Prepping for Long Term Travel: Month One

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It’s been a month since I made the decision that will change my life.  About this time next year, I will be headed off to Southeast Asia with no return date in mind.  Even though I have a year before I leave, I’ve already set a lot of things into motion.

1. Made plans to move back in with the parental unit.  I checked into my lease to see what it would cost me to break it as it doesn’t end until next June.  As long as I gave a 60 day notice, it doesn’t cost me any extra (besides the 2 months of rent, obviously).  So, I’m doing what I always said I wouldn’t do…moving back in with my mother.  At least this time it’s a pre-meditated choice instead of a desperate I need somewhere to live decision.  Maybe that will make a difference…

2. Opened up a travel only account.  I opened up a checking account with Charles Schwab as they reimburse all ATM fees monthly, even foreign ones.  They also do not charge foreign transaction fees.  This can save quite a bit of money over the months.  All of my savings will go into this account before my trip, then I may split the funds into different accounts in case I were to have my account hacked, the thief wouldn’t have as much money to play with.

3. Started my travel blog.  Thank you Captain Obvious.  That’s what you’re thinking, right?  It’s been a lot of work (and still has a lot to go) so I felt like I needed to mention it.

4.  Bought Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring.  

5.  Started going through a decade’s worth of crap.  I haven’t started selling stuff yet, but I better.  Selling ten years in 60 days is going to be interesting, to say the least.  Why did I ever think I needed all this crap?

6.  Drastically cut down my debt.  I won’t go into the gory details (at least, not in this post), but I was in serious debt.  Credit card, student loans, car loan.  Let’s just say, I kicked some major ass in this department.  I’m still deciding what to do about my car.  I bought a 4runner this past February and doubt I’d find a buyer to pay what I still owe on it (not because I’m upside-down, but people don’t ever want to pay what you ask).  

7.  Made a savings plan.  I didn’t save anything this first month, because I used all my extra money to pay things off.  I’d say this was just as productive since I’d have to do it eventually anyway.  I did make a savings plan to save a certain amount each month from here on out no matter what.

8.  MatadorU.  I paid for the MatadorU travel writing & photography courses last December as a Christmas present to myself, but after my knee surgery, I never really did anything with it.  Luckily, there’s no mandatory time-frame to finish the course.  I did get my first assignment done on the do’s and don’ts of Nashville.

Next month, I’ll be focusing on:

Selling crap.  Selling more crap.  And, selling more crap.

Continuing to put all my free time into my blog and MatadorU assignments.  I really want to focus on guest posts and networking more.

See where I can cut down my expenses even more.

Any suggestions on what I should focus on next month?  

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.


  1. J from Travel on Inspiration

    November 6, 2013 at 5:54 AM


    I really like your blog and congrats on making the decision to finally go for it. I’m also preparing to travel long term around August 2014, when are you looking to leave?

    Keep up with the blogging it can be hard work at times, especially whilst working full time, but it will be worth it.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      November 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Hey J,

      Thanks so much-I know it’s still a work in process, but it’s slowly but surely coming together. That’s why I started it so early and it looks like we both had similar ideas. I’m looking to leave around September-October 2014 timeframe. I haven’t had a chance to see what your exact plans are yet, but where are you planning on starting?? It’s great to hear from someone who is in the same boat as myself—we can definitely relate to how much it sucks at times. 🙂

  2. Rachel Bates

    November 28, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Well done you for taking the plunge – I hate the idea of a 9-5 job too (took me a year in the job I always thought I wanted to hate it) so this April I left to go freelance. Now I see every day as a little adventure, as my jobs takes me all around the UK, so I get to be a ‘tourist’ in between checking out bats 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      November 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      That’s awesome that you went freelance. I hope to also get some freelance work in the near future. If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

      • Rachel

        December 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        People. Or more like contacts/friends/acquaintances. The more people you know, the more chances you will have for work. Showcase your talents (your blogging), get your name out there, approach people, send some articles to travel blogs to see if they are interested, and have confidence in yourself. It’s ok to get scared (I’m petrified at times since I am reliant at me) – let yourself panic for a few minutes and then come back down to earth. Works for me!

  3. Maya

    January 20, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    All these points are great except I will never live with my mother.

    2. Charles Schwab is awesome. The tricky part is moving money from savings to checking before funds run low, but at least it’s all free.

    5.Selling our stuff was the worst. It was my first yard sale and it took days to regain my faith in humanity.

    Obviously you made it through so congrats!

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