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You can’t escape the bills.

by Erin Kelly
March 28 2010

I’ve never really been away from home for months at a time. Now obviously while in college, I was away from my home in NJ for up to three months at a time. And I studied abroad for five months, but I had a home base there, and I wasn’t constantly traveling. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never been constantly traveling for more than about two and a half weeks at a time. So the fact that I’m about to go travel for three months straight is quite daunting. I mean, even the Amazing Race is only a month of travel! But although it seems daunting, I also look at it as a challenge that I am determined to conquer and grow from in many different ways.

Preparing to be away from a home base for three months has made me realize just how many responsibilities I have now as a “real person,” outside of college. I have an apartment that I need to pay rent for (unfortunately I have to pay all 3 months up front, but I’m praying to find a sub-letter that will help me cover the costs!). I have prescription medication that I need to get in advance for three months time. I have to order more contact lenses to make sure I have enough for the duration of the trip. I have health insurance and student loans to pay every month, so I have to make sure I have enough money in my account for three months worth of automatic withdrawal. And these are just things that I deal with everyday – not including the extra travel gear, clothing and other necessary preparations to get.

As stressful as this is, it’s also very insightful because it reveals not just how many bills I have to pay (ugh), but all the things that I have to think about and that I feel tie me down to one place. And I don’t even have a house, car or kids! It will be interesting to manage these responsibilities from afar, while simultaneously submitting to the minimalist lifestyle of the long-term traveler. Packing one backpack to last three months – now that’s a challenge. More to come on tackling this feat as I figure out travel gear in the near future.

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