Visualize Yourself To An Exotic Vacation

by Katy on August 27, 2008 · 5 comments



Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca



There was an article in the paper the other day titled, “Decide travel is a priority, then start saving to make it happen” by Shawn Donley, about how he makes travel a priority in his life. Apparently, people are always telling him how lucky he is. However, Shawn has a different method beyond dumb-luck to support his globe-trotting lifestyle.

“No one particularly enjoys making sacrifices, but it helps if you can visualize the payoff. Realize that by cooking dinner at home, instead of going out to eat, you’ve saved enough money for a night’s stay at a guest house on Lake Titicaca.

By skipping that second (or third) beer at the ballgame, you’ve paid for a couple of banana leaf thali dinners in Southern India. And when you refuse to buy another unnecessary pair of shoes, you have covered the cost of an overnight ferry to one of the Greek Islands.”

I like this. I am a very concrete thinker, and this technique can be tweaked for a variety of different goals:

  • Watching less television — Even one hour less TV per day will give you a free hour for whatever you want or need.
  • Money management — Forgoing that nice dinner out will pay down your credit debt.
  • Green living — Hanging clothes on the line is equivalent to one month of free electricity.
  • Attention to food waste — That leftover surprise meal will mean one less trip to the grocery store/ less sent to the wasteful compost demon.

You get the drift.

When the sacrifices are made for the dull reasoning of it’s the right thing to do, it’s too easy to choose whatever gives you immediate gratification. But, directly connecting the doing without with a specific long term goal puts everything in context.

My sacrifices may not be sending me on an exotic journey to Lake Titicaca. However, I do get to say the word Titicaca, (tee-hee!) which at age 40 is just as fun, (if not more fun) as when I was ten-years-old.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shymom August 27, 2008 at 5:27 am

Saving money on things that aren’t important to you so you can spend them on things that are important is, in my mind, the cornerstone of frugality.

Of course, what is important to one person may be close to meaningless to another.


Kristen August 27, 2008 at 5:47 am

That kind of thing definitely helped to motivate me to work on my food wasting…I realized that when I threw away food that could have been eaten, I was throwing money away! I’d never throw a dollar bill away, but I’d throw away $1 cucumbers week after week. So, when I realize that hey! I could save money by doing this and spend it on something much better than food that would go uneaten, I was far more motivated.


cruisenow August 27, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Great Post…And as you are saving for your exotic travel spend time researching the best ways to get your exotic vacation for the best price.


Jewish Vacations September 11, 2008 at 2:42 am

Thanks for the nice post. For many people travel is not a luxury, but a necessity. To finance my travels I’ve chosen to give up many things others take for granted: a house, a car, pets, new clothes and dinners at nice restaurants. Saving for a big trip is always a challenge.


Donna Besst December 24, 2008 at 9:32 am

Green living — Hanging clothes on the line is equivalent to one month of free electricity??

Can you please clarify? 10% overall, per month?


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