Achieve financial independence and explore the world

For Christmas, Mrs. T got a scratch map for me. I was quite ecstatic about this gift because I’ve always wanted a map to mark off countries that I have visited. I have wanted a map like this since my early 20’s.

“You can decide if you want to scratch off countries that you have been, or countries that we have been together.” Mrs. T mentioned this when we were discussing where to hang the map.

I have been very fortunate to have traveled to many countries (19) so far in my life, so has Mrs. T (23). However, we actually haven’t traveled to that many countries together. After thinking for a few days, I decided to scratch off countries that we have been together. This made the list a lot smaller, to only Denmark, Sweden, Taiwan, Canada, USA, and Italy. As you can see, the world map is barely scratched… 🙁


The scratch map will hang on our wall as a reminder that Mrs. T and I would like to travel and explore the world even more.


I have been reading Jeremy and Winnie at Go Curry Cracker for a while now. They are truly inspirational to me as they have been able to travel around the world, live in different countries, and learn about the local cultures. They are doing this by living off of their passive income. I really think that being able to immerse themselves deep into the culture and meet locals is the best way to see the world. There are just so many things that we can’t learn by reading books alone. I’m a true believer that the more we travel, the better human being we will become. We will be more acceptable and more tolerant to others who are different than us, we will be more appreciative of the differences in the world, and more importantly, we will value these differences. People who are ignorant, racist, sexist, and homophobic are just people that have their heads stuck in their rear ends and they continue to live in their comfortable tiny little boxes. If people travel more and and learn about the differences in the world, I believe we would have less hate and more peace.


How does traveling and exploring the world has anything to do with financial independence?

To me, financial independence means having more options and having more freedom. Achieving financial independence means that I’m no longer tied to my job for the sake of earning active income. I don’t need to worry about getting let go all of a sudden and can’t provide income to the family. I am the one to truly decide whether I want to work or not, and what I want to do. When we are financially independent, I can decide to work as a volunteer in the hospital to help those in need; I can decide to work as a wedding photographer; I can decide to work as a handyman; I can decide to work as a writer; I can decide to work as a ski bum. The options are limitless. Furthermore, none of these options would tie me down to a specific location. I can travel and explore the world and “work” in the visiting country as I wish (legally of course). Mrs. T can also decide what she wants to do while we visit different countries as well.


Why limit your options and freedom by not investing in your future and instead buying unnecessary luxury items, besting your neighbors, or getting into consumer debt?


I love my job right now, but my job and responsibilities may change over time. My definition of the ideal work situation may also change over time. Most of the time we do not have much say on how our jobs will change. For example, my company may grow and my job responsibility may change to something completely different than today. Do I really want to be forced to do something that I didn’t sign up for?


Why do we let our jobs govern our lives? We get up early in the morning, commute to work, work from 9 – 5 (or longer in many cases), commute back to home, eat dinner, watch TV (if you have a TV), go to bed, and repeat the process next day. Put this on a repeating loop for 35 years or more. Is this really how I want to spend 35 years of my life doing? Financial independence means I can leave my ideal job today without any regret. It allows me to work on my own terms. I govern my own life. Being able to do that is so powerful, and Mrs. T and I are looking forward to the day when we will be financially independent.


Mrs. T and I have been discussing about traveling around the world and living in different countries once we become financially independent. Over the past weekend she even asked me what my opinion is when it comes to home schooling (too much work I said :p). Re-locating every few years may be a challenge not only for Mrs. T and I, but for Baby T and his future sibling(s?). I know what it was like to leave friends behind to come to a completely new place. It sucked going through that experience as a kid but looking back today, it also opened so many new opportunities for me. I wouldn’t be who I am today without going through that experience. For Mrs. T and I, exactly how we will manage this complicated process, I guess we will have to figure that out down the road.

For now, we will continue living frugally, save as much as we can, build our dividend portfolio, and increase our dividend income.

Why do you want to be financially independent?


PS In case you’re wondering… countries I’ve been:
Austria, Belgium, Canada (duh!), China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, USA, Vatican City.

Countries Mrs. T has been:
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia, UK, USA, Vatican City.

Share on:

61 thoughts on “Achieve financial independence and explore the world”

  1. Wow what an amazing gift! I never knew such a thing existed but it’s a really great idea. I’d love to do something like this however suspect the traveling expenses would clash too heavily with my FI goals.

  2. Wow, pretty impressive list of countries you’ve been too…well at least compared to me. We definitely would like to travel more, but with a little one it feels like it would be tough. One of my main reasons for wanting FI is because I don’t see myself doing what I’m doing for the next 20 years. While I haven’t yet figured out what I’d rather do, I know it’s not this. Plus, I’d love to have more freedom and time to spend with my family rather than working and commuting to and from work which takes up the majority of my life.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Traveling with a little one has its challenges but if you look past the challenges there are a lot of rewards too. It would be good to have more freedom and time to do things other than spending hours at work. 🙂

  3. We got a world map for Christmas too, but not a scratch one 🙂 We love to travel, and would like to have more free time to actually do that. I want to be financially independent because I don’t want to depend on an employer, and I want freedom: freedom to make my own schedule, freedom to travel and take time off when I want to, and not have to worry about running out of money.

    • Hi Fleix Money,

      Freedom is very important, it gives you way more options like when to travel and when to do things you enjoy doing. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

  4. Hi Tawcan

    I got the exact same scratch map as you we just bought!!! Its interesting to know that even as we had traveled to many places the world is still so big to explore. I played cheat and scratched off china btw which actually ive only been to at most 6 cities from china 🙂

    Your reasoning of financial independence totally resonates with me right from the governing of our own terms to the home schooling issues. I really hope this will work out well and glad that we hv a community that back ourselves in the midst of all this.

    • Hi B,

      We didn’t scratch off US and Canada yet because Mrs. T and I have only traveled to parts of the countries. Maybe we should cheat a little too lol. 😀

      Really glad to have such strong support from the PF community.

  5. I am reading your posts out of order, but here goes.

    I also follow Go Curry Cracker and am looking forward to see how their lives change with the baby. I am hoping we can do extensive travelling in 7-8 years (but still be based in the US).

    I am going to ask my wife to get us a map, too. I hope our early retirement journey will let us scratch off many states in the US and lots of Central and South America, with maybe a trip to Europe at some point as well.

    • Hi Vawt,

      Extensive traveling in 7-8 years sound like a great plan. Getting a map will give you some inspirations to early retirement. 🙂

  6. Hi @Tawcan,

    This is one of our common goals: travel all around the world!
    We are discussing with my wife about a 6 months to 1 year world tour with children.
    Until then, we will keep traveling during our holidays.

    And thanks a lot for the ScratchMap infos, we just bought one Deluxe Edition for our Valentine Day 😉

    Happy traveling!!!


Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.