How we Saved for a Trip Around The World

Zentravellers on Huayna Potosi

We are currently 4 months and 5 countries into our 14 month trip around the world. By far one of the questions we often get is a resounding “HOW???!!”
In other words, “how on earth did you
save for your trip around the world?” Or my favourite, “you guys must be millionaires!” (HA!) Seemingly not many people can imagine quitting their jobs and living solely on savings for 14 months . Some ask how much we’re spending, other seem curious but are too polite and the social norms of not talking about money prevent them from doing so. So we’re going to put it out there – this post will detail how we saved for a year long trip around the world! In doing so, we hope to inspire others to let go of what may be holding them back from acting on the same dream.
While a trip around the world does not have to be as expensive as you would think, we don’t have our heads in the sand and know that it is going to have a significant cost. It goes without saying that taking a year off work without income and paying for flights, accommodations and food all costs money . In addition, we plan to do a lot of active adventures like hiking, cycling, and scuba diving, few of which are free. We know we can’t do it all but we’re not going to go to a country only to hang out in a hostel or city all day, we want to get out there and see nature and explore the great outdoors!
So, how did we save the money required to fund this exciting trip around the world?

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RTW Update No.3 – All About Peru

Zentravellers at Machu Picchu

After an incredible 3.5 weeks in summer all the time Puerto Rico, and an awe-inspiring month in Ecuador that culminated with a blissful trip to the Galapagos Islands, it was time to move onto Peru. There we traded sandals and wetsuits for warm jackets and hiking boots. Indeed, we spent most of our time in Peru either hiking or recovering from hiking. We climbed to over 5100m in the wild and rugged Cordillera Blanca, moved through the ice-capped Salkantay Pass to reach the incomparable Machu Picchu, and walked down into one of the deepest canyons in the world. We also spent 2 weeks learning Spanish in the White City of Arequipa and sampled many delicious craft beers around the country.

In total, we spent almost 2 months in Peru and still are finding reasons to go back, despite spending half of our time there in less than perfect health…more on that later. But for now, Peru inspired us with its landscapes, delighted us with its tasty food and drink, and provided us with a glimpse into its rich history and culture.

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What is Immersive Travel?

A friend quizzed me recently on the differences between immersive travel and standard-issue travel. I said that immersive travel allows you to see a place for the values that shape its culture, while simply visiting a place shows you only the well-manicured, postcard version of it.  That makes sense though. If you are only travelling to a place for a short amount of time, seeing the highlights will be the best use of your time.  But if you have the time, or the chance to work or study abroad I highly recommend the experience. In doing so, you will begin to peel back the layers of a culture and learn to live real life in a foreign place which is an adventure in and of itself.

Touring San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Sunset on San Cristobal

In continuing with our Galapagos Island themed posts, we recently spent a glorious 2.5 weeks doing land-based travels in the Galapagos which has been one of the biggest highlights of our 14 month trip around the world so far. We’ve covered touring the “main island” of Santa Cruz, as well as the largest and most rugged of the inhabited islands, Isla Isabela, so now that leaves us with beautiful San Cristobal.

Puerto Bazquerizo Moreno is the town on San Cristobal island and has a population of about 6,600 people which makes it a nice mix between the city-like feel of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, and the sleepy fishing village on Isabela. The island features a small airport, naval base, university, the Galapagos Interpretation Centre and a natural history museum. It is also sea lion central so you will have no shortage of opportunities to get up close and personal with these hilarious animals.

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The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu after completing the Salkantay Trek

Machu Picchu is one of those travel destinations that seems to be on everyone’s bucketlist. Its soaring peaks and ancient streets steeped in rich history draw thousands of visitors each day, making it one of the most visited sites in the world. While there are many ways to reach Machu Picchu, trekking is by far the best route. Walking up to this incredible place allows one to savour the mystical site’s rugged natural beauty and intriguing surrounding and makes finally reaching the ruins an even greater reward. 

There are many trekking options to get to to Machu Picchu, each with their own set of pros and cons. When we were in Peru we chose to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and will share more about this incredible 5 day, 4 night trek!

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Peru Mountain Zen: Huaraz Trekking

Zentravellers on the summit of Mt Matteo

Nestled in the impressive Cordillera Blanca range of the Andes, Huaraz is increasingly becoming a world-class destination for high altitude adventures as Huaraz trekking is considered some of the best in the world.  Huaraz is heralded by some as the the trekking capital of Peru and it offers a more budget-friendly and quieter alternative to crowded Cusco. By far the biggest draw of Huaraz is the trekking in the endlessly picturesque Cordillera Negra and Blanca ranges. Indeed, the Siula Grande from the Cordillera Blanca range is featured in the film about defying death in the mountains, “Touching the Void”, and Alpamayo is thought by some to be the “most beautiful mountain in the world.” The vast and scenic expanses, opportunities for alpine activities to suit every level and interest, and solitude that’s impossible to find in nearby Cusco, make it the perfect place to find some mountain Zen in Peru.

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Touring Isabela Island in Galapagos

In continuing with our Galapagos Island themed posts, we recently spent a glorious 2.5 weeks doing land-based travels in the Galapagos which was an adventure for the ages. We’ve covered  touring the “main island” of Santa Cruz, so now we are moving onto tours on the largest and most rugged of the inhabited islands, Isla Isabela.

Puerto Vilamil is the town on Isabela island and has a population of 2,200 people. It’s a sleepy, charming fishing village that has a renewed focus on tourism. Here wild encounters are possible right from town, but many sites require a licensed guide to accompany travellers when visiting.

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