Our Dreams Abroad Live events are another bridge between our audience and our members. They give the opportunity for a deeper dive into a subject. Readers can ask direct questions about writers to understand better.
Our fifth Livestream event reunited Dreams Abroad founder and director Leesa Truesdell with Morgan Yearout. Leesa and Morgan met for the first time in Madrid. They taught English in the Spanish capital, and Morgan was one of our first members.
Leesa remembers traveling with Morgan around Europe. She was impressed with her compatriot’s dedication to keeping to a budget on her travels. To the extent that Morgan would satisfy her hunger with hard-boiled eggs, she carried with her rather than splashing the cash at a fancy restaurant.
The talk was all about learning how to strategically plan your next trip and stretching your travel dollars. Morgan is like Elastagirl in this regard. She makes them extend so far, which fits in with her job as Revenue Director at Hotel Drover in Fort Worth and being one of the “most economically savvy people” Leesa knows.
Leesa and Morgan talked the day after Black Friday. Leesa asked if she had made any savings that she could share. Morgan replied that you save 100% of what you don’t spend, so she felt a Black Friday winner by not purchasing anything.
Morgan’s first domestic flight was at age 18, to California from Washington State. Two years later, she traveled to Thailand to study. Her cheapest flight was 22€, from Madrid to Mallorca, and Morgan explains that most things are cheaper abroad in Europe than at home in the States.
Leesa knows all about saving, having grown up with an accountant for a father. But Morgan’s budget travel is on another level. Identifying the photos of the slideshow, Morgan recalls checking off a bucket-list item of becoming a certified diver in Malta with half of her 800$ outlay spent on the diving course.
Morgan talked with Leesa from her Texas base. The conversation centered on her travels, however. This included an overnight camp trip to the Sahara during a five-day vacation to Morocco. Ticking off another bucket-list entry costs under 500€ in total and just goes to prove that you don’t have to break the bank to realize your dreams abroad.
The next segment focused on pre-trip savings and minimizing your spending, keeping in mind about what you’re able to take on your travels. Also applying for credit cards that give you points will lead to prizes such as a 900$ reduction on international flights. Morgan would pick up tabs and have people Venmo her to accrue more points.
Next Leesa and Morgan moved on to discussing life abroad on a budget. Regarding planes, trains, automobiles etc, Morgan was surprised to learn that rail journeys aren’t always the cheapest option. Flights and rental cars are often more affordable.
Living abroad in Madrid, Morgan received free accommodation and meals in a family home through Babel Bridges. In exchange, she taught English to the family’s children. Buying food from a supermarket is much cheaper than restaurants, for example.
How to have affordable fun was the subject covered in the final segment. The Farmers’ Almanac is a faithful companion of Morgan’s, allowing her to plan slightly off-peak travel to fit in with her budget. There are “free” walking tours that Morgan more accurately describes as heavily discounted.
The big reveal came when Morgan disclosed that she returned from a year in Madrid having not spent anything that she didn’t make from teaching English. This allowed her to visit 11 countries. Now that’s ballin’ on a budget.