How to Save $100K Traveling the World Non-Stop for 10 Years

Thinking about chucking it all and traveling the world? Wondering how you could make the finances work? 

That — and the fundamental inertia of the human experience — is the reason most people who want to travel don’t: because the finances freak them out. How to give up a steady salary when too often it feels like you’re just getting by? 

The Professional Hobo — a.k.a. Nora Dunn — knows the answer. And not just because she quit her job 10 years ago to travel to 60 countries, with no plans to return home. Dunn knows the answer because the job she quit was as a financial planner

Seriously: We’ve never seen such detailed records of the finances behind adventures like this.

The most important statistic? Her total spend for 2016: $25,288. That’s all-inclusive, from phone and internet ($356 ) to transporation ($3,311).

Without a doubt, the most key figure on the pie chart is accommodations: $2,646. What, you’re saying? That’s pretty good for a month’s rent in New York or San Francisco? Agreed — but this is for the year.  She estimates that she’s saved around $100K over her 10 years of living the travel life.

How’s she do it? No fancy hotels. No un-fancy Airbnbs. Instead, she couchsurfs, takes on volunteer work in exchange for housing, or seeks out “immersive cultural experiences.” As she told Time: “[This style of travel] allows me to delve a lot deeper into the intricacies of a different culture, of a place where I’m living, of the language, of the pace of life, of the food, and to really sample what it’s like to live in that place as opposed to merely pass through it.”

If you’re asking us, we say go for it — or take a look at Dunn’s books for a view of life in the field. 

Chart credit: The Professional Hobo