How I Moved to Tokyo at 18 and Visited Nearly 30 Countries

Ryan Shannon

From a 20-something Year Old Who’s Been to Nearly 30 Countries

Myth: You Must Have Lots of Money to Travel
Think you need lots of money to travel? Think again! Travel tops the bucket list of many, but so few believe they can travel for more than a week or two each year.

But that’s not true.

(Disclosure: This story contains affiliate links)

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Picture of me, Ryan Shannon.See my website

Even if you’re young, you can travel independently. Right here, right now. Yes, even in your prime years as a teenager or 20-something. If you’re a fresh high school graduate or you’re in your 20’s, it’s not too soon to become a world traveler! No, you don’t need an established career, a degree, nor do you need tons of savings.

So many eternalize the misconception that the only time you can travel is when you’re older, after you’ve retired with hundreds of thousands in the bank. Or, during the sliver of vacation time granted to you by your boss at your nine to five job

But it doesn’t need to be that way.

You can live a travel-focused life without a 9 to 5.

I’m not promising that it’ll be easy or that you’ll be a millionaire. I’m not promising that every method I cover will work for you. But, many of these methods will help you escape the 9 to 5 and allow you to explore the world beyond the confines of your comfort.

If I Could Travel Globally at 18, So Can You!

At 18 years old, I broke free from the conventional high school-to-college pipeline. I said to myself: “Screw going straight to university! Screw working in my suburban town! I’m leaving. I’m heading out to experience the world.”

Truthfully, I didn’t have much money saved up, and I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d make my travels last for any meaningful amount of time. But I did. And I want to share that with you.

By taking a risk and breaking free from the conventional framework of life, I’ve packed incredible experiences in my life.

From the time I drove a car across a flimsy bridge over a river in Panama (without my license!), to topping the Angel of Independence of Mexico City, to skinny dipping in the warm waters of Oahu to eating mystery meat on an untouristed island in Indonesia near Singapore.

Life’s too short not to explore the world around us — and within us.

Proven, Non-scammy Ways to Travel Free

To help young travelers along their journey, I’ve written a book called Journey On which gives young people strategies to see the world in a non-corny way.

No week-long trips to Cancun on spring break, but the opportunity to connect with locals from a culture perhaps vastly different from theirs.

The methods of world travel I cover in the book allow you to travel: free unless you consider time a currency), or they generate income. The cool thing is, I’ve used most of these methods myself, so you’ll have access to first-hand experience. Learn how you can travel with free room and board, book cheap flights and cheap tickets — even make money along your journey.

Discover in-depth strategies to travel when you’re young and broke, like:

  • Teaching English. This is one of the most common routes, but I give you insider information and teach you how to teach English abroad and on-the-go virtually.
  • Freelancing. It can be intimidating leaving a 9-to-5 job, but becoming your own boss allows you to work from anywhere. Learn how to freelance to make money online on the go. (For more in-depth info, download my other book “Laptop Entrepreneur”)
  • Crowdfunding. Often overlooked, crowdfunding is a great way to tap into some funds from people who love and support you.
  • Volunteer Exchanges. Stay with hosts all around the world in exchange for around 20–30 hours of work.
  • Government-funded Programs. Discover exciting scholarship programs funded by the U.S. Department of State. I was selected to study Hindi in India by the NSLI-Y. I’ll share with you why I think I was chosen and how to increase your odds.
  • Couchsurfing. Does the idea of staying with a stranger excite you? It can seem weird at first, but that’s the idea of using Couchsurfing. I’ll share how I’ve stayed in multiple cities across Europe for free.
  • And More! I’ve also covered more obscure ways to travel affordably in this informative guide based on first-hand experiences.

With 500+ downloads, I’ve helped many discover how they can travel the world. You can, too! And no, you don’t need to be rich to travel — that’s a myth. When you download Journey On, you’ll find multiple ways to travel dirt-cheap, free, or you can even make money by working online or getting a job abroad!

Download Journey On now for actionable, comprehensive information on how to travel the world for next to nothing.

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Graphic for my book, "Journey On"Read it here

Disclosure: This story contains affiliate links.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, please consider contributing to my college fund and follow me on NewsBreak.

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Digital nomad, I/O psychology student, entrepreneur. Visited nearly 30 countries. Author of 5 books on freelancing, travel, mental health.

Bellingham, WA
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