Get Rid Of Your Television Set And Go On That Bike Tour You’ve Been Dreaming About

Darren Alff is the Bicycle Touring Pro

People always ask me, “Darren, how is it that you can afford to do so much traveling?”

It’s true! I do travel a lot. I’ve been bicycle touring around the world for the last 14 years in a row, but I am not a wealthy man.

There are a number of different ways I have been able to do as much traveling as I have over the last 14 years, but my biggest secret is this: When given the choice, I almost always choose to spend my money on experiences, rather than things.

Instead of buying new clothes all the time, I wear pretty much the same thing, every single day, for years on end. (Seriously, go back and look at the pictures from my travels. I’ve almost always got the same clothes on, day after day.)

Instead of owning a car, I get around on my bike, or I take the bus or hitch a ride with friends. I occasionally fly on airplanes and travel on boats and trains as well.

I don’t have a new flat-screen TV, a garage full of stuff I don’t use, or a big house I can’t afford.

With the little money I do make, I choose to spend most of it on my bicycle touring adventures. This is the number one way I’ve been able to do so much traveling over the last 14 years. I simply choose not to spend my money on a bunch of stuff I don’t really need… and instead, choose to spend my money on experiences I will remember for the rest of my life.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Unknown

I have close friends, and will occasionally meet someone on my travels, who asks me, “Darren, how do you afford to do all this traveling?” The answer is really quite simple.

The way I’ve been able to afford to go bicycle touring year after year is by simply giving up the things so many of us tell ourselves we need.

  • Don’t buy a new TV this year… and you can go on that bicycle tour you’ve been dreaming about!
  • Get rid of your car… and you can go on that bicycle tour you’ve been dreaming about!
  • Take care of the things you currently own… and you can go on that bicycle tour you’ve been dreaming about!

While this technique won’t work for everyone, it might just work for you.

What big purchase could you give up in order to make your dreams of traveling the world a reality? Or what small every-day expense could you get rid of in order to make that big bike tour you’ve been dreaming about come true?

Think about it! I bet you there is something you could do right now to find the little bit of money you need to travel the world, live your dreams, and make memories you will remember for the rest of your life.


6 thoughts on “Get Rid Of Your Television Set And Go On That Bike Tour You’ve Been Dreaming About

  1. Johnny says:

    Hi Darren,

    When it comes to bicycle touring and the minimalism, I am a big fan and follower. I’m actually in the process of reconfiguring my life so that I can go on bicycle tours more. This means I’ll be looking to sell or rent out my house to reduce my monthly housing expense. That would be the first step. During that process which I am going through right now, I’m going to have to get rid of all my possessions that I won’t need when I move back home with my mom or in a smaller place. I’ll be selling the furniture and that big screen TV you talked. I’m going to pair myself down to essentials. I was really considering Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge ( but I’m definitely going to need more than that. Hopefully in about 4 months, I will be in a better place to commit to bicycle touring but for now I am chipping away to reach my freedom to travel.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Johnny at

  2. Artur says:

    You’ve made some very important notes here. It is really about choices, in most cases. Even I remember, not long ago, longing for a faster better car, a better stereo or bigger house. Then I realized how little they mean compared to experiences. I now spend less, have less and enjoy more.

  3. Gav says:

    I need to buy a bike. Had my current one for over 20 years. I’ve repaired it and replaced parts over the years, that not much of the original bike is left … except the very heavy frame by today’s standards. But it needs a lot doing to it again.

    However, I also have a family. From being a once very keen cyclist, my bike is now usually tethered to a tag-along so my youngest can ride with me, and getting the bike out the garage is really difficult due to all the other stuff in there.

    Our main family TV is 15 year old. As much as we would like a new TV, compared to use the money to do things, a new TV isn’t worth it – especially as the old one still works. So the money for the new TV may go into getting me a new bike…. free of tag-alongs and trailers…. or it may go towards a bike tour, but one for the entire family can enjoy (Darren – like your bike tour search web site, but it could do with a ‘family’ option on the search).

  4. Fiona G says:

    I’ve traveled a bit in my 12 years of post-high school life and one thing that really bugs me is when people say “you’re so lucky to be able to travel”. In part, it is true. I come from a country that values travel. I was born in a first world country (with all its visa benefits) and received a good education thanks to my parents and my government. With this, I got a good job and could save enough for some things. But in other ways, I’m just like everyone else – I work, I earn, I spend/save. I choose to spend my time and money on travel. The people who say these things to me choose to spend their money on cars, and RVs and computers and cable tv, etc. I’ve ‘given up’ a lot of things to live the life that I do (happily given up). They’ve ‘given up’ a lot of the things I do in order to live their lives. It’s all about choices, compromises, and priorities. Thanks for the great comments Darren.

  5. Robert says:

    You dont have to make drastic choices in order to travel. You can choose to have only one car instead of two, and to keep it for 10 years. You can live “like the others”. Instead of going at Dysney Land, you pick-up the bikes, rent rooms in bed & breakfast et travel anywhere in the world with your familly or firends. You can have a tv but you keep it for at least a decade or two.

    If you want to travel all year around, it is something little different, you might rent your house, you might sale your car (since you don’t need it.. etc). those are choices, not drastic choices.

    For those who beleive we live only once… choices are easy to make.

    Note: Sorry for my poor english, it’s not my first language

    Robert D.

  6. dave says:

    I have been collecting junk now all of my life, and have just stored it, being something of a hoarder who needs to reform. All those things just collect dust, and end up looking like so much dung that “graces” the place of my domicile. It is awful, and they do not make me free. I am working on alleviating myself of all those things, and am in the process of building a “Long Haul Trucker”. I just bought two sets of Axiom’s best and largest panniers. I still have two Schipperke dogs who I will have to outlive first before I can ever really go deep, unless I can marry someone who just wants to stay home and take care of them for me. Ha, ha.
    So little by little I am on my way. I hope to reach the top of the mountain so I can enjoy some “free” energy. Why be like a Chicken in a Chicken coupe, when you can be like an Eagle that rests upon the peaks, and glide the light of the Heavens? For some of us, freedom must first take the form of a dream. Much meditation is needed, and a Hail Mary prayer.

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