I’m working on improving my video channel and am making some of my best posts there into blogs here for people who can’t jump on Youtube or want to pretend they’re working. 😛
I’m doing a little mini series called “Things People Say”. So far, I have budget travellers, badass women, wastelanders and urban explorers. If there’s anything else you want me to cover, I’m looking for a fifth idea too. 😉
I often get interviewed about travelling and asked about how I manage to get around all the time. The answer is that I travel really really damn cheaply and laugh at what glossy magazines call “budget travel”.
I take flights at 6am (because that’s when they’re £9.99), ride 15-hour coach journeys across the English channel (because there’s no extra charge for my 25kg suitcase), stay in hostels (because bunk bed and breakfast for £15 all-inclusive also saves me the cost of a meal) and sleep in airports if I have to (because paying for a hotel then leaving at 3am for a 6am flight is ridiculous).
I post tips and tricks in posts on here (here’s one about travelling cheaply) but often get asked/told the same things from the in-depth to the annoying to the ridiculous, so here are five of those things. 😉
1) “Can you DO that??”
(Usually said while I am mid-flight, posting a public facebook status about travel or actually doing it (whatever the ‘it’ is at the time).
The way I am tempted to answer
I’ve found when people ask me “can you do it?” they often mean “how can you do it?” Say yes and wait for the real question to come!
If it’s more a case of “how can you possibly spend a night in that hostel?! With those bunk beds?!”, I usually just say I’m used to it- and I’m very glad I am because it means I can curl up and be comfy anywhere and when I do get the chance for a luxury hotel stay, it feels extra swanky! 😛
Story of my life; odd socks, a hostel bunk and the biohazard symbol.
2) “Did you know your strap/shoelace/zip etc is broken?”
Yep. I did. I’m well aware that at this point most of my things are held together with duct tape and optimism but I’m hoping I can make it for another few days. Unless The Thing is on fire or covered in bees, please feel free to ignore my dishevelled state. See, when you’re travelling on a budget, just buying a replacement whatever is taking money out of your ‘awesome experience’ fund. Have the amazing time, collect the memories and fix the strap later.
My feet broke- and yes, I knew about it. 🙁 Luckily Copenhagen is clean- can you imagine trying this in London or LA?!
3) “XYZ is expensive but it is sooOooOo worth it.”
It is almost certainly true and I’m one of the first people who will tell you an experience is more valuable than a Thing, but if someone is choosing to travel on a ridiculously cheap budget then it is almost certain they cant afford whatever expense it is that is being recommended.
To dismiss the cost of something, you are assuming the person has that money in the first place- that to afford the expense, they’ll have to cut back on treats. It’s a sentiment I often hear from very well-off people who have no true concept of what “can’t afford” really means. If somebody does not have £100 to spend, it might as well be £1 million and no matter how ‘worth it’ something is, that will not make the money magically appear.
I know that it comes from a good place and the sentiment is true but really, it just rubs in the fact that we’re poor and for some of us, that can be painful.
We know, we know…
4) “AAAAARGH! A grotty hostel in THAT part of town! I’m going to fix it for you.”
Some of the best adventures I’ve ever had have been in grotty hostels in THAT part of town! 😀 Nothing against luxury travel or expensive cruises etc but budget travelling is a completely different experience and though the hostel on the other side of town may be nicer and cleaner, this particular one might have the better atmosphere. I’ve found that in general, the nastier the place, the easier it is to make friends and have spontaneous adventures!
If somebody is offering money to get you out of a bad situation, of course that is different and much appreciated. <3
I took this in Slab City (which could make certain kinds of people faint) where I had some incredible experiences (which could make certain kinds of people faint…) And I’d go back in a heartbeat.
5) You remind me of someone I read about. She did all this awesome stuff too….. but she got murdered.
Why would you tell me this??! It’s bad enough when the only thing we (the murder victim and I) have in common is love of travel but if there’s actually quite a resemblance, that’s really creepy! I normally like creepy but not when the “Tru-Crime Network” could actually be talking about me. If you’re trying to warn me, there has to be a better way. In fact I guarantee there is a better way. Staaaaahp!
There will be no murdering here, thankyou.
What do people say to you? And get any requests in for other 5 Things blogs. 😉
Much as the idea of staying somewhere fancy (or even mid range) sounds exciting, I love the way I travel- if I didn’t sleep in airports, mend things on the road and instinctively remember where the police station and 24-hour supermarket is, I wouldn’t be as independent as I am now, or feel at home in so many places. Yay for budget travel!