It most certainly can be if you travel like most Americans, James,who insist on a high level of comfort. I don’t. I stay in cheap hostels, my flights are paid for with miles and I use Tim Leffel’s excellent books on how to travel cheaply, as well as Lonely Planet. Second, and unless you do this kind of thing, it’s very easy to assume I did Everest. I didn’t. I did the Everest Base Camp climb,which is abut $1500. Everest these days is Grand Central Station, runs from 80–100k, and is a jam-packed walk through foul trash and dead bodies. I have no interest, nor do I possess the skill or funds, nor do I have the ego drive for bragging rights.As a travel blogger, I have a lot of things comped in exchange for well-placed articles. It takes hard work and skill to create a life like this but I pay for it all right-33 hours in steerage with no sleep, but incredible stories. I drove one old van until it had 350k miles and the ignition fell out into my hand. What some folks drop in Starbucks in the course of a year would pay for two months in Vietnam for me.
I had no children and I have no savings. I went through a medical bankruptcy which wiped me out a number of years back, and while my credit rating now hovers close to 850, I still have very little savings because what I do have I spend on my startup.
We live with our life choices, James, as I live with mine. My unique skill set allows me to organize international travel, but while others live in the lap of luxury on an African safari, I am sleeping in a buggy, drafty, broken tent near a bunch of smelly camels. And frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way. i don’t wish to be comfortable.I want to be challenged and a $20k National Geographic cruise ain’t my cuppa tea. I am far happier hoofing it with 20 year old backpackers who live on Ramen noodles and stay in $8 a night hostels. That’s where the stories live.