In certain places we have traveled, such as New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, the great distances and epic outdoors make renting a car or campervan the best way to travel.
In previous blog posts, I have talked about how Joe and I stick to our $50 per day round-the-world travel budget. Since we are not currently bringing in any income on the road and are instead relying on our pre-travel savings, a large part of our focus is on reducing costs in order to save money and stay within budget. One money-saving strategy we have utilized on our trip has been to do Workaways.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, credit cards are a huge part of the way we survive as budget backpackers. Many years ago, I was introduced to the concept of “travel hacking”, which is basically signing up for credit cards that give you airline, hotel, or travel points. Most of the points come as sign-up bonuses for spending a certain amount, but I also accrue points by earning 1-5 points per dollar spent in my daily life.
In my last post I talked about our budget for a year of round-the-world travel, which is $50 per day per person, and how we arrived at that number. $18,250 per year may sound like a lot of money, but it goes fast when we only have $50 a day to cover lodging, food, transport, flights, excursions, sightseeing, toiletries, and incidentals. In this post, I will describe some of the tricks we use to save or manage our money so we can stick to our RTW backpacking budget. For some of these points I will go into more detail in future posts, but for now here is a brief overview of how we save money on the road.
We are a little over 6 months into what started as a year-long, round-the-world journey from where we were living in Australia back to our permanent homes in the United States. You may have been keeping up with our travels and seen us lounging on beaches in Malaysia, drinking liters of fine wine in Europe, and staying in resorts in Fiji, and thought, “Those trust fund bitches…”
Actually, no. Our budget for a year of travel through Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Dubai, and Europe is $50 per day (per person), which includes everything: accommodation, food, transport, activities, excursions, flights, toiletries, alcohol, souvenirs, and incidentals.
Now that we are about 6 months into this round-the-world thing, it’s probably time for me to show you what I’m carrying with me!
Disclaimer: This is an old post, from my old blog. I don’t write on that blog anymore, so I’m moving some of my posts to this site. I figure I wrote them, I own them, and I want to make it look like I write as much as I wish I did.
I look around my apartment–boxes, crates, piles of things that don’t quite fit into those boxes and crates and instead are precariously stacked on top and around them. A mental map guides the chaos: mine behind the couch, Weston’s by the door, donate by the window, sort against the wall. Sort is always the hardest. It’s never simply garbage or donate. It’s the bag of costumes from the Halloween we all dressed up as mythological characters (dragon, unicorn, griffin). It’s the free poster we got from the American Indian Arts Museum on our road trip through Santa Fe. It’s the ceramic giraffe we stole from Weston’s mom’s bathroom and proudly displayed on top of the television until it fell and the legs broke off. It’s all the things heavy with memory, things we love but can’t bring with us, things we can’t bear to leave behind. Continue reading
This Thanksgiving marks the thirteenth anniversary of finishing my first Harry Potter book. I remember spending that whole holiday transfixed by the book, reading it in the kitchen while my mom was cooking, and in the car with my dad when he was sent to the store to get something my mom forgot. When I finished the book that day, even in the midst of the chaos that ensues during holidays, I felt that something big had happened in my life.
Lately I’ve been nostalgic thinking about Thanksgiving and holidays and home and Harry Potter and the big things that happen in life.
In the Harry Potter series, Voldemort divides his soul into seven pieces in order to achieve immortality. He splits his soul each time by killing another, and he hides the pieces of his soul, or “horcruxes” in various locations so they won’t be destroyed. Of course, you can imagine what Harry Potter’s job is for 7 books:
cry about his dead parents DESTROY THE HORCRUXES!!!!!
But here is the thing that always struck me about Voldemort and his horcruxes: he never went back to check on them. I mean, when I hide pieces of my soul in spell-encapsulated caves and/or snakes, I generally try to keep an eye on them. But Voldy doesn’t. I could go on a diatribe about how Regulus Black had been dead for years before Voldemort figured out part of his soul was dead, but I won’t. I will merely state that once Voldemort created his horcruxes and placed them where he wanted them, he left them alone.
And for the first time, I think I understand it. Continue reading
I had been back in the States three days when Rocky Votolato played a living room show in Kansas City. It should have been the most normal thing in the world: back in my hometown, seeing Rocky with Weston, getting back to life as it was before I studied abroad. But I was still reeling. I sat on a pillow on the floor next to my boyfriend who I didn’t even know how to interact with anymore and listened as Rocky played my favorite songs. Our favorite songs.