The Ugly Side of Saving Money to Travel for One Year

Saving money to travel for one year can be an exciting thing when you first get started.

You might be thinking…”ALRIGHT! Here we go, time to hustle and work hard for the next year and earn tons of money to go see the world! WOOHOO!”

While it is true that there are many positive changes that will happen when you work hard towards the goal of saving money for one year, we as humans will have a tendency to overlook the negative obstacles that you may encounter along the journey.

I am currently five months and three weeks away from departing for my one year trip. Here are the major obstacles that I have faced thus far:

1. Way too overworked – I work as a Personal Trainer here in the Vancouver mainland for the local community centres. I make $15.50 per hour when I supervise the gym and $27.50 per hour whenever I train a client. Most of my hours worked come from supervising the gym. If I want to make money, I have to work many hours to hit my financial savings goal. Because  I am also running a travel blog and workshops, I am working an additional 10-15 hours per week. I spend at least 55 hours per week working on both my fitness job and my travel blog. This leaves very little time for relaxing, socializing and, recreation.

2. Frustrated, bored, and, demotivated – Many times, glancing across the weight room to make sure no one steals anything and that everyone is playing nice, an overwhelming feeling of boredom kicks in. I am thinking in my head while feeling an uncomfortable tingling at the back of my neck from my frustration…”When will this suffering end? Blasting through shift after shift with no end in sight is very demotivating. Perhaps this is a first world problem but it is a really painful experience! Come to think of it, this is a problem that everyone in the world faces, especially those who don’t have a one year travel plan to look forward to!

3. Constantly sick, tired, and stressed – When you work so many hours, you will be putting less emphasis on your health in order to push your body to work more shifts and build up your travel savings. I have never gotten more sick in my life until I started pushing very hard to work so many hours to meet my travel savings goal. Calling in sick is a very stressful option because not going to work means falling behind my savings goal. Taking time to rest means working less shift which means falling behind saving money. Thankfully, I’ve gotten the sick part under control now by taking more vitamin c’s and making sure I have one day off per week.

4. Friendships are neglected – Nothing makes me happier than hanging out with my friends. Working out with buddies, eating out in a big group, playing board games and video games, going hiking, etc… Because all my time and energy is being spent 100% towards saving money to travel for one year, the friendship department is currently non-existent. It sucks knowing that I haven’t spent time with my good friends in a long while because I really enjoy their company.

5. Being too frugal – I am not a frugal person at heart. When I want to eat out or buy something, I usually don’t hesitate and just go for it. Being too frugal feels restrictive and affects my freedom. On the flip side, this is a good habit to develop because it is not smart to over spend anyways.

6.  Tackling pre-trip BS – Before you leave for your big one year trip, there are tons of pre-trip BS you need to deal with. You need to find a place to store all your stuff. You need to make sure you can still receive the bills the government send you so you don’t get in trouble (like MSP payments). You need to entrust your mail to someone responsible. You need to get shots if you plan on going to Africa, Asia and South America. You need to get VISAS for countries you plan on visiting. You need to buy all the necessary gear such as a backpack (or luggage), electronic converter, money belt, etc. As you can see, the list is endless and can be quite a nuisance!

7. Moving back home –  Let’s face it. Moving back home sucks! You have to deal with your parents meddling in your business. After living on my own for the last three years, moving back home is hell on Earth. There is nothing worst than people invading your personal space and privacy and having no choice but to live by their rules. This is the sacrifice you have to make to save money on rent and build up your travel funds much quicker.

8. Unemployed upon return – I like Personal Training. However, I don’t like supervising the weight room because of the sheer number of annoying, rude and, self-entitled people you have to deal with. Nonetheless, it is steady income and I will have none of that when I travel the world. I believe this is the biggest fear that everyone has and also the reason why people would be hesitant to travel the world for one year. The thought of losing your cushy, steady, and secure job is just too painful that people would rather not travel.


If you want to travel the world for one year, then it is a good idea to mentally prepare yourself for the major obstacles you will face. Accept the fact that you will be stressed to death, have no life, no job upon your return and, you need to be okay with that. I haven’t left Canada yet but I know going on that one year trip will be worth the effort. After all, if you ask someone if they regret traveling the world, you will never hear anyone say yes.


2 thoughts on “The Ugly Side of Saving Money to Travel for One Year”

  1. I hear you. Good for you for being brave and taking the positive steps towards your goal. Hope to meet up with you during your travels, as our paths might cross.

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