Even though I’ve been out of school a while now, it’s hard to not think of summer the way I did as a kid — as this magical time, brimming with endless possibilities. I imagine days filled with nothing but laying by the pool and bike rides to the park. And I think of traveling. Going all the places that you couldn’t possibly fit into the regular year. It’s the time for your big trip to Europe, for road trips to Yellowstone, and long weekends at the beach. It’s called summer “vacation” for a reason. Because it just doesn’t feel like summer without an epic vacation and adventure on the books.
Unlike when I was kid, I have to think of money. Finances can really put a wrench into your dreams of long, uninhibited wandering. So a few days ago, I reached out to Matthew Kepnes about traveling without either draining your savings (hahaha. That was a joke. I don’t have any savings, guys) or having to save up a ton of money ahead of time. Kepnes runs “Nomadic Matt,” and on the site he spends a lot of time not only detailing his amazing travels, but breaking down the ways you can travel around the world without being born rich and/or marrying and then murdering a series of increasingly wealthy widows. (I’m not knocking widow murdering, just saying it’s really a lot of trouble if you can avoid it.)
Matt had an office job and was working on an MBA when he took his first big trip to Costa Rica in 2004. The trip showed him a life that seemed exactly the opposite of the path he was on. People were relaxing and enjoying life instead of commuting to a desk every day. But it wasn’t until the following year on a trip to Thailand that he met a couple of backpackers and really started to picture full time travel as a path his life could take.
“I was really inspired by them because here they were living my dream,” he says. “And somehow they managed to do it on a budget. After getting a glimpse into the world of backpacking, I saved some money, quit my shitty job, and have been on the road ever since”.
To date, Matt says he’s been to about 90 countries. Though he doesn’t even really keep track anymore. He’s become a travel writer, book author, and successful blogger all while living the lifestyle he used to envy when he felt trapped by a corporate life. Helping people make their travel dreams come true has become a passion of his. So Matt shared some of his tips for affordable summer travel with us. Because according to Matt, with a few little changes that dream trip can definitely become a reality.