up to how you respond to your particular situation.

What I suggest is you change the way you talk to yourself. And then really start to think about what you want in life.

You’ll need to pay some bills of course — but don’t look for the next homerun immediately.

If you’re under 30, you can get a working holiday visa for 1 year to legally find work in a bunch of countries.

Options of other jobs include:

  • Uber driver
  • Teach English (or another language you speak)
  • Hobby instruction (sports, music, etc.)
  • Get accredited to become a SCUBA instructor
  • etc. etc. etc.

Define your goal and take it step by step.

Think of something that’ll get you closer to your goal each day and do it.

After many days, they’ll add up and before you know it — you’ll look back and realize — wow, I found a new job, new passion, and maybe even a new home. I had an adventure I’ll never forget and experienced life the way most people will never get the opportunity to.

Want to know the secret of some of the most successful people like Oprah, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk. They were all broke AF one day. And they were no different than you (ok ok Elon is kind of a genius 😆). One day they made a promise to themselves and all decided they weren’t going to let life knock them around. That they were going to take control.

You can ALWAYS change your situation. Don’t listen to the excuses.

Spend time by yourself and find that inner voice of what you really want.

JUST GO already, would ya!?

Call To Action

If you want to learn how to become a digital nomad and escape the rat race, check out my free guide called: “Digital Nomad Guide to Working Anywhere in the World (2017 Edition)”.

Click here to get the guide right now!




Opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees.

Recommended from Medium

A Point Between Two worlds — My Favourite place in the World

a little to eat, a little to talk, a little to bring home

The end of a decade, a return to Guatemala, and the meaning behind my new tattoo

Contessa 26 Refit: Part 1 — How I accidentally bought a boat

South America: travel by colours!

My 2020 in Review

When I Met My World of Warcraft Guild for the First Time— In China

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Phil Manning

Phil Manning

Surf | Design | Develop —

More from Medium

10 Funny Retirement Gifts To Celebrate Your Coworker’s New Chapter

3 Reasons Why Not Having Title Insurance Is A Major Risk

5 Things Being Fired And Taking 30 Days Off Taught Me

FIRE up my life

Free as a bird