“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.” – Paolo Coelho
If you think travel is expensive, then most probably, you never really had an adventure just yet. Our family can say that with conviction because we have been there.
The family who follows routine and “saves for the kid’s future.” The family who doesn’t define what is important for the family members, but tries very hard to “fit in,” such as attending birthday parties and then throwing birthday parties or play groups with lots of freebies!
In no way, we are claiming that these parties are bad or waste of time. It’s just that, at birthday parties, you always see that one awkward group of people who look like they are trying to have fun, but can’t because it’s not in their DNA to be around people. When we attend parties, that’s how our introvert family looks like.
Parties make some extrovert people happy and contented. Throwing lots of parties is awesome if it is your priority in life and if that makes your family happy.
That’s our main point really. Do what makes you feel alive. Know your priorities. Make sure it’s what matters to you and your family. Not the routine priorities of our lives.
The moment our family said our priorities out loud (or through this blog!), we started to experience realization of our travel goals in no way we thought possible, most of them for free. It’s because our eyes are laser-focused on what’s out there to make our priorities our realities.
To name a few examples:
· Our Qatar Airways family ticket to Munich is free-of-charge using Qmiles.
· We got Qatar Airways return trip for free, again using Qmiles for our trip to The Netherlands.
· We got free upgrade from economy to business class from Istanbul to Doha.
· We always stay in the business lounge at any airport, even we always travel economy. For free.
· We always have room upgrade at any hotel/ hostel we stay in because we always book for two adults only (and yes, we are actually five!) Again, free of charge, because we have a “business class” status in the online travel booking community.
Yes, we do spend money for traveling. The value for the money we spent is sky-rocking-high and that’s what makes it cheap.
Way back 2009, we spent the same amount of money for our first daughter’s 4th birthday party at Chili’s and our second Europe trip. Add in the birthday gifts we gave to the birthday parties we attended for that same year and that would be the same as our trip to Nepal.
When we didn’t travel last year over Eid holidays, we ended up spending more than when we travelled to Denmark and Sweden for the second time over the 11-day holiday. Living costs is relative. We just need to decide which (and where) perspective to look at!
It takes courage to define our priorities in life. It also takes courage to say “No” to things that doesn’t make us as happy. It does cost us financially and before we knew it, it will give us lots of should-have beens.
Travel is not expensive. Not having goals is.