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. 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!!!

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. Inspiring post. Sometimes, it is very hard for me to find the right balance between travelling and saving. My wife and I will have to keep up with you couple!



    • Hi BeSmartRich,

      Finding the right balance between traveling and saving is definitely tricky. Local travels is a great way to save some money while getting some experience at the same time.

  8. My boyfriend and I have the same “dilemma” as you and Mrs. T. We’ve both travelled to our fair share of countries and not all of them together. We ended up getting a large map of the world and bought pins of three different colours – purple for countries I’ve been to, blue for the countries he’s been to, and yellow for the countries we’ve travelled to together.

    It’s a great conversation piece for when we have guests over and we make the addition of a new pin like a small ceremony 🙂

  9. Tawcan, I do not envy you, but I happy for you. I also love maps and have been obsessed with them ever since I was a kid, when I used to know every flag of the countries in the world and every capital city. Unfirtunately, there are a lot more countries nowadays, but maybe that is good, because it means there are *more* countries to visit.

    I’ve been to England (D’oh), Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, the UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, and the USA. Hoping to add Japan, the Scandinavian countries, and the Baltic countries in the next decade.

    If I can ramp up our savings, I’d like to reach our FI a lot earlier, so we could travel to many more wonderful countries.


    • Hi M,

      Looks like you’ve been a lot of places already. I would love to visit Hungary and other eastern European countries. Russia is high on my list. For some reason Russian just have this mysterious feel about it.

  10. Travel is definitely big on my “thing to do when financially independent” list. Of course, I also have a pretty good idea on how I’d fill my time if I gained back 50 hours a week by not working. Gonna be awhile before I get there, though.

    • Hi James,

      That’s great that you know exactly how you will fill your time once you gained back 50 hours a week by not working. It’s important to think about it so you can plan and look forward to it.

  11. Tawcan,

    That map is a great gift idea where was your wife able to find one of those? I would like to have one of those in my place.

    When we reach financial independence we will start our travel plans with domestic travel and checking out the NWT and Eastern Canada for the first time

    Thanks for sharing,

    Mr. Captain Cash

    • Hi Mr. Captain Cash,

      I think Mrs. T got it from Chapters. I would love to do more exploration in Canada. Would love to check out Newfoundland one of these days.

  12. Traveling and living abroad are definitely great reasons to shoot for financial independence. I was lucky to have lived abroad in Bulgaria with my husband for the first few years of our marriage and experience a new country and culture. Now we’ve sort of settled down in my hometown in Pennsylvania to raise our daughter, but once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, it’s hard to go back!

    • Hi Lauren,

      Seems that a lot of people have travel high on their post FI list. I would love to visit Bulgaria one day. You’re right, once you have been bitten by the travel bug, it’s hard to go back!

  13. Financial independence simply means having the choice to do what WE choose each morning. I can think of about a zillion things I’d like do as soon as I wake, but my current routine make bottles for day care and get kiddos ready to leave at 7:00a so that I can get to work doesn’t make an appearance on that wish list.

    We have lots of plans for when we reach FI. A fair bit of domestic travel will be included. I have lofty ideas about international travel because I’ve been privileged enough to have gone several places. But Mr. Maroon is wonderful at grounding me in the fact that the US has some breathtaking places that I often overlook. I can’t wait for a several weeks long road trip to check it all out. And I really hope our kids like the car!

    • Hi Mrs. Maroon,

      I can’t agree with you more. FI will allow you to do what you choose to do each morning. 🙂

      Any travel is better than no travel. I’ve traveled extensively in the US and loved seeing all the different states and what they have to offer. You can get a lot of perspective just visiting all the national parks. Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canon all have their own special sights to offer.

  14. Tawcan,

    I really like that you have such a clear goal and vision of what FI means to you. Hadn’t heard of Go Curry Cracker, but they seem to be living the life!

    Also, let me know when you visit Belgium with Mrs. T. Would love to meet up.


    • Hi NMW,

      Meeting up in Belgium would be awesome. Will definitely hit you up when we visit… you’ll have to show us some good waffle places. 😉

  15. I’m a travel writer so financial independence is high on my list. But so is location independence. I’m self-employed and can work anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The problem is, we’re currently tied down to my husband’s demanding job. My hope is that we can break away from that and have a lot more freedom in our lives. We’re 35- we can do anything we want right now but his job holds us back.

    • Hi Holly,

      That’s awesome that you write about travels. It’s OK to tied down to a job right now. Work for a few more years and see if the job can provide you and your husband more flexibility.

  16. Travel is high on the list of reasons I want to be able to leave the grind. I spent several summers in college bumming around Mexico and Europe. I would certainly like to be able to do that again soon without worrying about vacation days.

  17. That really is a great gift idea. I like it a lot. I have a standard map with push pins stuck in. Same concept yet less elegant. I too love to travel and have been to many places around the globe. I list my countries on my ‘about’ page. Travel is one expense I’ll freely make and not give second thought about the expense etc. You are only young once and the best time to travel is when you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. Even if you are well off in your 60s, 70s and 80s travel is not the same experience as when you are younger. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi DivHut,

      Yeah I wanted a standard map with push pins before but this scratch map is more elegant. You have been to many countries already. I would love to visit Iceland and Russia one of these days.

  18. When I started working, one of the first things I thought to myself was “do I really have to do this job over and over again until I’m 65?”

    Definitely am looking forward to FI so that I can get unrooted, and do some traveling. (Really looking forward to visiting Scotland, now that I know that their national animal is the unicorn and I think unicorns are awesome!)

    • Hi Seraph,

      I love Edinburgh, it’s such a cool city. I would love to visit the highland area in Scotland one of these days. 🙂

  19. Hello Tawcan,

    That’s some good work on the travel. The map is awesome. I want one 🙂

    Ok so I have been to England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, geneva, italy Portugal, sweden, Morocco, uae, Oman, India, Indonesia Malaysia, USA and Canada. A good chunk of that was a 6 week van trip around the continent in Europe. Haha and it was just a van. Not a camper van. An old carpet business sold it to me. Dam it was cold in the alps in that thing. 🙂 good times

    Mr Z

  20. Traveling is also VERY important to us, too. My business (web design and blogging) allows me to work from anywhere in the world and we do plan to resume more traveling as soon as our daughter is older, so that she can also enjoy it.

    • Hi dojo,

      Web design and blogging definitely allows you to work from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet connection. This already gives you great advantage when it comes to work while traveling.

  21. You can travel while still having a job. The Mrs. and I have been to some 15 countries in almost 7 years if marriage. I’ve been to around 20 countries. I hope live on a sailboat one day, but I am still convincing the mrs that is a good idea.

    • Hi Elroy,

      Yes you can still travel while having a job. I certainly do that. Having said that, job doesn’t offer the type of flexibility that allows me to buy a plane ticket today and leave tomorrow. All vacations/travels need to be planned months ahead.

  22. Hi Tawcan, traveling is part of financial independence. When I achieve it, I would just enjoy every country I visit. That would really be an awesome experience! I think I gotta work on first how I can achieve FI, but I am gonna use my travel plans as motivation. I wish I can achieve FI as early as 45 as there are many countries I have been dreaming to visit.

    • Hi Jason,

      Traveling seems to be part of FI as well as retirement. When people retire, they always seem to plan some sort of world travel trip. There are just so many attractions when it comes to travel and explore the world. Good to hear that you have the same travel goal as us.

  23. Tawcan,

    I too, plan on including travel in my post-FI life. I got a glimpse of it when I studied abroad last semester and I had some of the best experiences of my life while doing so. The best part is that you will be able to travel completely supported by your passive income!

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Hi F2R30,

      When I was in my 20s I had similar experience as well. I traveled all over Europe, slept in train stations, bus stations, and even airports just to save money. It was a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience. I’m glad you were able to study abroad and travel as well.

    • Hi Henry,

      I’m limited with my work vacation time as well. Furthermore it’s nearly impossible to take say 4 weeks off work. Achieving FI would allow me to decide when I want to travel.

  24. That scratch map is pretty damn kool. I never seen one or heard of it before. One time in my life I want to live on a cruise ship for a 100 day trip around the world. Visiting all the port cities for a couple days each. Trips like this exist but they cost like minimum 50k. ONE DAY !!!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Asset Grinder,

      World cruise would be really neat but I’m not sure if I want to spend that long on the sea. Furthermore, spending only a day or so in each city doesn’t really give you a true overview of what the city/country is about. Having said that, it would be neat to be on a world cruise so you don’t have to carry your luggage everywhere.

  25. My partner and I are planning to travel out of the country together in a few weeks. It’s Puerto Rico. I hope to get away from the cold and snow and get to the happy sunny beach, hiking some of the great trails they have. Eat the local food and just hang out.

    Hopefully, when we get back, it’ll warm up to spring weather. We all work hard, save hard, but we need to learn to relax and enjoy. I don’t want to get burnt out by the time I reach FI.

    • Hi Vivianne,

      I would love to go to Puerto Rico and enjoy the sun. Enjoy your time there and take lots of pictures. Enjoying your FI journey is very important too, definitely don’t want to get burned out.

  26. Love it Tawcan! To me, FI is all about travel. I spent 14 months in my mid-twenties traveling in Asia and Latin America. I was very free, and felt financially independent even though I would run out of money. It was a good taste of it. Travel is the primiary reason I invest the way I do, so when I retire, my wife and I can travel a good portion of every year. We have young kids now, but when they get older, they’ll be joining us too!

    • Hi RBD,

      Very cool that you got to spent 14 months traveling around. This is why I will encourage my kid(s) to have a gap year or two between high school and university. Traveling when you’re younger is definitely different than traveling when you’re in your 30’s or later.

  27. Awesome, T. Thats quite a list of countries you’ve been to. I got the exact same gift last xmas and my list is fairly small though – Ive only been to about 10-12 countries. Thats the beauty of achieving financial independence thru passive income – as your needs change over the years, you can adjust and pursue passions over the course of years.

    Soldier on!

    • Hi R2R,

      I wish my list of countries are longer but I guess quite a lot of my travels were in Canada and US as I’ve been to all the provinces except Newfoundland and most of the US states except for a handful. Even traveling within Canada and US will provide a great learning experience… but you really notice a difference when traveling abroad.

      Having enough passive income to cover your expenses will definitely allow you to adjust and pursue passions. Really looking forward to that day.

  28. What a great gift!

    There is so much of the world yet to see. I think you have it right, one of the best parts of being in a new place and a new culture is growing as a person.

    Traveling can even be a great way to save money. We spent much less in our 9 months in Mexico than we did in the US, for example

    GCCjr is due in April, and we plan to continue slowly traveling from country to country with a baby and eventual toddler. We are currently thinking we will home school, but we have many years to decide yet

    • Hi Go Curry Cracker,

      Totally agree that there is so much of the world yet to see. Even here in Canada I hope to explore this vast country more as well. Mrs. T has only been to BC while I’ve been to all provinces except for Newfoundland.

      Very true that traveling can even save you money. I can only imagine how cheap it would be to live in Thailand for a year.

  29. Talk about wanderlust. Between you and Mrs. T that is quite the travel history. 🙂 It’s really cool how you plan to use your work to gain the means (passive income) to fund what you’re passionate about. I recently read a story about this senior lady who lives on a cruise liner. She’s visited over 100 countries! 😯 I want to reach financial independence mainly for financial security. Being able to spend my free time doing anything I want, including more travel, is another good reason for me.

    • Hi Liquid,

      I read about this lady too… I think she was on a decade long cruise? That’s crazy! For us reaching FI is for financial security as well but also allows us to have more options and freedom. 🙂

  30. Hi Tawcan!

    I think it is awesome that you and Mrs. T have the goal of travelling the world.

    That is definitely one thing I look forward to when I reach financial freedom. To not have to go in for work and to spend a year exploring what the world has to offer. : )


Leave a Comment


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