We never planned to specialise in budget travelling. Circumstances forced this on us. And we don’t regret. Here is why.
Imagine for a moment that it’s the early 90s. You are a poor student in a far away country. Thousands of kilometres away from home.
On another continent to be exact. In a country that recently transformed from communism to capitalism.
Where there are not enough jobs for local people.
Job opportunities for foreigners are close to zero.
Where you are not allowed to work, even if you wanted to.
And the only money between you and poverty is the meagre allowance you get from the University.
Just enough to get you from month-end to month-end, if you budgeted the money well. And everyone you know is in the same boat. The chances of borrowing from a friend are zero to none.
Even the bank can’t lend you money because they are afraid you can leave the country any time without paying them back. Got the picture? Let’s move on.
The first thing is, you have to be creative to accomplish anything that requires money under such circumstances.
You eat the cheapest food.
Buy the cheapest of everything.
And you count the remaining coins every day.
You divide, add, multiply and subtract the remaining money all the time wondering how to make it to the end of the month. No wonder poor people suffer from decision fatigue.
You find the cheapest means of travelling if you are into travelling like we were. Hoping that when you come back you will still have enough funds to buy potatoes to last you to the next stipend.
Why potatoes? Because that’s the cheapest food you can buy.
So deciding to travel was the same as accepting that potatoes would be the best food you could eat until the end of the month.
We were willing to do that. I remember once we passed through Switzerland. The only thing we could afford there as students was a bottle of coke. Everything else was beyond our budget.
However, the fact that we didn’t have enough money did not stop us from fulfilling our dreams. We simply chose budget travelling. We even managed to travel to Africa from Europe as students when the times got a little better.
We keep going places on a budget up to this very day. And we have become quite good at it too. Check out Churchill Travel for tips on budget travelling.
Don’t let limited funds hold you back. Be creative and make those travel dreams come true. As Susan Sontag said, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” I hope it’s also on your list.