The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions,
and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world.
My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell
books about touring
all 3 book)
Where am I?
Photo Use Info
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Continue My Travels
Places I have been
(How can I
India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present
/ Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010
Sept 2007 to May 2008
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007
SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006
June 2003 to June 2004
AZ, Mexico, and
March 2002 to April 2003
How I started
The 5 years before I left
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Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle
Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.
Equipment Pages Index
How Much to Bring and Weight
Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
more about Sponsorship)
HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames
Steel Repair Myth.
and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs
Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets
How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground
Pots and Pans
Solar Power for Camp
Bike Touring Shorts
Bicycle touring lights
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Some of the most common
questions emailed to me are about paying for or funding long bicycle tours and
How did you save enough money
to travel and bicycle tour for several years?
What is your daily, weekly or monthly travel budget while living on the road?
How do you make money while living internationally and traveling abroad?
While I find this type of
question a little personal, I can understand why people are asking. What I
have done with my life and how I pay
for it is not mainstream. My creative financing might help others to think of new possibilities in
their own lives. I am a true believer that anyone living in a developed
country, with boundless choices and economic opportunities, can steer their
lives in almost any direction they choose. My hope by telling my financial
story below is not that people follow in my footsteps, rather that they find a personalized path of their own.
The Short Answer:
Before my ex-wife and I quit our jobs and left in March 2002,
we both worked and lived well below our means. I was a Special Education teacher and
my ex-wife was a Geologist. (see
about me) We lived on
less than 25% of our combined monthly income and did without the extras. While other
couples with similar incomes and no kids were buying new cars and splurging on
weekend getaways, we were buying mutual funds and riding our bikes.
We also avoided debt. After
paying off our student loans, the only debt we allowed ourselves was a mortgage.
still own the house in Prescott, Arizona, USA and rent it through a property
manager. We never had a car payment because we drove vehicles we paid cash
payments and long term travel do not mix. If you are in debt and want to travel for an extended time, the first thing
that you must do is get out of debt. It's that simple.
In five years we saved enough money for what we thought would
be a seven year trip. Once the trip was under way, my website grew, I sold advertising and
wrote and self-published three books.
I am by no means getting rich financially from this business. My
current income puts me just below the
official poverty level in the USA. Life on bikes is cheap and I am able to survive on
a limited income. I have no plans to stop traveling on my touring bicycle
in the foreseeable future. What I
gain from my travels in educational value can not be measured in a bank account.
think the trade of poverty for freedom is worth it. Who needs a wide
screen TV when there is the real world to watch?
The trick to surviving on the road financially has two parts.
First, I learned how to make money with a laptop and infrequent internet
connections. Computer work has to be done off-line, on the go and often at a park bench or
in my tent on battery power. Second, I learned to live cheaply enough to
survive on the trickle of income that anyone living nomadically with my type of
business can expect. Living and working on a touring bike certainly makes
everything cheaper. It comes down to balance, I travel just fast enough to see new places, cheap enough to
break even and slow enough to get my work done and make a living.
it takes discipline to pull the computer
out in exciting places like Queenstown, New Zealand or Bangkok, Thailand and perform
tedious tasks like picking and labeling pictures (I have tens of thousands) for
the website when I don't feel like it. It also takes discipline not to
spend money on the little extras and live within my income. I believe
it is this kind of discipline that has turned my trip into a career and what a
beautifully strange career choice it has been.
Finding gear and
equipment sponsors This page explains what I have learned about
attracting sponsors, dispels some myths about sponsorship and provides advice
for those seeking gear sponsors.
Economizing on the road
Spending less every day is the ticket to traveling long term. Bicycle
Touring is cheap but there are a few tips and trick to traveling on the cheap.
Determining a Daily Travel Cost It
is hard to figure out your daily expenses before you set out on a bike tour.
Picking a realistic bicycle touring travel budget and sticking to it is
Bicycle Touring for a Charity or Cause
Some say your trip is selfish if you do not have a higher cause
and others say there are way too many cyclists out there traveling and trying to
raise money for a charity.
Donations You built your web site and have some great readers that you
want to turn into supporters. A donation button can be added to your site
asking visitors to give money to help fund your trip but there are drawbacks
to this that you should know about before taking the "generosity of others" leap.
Often when traveling abroad you are not covered by the health insurance you have
at home. Health insurance is my biggest expense and confusing to
buy. This page explains what I have learned through the years, what to
avoid and where to start your online research.
Dreaming of Endless Travel:
This is a magazine article I wrote just before publishing my second book.
It describes the concept of permanently traveling and how I pay for it
Leaving It All Behind: This is the first chapter from my book "The Road That Has
No End" and can be read, in its entirety, by following this link. It
in-depth description from hatching the idea of extended travel, saving up money
and every step I took up to the day I left permanently on my
Audio Interviews About Finances and Long Term Travel
Hear explanations to many of the travel budget and money questions gathered from
several radio interviews.
Saving up before the trip
Managing money on the road
on the internet while traveling
Working around the world
Trust fund, inheritance or other mysterious
sources of income travelers
Tips & Advice
(see all Equipment
Tools and Spares
Pots and Pans
Solar Power for Camp
Cycle Touring Racks: Why chromoly steel is best.
Heavy Duty Travel Tested
Sealed Cartridge Hubs.
Take a look at the strongest hubs built specifically for touring