BOLT Life…Doing the Math

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This is a post about the affordability of travel for 2 Black old lesbians.  Before I begin showing you some numbers, before I talk about how we live on less in Southeast Asia than in Los Angeles I want to acknowledge something.  Travel is an incredible privilege, one that we don’t take for granted. The life that we are living is the result of some things for which we can take no credit: American passports, hard working, home owning parents who made sure we got educations, and  of course gifts and blessings from the Universe too numerous to mention.   It is also the result of some intentions we set and took dedicated action towards: working hard on jobs we didn’t love, getting free of debt, saving money and  letting go of tons of stuff. We believe world travel is more affordable and doable than most people think.  A lot of it is about deciding and then choosing what’s important to you.  We chose seeing the world.

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Now for some numbers.  When we were living in Los Angeles, as frugally as comfortable, we were spending around  $1800 a month.  We were in one room with a shared bathroom, each drove used cars, we ate well (mostly food we cooked) and enjoyed life. Again, privilege.

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Since arriving in Southeast Asia our monthly budget is around $1200. In the past 5 months we have visited 4 incredible countries,  we live in clean, comfortable hotel rooms with maid service, we eat freshly cooked, tasty meals and we see amazing sights, usually walking or traveling by public transportation. 

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Here is an average BOLT day (this is for 2 people):
Breakfast of coffee and fruit:  $2
Delicious Buffet Lunch of Malaysian Food: $5
Light Dinner: $3

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Hotel Room: $20

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Bus ride to Penang Hill: $2 round trip

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An amazing time at Penang Hill, including funicular train ride: $15

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Total spent yesterday : $ 47

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Some days we spend less, some days more. We really try and watch it and stay within the  $1200 a month.  Months with a lot of air travel may be more but even air fares are amazingly low here. We are traveling to Bali, Indonesia on the first of March for  $210, round trip, two people!  Our hotel room there will be $15 a day. So far, everything has been working out beautifully and we are enjoying an adventure that is truly priceless and a great privilege.

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23 thoughts on “BOLT Life…Doing the Math

    1. It takes some planning especially at first but it possible for most people we talk to. Stay tuned for some specific steps you can take. Thanks for reading and sharing.

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    2. Your journey is so inspiring and one that I hope my partner and I can make one day. Most especially I love your name BOLT. It is bold, empowering and affirming! I am the founder of ZAMI NOBLA: National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging. I shared your post in our Facebook Group and on our FaceBook page to much excitement. When you return to the states, I hope you can join us in some form to speak about your travels. Keep moving gayly forward.

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      1. Thank you for your kind words. We are familiar with and admire the work of ZAMI NOBLA. We would love to speak to you and your group. Let’s keep in touch. All Love. Be well.

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      2. Wow! Are you the same group that was going to partner with OLOC (Older Lesbians Organizing for Change) for a gathering in Atlanta this year? I will look you up on FaceBook. Glad to know more about you!

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  1. Congratulations on realizing a life’s dream. Thank you for inspiring others by proving what is possoble in this life. Good luck and God Bless you both!!!

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  2. Very nice read. It’s definitely doable and something my wife and I may do later on down the road. Right now we just want to visit a lot of places for a few weeks at a time—not ready to uproot and move completely.

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    1. Hey Cheril, thanks for commenting. Yea, that’s how we started. When we first decided to do this, Marci’s mom was not able to care for herself. So we just took three weeks a year for long trips and went to Africa several times. We cruised to Belize once. And we drove cross the US one year. It is all about how you want to do it. We knew one day we would travel full time so we saved and planned and read blogs. Just like you. Be well. Thanks for sharing

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