I'm pretty low in the ranks of the USFS, but I manage to squirrel away enough to leave the country every winter. It's actually cheaper in the long run.
California: $1400/mo X 6 months= $8400 = rent, groceries, cell phone, insurance, fuel, minimal entertainment (movies, pub, &c. once or twice a week)
Thailand: Rooms @ $5/night = $150/mo, an additional $600/mo affords food, massage, scuba diving, transportation, tours, classes, pubs/movies/other entertainment whenever you like.
$800 Round Trip Ticket from BKK to SFO
Total cost for 6 months = $5300.
I'd point you to a website but I don't want to do any spamming. If you want to sail, google "yachts looking for crew" and find a forum. I saw a fellow leaving Phuket sometime soon who is asking for $10/day to cover costs. $300/month to do some sailing is a pretty good deal! I went from Thailand to Egypt in 2007, it was an experience of a lifetime