May 24, 2017 Last Updated 13:49 PM EDT

Personal Finance

You too can drop everything and travel the world for $40,000

Aug 31, 2015 02:41 AM EDT

Britnee and their 4x4 on their 3-day crossing to Bolivia.
(Photo : Mark Johnston) Britnee and their 4x4 on their 3-day crossing to Bolivia.

Mark and Britnee Johnston spent a whole year's vacation leave days or two weeks on a trip to Vietnam. It was their first long trip as a couple and as they toured the small Asian country and talked to other travellers, two weeks of travel suddenly didn't seem enough. Mark said that they felt unsatisfied thinking that they have to wait another year to have another vacation again.

Britnee then got a wild idea. What if they quit their jobs and travel around the world?

During that time, Mark was employed as a photographer for a local newspaper while Britnee was a communications director for a non-profit organization. They were living in Utah but they did not own a house, did not have children and looking for a change to happen.

Britnee felt that she was not enjoying life because she had been working a lot while Mark realized that he was stuck in a position without any chances of promotion or raise. Mark planned to shift into public relations; a move that required him to leave his job.

Although they wanted so much to travel, Mark was thinking if it was a good decision to save money and spend it for an around-the-world tour or to save it for retirement or for a down payment for a house. He was also worried if they would have a job to come home to or if he had missed his chance because, at his age, he should be concentrating on his career.

But when he read Brendan Leonard's The New American Road Trip Mixtape, he became convinced of doing the Grand Tour more than ever.

The couple then secretly paid off their debts and started saving money. Their common goal was to save enough money to allow them to resign from their jobs and go around the world for a year.

Figuring they would need $40,000 for their tour, each of them had to save $1,000 per month for the next two years. They split their expenses and kept half of their salaries in savings.

In order to trim down expenses, they went out less often, dined in most of the time and didn't upgrade their phones. They also enhanced their incomes by doing freelance work.

Everything that they did allow them to save money for the trip, save some for retirement and health care and have an extra fund for when they come home.

And when everything was set, they quit their jobs and they did travel around the world for one year. They went to 78 cities in 26 countries and spent $47,000. The excess was because of their decision to go to Turkey and Bolivia.

They returned home with zero debt and extra savings.

When they did come home, both of them landed jobs and transferred from Orem to Salt Lake City in a nicer apartment than their previous one.

They also plan to do their savings routine before they travelled and to tuck it away not for another big trip, of course.

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