When You Can’t Stop Yourself From Planning Trips
It's very funny to me that I live in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, yet all I can think of is getting away back to Europe or other foreign locations. Recently I was perusing Skyscanner (which I actually do everyday, so it's not a strange occurrence), and I found roundtrip flights to London for less than $450 (the price keeps changing each time I look, it's been as low as $398). Now the crazy wanderlust-obsessed woman hidden not so subtlety inside of me immediately launched into full travel planner mode to start budgeting for a possible trip for the end of January/beginning of February.
And you know what? I 90% sure I'm going to go for it. The part of my brain that is still young and irresponsible tells me that I will only be in my early 20s once in my life and that I should just go. That and the fact that starting in March, I will have to start paying back my student loans, which means "Goodbye money" and "Hello adulthood." Then of course there is that tiny, teeny part of my mind saying, "Samantha, you live in New York, which is expensive as hell. You should be saving what little money you make and not be living paycheck to paycheck like a hooligan." That small part of my brain also houses the voice of my dad (who will probably read this post) who tells me to save for my future, to which I always scoff and then proceed to tell him I'm most likely going to die of cancer when I'm 40, so why not live it up now.
I am a grown up lady now, with a grown up job and I get to choose how to spend my money (after taking out credit card bills, rent, utilities, loans and all the other excess things being drained from my bank account). Travel is VERY important to me. Literally, it's the thing I am constantly thinking about and the first thing I consider when I get my paycheck. I always want to see which flights are the cheapest or how it's possible to get back to my beloved England. Realistically, I'd go to Europe at least once a year during my lifetime, and I'm not opposed to spending some money to get there.
So in this imaginary budget I'm creating for a possible trip, I've played around with multiple options; flying into London, taking the train down to Paris for a couple days, heading back to London to see friends and enjoy the city, possibly flying to Morocco for a day or two. And why am I only back to places I've already been? Well, sadly New Zealand, South Africa and many of the other locations on my bucket list are ridiculously expensive to get to, so I'll have to save them for the future for the moment. London and Paris are my two favorite cities in the world (I know, how cliche), and I really can't get enough of them to be honest.
But I am the budget travel queen so this potential trip will definitely cost less than $1000 (closer to $700-800 if I don't go to Morocco and I don't count food expenses). Some of the simple tricks I use? Well, flying directly to Paris for some reason costs a few hundred dollars more, so by flying to London and then taking the $110 Eurostar down (by booking cheaper tickets early) I can save a bit. After living in London for awhile now, I actually have friends I can stay with on my journey. I'm also at the point in my life that I am not too afraid to couchsurf if need be to save some money. Since I've been to Paris before, I don't feel the need to stay right in the center of the city, which means I can stay in one further out and hold onto some of my cash. Both London and Paris are very walkable, so I can save on transportation by limiting my metro rides.
Basically, you can see I've already thought this out a lot. That's because my mind is constantly in travel mode and I am always longing for ways to see the world. Whether or not I take this trip now is the major question. I'm heavily leaning towards it, but would need to wait for my next paycheck to be able to afford the flight (and then I'd purchase the other parts of the trip over the next couple months). I have this ridiculous outlook on life that if you can't get something out of your head, it must be in there for a good reason and you shouldn't ignore it. I love Europe and traveling and it's embedded into my mind that I spend as much time adventuring and exploring the world as possible. So will I be dumb and splurge on some enlightenment abroad? You'll just have to see.