How I Did It: I Sold Everything to Travel the World for Five Years


We are always inspired by our own readers who have accomplished amazing financial goals on much tighter budgets, like Dana, who paid off $25,000 of credit card debt in only two years.

So, when Betsy Talbot of blog Married With Luggage offered to share the story of how she and her husband Warren saved enough for a five-year trip around the world in only two years, we jumped at the chance.

Have you ever thought about chucking it all and going to live on a deserted beach somewhere?

Of course you have; we all do. But then we turn off the alarm clock, drag ourselves out of bed, and head to the job that funds our everyday life.

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But what would happen if you gave the idea some serious thought?

In 2008, my husband Warren and I decided to do just that: quit our jobs to travel around the world for one year. We both worked for almost 20 years in successful careers and accumulated all the things people usually do in that time: a home, car, furniture, a busy social life with many friends. As a childless-by-choice couple, we thought we had freedom, but were just as chained to our jobs and the status quo as anyone else.

It took the one-two punch of my 35-year-old brother’s freak heart attack, followed by a good friend’s brain aneurysm, to wake us up to the life we were living (or, more accurately, weren’t living) and prompt the question:

“If we knew we wouldn’t make it to our 40th birthdays, what would we do differently right now?” 

That single inquiry highlighted every single thing we were doing that didn’t support our long-term dream of travel.

We had always spent a lot of our disposable income on travel, with local weekend getaways and bigger trips to Hawaii and Europe. We were very curious to see Antarctica, more of Europe, and to venture into Asia, something that just wasn’t possible with only a week of vacation at a time. In fact, Warren took his last job just because of the insane frequency of travel and the knowledge we could build up an incredible amount of frequent flier miles for our personal travels.

Warren and I looked into each other’s eyes and knew instantly that we weren’t going to put our dreams off anymore.

Action Is a Girl’s Best Friend

The next day, we brewed a strong pot of coffee and got to work planning. This is where it gets sticky for most people: learning to put a price tag on a dream. We decided our travel style fell somewhere above sleeping in hammocks and below a Hyatt, averaging $100 per day. Multiply that by 365 days, and that’s how we came up with our initial budget number (and the one we still use after 16 months): $36,500.

We worked out how much we thought it would cost, divided that into a monthly savings number we could achieve, and then multiplied out how many months it would take to amass our getting-out-of-the-nest egg. The answer was 24 months. We added an extra month at the end to take advantage of a scheduled work bonus we hoped to get, and set the date for two years down the road.  (In our former life, Warren worked in the business side at Microsoft and I worked as a consultant for women-owned businesses.)

Following Through on the Plan

Excitement makes the first days of saving easy. I mean, we were going to travel the world! But two years is still a long time to be on a savings plan, and if we hadn’t put the following strategies into practice, I’m not sure we would have been successful.

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Direct Deposit

We relied on the automation of direct deposit because sometimes the will is weak. Two years to the day from when we would board our first flight (to Ecuador), Warren and I agreed to deduct $ 1,000 from our bank account each pay period to go into our savings account entitled “The Vault.”

One Day at a Time

Instead of thinking of our overall goal, we broke it down into increments of $100 per day. We developed a “phrase to save” using that number, asking ourselves “Is it worth a day on the road?” every time we wanted to spend on something. (Usually, it wasn’t!) I stopped getting my hair colored at the salon, which saved a lot of money. And I realized when we started traveling, I was going to stop altogether and be free of the maintenance at the same time I was freeing myself from everything else. I also stopped buying clothes, realizing I would have completely new wardrobe requirements on the trip. It was much more fun to think of the exotic clothes I would buy in foreign countries than to shop in my local stores. Working day by day, the long-term saving took care of itself.

Careful Tracking

Early on, we tracked our spending–down to the penny–for one month. We were shocked to find that a lot of the money we needed to save each month was being spent eating out at ethnic restaurants. We decided that saving money for Chinese food in China was more in line with our goal than eating Chinese takeout from down the street.

Soup Kitchen, Reverse Birthday Party and Progress

The thing with big goals and working toward them is that they – gasp! – actually happen. We passed our savings goal of $36,000 in only one year. The more we saw money piling up in the bank and possessions being streamlined (goodbye yard equipment, extra furniture, superfluous electronics, un-read books!) the more we thought about making this trip longer than one year. And if we were going to do this for longer than one year, why keep all of our stuff?

It was really hard for me to let go of some personal items like handbags, scarves and hats. I used hats and scarves a lot in my “look,” and it felt like I was losing a bit of myself at first. My red beret! My orange cloche! My knit beanie! It wasn’t until I let them go, though, that I was able to transition into a traveler mindset. (I still have three traveling hats, though. Some habits die hard.)

We set an aggressive new trip timeline: five years. We had simply become so good at amassing money, that why not ramp up our savings and extend our trip? We figured we could save like Scrooge, sell junk as well as the Sham-Wow guy on TV and socialize like Paris Hilton on a dime (or is that Perez?).

Take, for example, my Reverse Birthday Party, where friends shopped in my closet “boutique” to the sounds of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” while drinking wine and eating cake, purchasing the things they loved in order to add to our trip fund. It was much easier to let these things go to the people I loved.

By the time we headed to the airport with two backpacks and a dream, we had sold our house, car and all of our possessions.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Why It Was Worth It

We bribed our first government official in Ecuador, stood in the shadow of an erupting volcano (Volcan Tungurahua in Baños), trekked through pre-Incan jungle ruins, and drank gallons of delicious and cheap wine in South America.

We crashed through 30-foot waves in a Force-12 storm in the Drake Passage on our way back from two weeks in Antarctica, then we took that same ship for five weeks all the way up the Atlantic to England. After visiting some fabulous places in Europe for the summer, we headed to Thailand for the winter.

We’ve seen 14 countries so far, and we have 182 more to go. But that would be every country in the world, so it might take a while!

We will soon be leaving for Finland. We will discover the vastness of China, attend the centuries-old Nadaam games this summer in Mongolia, and take an epic train journey from Mongolia to St. Petersburg on the Trans-Siberian Express.

But our trip wasn’t just about seeing sights: We planned to do some volunteering, a lot of hiking and trekking, see a few friends, and learn Spanish. It has worked out that way and more, as we have lent our business skills to charities and travel businesses along the way, picked up Spanish and a bit of Thai, and made friends all over the world.

We also learned the benefits of housesitting, and we have stayed in some of the most beautiful homes in the greatest cities and towns in the world. There is no way we could have predicted or planned half the things that have happened, and that is the best part.

People Often Ask What We Miss From Our Old Lives …

I have to tell you, there is not one damn object I miss from before. In fact, I can barely recall the things we did own, even the things that practically had to be pried from my hands (like my hats). And we don’t buy anything extra on our travels, either, preferring to spend our money on experiences instead.

We miss our family and friends, and we are grateful for Skype and Facebook, which allow us to stay in such close contact with them. Even the ones who thought we were a bit crazy back in 2008 can no longer deny the positive effect this decision has had on our lives. We haven’t been back to the States since October 2010, but we’ll be back to visit family and friends later this year. 

We are earning money while away by writing books and providing some business consulting and website design work. We make enough to sustain ourselves, and we like that we don’t have to dip into our travel fund as much as we thought we would.

I think we are travelers for life. We envision a lifestyle of slow travel for the foreseeable future, stopping when we like a place or need time to work on a project, and traveling when our feet get itchy again. We just spent six months in Thailand finishing our latest book, “Strip Off Your Fear: Slip Into Something More Confident“, and now we are rewarding ourselves with a huge overland trip from Thailand to Europe.

For us, the biggest takeaway in this whole adventure was learning that possessions and obligations are the tethers that keep you grounded in place–unable to take that perfect job, great opportunity or grand adventure when it comes your way. Freedom from debt, a bit of money in the bank and a streamlined existence mean that you can bend and sway with changes and opportunities.

True wealth is control over your time and how you spend it.

Find out more about how Betsy and her husband Warren achieved their financial goal to travel around the world in their book “Dream Save Do: A Step-by-Step Guide to Amass the Cash to Live Your Dream.” You can read more about their journey to live the good life on their website, Married With Luggage (and get a free guide on how they used Craigslist to make some serious cash).

  • Homegirl19

    Just an incredible story… Kudos and happy travels for life to you both, I look forward to reading your books and seeing your website….Enjoy! The Joy!

    • Betsy Talbot

      Thanks, Homegirl19!

  • Jas

    Inspiring as I hope to do the same. I am planning something similar, except I planned to do it as a 1-year “honeymoon” right after getting married, which won’t be for a couple of years. This is additional motivation for me to keep on budget, and maybe even “extending the honeymoon”!

    • Betsy Talbot

      How romantic, Jas! This trip was the single best thing we ever did for our marriage (just celebrated our 8th anniversary). 
      Stay tuned to our website next week where I’ll be writing about our one-year “contract renewal” – aka renegotiating our wedding vows. It all comes from lessons we’ve learned in traveling, especially about not taking each other for granted.

      Best of luck to you!

  • Colleen

    As incredible as this story is I am curious as to how they are still preparing for retirement since it seems that although they haven’t dipped into their travel savings as much as they thought it still seems like they are living paycheck to uncertain paycheck.  A “bit of money in the bank” doesn’t sound like old age security for two people.  And what do they do for health insurance if someone is injured or becomes very ill?

    • Allie

      I was wondering the exact same thing and was about to leave my own comment on the retirement/emergency fund subject until I saw your comment, Colleen.  

      Betsy, I would LOVE to follow in your footsteps; could you please tell us a bit about how you and your husband are saving for retirement and about what sort of emergency fund you have in place?  Do you and your husband have health and dental insurance?

      I am so interested.


      • marie

        Is it just me, or are there no responses to the health insurance question??  Betsy,  I myself received a “wake up call” of sorts, and while I have twin toddlers, I can still plan, can’t I?  But, I can’t go without full, comprehensive health insurance based on my particular circumstances.  I’m curious to know how you manage.

        • Violet

           There definitely aren’t. Betsy you’ve mentioned twice now that you responded to the health insurance question in an early post, but it seems that no one can find that info…perhaps it got deleted somehow? Would you mind re-answering the question of health/dental insurance? Sorry to nag, we’re just all so excited about the prospect of following in your footsteps that we want to know all the logistics asap so that we can get planning!

  • Genibre

    Indeed, incredible and insanely jealous! I also wish others would keep in mind though that both of you seemed to have high-paying jobs beforehand, so saving wasn’t as hard as it can be for others. My husband and I are also happily childless by choice but he is an entrepeneur trying to build his own online commercial real estate business and I am a healthcare journalist; neither of us has high-paying jobs so while scrimping is definitely possible it will take us much longer than two years to save for such a journey.

  • JoAnn Crouch

    I am so glad that someone can still realize their dreams. I, too had dreams of traveling and seeing the world. Alas, the universe was not so kind to me. My husband died, I lost my job, my savings are gone. But it is a blessing to be able to read your story and pretend that it was my husband and myself in your shoes. Thanks for the vicarious adventure.

    • Betsy Talbot

      JoAnn, my deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband. We worked very hard to get where we are, but we never take for granted our good health and realize not everyone has the same. 

      It was my brother’s freak heart attack at 35 and our friend’s brain aneurysm at 34 that sent us down this “life is short” path of fulfilling our dreams. 

      If anyone gets anything out of this article at all, I hope it is that very message – none of know how much time we have, so make the most it every single day. I wish you happiness as you create a different version of the life you had planned, JoAnn.

  • Michelle

    Wow very interesting! This is something that I’d like to do. I’m only 22, but already feel tied down.

    • Betsy Talbot

      Michelle, so many 22-year-olds are doing what you want to do! The key is first “untying” yourself. It took us 2 years to do it, but it can be done. Check out our website, and if you need more info the Dream Save Do book has it all step-by-step. Good luck!

  • lepm

    wow that is awesome story. I understand the point of this story although I would love to read something on someone in their 20s, out of school with student loans and living on a “normal” salary. (36000 /12 is $1500 each a month. I barely make more than that in one month).

    • Ruebix78

      The advantage of being in your 20s and traveling is that you don’t need nearly as much money – I stayed in hostels in Australia for year, ate lots of ramen noodles, and have an AMAZING experience with less than $6,000 in savings when I was 23.

    • Betsy Talbot

      lepm, there are HUNDREDS if not thousands of 20-somethings taking travel breaks (called “gap years” in other countries). In fact, you will find more like you than you will like me! It can be done for much less than we spend if you stay in dorms, which is what most socially-minded 20-somethings do. Google it – you will be very surprised at how many of your peers are traveling on a dime even with student loans. 

  • Sandy3997

    I am curious about the retirement thing as well.  I am also wondering about what insurance you use while on these travels since you wouldn’t have regular insurance through work.  I agree that I think it sounds like a trip for those who make more that I do…sounds like fun though – even if one could do it just for a year.

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hi, Sandy. I replied to this above on insurance. In terms of retirement, we have 401k plans we have contributed to for years as well as a SEP IRA account that we can contribute to now as we earn income from writing and business consulting work.

      LOTS of people do this for just one year and do not see a negative hit in their savings. You can find out more about short-term career breaks for people of all ages with our friends Sherry and Michaela at 

      Good luck!

      • Sandy3997

         I tried searching through the comments and I didn’t see the information on insurance….could you point me in the right direction?  Thanks!

  • Megan

    Congratulations to the two of you. Even though you state that you started putting away $1000/month, you had saved your $36,000 goal in one year. That means you were actually putting away (saving, selling, etc.) more like $3,000/month. That’s more than I bring home. So this really isn’t something that I could do, too. :-/ 

    • Ruebix78

      Megan, when I was 22 I decided that I wanted to travel abroad in Australia for a year.  At the time I was making about 30k/year, and it took me about a year to save up $6,000 – that was plenty for my year abroad (I was young, so I stayed in hostels and obtained a travel visa so I could work as needed – I did door-to-door sales, I had friends who picked fruit – whatever you need to do to make it work).  What they did is amazing and within their means, but you in no way need to save up that much money.  Figure out what is attainable for you and you can do it.   If you think you can’t do it, you won’t. 

    • Renee

      She said they put away $1,000 per pay period, not month. Assuming they got paid every two weeks, that equals 26 pay periods a year, which is $26K. I’m assuming that the other $10K came from them cutting back on clothing, restaurants, haircuts, and selling stuff.
      Congratulations to them for following their hearts and living their dreams.

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hey, Megan. Ruebix78 has a great point below. The point is not for you to save exactly what we saved – some will save less to travel and some will save more – but to figure out what budget works for you. Plenty of people travel on less than we do, much less. And plenty spend way more. There are also different timelines of travel and locations that change budgets.

      We meet young travelers every day (in fact, there are far more under-30 travelers than over-30 doing this). 

      To your other point about the money, we had a set point we saved every pay period, but we added a LOT to this through selling our things, working some freelance jobs, and continuing to cut back on our expenses. The automatic payment was always made, but there was never a month that we didn’t add to it significantly with our extra efforts.

      You can find out exactly what we did, step by step, in our book Dream Save Do. Find out what works for you and use it – you’ll be surprised at how fast the money adds up when it is something you really want to do!

  • Pve

    I am an artist, mom, wife and am so inspired by this story.  Would you be interested to come and speak to a group in my art studio?  I have a blog and my mantra is “To design, create and inspire and artful life” and you all are the epitome of creating an artfully lived life.
    pve at pve design 

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hi, Pve. What a great message! I’m always interested in speaking to groups, but we’re currently traveling overland from Thailand to Portugal, which will take about 6 months. We’re coming back to the US for a visit this fall, but until then we are simply road warriors. 

  • Val

    So inspiring! Saving is so much easier when you have a great goal in mind — I’m going to try and follow your lead and maybe we’ll run into each other in some exotic locale someday :)

  • Val

    So inspiring! Saving is so much easier when you have a great goal in mind — I’m going to try and follow your lead and maybe we’ll run into each other in some exotic locale someday :)

    • Betsy Talbot

      Val, you got the message perfectly. Saving is so much easier when you know *why* you are doing it. Check out our Dream Save Do book and you’ll find out step-by-step how we did it – and then we can meet up in some exotic locale!

  • Alanc230

    What an inspiring story. I wish I’d done something like this earlier in my life, like right after college. Too tied down to kids now. 

    • Betsy Talbot

      Alanc230, you wouldn’t believe the number of people we meet who are traveling long-term with kids of all ages – babies through teenagers. They home school in a variety of ways and do a lot of volunteering together. I would have never believed it could be done had I not seen it with my own eyes, but it seems to work great for these families.

      • Sarah Ray

        That is good to hear, because I am hoping to start a family before we get into our big traveling. I was home schooled by fantastic parents who taught me not to worry about “the Joneses” and who helped me catch the travel bug (during school year travel, woohoo! It’s cheaper too!), even though we never left the country.

  • Katherene

    Wow!  What an amazing adventure in your life.  All I can say is Power 2 Ya.   You inspire me to get ready for my next adventure aboard. 

  • LL

    What did you do for health insurance? That is my main concern. I have Rxs I have to take daily for asthma and other allergies and without insurance one med I take is 600-1200 a month (depending on if I actually take the recommended dosage). Are you just fortunate enough to have good health?

    • IndiTravelGirl

      Yes, am curious about how the authors are prepared for emergencies and having to return to the US unexpectedly. I have been in this position (sold everything and moved to Asia), only to have to return to the US for medical treatment because my medical issue was misdiagnosed and mistreated in Singapore. And same happened to a friend of mine who had heart probs and had to return to the US. Travel insurance overseas is great but then you get back to the US and find yourself without a place to stay, without insurance and in ill health….this is DEFINITELY an issue to consider carefully (a “health/emergency” cushion if you have to return to The States unexpectedly).

    • Wildstallion

      Medicine in Asia is way more cheaper then North if You decide to go there your Medical expenses wont be an issue

  • Kathikat747

    All I can say is “WOW” this article gave me courage to follow my own dreams of backpacking threw Europe! Even at my ripe old age.

    • Betsy Talbot

      Kathikat747, I don’t know how old you are, but I’m 41 and almost always meet travelers older than me wherever we go. In fact, the most inspirational was a 79-year-old woman traveling through Laos as part of a lifetime of exotic destinations. She said she’d rather ride bikes through rice paddies than sit at home and grow old. What a great attitude!

  • Michelle Schultz

    I am encouraged by this. This has been my dream since I was 9  years old. Seeing someone who has done this I now know it can be done. I have a 14 year old..I have to wait for her to grow up..or perhaps join me (as she wants to work with exotic animals)..I’m doing it. 

    • Betsy Talbot

      Michelle, would your daughter like to work with elephants? We recently visited an elephant sanctuary that takes on volunteers and gives training in return for free housing. It is in a beautiful area of Thailand and there were plenty of kids/teens working there with their parents. There are so many ways to travel and experience the world, and many of them don’t cost as much as you think (if you don’t have a ton of expenses back at home, that is). Good luck!

      PS – It is Elephant Nature Park in outside Chiang Mai, Thailand and the owner is a woman named Lek. Google it for great elephant pics and info.

  • Bgkarim13

    Good for you two!  This has been a lifelong dream of mine.  I’ll have to wait 8 more years for my twin boys to go off to college to pursuit it, but that gives me plenty of time to save for it.

    • Betsy

      Bgkarim13, it took us 2 years to save, and that was after spending some time getting our debt paid off before we even got this idea. Time goes by faster than you think, so planning right now sounds like a great idea.

  • Hd112596

    This is something that I REALLY want to do. I want to save up enough to live in Italy for at least 6 months to a year, but I keep saying “want to do”. I’m not taking the steps to accomplish it. I have to change!

    You’re story has really inspired me. I have a frivolous, luxury, vanity procedure scheduled for the next six weeks that will cost me $500. I’m cancelling it today and putting that money into my savings. Thank you for the inspiration!!

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hello, HD112596. What a great first step! True luxury is living your life the way you want. If you need more help getting started, check out the page we set up just for LearnVest readers on some of our best financial articles plus a bonus on how to get more money selling the things you don’t need anymore. There is also a link to our book which details exactly how we did all this. The links are all in the blurb next to our picture at the bottom of the article. Good luck!

  • Hd112596

    This is something that I REALLY want to do. I want to save up enough to live in Italy for at least 6 months to a year, but I keep saying “want to do”. I’m not taking the steps to accomplish it. I have to change!

    You’re story has really inspired me. I have a frivolous, luxury, vanity procedure scheduled for the next six weeks that will cost me $500. I’m cancelling it today and putting that money into my savings. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  • Asaia Palacios

    I am so loving this article. Thank you Betsy and Warren for the inspiration.

  • Tessa Steffen

    I really hope and dream to be with a man who would want to do this someday!!!

    • patteann

      so why wait for a man . . . After 68 years I am now discovering “me” and my purpose in life . . . following God’s direction.  My goal is to live on a cruise ship and enjoy the high seas!  God Bless All

  • Ellea26

    I am jealous

  • Betsy Talbot

    Wow, what great comments! We are just back to our hostel after a few days of hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge in China without internet access, so I’m furiously catching up on comments. 

    Please be sure to check out the resources in the author box at the end of the article – I set up some very specific links and resources for the LearnVest community at our website and you can find them all by clicking above. Thanks for reading!

  • Cheryl85

    This is right up my alley. I left a 20 year career, walked away from my home & mortgage, sold my belongings and am now house & pet sitting for my income. I also continue to do freelance graphic work via my laptop. I used to feel sorry for myself since I am single with no children but decided to enjoy my freedom that others do not have. I’ve had the opportunity to live in some beautiful homes and meet many travelers. My clients travel for work or work to accrue vacation time to travel. I used to spend all my work vacation time traveling & prefer to travel spontaneously with no tours. I am planning to live 5 years abroad leaving in 2015.

  • patteann

    God Bless you too.  I’m still in the process of Hurricane IKE cleanup and am ready to throw in the “towel”, find anyone willing to buy my condo “as is”, do their own remodeling, move on a cruise ship.  It’s been quite an eye-opener downsizing my lilfe of 60+ years and 5 levels of “stuff”.  Came into this world witihout it and will leave the same.  When my 2 daughters didn’t want any of their items I’ve been “free storing” all these years, that was a major crush.  That settled it.  I’m one year from being totally debt free and off to the high seas I’m headed.  Thanks for sharing your inspiring, encouraging and uplifting story.  After 2 hurricane disasters, I realized life is too short to put so much emphasis of material things . . . I’m discovering me and actually like myself in spite of everything I’ve been thru.  It’s been a valuable learning experience . . . most of all . . . leaning on the Good Lord to direct my path . . . I’m traveing solo and am so looking forward to the high seas!  God Bless y’all in your continued journey.

    • Betsy Talbot

      Patteann, we met a man once who had been living on cruise ships for 5 years. He said he got a great deal, free medical care, and met lots of interesting people for less than he would pay to live in a senior community.

      I wish you much luck in recovering from Ike and planning the next adventure in your life!

  • Lafanidxb

    It looks like you can only do this if you have one of those passports that get visas on arrival like US, Australia, Canada, etc :(. Otherwise I don’t see how else this is possible. Nevertheless, I am still saving for a mini version of this. March 2014 is the month I become debt free forever. After that, I’m going to spend at least 3 – 6 months out of the year traveling. That’s as far as my passport will get me unfortunately.

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hi, Lafanidxb. Congrats on your debt-free deadline of March 2014! The most freedom you will ever feel is being debt-free, and it will help you enjoy your travels even more. Have a great journey!

      PS – I wish we got visas on arrival everywhere. It would make things a lot easier, but unfortunately waiting – and paying – for visas is part of the requirement for long-term travel no matter where you come from.

  • Cephadee

    This article just gave me unbelievable drive to accomplish getting rid of my debt and traveling the world. Thank you!

  • Madison

    Well this certainly doesn’t help my case of the Travel Bug.  I lived in Norway for half a year going to school, and then spent a couplel months traveling the rest of Europe by myself.  And I miss it so much every day.  I wish I had the guts (or the funds) to do this.  But this is very motivational and inspiring!  Now I just need to get saving! 

    • Betsy Talbot

      Madison, you’ve already done it once, so you have a blueprint (and guts) in place to do it again. Like I said above, you can always combine travel and work to help fund your dream. Good luck!

  • Brandy Oliver

    Not my cup of tea, but congrats to you for saving and going for your dream!

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hi, Brandy. That’s all I wish for anyone – to be able to follow their own brand of happiness. Best wishes to you on yours! :)

  • First L

    Well its a nice dream for most but my big concern would be since u can’t even hitch hike around civlized America with out coming across every nut wacko on the roads to the mindless senseless killers of the country’s street gangs how can one servive no english speaking peoples who are crule criminals who would kidnap and rape my wife and maybe me while holding us waiting for the American goverment to pay 50 million for our release. not to forget not knowing the laws of all these countrys we could end up getting arrested for anything and find ourself’s in filty prisons with crule gaurds and killers sleeping next to us..not thanks for me i will keep my house and enjoy my vette in the good old USA!

    • Laura

      Well, certainly Betsy and her husband have been tortured and killed many times in their travels, so your extreme fears are 100% warranted.

  • JC37

    I did this, left my New York City life & traveled the world for 2 years alone.  Best decision I ever made.  Can’t wait to get on the road again!!!

  • Klseavey

    Do you have a blog on your travels? I would love to read about the things you have seen or done! Congrats!!! I have paid off 15,000 on credit card debt/car loan once I graduated from nursing school back in 2010 in 5 months!! it was a great burden lifted off my shoulder, and now to paying off student loans!

    • Betsy Talbot

      Hi, Klseavey. Congrats on paying off your debt! It is far more freeing than even travel to know you are not indebted to anyone.

      You can read more about our travels on or by signing up for our weekly newsletter, where we talk more specifically about the locations we are visiting and what we are learning. Hope to see you there!

  • Lauren

    my boyfriend and I want to do this. however, he is still in college (graduated next may) and I currently make less than $36,000/year so it’d be impossible for us to save that amount in a year. i just feel like now is the only time to really travel though since we are in our mid-20s and without children and house payments. just frustrating that it is very difficult to save money!

    • Betsy Talbot

      Lauren, my husband and I are both 41, so you definitely don’t have to limit your travel to your 20s! You can also adjust your travel based on your income and take advantage of perks we don’t have – like the special visa to live and work in Australia for those under 30. A great experience that would combine work and travel!

  • Javed

    TRAVEL RAGA (New Delhi: Head Office)
    31 Sant Nagar, Top  Floor East Of Kailash (Near Kailash Colony Metro Station)  New Delhi-110065 India

    India (New-Delhi):+91 8800362123 | Land line : 011-65028723/ 011-65028724
    UK (London): +44 2081230035

    TravelRaga is an online travel agency that boasts a dedicated and qualified team of people, who have a natural passion for exploring and discovering India

  • Laura

    Betsy, you are INSPIRING.  I’m currently buried under debt, and one of the shining beacons before me as I plan my future, and my future with the person I love, is the idea that with no debt I can pour income into traveling – locally, nationally, globally.  For those who want to spend months, and even years, on the “road,” what are your biggest and best tips for generating income while you travel?

  • Victoria Cole

    Hello i am Victory Cole ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how i got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to Esango Priest the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Esango Priest  about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Esango Priest at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on:
    and get your problems solve like me..

  • Elinabogusa

    Your story is amazing and you are amazing having time of your lifes!!! I would recomend you to come to Latvia and see It’s amazing possibilities :) Have a very merry Christmas!

  • OP

    Excelente, you guys have done what other people dreamed but never take action to accomplish it, I have live in 4 countries so far, love travel and have found myself dreaming about going to new places, just need to take action and do it, but wondered sometimes how to do it with kids, not an easy task.. keep it up, heard you guys on the radio as well.

  • Hayley

    I freaking love this. I have a much smaller income but have already sold most of my belongings and plan to start living the way the described with the travelers mindset in order to get out and travel the world. It would be a dream to be a lifetime traveler.

  • Mike

    In your travels, what was your favorite place to visit? I’m thinking about starting a 1 year trip straight into South East Asia. For a 27 man, what countires would you regards as the most adventrous?

  • the_leaky_pen

    This is awesome! And definitely ties into my own dreams. More reasons for me to save. :)

  • Roseambia

    Hi, fantastic!! Did you miss out Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? You can come and stay in my kampung (village)…

  • cameraandcarryon

    wow, wow, WOW. Your story is a true inspiration to anyone that’s ever wanted to follow their inner voice. While we haven’t been able to travel for that long at one time (yet), we spent 6 months on an amazing adventure that we’ll remember for a lifetime. We hope you check out our video recap of the trip and share with others to inspire travel and living the dream! >>

  • Kristina Marie

    I am very inspired by your story and stories like it. My boyfriend and I are seriously considering selling our things and traveling the world. The only thing stopping me is monthly payments that I cannot get out of, such as my over $500 a month student loans bills. I feel as if I would need a way to earn money as I’m traveling or I’ll never be able to do it. Do you have any advice?