Okay friends, we’ve arrived.
I’ve overspent for the last 2 1/2 months because I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m also coddling all the tenderness that comes with long-term solo travel.
But baby, those days are over.
I’ve done the math, and I’ll admit, it’s loose math, but if I intend to stick out a whole year of travel (“and I do,” she says reluctantly), I can only spend $23 USD a day. This includes any transportation or lodging. You hear die hard travellers say “travel doesn’t have to be expensive,” and they’re right. However. If you’re like me and book a cheap hostel, the cheapest transportation and blow all your cash on food, it’s rather expensive.
This is only slightly relevant because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m stuck in the UK until the end of March because of the Schengen Zone rule. So I can actually only spend £17 (pound sterling) a day.
Yes, I’m sure I can swing it anywhere other than London, but I have to pay to get to those other places and then WHAT IF I DON’T LOVE THOSE PLACES AS MUCH AS I LOVE LONDON.
(Fine! I can hear my own voice. I need to leave London if I’m going to afford this life. I get it.)
Honestly, some of the hostels in smaller towns aren’t any cheaper. And that’s where most of the cost is (I’m looking at you Exeter).
So this leads me to my next JACLAND Travel project. How to travel for little to nothing. I’m talkin’ FREE. Cause I booked a hostel in London for four nights for £76 and it has cost me 4 days of eating. You feel me?
So in order to make it through this life, I’m going to need free food, free transportation and free lodging. For some fun it wouldn’t suck to have free entertainment. I want to save my money for tipping the people I’m taking free things from (free tours, donation based “free” yoga classes etc.) I also need to reserve money for when I absolutely need to spend money.
So I start today. After watching a video by YouTuber ClickForTaz, I applied for a free meal from Leon food store, and got it. Thas right. A whole free meal. I also booked my (kinda stupid) hostel through Hostelworld which ensured me free breakfast when the hostel normally charges £2 a day. So cash me as I fill my pockets with bread and eggs and cereal and milk.
With my last £10 I went to the Tesco and bought a bag of “porridge” as the gentleman at my hostel who used it as a conversation piece called my oats (“You like porridge too?” Which goes to show, you don’t really need to have a good thing to say. Just say the thing). I also bought a head of cabbage, a bag of baby carrots, a bag of whole wheat pasta, a bag of brussels sprouts and a chocolate bar for £6.44. I also bought pantyliners because they were £1.05 cheaper than tampons. Honestly, I don’t know if I even know how to have a regular period using pantyliners. Are they used for spotting days only? Is it a shame that I don’t know this? I will certainly find out.
And from now, it’ll be stealing from the rich (the food my hostels give freely, not actually thievery), and asking pretty much everyone I see for tampons (anyone know of places in London that have bowls of tampons in their bathroom?) as well as really laying in hard to Couch Surfing (see you in Exeter for my second CS experience).
My mom will be happy to hear that I’m not on the hitchhiking train as of yet. From time to time I have to remind myself that I’m in foreign countries and not in New York where I trust everyone whether they’re good or bad. And the truth is the only people who every pop up out of nowhere to offer me help or start a useless conversation are 100% men. So I doubt my ability to find a nice mother on her way from London to Bath willing to give some grimy American a lift.
If you have tips, if you have family that’ll feed me a meal, if you’re a really good thief, hit me up. I’m accepting all kinds of tips because, I dunno if it’s dramatic to say it, who knows I could die or something.