What would you do... house or travel?
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Jul 14, 2012 8:47 AM Last Post By: travelinstyle46
Jul 11, 2012 2:23 AM
What would you do... house or travel?I am turning 26 this year, a single female, have a steady disposable income and feel like I'm at "that age" where I need to "settle down" and be a "grown up" and make some "real life" decisions.
I've travelled Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, NZ, China... and have a list twice as long of places I still want to see!
I have half a dozen friends, same age, same situation - all moving / have moved to London this year to work, travel, be free for the next 12 mths.
The other half of my friends, same age - are getting married, buying houses, having babies.
I feel like a floater, and a fence sitter, and Switzerland. I could quite happily choose the path of either, but I've always been a want my cake and eat it too kind of girl, and I hate to make a decision... but I don't know how much longer I can keep NOT making decisions for, and I don't want to be sitting here in another year's time questioning the same thing that I have been for the last 3 years.
Do I save for a solid year, smash out a massive house deposit, have no life and no spare cash in the meantime - but get set up with an investment property now and achieve something that I've always dreamt about?
Or do I, save for half the time, save some decent $$'s, travel for a wee bit through the rest of Eastern Europe and then base myself in London working with my friends at the end of the year for 12 months?
I just don't know.
So, What have you done? What would you do? What is your experiences, advice, ideas, thoughts?
Jul 11, 2012 2:23 AM
Jul 11, 2012 3:06 AM
I was desperate to do more travelling after graduating from university in 2009... I spent a few months in SE asia and Oz but then started a graduate training scheme back in the UK. Now almost 3 years later I am desperate to sack it all off and travel especially considering that I am now based in a fairly dull part of England (near Birmingham) and most of my friends are either abroad, London based or settled. But there is always the nagging doubt in my mind that given the desperate state of the Economy in this country on return I would never find as safe a job as I have now.......
I guess he/she who dares wins and all that.....
Jul 11, 2012 3:12 AM
3My husband and I have spent our lives life asking ourselves similar questions. Should we get a new kitchen or go to the Alps that kind of thing. It started when we were in our early 20s and 30 years later we are still doing it. I confess we always opt for travel! My daughter says sooner or later we will have to spend money on the house or it will fall down around us.But for now and while we still can......
I work on the basis that on my death bed I will not be saying at least I had a nice kitchen!
Jul 11, 2012 3:15 AM
Jul 11, 2012 3:31 AM
5How do people do nothing until 30 and then actually find a good job when they decide to work? I suppose they are not from my country.
Anyway, at 26 you have plenty of time to do all the grown-up things like buy a house later on when you actually need one, like say when you want to start a family. I worked to save for the house, having little life in between, and when it finally came time to make that plunge at the age of 31 I decided to upend it all and take a year off to go travel.
If I was lucky enough to be born in a country with 4-5 weeks of paid holiday per year, you can bet I would have never taken a year off. Seriously, how can you need a year off when you basically get an entire month off (sometimes more) a year?
Anyway, go travel. The fact that you are unsure of buying the house means you will regret not traveling if you don't do it.
Jul 11, 2012 4:34 AM
Jul 11, 2012 4:35 AM
7By all means travel! You have all the time in the world to conform to the worlds ideas of success and security. I wish to God that I had done more travel when I was young and had the oppurtunity. I have never met a soul who regretted following their heart by venturing over that distant hill. Conversely, There are legions who rue the day that they traded their freedom for the promise of materialism and security. Obviously, I speak from personal experience. Have fun.
Jul 11, 2012 5:16 AM
Jul 11, 2012 5:52 AM
9#8 has a good point.
I'm 26 too and don't have much savings, having spent most of it on travel, and live on a grad student's wages in the Netherlands. Never got the point of buying a house just because I have no idea yet where I'd want to live- I'm an American now a continent away, and my boyfriend I met over here is an Australian so who knows where we'll end up?
I do remember though having someone in my lab back in the US who decided he needed to "settle down" at 26- ended up getting a house and marrying a girl he wasn't head-over-heels for just because he didn't think he'd find someone later. Obviously a lifelong relationship like that is rather stupid, but I'm just illustrating that people do a lot of weird stuff when they feel like they need to "settle down" for no particular reason.
If YOU want to settle down and think it will make you happy, then sure do it. If you wait a few years more, well, what of it? I definitely wouldn't have been happy if I'd "settled down" back at home- both intellectually and never would have met my boyfriend, and both were definitely taking the risk to see how things worked out.
I mean if things sucked I could always quit and go home after a year or two, but what I have and the person I grew to be is far more than I could've achieved at home.
Hope that helps!
Jul 11, 2012 6:06 AM
Jul 11, 2012 6:22 AM
Jul 11, 2012 6:45 AM
Jul 11, 2012 6:50 AM
13If you are the type of materialistic person that needs to own things then do that. If you are a true traveler you don't need to own anything but your passport...
Why are Westerners so obsessed with owning their own houses and furniture?
I'm sure you've noticed that 99 percent of the world's population sleep on mattresses (actually sleeping mats) on the floor shared with their friends and family...
Jul 11, 2012 3:19 PM
14This topic comes up from time to time and the usual answers get trotted out. Invariably, they tend towards travel (it is after all a travel forum where presumably most have an interest in doing just that) with few if any in favour of the apparent alternative.
However, I do not subsribe to the idea of it being an either/or decision. Who says you cannot have your cake and eat it too? For all intents and purposes I would say I personally did just that. At 26 I like most people I knew, spent more than I earned and lived life 'to the full' including taking a year out here and there. Big deal, anyone can do that. It wasn't until I was 35 that I realized there was an alternative and that it didn't need to be an either/or.
At 35 I decided I did not want to work till I was 65, retire and perhaps drop dead in 2 years (ask an actuarial what the percentages are). I decided instead to retire at a far younger age. So I came up with a 10 year plan to retirement. In fact, I achieved my goal in 7 years as it turned out.
Durng those 7 years however I did not give up travel or feel deprived in any way. I took 3 or 4 vacations per year of anything from a week to a month in duration. I probably visited twice as many countries as you have evanandkrista and still have "a list twice as long of places I still want to see!" That part never changes and so is irrelevant.
The reality is that not everyone is in a postion to do what I did. I'm not suggesting everyone could but if you are in a position to contemplate "Do I save for a solid year, smash out a massive house deposit, have no life and no spare cash in the meantime - but get set up with an investment property now and achieve something that I've always dreamt about?" then you may be in a position to consider an alternative to the either/or scenario that is all most people can see.
"Should we get a new kitchen or go to the Alps that kind of thing"
"There are legions who rue the day that they traded their freedom for the promise of materialism and security"
"If you were to die next week, which of your dreams would you most regret not chasing?"
"Why should you live your life only to conform to other people's expectations?"
All fall into the either/or category and are all nonsense. I have a new kitchen and have gone to the alps many times. No one needs to trade their freedom for materialism. Anyone dying next week will regret whichever of their dreams they haven't chased yet. (Do you think new dreams don't come along?) Seeing things as either/or is comfroming to other people's expectations.
The other usual answers are the 'one example, proves the rule' type responses. Or can be lumped into the 'what if you get hit by a bus' category. What if you die next week but no what if you don't die next week? Someone who settled down in a poor relationship but what if you don't do that? Is everyone who wants to settle down suddenly made stupid?
My choice was to beat the system not convince myself the system was crap and I was going to avoid it or live life as if I might get hit by a bus. I started on my path to financial freedom at age 35 as I said but I could have as easily started at age 26. I had a good job, earned good money and could have started saving then. If I had, I would probably have retired at 33 instead of 43. So far I have had 23 years of financial independence and guess what, I travel where and when I want for as long as I want. Now let's see any of the 'do it now while you can' crowd tell you they have managed to do as they want without working for 23 years.
There are short term answers and there are long term answers. What is there is not is a necessity to choose an either/or answer.
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