Sometimes when I’m so focused on saving money for the big trips, I forget to spend money on enjoying myself in the here and now. It took me a long time to recognise it but finally, whilst in the outback working for our second year visas I realised: I need to chill the hell out with my obsessive saving!
Before we left the city we’d worked out how much we could earn and what of that we’d be saving, assuming that we were in the middle of nowhere and didn’t go anywhere over the three months, wouldn’t be buying clothes, topping up phones and things like that, but once we’d worked that figure out I was set on us saving that and didn’t want to settle for less. I was completely focused on saving for Asia and South America which is the trip we’re hoping to start the middle of 2016.
But then we went and worked on a farm where the couple we worked for were the same age as us, liked going to the pub, drinking at polocrosse and eating dinner out as well. So all of a sudden we weren’t on this isolated farm spending no money like we’d thought, instead we went and stayed at the polocrosse carnivals at the weekends and then when we didn’t do that we went to the local pub (an hour away) for dinner and drinks instead. And the whole time we were doing these things all I was thinking was ‘that beer we drink now is one less in asia or south america’, ‘that meal out is a whole days spending when we go travelling next year’. I dreaded Friday’s when our boss would suggest dinner at the pub which I knew also involved hours of drinking, hated it when it turned really cold and we had to order loads of warm clothing just to be comfortable, I just couldn’t get out of that mind frame that saving money was the most important thing to do.
But then two things happened, the first was the accident (in my previous posts I’ve mentioned that my bosses mum was in a car accident and we ended up staying in the outback past our necessary three months, moving to a different property and doing different jobs), which changed my way of thinking to more of a ‘living in the moment’ kind of vibe. The second thing that happened was Birdsville races. Four incredible days of drinking and gambling that I knew I didn’t want to spend worrying about money. So I just didn’t.
We withdrew more money than we knew we would need, left the bank card in the bottom of my bag, stocked up on supplies and off we went. I didn’t ask Sam to consider not having that next drink because ‘we we’re saving’, I didn’t stop myself from having a drink, we ate from food stalls whenever we wanted, gambled on just about every race, it was amazing! And all because I was’t worrying about money, we had worked damn hard the last few months and we deserved to spend that money and have a good time. It’s easy to get obsessed by saving up to get to the next place on your list, start your travels, do this, do that, but you have to learn to live life in the here and now as well, enjoy yourself and don’t miss out on all the fun!
That money might have been more helpful by the time we get to Asia or South America, but we also might not even make it there, and I wouldn’t like to think I’d spent my whole time saving and not having fun for no reason. Plus as everyone knows…
It’s the journey, not the arrival that matters.