Here's my story: I saved up for this trip for 28 months. For me, it was like a second car payment. I'm also single, have no children, and don't own property.
But here's my random road revelation: International travel can be cheap. It can be and is more affordable than most people realize. It all depends on where you go...
If you are like me, and you enjoy the far-flung, less traversed areas of the world, and don't mind staying in hostels and getting a little dirty then you've just hit the jackpot. I've seen that it's possible to live on $1000/month (this would include room, board, and the occasional admission fee into a temple or museum) in places like India, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
Saving money might seem daunting, but I challenge you to consider how you spend. Little things like cutting back on Starbucks, drinking alcohol at home as opposed to a bar, canceling cable, or biking every once in a while instead of driving can save you a significant amount of money in one to two years.
I've met a lot of travel-obsessed people on this trip. These were normal people that traveled internationally every year. They had one thing in common: when they were home, they lived simply and frugally. I want to stress that these people were not doctors, lawyers and nuclear engineers. They were librarians, mechanics, waiters, nurses...
If I´ve learned one thing from this trip, it´s that almost anyone can afford to travel internationally if they are willing to scale back some of their living expenses at home, and travel cheaply.
*** For more on Costs read these blogspots.