Welcome back for another edition of my year of wanderlust (#yow) blog post. I’m currently on a bus from Zagreb to Jajce (Bosnia) right now, and outside my window, underneath the crescent moon, I’m watching an amazing blood red sunset right now. Fitting for a country such as Bosnia with such a tragic past but hopefully a bright future. Since my last post, I had spent 5 days in Slovenia, visiting three sites: Lake Bled, Postojna, and Ljubljana. Bled was definitely my favorite! I’ll let my photo do the talking.
Overall, Slovenia was pretty cool. Small country of just over 2 million people, and it seemed like a lot of them live in the villages and countryside. Postojna was not worth the 20 euro entry fee. Bled was worth the one-hour bus ride from Ljubljana though. If you do go, make sure you take the hike #6. Great view from the top of the hill and not that crowded. It’s too bad most of the leaves had fallen by the time I went. Ljubljana was a cool capital city with a charming river and riverside area.
After Slovenia, I did a quick 2 day trip to Zagreb. The only reason I only stayed was to see Lake Plitvice, which was gorgeous! Again, I wish I had seen it when the leaves were all up. That would have made for a very spectacular site. But, it was still beautiful regardless. And one of the best thing about going during low season: low entry fee and only like…20 tourists over the entire park! Huzzah! It was also very funny to see Zagreb now. I had also passed through Zagreb for two days during this previous summer, and it was a ghost town. Strange to see it with so many students and with the bars and clubs crowded with people. Being back in Zagreb also reminded me why I love Croatia so much. Such an awesome and beautiful country.
So, enough of a recap since the last blog post. I want to dedicate this entry to questions about traveling. By far, the most annoying one comes from my parents because whenever I called home, they would ask me if I’m tired of traveling or from traveling. It’s getting annoying that they ask it every time. No, I am not tired. Why would I be? I sleep 8 hours a day, get my nutrition, and the only time my brain activity ever went above 0 was when I was trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. But I guess parents will be parents.
I guess the most popular question is how I am able to afford to travel for a year. I mean, listen folks, I’m not staying in five-star hotels and eating Michelin star restaurants. There are others who do that, and good for them. As I mentioned before, there’s no right way to travel. We all do it differently. But the reason why I am able to travel for a year is because I budget my money accordingly. I gave myself a daily budget of $50 that includes everything (flights, trains, buses, public transit, food, drinking, etc. etc.). Over a span of a year that’s $18000, give or take a few hundred. So then I guess the next question would be how I saved up that much money.
For one, don’t work in a country that charges high tax. Unless you make a lot of money, then maybe it’s okay, but when 50% of your paycheck is going towards tax, and you have to use the other 50% to live, being able to save a lot of money in a short period of time is probably not possible unless you’re planning to eat packaged ramen every day.
If it’s difficult to choose where you work, the next best thing is to work at a job that pays you extremely well. If it’s difficult to do that, then the next best thing is to follow this mentality: sacrifice a little now so that you can have a little more in the future.
What does this mean? Imagine if you go out every weekend. Each time you go out, you spend about $50 on drinks, food, whatever. So that’s $200 you’ll be spending a month and $2400 a year. So, why not sacrifice a little now? As in, don’t go out one of the weekends. That means you’ll save $50 a month, and about $600 a year. That’s a round-trip flight ticket to somewhere, and you didn’t even have to be antisocial to do it. All you had to do was just not go out one weekend. Stay in. Read a book. Sleep. Make babies. Do things that are free. Now, if you cut it back to going out every other weekend, now you would save $100 a month, and $1200 for the year. That’s a roundtrip ticket plus enough money for a couple of weeks of living in Southeast Asia.
So that’s what I mean by sacrifice a little now to get a little more in the future. When I was working (ha, feel so long ago), there were times when I chose not to go to a certain place or to spend money on a certain thing. Because I knew that while I didn’t get to enjoy it then, I know I’ll be able to make use of that money many times over in the future.
Most important: set a budget. And let the rest of the chips fall as they may.
Another popular question I get about my year of wanderlust is don’t I miss home. Ha! If you know me, you already know what the answer would be. I don’t have time to miss home. Every day is a struggle to decide on what next exotic location I would want to see (note: that was sarcasm). But really though, the only thing I miss of home is my mom’s cooking. But I’ll be in Vietnam soon, so I’ll get my fill there.
In light of the recent events of Beirut, Paris, and all the other tragedies that are constantly happening every day around the globe, it brings home the fact that really, you have to live the life that makes you happy. It can all end so fast. Worrying about things outside of your control is not worth the time nor the effort. Don’t bemoan about how other people care or not care. If everyone can worry about themselves and what makes them happy, the world might be a better place. But until then, live free, spread joy, smile more, and eat healthy. Life’s too short to be fat.
- Day 222 Types of Travelers
- YoW Day 247 Etiquettes of Traveling