I never bothered to plan out my travels from the beginning. Maybe I was still feeling a little burnt from my last job where planning for others was a huge role I played. So by the time I hit the road, I just decided to wing it. I didn’t put together a budget. I didn’t set a time for how long I was going to be gone. Instead, I said I would just go with the flow according to my comfort level and see how long it lasts me. It’s more fun that way, right?
I can hear all the Type A personalities disagreeing with me right now.
I didn’t set any goals or budget because I wanted to see what level of comfort I couldn’t live without. What I learned is that I’m not in my twenties anymore and some luxuries are now very important to me – like having a nice meal and a bottle of wine – or finding a comfortable short-term apartment during parts of my travels to offset some of the sometimes annoying shared living. I learned that I had gotten too comfortable to some of the modern luxuries that as much as I tried to be a responsible budget traveler, I just wasn’t being real with myself. I had a nice job with a nice apartment in the city and that is something I have become accustomed to. Maybe because I know how great some things are means I don’t want to continue missing out on those things just because I want to prove I know how to be a budget traveler. Sure, I can rough it from time to time but the reality is that I don’t always want to! It’s not a rat race to see who can go the longest but instead, a personal journey of oneself and I don’t feel guilty that this is the traveling style I choose.
What I learned about myself is that I like getting mani’s and pedi’s abroad. I want to get my hair done. I want to buy a new dress to feel pretty. I like my down comforters when I travel. I want to buy that better than the average bottle of wine and complement it with cheese and charcuterie. I do like roughing it when it’s for the sake of adventure, but that’s about it!