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Are We Really That Lucky To Travel? | Don't Ever Look Back

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Are We Really That Lucky To Travel?

Are We Really That Lucky To Travel?

Whenever we tell our friends and family that we have a new traveling adventure planned, the two of us are greeted with the same two reactions. It’s either…

“You two are so lucky…”


“I wish I could do that…”

And you probably think it’d be cool to make people envy us, right?

Well the truth is it really isn’t that great. In fact, these two reactions piss us off quite a bit.

It’s More Than Luck!

When people tell us how lucky we are that we get to travel so much, we simply smile and nod our heads in agreement. It’s easier that way.

We’ll admit that we’re lucky to have been born in Australia and that we have the freedom to travel but we’re no luckier than the next Aussie citizen including the people we know.

We’ve made travel our number one priority in life and that’s why we get to enjoy it so much.

The next time you wonder how lucky we are, consider these things…

While you’re paying that expensive rent or mortgage?
We’re back with Amy’s parents saving every last cent we can.

While you’re driving around in your shiny brand new car?
The two of us are sharing a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer that we paid $7,000 cash for.

While you’re going out for dinner and drinks before catching a new release movie?
We’re sitting in front of the heater with a home-cooked meal and a glass of water.

While you’re watching TV, playing video games or simply wasting your time?
The two of us are working our asses off either on this blog or on any of our other multiple projects.

Sometimes we know that people forget all that but it’s sacrifices like these that allow us to travel as much as we do. Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Don’t Wish – Make Your Dreams Happen!

Just today one of us was told “I wish I could travel like you do!” and it really hit home.

The truth is – you can travel like we do. It just takes a little bit of patience and a lot of hard work. This quote sums it up…

You get what you work for...

So stop dreaming, stop wishing and make it happen. You need to earn most things in life and the opportunity to travel is just one of them.

We understand that fear can get in the way and that everything in life tells you to take the safe option (ie. secure job, home, etc) to stay within your comfort zone.

But if you want to travel like we do then you need to break free from your comfort zone! Check out our post 7 reasons you should travel now if you need that extra bit of motivation.

As we always say…

Take a chance and don’t ever look back.

We promise you won’t regret it! Soon enough, people will be saying how lucky you are (even though we all know the truth!)…


  1. Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    “Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it”

    Disagree. Luck has SOMETHING to do with it. We are lucky to simply be Westerners, having been born in prosperous countries with many opportunities to work and save for travel. What about all those kids born in third-world countries — take children in Africa for example? They must def. work even harder than us to even get half of what we take for granted.

    Hey, not saying the life you have made for yourselves wasn’t earned — it was. But always remember that we were lucky to be born among the top 1% Did I just say that? Yes, even as middle-class Westerners, we ARE among the world’s top 1%

    Read this article from Foreign Policy mag:


    Keep working hard, I’m very happy to see you work towards your dreams. But always remember: We ARE indeed blessed — and luck has something to do with it 😉

    -Maria Alexandra
    (Nomadic Translator LatinAbroad)
    Nomadic Translator recently posted..TBEX 2012 review and my 1st Blogiversary! Hard work paying off

    • Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for commenting Maria and we agree completely with what you’ve written. Not sure if you saw it but before we wrote what you quoted we also wrote this in our post…

      “We’ll admit that we’re lucky to have been born in Australia and that we have the freedom to travel”…

      Sure we could have expanded on that point in a little more detail but we do feel blessed for being Westerners and certainly don’t take that for granted.

    • Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Maybe I just had trouble with the “Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it” quote. If it would have said “Luck has something nothing to do with it,” I probably wouldn’t have gone off 😉
      Nomadic Translator recently posted..TBEX 2012 review and my 1st Blogiversary! Hard work paying off

  2. Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    We get ‘you’re so lucky!’ a lot, as well as ‘how do you afford it?’ One person who asked ‘how do you afford it?’ had recently brought a $27 000 car.
    We’ve found that ‘you’re so lucky!’ is often just a noncommittal thing that people say, when what they’re actually thinking is ‘why?’

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Haha that sounds all too familiar… such a big part of being able to travel is being smart with your money. And that’s an excellent point about people just saying these things because in their minds they’re really thinking how crazy we are – that’s probably very true.

  3. Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    AMEN you two, AMEN! People keep telling me that I’m lucky to be going on my RTW trip next year. I feel extremely fortunate to be in a position to be able to do so, but at the same time I’m scrimping, saving, and working my cute butt off on my blog, researching places, contacting sponsors, SEO blahblahblahblahhhhh! People who travel for a long time, or are planning to, put a LOT of work into making their dreams come true!
    Waegook Tom recently posted..5 Ideas for Busan

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      You make your own destiny in life and if travel is what you want to do then you find a way to make it happen. Keep on working that cute butt off haha.

  4. Jenna
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I completely agree with you guys–even though I haven’t been on a round the world trip, I try to travel as much as possible and get the same responses. I work hard and put travel as a priority in my life. I try to travel on a budget and with miles/points so I can travel more often, but people still say how lucky I am, which is super frustrating. Although, I do feel that I am lucky to have been born in the US and have the freedom to travel as well, I always hear “I wish I could travel as much as you” comments, from people that have had the same luck that I have had. It’s not luck that I budget and plan for travel; it happens because I work at it and plan to make it happen. Keep up the hard work you two–I really enjoy reading your blog!!

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      We’re not just talking about a round-the-world trip, this could be any kind of travel – even when we were using our four weeks per year people were still jealous of us because we squeezed in as much as we possibly could.

      Well done Jenna for traveling as much as you do, but a bigger congratulations that you’ve worked so hard to earn the chance to travel. Happy that you can travel smartly so that you can make the most of it when you do get away!

  5. Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I hear ya. Boy, do I hear ya. I get that as well – “You’re so lucky to be able to travel as a family!”

    And yes, we are lucky. We’re very lucky. There is certainly an element of luck involved – as you pointed out, we were lucky to be born to western parents and that, in and of itself, has provided many opportunities that our friends in Egypt or Ethiopia or Honduras will never have.

    But I also think we need to consider other westerners who, through no fault of their own, can’t do what we’re doing. those who need to care for elderly parents or have handicapped children of their own. Those with health issues or some other situation that truly does prevent them from living their dream.

    Yes, the VAST majority of westerners can travel just like you and I can. We set it as a priority, make the necessary sacrifices, and make it happen. Most westerners can do that and there is very little luck involved at that point.
    Nancy Sathre-Vogel recently posted..Why I bailed from the Colorado Trail, yet won anyway

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Wow, now we can only imagine how often you would hear that being able to travel with kids. We definitely understand that there are many who can’t do what we’re doing but we encourage them to still get away for a few days here and there, even if it is in their own backyard. It’s the ones who could be doing what we’re doing but spend ridiculously or make other crazy excuses that we’re targeting this one to.

  6. Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more. We are so lucky to have been born in a western country, we are from Australia too, and thats why we work as hard as we can to travel the world and experience other people’s cultures so we can appreciate and love what we have. It’s not luck at all, apart from the fact that we are lucky to be Australian, yes. I hate people who waste the opportunity of being a westerner and only live in their bubble western world. Eating western food, buying western things and never understanding what the rest of the world is like! Thanks for the post, it was great to read!
    Kelly and Daniel recently posted..When Travelers Go Bad – What You Might Not See…

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Well said guys! It’s great to see some fellow Aussies breaking away from the norm.

      We can think of one thing worse than those living in their bubble western world – it’s those who travel and still live in that bubble! Just look at all the Aussies who go to Bali just to party and drink beer but neglect to embrace ANY of the local culture. It’s nearly enough to make our blood boil!

    • Posted June 21, 2012 at 2:41 am | Permalink

      And you couldn’t have said THAT better haha it frustrates me so much to see people from Australia coming to other countries just to drink, party and take advantage of other peoples misfortune!! So frustrating! Great blog guys, we love it!

  7. Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Totally agree! When I lived in Singapore I heard it a lot (and so do many of the expats there); but people didn’t realize I wasn’t JUST traveling — I purposely moved abroad and even found a job in Sing so I could fund the monthly trips. People just saw the travel photos; what they didn’t see was that I spent more time working than traveling!
    Edna recently posted..PBEX, or a Paris Bloggers’ Weekend

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      That’s one mistake a lot of people fall into – working overseas but not actually taking in what’s around them. We remember another blogger writing about a work colleague in Sydney who had been there for 6 months but hadn’t even seen the Harbour Bridge… that’s just insane! Good job on making the most of your expat experience – it’s a great way to travel and earn money at the same time.

  8. Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Just Do It yourself, is what I tell people who tell me I am lucky – they have the same opportunities as me, and make choices as I and you have, to buy a house or expensive car or pay for a lavish wedding, OR travel the world! It’s all about the choices you make, and the sacrifices you make!
    Great post!
    Tash recently posted..NXNE at Dundas Square

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Exactly! For the cost of most weddings you and your partner could travel around the world for a year! It may take some people more time than others to reach your dream but if you chip away at it you’ll get there eventually rather than hoping for a miracle.

  9. Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I loved this article. It’s come just at the right time for me as I begin readjusting my life more to really go after my dreams. You put it simply – if you want it, you’ll work for it and make sacrifices. If you don’t, you’ll make excuses.

    Looking forward to many more great articles.
    Casey recently posted..Tuesday’s Drive

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      So glad to hear you’re readjusting your life to chase your dreams Casey! Too many people hate their lives and constantly complain but they’re not doing anything about it. Good luck! 🙂

  10. Posted June 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    If I had a penny for every time someone said “you’re so lucky” or “I’d love to be able to do that”… Just before we left I was really having to bite my tongue to stop a snarky response from escaping. Totally agree that we are fortunate to have been born in countries where we are able to travel but it irritates me when you see people buying the newest cars, gadgets etc and then complaining about having no money. It’s about priorities, not luck.

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Haha yeah it gets a bit like that. So true, we’re just glad that we always choose experiences over ‘things’ – you’ll remember them and cherish them a lot more in 10-20 years.

  11. Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree with you! We get this comment all the time and at first I though, hell yeah we are so lucky but then I realized that luck has very little to do with it. We worked our butts off, are creative, don’t travel in the lap of luxury, and sacrifice many things that most wouldn’t even consider living without!

    It is all a choice and we chose to make travel our reality! Although I will admit that simply being born in the US has been luck and one of the many things that we are very grateful for!
    Mary recently posted..Bus Travel in Cambodia

    • Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      We felt a bit like that too at first but now that we’ve done quite a bit of traveling, constantly being told how lucky we are is getting old fast (hence this post!).

      Love how strong your work ethic is and that’s why you’re living your dream right now… keep on enjoying it!

  12. Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Agreed! Those comments are usually followed by a myriad of excuses. I had my brother accuse me that I was made of money, and not everyone can just go and travel the world. Now, as I understand there are different circumstances, Matt and I have done nothing but work hard for a year trying to make a dream come true. It’s all about priorities! Great post as always guys!
    Caro recently posted..Ethical Travel with Original Trails

    • Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Yeah we’ve had countless people tell us how irresponsible we are for traveling instead of settling down and buying a house. Funny thing is we think they’re crazy for doing that exact thing!

      A massive congratulations on making that dream come true, not long now! 🙂

  13. Posted June 21, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I think all travelers can relate to this. Nice job of presenting the rebuttal. Anyone who has the ability to read this post can certainly make travel happen for themselves.
    Scott – QuirkyTravel recently posted..Overcoming dishonest rangers to see bighorn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park

  14. Posted June 21, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Love this and it’s so true. My college-aged friends who don’t even have to worry about mortgage or rent yet think that Laura and I are “so lucky.” In reality, we’re just taking advantage of the (very little) (or lack of) responsibilities that we have right now and going out to travel as much as possible before those bills come our way! 🙂
    Claire recently posted..Spreading Our Wings in the Outer Reef

    • Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      You’re doing so well traveling at such a young age – if only we started that early! When you don’t have responsibilities is the perfect time to travel, before those pesky bills come your way!

  15. Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I love that you pointed out all the things that other people have that you sacrifice. So many people say the same to me, but I don’t have a car and I don’t have a nice cozy place to call home, I miss out on a lot (weddings, births etc.) that other people have made their priorities. I do miss those things sometimes but not enough to give up my number 1 passion. Kudos to both of you for doing what you love! You should never have to justify it, just live! xox Ellie
    Ellie recently posted..the burbs

    • Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      It’s amazing how much money you can save by downsizing your home and eliminating a car – we’ve done both and the travel fund grows rapidly. It does hurt watching other people do some things that you’ve chosen not to but when you’re enjoying yourself overseas then it’s all worth it.

      Thanks for commenting Ellie! 🙂

  16. Posted June 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I live in Korea primarily so I can travel. I’ve worked myself into a position where I have 5 months vacation a year. I did that by earning a second degree. I also live in a city with a much lower cost of living than Seoul. Sometimes I don’t know what annoys people more…my travel or the 5 months vacation! I love my lifestyle, but it did not come without sacrifices. I doubt I would be doing what I do if I still lived in Canada.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — June 21st, 2012 — Nova Scotia Moments

    • Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like you’ve made some excellent choices to allow you to travel as much as you can – keep on enjoying that lifestyle!

  17. Posted June 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Great post! If it’s something you really want to do, you have to work towards it and set up your life in a way that lets you save and earn the money to travel. It didn’t just fall in your lap.
    Ali recently posted..Bora Bora Bungalow Madness

  18. Posted June 22, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Great post. Another thing to think about is other people’s perception of the cost of travel. When people think about travel they are thinking about how they vacation or cruise. $300 per night resort hotels and $1000 cruiseship days. Then they expand that to estimate what you must be spending. They don’t realize how the price of everything falls dramatically when you get outside of the West.

  19. Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    When we ventured off to our adventure in Cambodia, people kept telling us we were mad to leave our well paid jobs in London behind. They kept asking why we risk renting our house out, now we had it done up so nicely, that we were boring for not joining them for fancy drinks or dinner. etc.; but now they are all envious and when they see what great places we get to see. Now they all say that they wished they had the same courage. We always tell them that it is not courageous what we are doing, it is just our dream.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Photo of the week

  20. Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    When I take a look at the people who say “you are so lucky” to me, most are raising families and struggling with this awful economy. They worry about losing their jobs and making their dwindling salaries cover whatever (unexpected doctor’s bills, kids clothes, etc). Large house and car payments don’t even come into it. And vacations? Just a dream.

    I have influenced one friend (a single mom) who is now headed to China to study. Traveling, especially as an expat with kids, does take personal sacrifices. But if you make it a priority, wow is it worth it.
    Catherine recently posted..Trains, Cars and Phi Ta Khon (Thai Ghost Festival)

  21. Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I must admit…I used to be one of those “Oh you are so lucky!” people because I had a mortgage, car and not enough surplus cash left over to travel. Now though, I know that I have a choice in how I spend my money, and it’s not on “stuff”, it’s for experiences. I sold my condo and took off, and I’ve never looked back. I’m currently saving for a trip in December, and doing just what you do… drinking water and being cheap as hell! Great post, thanks!

  22. Posted June 29, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    We’re still hearing it! LOL. The nod and smile seems to work better than a long argument on your priorities and mine. 🙂
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..6 Months of Travel and Fall 2012 Plans

  23. Posted June 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more! I am lucky- lucky to have been born in a “first world” country, to educated parents, lucky to rarely be discriminated against, lucky that my passport is accepted in so many places, lucky that my luggage usually arrives. But the people who are always telling me how lucky I are not willing to make the sacrifices that I make (not having my own home is the big one). I’m also fiesty- I usually try to explain that it’s not luck to no avail.

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