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28 January 2012

I’ve never been good with money. I blame it on the credit card company who gave me all that fake money back when I was 18 and off to college. I’d swipe that card at everything: college bookstores, supermarkets, bars, malls, gas stations, fast food joints, tanning salons. It was like magic. Until I got the bill. My heart would stop each month looking at the ‘outstanding balance.’ I actually had to PAY for all that stuff with my OWN money??

BTW- “my OWN money” refers to calling mom and dad and asking for allowance. Don’t be fooled.

Then I saw the ‘minimum payment’ line. I fell in love with the ‘minimum payment’ line. It meant I could throw down $50 or so a month and keep living like a queen.  And, I got so good at that that they’d raise my limit! Sweet! More spending!

Until it got to the point where the ‘minimum payment’ line became higher and higher and I started hating it more and more.

Thus began a downward spiral. My debt was so out of control that I kept it a secret from EVERYONE. I even tried denying it to myself. It was the biggest burden I ever had to carry. A deep black hole that weighed on me daily. Being in debt is not something I would wish on anyone.

Coming to Korea finally gave me the advantage to pay off all my stupid mistakes. ALL of them! So now, I love my credit card again. Especially since it’s a mileage card I use it to rack up miles and points to help fly me around the world.

Knowing I’ll be jobless and planning a 3 month trip probably comes across as irresponsible to some. I totally get that. Especially the way things are these days. Who knows when or where I’ll find another job. But, while I do acknowledge that, I am not going to let it stop me. My purpose for moving abroad five years ago was to see the world. I don’t want to leave here without seeing some of the most magnificent places that are at arm’s reach from me.

I hate that money is such an important stipulation to live these days. It seems wrong to me that a man-made ‘necessity’ like money be the driving force of life. I totally respect working hard and earning your way through life. If it weren’t for my parents’ hard work and their ability to save my bank account ass countless times, there’s no way I’d be able to do what I am doing today. But, I wish money wouldn’t be the thing that limited us in our ability to explore life how we dream to.

Thus, I come to terms with spending my last earned dollars won on seeing this corner of the world. I’ve set a budget that I am DETERMINED to stick to. No more irresponsible credit card charges. And, whenever and wherever I happen to be when I’ve reached that limit, I’m either gonna find a job nearby (fingers crossed I run out in Bali!!) or use those miles to fly myself to South America! …. I mean HOME.  Home.

(After a few months in Argentina.)

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