Prepping for Long Term Travel: Month Five

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Five months of prepping for long term travel down. Nine more months to go.  I’ve come so far, yet I’ve got way more to go.  It’s been a tough month for me after having to cope with the loss of my best friend-my American Bulldog.  I’ve found myself barely functioning at times, only getting done the things that absolutely have to be done.  I also was very very sick the first two weeks of the month so I’ve been slacking a little on getting things accomplished when it comes to prepping.  However, as the month progressed and I got to feeling better (both physically and emotionally), I’ve had some really exciting things happen.

prepping for long term travel

It Definitely Will

1.  Savings.  Always start with the money.  Money is the root of all evil they say, but it is what’s going to fund my dreams so right now, it’s my best friend.  I increased my savings from $5600 to $7500.  I’m able to save about $500 a paycheck so $1,000 a month from work and I did my taxes and am getting $900 back so that’s the $1900.  I’m really happy with where I’m at in my savings.  I never expected to be at this point by Month Five which means I’m going to surpass my original goal before I leave.  Now, it’s kind of a challenge of mine to see just how much I can surpass it by.

prepping for long term travel

Just Being Me

2.  Guest Posts and Interviews.  I did another interview this month with A Brit and A Southerner.  You can check it out here.

3.  Bought my backpack.  I really wasn’t intending on picking out my backpack this early on, but it just kind of happened.  I went with an REI 40L.  That’s right, I’m going super light.  I’m excited to start slowly getting other things I need and determine my packing list.

prepping for long term travel

Be Passionate

4.  Wrote letter to family.  This was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to write.  Writing to my family knowing they most likely wouldn’t agree with my decision about a dream that I’m deeply passionate about brought out my perfectionism in the worst form.  I literally wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote this letter over the course of the entire month.  I actually just sent it out a couple days ago so once it’s had time to sink in with everyone, I plan on sharing it with everyone.  I really want to inspire others who are having the same problem and having a difficult time telling someone something.

prepping for long term travel

5.  Bought my plane ticket.  And, then proceeded to throw up.  I wasn’t expecting to book this early at all.  Mostly, because I didn’t see the point in booking 9 months in advance, but when I saw a price that I felt like was too good to pass up, I jumped on it.  I had an extremely strong reaction that I never expected.  It felt like the first major thing I did purely for myself without worrying about what anyone else thought.  Scary feeling, but a great feeling too.

What’s up for next month?

Finish getting everything ready for garage sale that will happen in March.

Search for a second job to start in March.

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


  1. Nanette

    February 1, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Wow, you’ve accomplished so much! Your savings rate is great, and you bought your ticket. What’s the first country you are going to visit/stay?

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Thanks Nanette! I’ll be flying into Bangkok. I’m still working out a rough itinerary as to where I’ll go next 🙂

  2. lisa

    February 1, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Wow, congrats on saving so much! That’s impressive.

  3. Mrs. Chasing the Donkey

    February 1, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Lady you’re set…. backpack, ticket and cash…. seee yyyaaa!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 1, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      haha i know! It’s all coming together! 🙂

  4. Lunaguava

    February 1, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Congrats on everything you managed to accomplish so far, Ashley! Good choice on the 40L backpack – it’s the same size as ours, and it’s more than enough. Traveling light is the way to go, in our opinion. And plane ticket is bought! YAY! Hope the following months are as successful as this one. Good luck!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      Thanks guys! And, yay for carry on only! 🙂

  5. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    February 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    The amount of money you have saved so far is amazing! Congrats on purchasing your backpack and airplane ticket! It’s being more ‘official’ now – I bet it is exciting times for you!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 1, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      Thanks Constance! It definitely made it more real–not sure how i’ll get through the next 9 months now haha

  6. Emma

    February 2, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    How exciting!!! Good luck with everything, can’t wait to hear where you are going! 🙂

  7. Sharon

    February 2, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    Sounds like everything is coming along nicely! Very exciting! I hope the letter goes well!! 🙂

  8. anna parker

    February 2, 2014 at 2:36 AM

    plane ticket bought – that’s fantastic, now you know it is all going to happen!!

  9. Stacey Veikalas

    February 2, 2014 at 3:12 AM

    Super ideas ~ I think the hardest is part it putting it all on list and then working through it!

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  11. Gabor Kovacs

    February 2, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    Good luck Ashley, with the preparation for yout trip! I am looking forward to following your adventures! We travelled not so long time ago for a year and a half in South America and South East Asia, feel free to contact us about the countries we visited.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      Thanks Gabor! I will most definitely let you know if I have any questions. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more when it gets closer 🙂

  12. Jess

    February 2, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Sounds like you’re doing great! Congratulations on beating your goals.

    It’s amazing how REAL buying a plane ticket makes things, isn’t it?

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      Yes ma’am it is! I started immediately thinking of everything I needed to do–even though I have a lot longer to go.

  13. frankaboutcroatia

    February 2, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    Congrats Ashley on everything you’ve accomplished so far. Once you bought your plane ticket, I’m sure the trip seems even more real. Hope you’re family will be as supportive as you want them to be.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      Thanks! Yes, the plane ticket buying made everything completely different for sure!

  14. Marie-Carmen

    February 2, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Taxes back, that’s always great! 2nd month into travelling my mum got a check for me of 900£ that was awesome!
    And don’t worry about your family, they’ll be “disappointed” at first because that’s not what they think is right (I know, I lived it with my very traditionnal Spanish family) but once you are there, they’ll admit that they are very proud of you living your dream!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      Thanks Marie-Carmen! Even though I’m stressed about the family issue, I’ve found so many others who had the same problem and yet, everything is fine now that they are actually traveling 🙂

  15. Samantha @mytanfeet

    February 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Great job Ashley! Once it hits November and you’re on your journey you can definitely take turn all these posts into a series and publish some sort of e book or guidebook or something!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 2, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Thanks Samantha! The idea has definitely crossed my mind. I wanted to start my blog early and really focus on the prepping side. I can’t wait to see it all come together at the end 🙂

  16. Ron

    February 2, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Great savings increase that’ll keep you travelling longer. You’re really working through your list to achieve your goal

  17. Travelling Book Junkie

    February 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Sounds like this has been a great month for you and a brilliant start to 2014! 🙂

  18. Roma

    February 2, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    HOLY SMOKES! You’re on a roll! What an achievement. Your backpack and some incredible savings achievements! You’re on fire! #KeepGoing….

  19. NZ Muse

    February 2, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Woohoo! Always good to be tracking ahead with savings. Now you’ve got the backpack and ticket, it’s ON.

  20. Chris Boothman

    February 2, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Firstly, thanks so much for participating in our interview series – you did great!

    Always love reading your monthly updates on your progress towards your ultimate dream. You should be proud of yourself for saving so much and this will certainly come in really handy whenever you venture off. You seem to be really in control of everything and have everything planned out which is great.

    Good luck and we look forward to following you around the world!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 3, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      Thanks so much Chris! I feel completely out of control so I’m glad it appears otherwise 🙂

  21. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    February 2, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    What great progress for the month and an awesome start to 2014. There’s no turning back now with that plane ticket. Congratulations on the jump in savings. Here’s wishing you more good things and luck to come this month. Good luck with the family letters.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 3, 2014 at 12:50 AM

      Thanks so much Mary! I can’t wait for what the next few months will bring 🙂

  22. Stef

    February 3, 2014 at 2:10 AM

    Awesome! You already bought your ticket, that’s great. And I totally believe that writing the letter was hard. Did your family already answer? Do they understand that you want to follow your dreams or is it hard for them to understand? I wish you all the best for the following month!!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Thanks for the comment Stef! I did hear from most of them today and they were all really happy and supportive about it–made me so happy! 🙂

  23. Jessica | A Passion and A Passport

    February 3, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Wow awesome! You’ve accomplished SO much this month! Congrats on the plane ticket- there’s no turning back now! Follow your dreams girl!

  24. Syd

    February 4, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    Congratulations! You are awesome! I have loved following your progress month by month. It’s been cool to see how far you’ve come and to see now that you actually bought a plane ticket and MADE IT REAL. Woop woop this is how it all begins! Keep going forward and don’t look back 🙂 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Thanks so much Syd! It feels like it’s creeping along sometimes and then it feels like it’s flying by. So excited about my ticket too! 😀

  25. Nina

    February 4, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    Waauw, your preparation is going smoothly. Can’t wait to read more of your long term traveling stories!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Thanks so much Nina! It’s coming along slowly! 🙂

  26. Adelina @ PackMeTo

    February 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Booking that ticket must have been scary. But yay! You’re officially going 🙂

  27. Sammi

    February 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Wow! Awesome you’re doing so well with your savings.

  28. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    February 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    What a great update! You are really making progress. And I’m glad to read in the comments that the reaction from your letters was happy and supportive. Living in Penang, Malaysia, I end up meeting a lot of round-the-world traveling families. It’s always interesting to hear the path people take to get here.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      Thanks Michele! I plan on coming to Penang–can’t wait! 🙂

  29. Michelle

    February 5, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Good luck with your adventures! I’m subscribing so that I can have a read back and catch up! x

  30. Brandy @ MommySplurge

    February 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    This is so cool! I am so very envious! I really am! I’m not at the stage in life where I can do this, but when my kids are older I would not mind picking up and just moving on! Stopping by from SITS!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Thanks Brandy! You should definitely consider it in the future–it can be very liberating 🙂

  31. Ayanna

    February 10, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Hi Ashley! I love this post! I really got a sense of some of the issues you are dealing with preparing for longterm travel. But I must say, I love the fact that you are going for it!! Parents and friends may not understand right now, but you have to fulfill that desire within your heart or you will always live with that what if/ regret feeling. I know you are going to have an amazing trip! Congratulations on beating your savings goals so far, and getting your plane ticket! The best is yet to come!!!! xx #sitsblogging

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Thanks so much Ayanna! It’s definitely alot to prepare for physically, mentally and emotionally but so so worth it in the end!

  32. Charity Craig

    February 10, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Ashley, I love to see your focused drive to go after your dream. You will be so glad you made all of this happen in your life. Keep it up!

  33. Becky

    February 10, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    You are living the dream!! Love it! It takes guts but you’ll never regret this decision to explore the world. I’ve been lucky to have traveled a lot growing up but my biggest regret so far is never living in another country for an extended period of time or just traveling around. Hoping living abroad will still be in the cards for our family some day! I’ll be following you vicariously…love the blog.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      Thank you so much Becky! I hope you get to do that one day too 🙂

  34. Cecile

    February 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Good luck to you! I would love to take a really long travel trip with my kids and see the world.

  35. brett

    February 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    having that much saved already is a huge accomplishment!! i am sure your family will feel concerned for your safety and well being but hopefully they’ll also understand and be supportive

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      The family has actually been super supportive which is great! 😀

  36. Jessica

    February 11, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    This is amazing and brings back memories of when we were preparing to travel long term. I totally identified with the idea of buying the plane ticket and then throwing up. It’s that first definitive step that can kinda hit you in the gut. But, just keep going…the rewards are worth it.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Thanks Jessica! I’ve calmed down since my initial reaction of buying the ticket…but still extremely excited!

  37. Carissa Pelletier

    February 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Great ideas and wow, you’re so brave! Yes, decide, plan, prepare, and then do not apologize. Have a wonderful adventure!

  38. Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush?

    February 25, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    How I wish we kept a pre-trip journal like this. We didn’t start blogging until a month or so before the trip, mainly because we didn’t want our employers to know we’re leaving. Now we’re 8 months into the trip and it all seems so long ago and impossibly faraway. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 25, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      Thanks Peter! Work didn’t know about my plans either–so I couldn’t really put anything on my personal FB and so on. I’m glad I still did it though–it’ll be great to look back on 🙂

  39. Yana

    March 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    That is so great! I think buying a ticket this early is a very smart decision because no matter what happens and how scared you are – you’re going! Not having a ticket makes you postpone with random excuses like not saving enough or it’s someone’s birthday 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 5, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      You’re very right Yana–I’m definitely glad I bought it so early 🙂

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