This Man Has Been Cycling The World Continuously For 2 And A Half Years!
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Tim Millikin has been cycling the world for 2 and a half years, on an incredible journey from his hometown Reading in England to Reading in the United States of America. Read his inspiring story and find out how he funds this crazy journey!
My name is Tim Millikin and I am currently two and half years into my three year around the world cycle ride.
I left home in May 2015 and have been travelling continuously since then having cycled 40,000 Kilometres through 36 countries.
This has been the most amazing experience of my life!
It’s not all about the money…
I am often asked how much cycling the world costs and where I get my money from. This question is asked in almost every country by locals and other travellers alike.
Money is a national obsession and it is worth noting that I come from England and I had a stable job which allowed me to save money before going travelling. I am very aware that this would all have been a lot more difficult if I had been from a poorer country.
I decided to travel the world by bicycle whilst I was working as a travel agent in Reading, England.
A profession as a travel agent is not a good one for someone with itchy feet as it gives you a real passion to explore all these exciting places in which you are sending your clients to!
Saving For An Epic Cycling Trip
I knew that to enable me to travel continuously I would first off need savings, so for about a year I put £250 of my monthly pay check into a separate account and didn’t touch it. This meant that along with my final paycheck I had £4500 in my account when I left.
This equates to about 9 months rent in Reading and on the road it lasted me for double that time. To have some savings to start off with is vitally important and if you just put a little away every month you soon have enough to begin your new life on the road.
Earning Money On The Road
This money lasted about 18 months.
I was spending just £250 a month on the road, which is super cheap compared to my previous life in England.
Once this money ran out however I needed to top up, so I took a job working in New Zealand for five months after getting a Working Holiday Visa. I stopped cycling for a while, but I saved up more pennies and re-introduced myself into the real world!
I had a great time in Auckland working and meeting new people whilst having some kind of stability but after five months I needed to head back onto the open road.
I had saved up $3000 in Auckland and knew this would be enough to enable me to cycle back to England and complete my round the world bicycle trip, so I booked a flight to the bottom of Argentina and began to cycle back from there. I am now in El Salvador and with $750 left to my name know I will easily have enough money to cycle from here to New York to make my flight home in April.
The life of a bicycle traveller also happens to be, in my opinion, the cheapest way to travel the world and these are my three rules for keeping costs down:
Accommodation: This is the biggest expense to any traveller since you always need somewhere to rest each night and with hostels costing between $5-$20 this soon adds up. I carry a tent and spend many a night sleeping in this. This enables me to save money and also gives me the ability to meet more local people. When I ask someone where I can camp it begins an interesting conversation about what I am doing and often I am even invited to spend the night in their homes. A real cultural experience.
Food: This again is a daily expense which can really hurt your budget and a lot of this depends on where you are. In Vietnam I ate out every day since beautiful Vietnamese food was only 50 cent per dish and was so much better than my cooking. In more expensive countries like Australia or New Zealand I did a lot of my own cooking on my own stove which helped the budget greatly as a meal out is often $10 or more. An example of my diet in the Australian outback is: Porridge and honey/fruits for breakfast with instant coffee. For lunch usually bread or crackers with tinned tuna, maybe instant noodles, was down with some biscuits. For dinner a simple meal of rice, pasta or lentils with tomato sauce and spices and whatever vegetables I had been able to get. This cost me about $3 per day which is a bargain for a days rations.
Travel: Busses, planes, cars, taxis all cost money and in some places a lot of money so by travelling by bicycle I am able to save all these costs. Need to get somewhere? Just push those legs! With the only fuel needed being food I was able to get across entire countries without paying anything for travel. The other upside of this was I was able to see and feel everything, all those villages the bus goes past, every climb and descent and also meet lots more local people and have amazing experiences.
Money should not put you off if travel is something you want to do.
Embrace the life before you, live how you want to live and do not worry so much about the money.
If you run out, you are always able to find work somewhere on the road!
You can find out more about Tim’s epic round the world cycling trip at his website Reading 2 Reading!
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