How to save money for traveling

Save for the booty!

When I finally decided that I was going to travel, and I made a rough budget about what I thought this trip would cost me and I looked over my economy. To do the trip I wanted, I needed around 40.000 SEK more (about 5700 USD). I had some freelance jobs planned in, so I thought that I might be able to save up 10-15.000 SEK before leaving (all though, it didn’t work out because I got sick in chicken pox when I was supposed to do the freelance job, and another time I was stuck in Zürich because of a snowstorm, so no money there). The rest was about cutting expenses, selling things I own, and getting jobs during travel.
I noticed, that when you are short of money, you get creative!

Every day was ”How am I going to survive this day without money?” (preferably, saving money instead). Usually, money just disappears every day, one banana there, one coffee there… not ok!!! Having future economy problems helps you keep and eye on your account and notice how much money that just ”disappears”.

Expense Reports

TIPS: Write everything down! Every expense, no matter how small it is! It really helps to see where your money is going.  After a month, review it, see what you can change/cut, and stick with it. Is that pack of gums at 7-11 really necessary? Remember what the purpose is – to save money for the trip of your dreams (or a trip, anyways).
Also, do this while you travel too! I’m bringing a notebook with me where I’m going to write eeeeevery expense.  No income = need a total control over my budget.

Here are some other ideas of how to save money for traveling:

Cutting monthly expenses:
Big saver: You can go and live with your parents again, maybe ask them nicely to stay there for free and you could save most of your income. Or, if that seems slightly too much, get a coherent. This does actually cut your monthly rent with 50% and is a fair deal. (I did the second option, he he)

Other stuff you can cut down;
– Transportation card (do you need to take the metro or can you bike/walk it/share ride?)
– Training (run outside, strength training at home, both for free etc)
– Phone bills (just stop texting and calling everybody all the time, put a limit on the phone),
– Electricity (turn your lights off when you leave home and just have the lamp on in room where you are in, saves quite much in the end of the month!)
– Food (Don’t eat out! Always make lunch boxes!! It’s not so difficult, you must have an afternoon a week you can plan in to cook, do 2-3 different plates of the same raw materials and freeze it in!)
– Party (exact how much money do you spend on alcohol/club entrances every month? This is a big thief. Cut your expenses. Is it really necessary to pay such an over price for a beer? Here in Sweden it’s so much cheaper to drink at home, invite some friends over instead! Or just stop drinking! At least, start thinking. Out partying to forget your life or saving that money to live your life?)
– Shopping (Why the hell do you need a new pair of shoes if you aren’t going to be able to wear them while traveling???)

Sell your stuff:
If you have a car, a bike, clothes you don’t use, a laptop, etc. Everything counts and e-bay is hot now!! (Swedish: blocket och tradera!) . Just check at the attic and I’m sure you’ll find things you haven’t even thought about for 5 years. Do you really need them if they have been in the storage forever? Every penny counts!!!

Well, that’s just a start!

Also, you can cut your expenses during travel.
Of course, everything depends on the reason why you travel, but this works for me:

If you don’t want to live in hotels or do the typical touristic thing, but rather have an experience with local people and their community, you can volunteer; for example stay at a farm and help the owners there for 4 hours a day, and get free accommodation and food.  I signed myself up at workaway , a community where local businesses can sign up and ask for help from volunteers all over the world. Most of them are free to volunteer, some of them you pay a symbolic payment of 2 dollars or something. I got in contact with both of the places I’ll be volunteering at there. Sign up at http://www.workaway.info/, it costs 22 euros for 2 years.

Another way of having an experience with locals but without working for it, is to do CouchSurfing. If you haven’t heard about it before, briefly – you ask a local if you can sleep on their couch while visiting their town. But it’s not about getting free accommodation, but more about opening your mind, exchanging thoughts and sharing experiences. Lovely!

Sketches

Some old sketches from other creative times of my past

As I mentioned, I got a little bit creative when I didn’t have money. I had the idea of selling things to friends at home and tourists along the road to earn some extra money for the day. I thought I could sketch people up, so I would bring my pen and notebooks to make small sketches and sell for like 5 USD or something. That would give me food for a day. The sketches wouldn’t need to be that good either, it’s mostly about giving something back if you ask for money, so it doesn’t feel like you are begging for it. Also I had the idea of taking pictures of texts that was ordered of friends/future costumers through e-mail, for example, holding up a sign ”Happy Birthday First Name Second Name!” in a cool place like Macchu Picchu, or just writing it in the sand of a great beach. Isn’t that a good idea?

How it has worked out for me? I did sell my apartment and cleared my loans and got a little bit over to be able to do my trip, but I also lost some of my saving-money-energy. I won’t need to bring my sketchbook overseas, sorry to tell you that, haha. It bugs me that I really was focused while being broke, and today I see my cash withdrawals everyday and get really disappointed of myself and my bad discipline.  So writing this posts really gives me a new push up to myself. Time to shape up! No more income for 200 days – I HAVE TO!

Do you have any more tips about how to get your costs down and save money?

 

Annonser

I’m so lucky – get an insight in a traditional swedish christmas

I’m lucky to have such a wonderful family, and I’m lucky to live in beautiful Sweden.

When we were younger we used to spend the summers together, when me and my mother were living in Spain, we stayed at my uncles’ house when we were visiting Sweden, and later when we moved here we spend a week together at our grandmothers house or at their caravan every summer. Nowadays, we kids are slightly older, and the family only get together on special occasions like birthdays or christmas, maybe that’s why I appreciate it even more now.

We are actually a really stubborn and besserwisser-family, and we do discuss a lot,  about really unimportant little things. But now that I’m older I start to smile when I hear the typical discussions springing, because it’s so typical us. (not when I’m being attacked myself of course, because in this family everyone think they are right, so sometimes it’s not worth to try to explain for example why you don’t eat meat, of course I can say my opinion but I can never be right (if they don’t already think as me, which they don’t, so…). But still, it’s family, and I love them!

I have celebrated ”real” Christmas here in Sweden with them just a couple of times, we used to have a new-years-eve-christmas instead only because I always spent the christmas eve with my family in Spain. Not this year though, due to some issues there and also because of my trip to South America, I wanted to spend my Christmas here in Stockholm with my mother and my swedish family, and I’m very glad that I did!

Celebrating my 25th birthday at my place

Celebrating my 25th birthday at my place. We ate lots of christmas cookies and homemade chocolate truffles.  And I got santa’s sparkles or whatever they are called in english. :)

Christmas 2012!

Christmas 2012! Our tree (yes, we do give each other quite many gifts!), me, my really good veggie christmas food (which I’m not responsable for), and the gift’s I had wrapped in :)

Panorama picture over Swedish traditional christmas celebration :) Gifts, wrapping paper, glögg, coffee, christmas candy...

Panorama over the living room, a Swedish traditional christmas celebration :) Exchanging gifts, reading rimes, drinking glögg, coffee, eating christmas candy… :)

Some of the gifts I got for christmas and my birthday from my family :)

Some of the gifts I got for christmas and my birthday from my family :) Very happy!!  Almost everything is for my trip! Really loooove the purple sweater! Yaaay!

Swedish winter 2012

The residential area and my balcony this winter 2012. Beautiful!

 

I’m also so lucky because it has been a really good winter so far this year. The last years here in Stockholm you never know how the weather is going to be in December, mostly it changes between being wet and dirty everywhere because of melting snow (yes, we had one period of it this year) and super slippery because the melting snow has frozen again, I was afraid it was going to be like a really cold and dark autumn instead of a white christmas. But nope! There has been loooots of snow! And it hasn’t been that cold at all! Usually, after 1-2 months of snow and darkness, I get really tired of it, but I haven’t this year. I don’t know if it’s because I know I’m leaving and won’t need to stand out with it during january, february, march, probably april, maybe even may….. But, I sort of feel that I actually will miss the beauty of it. But you can’t have everything ;)
It was my wish to have a good real white swedish winter here with my family before I leave, and I feel really lucky to have had it. Thank you!


What makes you feel lucky and happy this time at year?

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year everybody!!!!

P.S Feliz Navidad familia española. Que penita que no nos hayamos podido ver este año! Pienso en vosotros. Besitos y amor!

Updating you and the travel gear

Helluuu!

For my MacBook Air 11″ (which I looove already), there aren’t many options for hard cases. There are plenty for bigger airs though.  The only good hard case that was available was this one – Hardcandy’s Bubble Sleeve.  I like that it’s water-resistant and also quite shock proof. You have also this red rubber things under the computer – to make it stay in place, the only problem I found is that if you open the case, the backside just falls down. I wanted it to stay tight to the computer screen so I can ”hide” my computer a little bit. So I just sue an elastic rubber tape on it. Now I’m happy!

Bubble sleeve modification

What else… I’ve bought almost all my stuff now, this is the last thing I got home. I’ve read about it on different forums and people say it works really good. Let’s hope so! It’s a multi-purpose soap, so you can use it as shampoo, or wash your clothes, your dishes or other dirty gear. I will mainly use it to wash up my underwear and my dishes when I’m having a lunchbox with me. :)

And I got my last vaccine, the second Dukoral, you drink it at home and it’s against cholera and tourist diarrhea (not so fresh, no). So now I’m ready for everything! Haha.

Wilderness wash

Wilderness wash

 

 

 

Dukoral

Dukoral

 

Oh, and If I haven’t told you yet, I have booked and payed for both the surf lessons and the padi open water-course, and hostels to both places (Puerto Escondido and Cozumel). Since I’ll be busy most of the day with these things it didn’t feel right to Couchsurf really. Also, I’ll see this as some sort of mini-vacation :)

Until next!

Traveling – a human desire?

For me, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve as long as I can remember dreamt about it, but I don’t know why. My mother doesn’t seem to understand this urge at all. Yet, she has lived abroad herself for 14 years, so that’s sort of contradictory, isn’t it? I think she does understand, but she’s to afraid because I, her daughter is going on a trip alone to dangerous South America.I choose to not see the obstacles, but the opportunities.

Here are some reasons why I want to travel:

Travel broadens the mind and make you happier – and I’m pursuing life satisfaction!

I want to see amazingly beautiful places and meet crazy interesting people. This world has sooooo much to offer, places most of us don’t even know about, and I don’t want to miss it. I want to get stumed and loose my breath. I’m tired of taking my life for granted and not seeing anything past my apartment, work, training etc. There’s a hole world out there to discover!!!!

I want to get out of the comfort zone, take a break from my usual casual life. It’s time to get out of the monotone routines and to feed my restless soul. I want to get more experience and have adventures. I want to connect with other people. Find a new way of living. I want to grow as a human, find the meaning of my life.

A wise man travels to discover himself.” – James Russell Lowell

It’s a good quote, I belive traveling opens your mind and body, helps you see things more clear. I believe it helps you discover who you are and what’s important to you.

I hope that all the meetings with different people and cultures will teach me to be more open-minded and welcoming to the world. I hope that I will grow as a person and come back much wiser.

Why do you travel? What have you learnt along the way?
Or what’s the reason why you don’t want to travel?

I’ll end this post with some pictures of our beautiful amazing world:

 

 

Inspiration

Some places I’ll be visiting soon!

Teotihuacan, Mexico

Chichen itza, Mexico

Diving in Cozumel, Mexico

Galapagos islands, Ecuador

Colorful Guayaquil, Ecuador

Volunteering in Eco Truly Park, Peru

Fly over the Nazca Lines, Peru

Walk the inca trail and visit Machu Picchu, Peru

Visit a small rural village, Peru

Visit the amazonas rainforest

Salar de Uyuni, Salt lake, Bolivia

Volunteer at Inti Wara Yassi, wild animal refuge, Bolivia

Igacu falls, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Picturesque Dijon

Bontjour,

Amer had to visit his clients in Dijon, so I was with him there for 2 days. Dijon is a city in Eastern france, most famous for their mustard. :) After spending the whole monday at the hotel being sick (yes, throwing up and that stuff), I was happy to go out the next day.

I checked out around 12 and ate lunch with Amer, and then I walked around the city until he was done with work. I had luck, it was raining while we where eating but just when I started walking, the sun came and it was really nice weather.

I followed the Owl’s trail. There are marks in the pave way in the city that you can follow to see the places of interest in Dijon. I got a map at the tourist office and walked around. It is really a very nice small town, I found it charming and picturesque.

I bought some postcards to send, but it was impossible to find stamps for Europe, in the tabacs-shops where you usually buy stamps they only had for France. It’s funny because almost no one spoke english, and I used my very poor french combined with spanish words with french accent and sign language to communicate (A stamp is called ”Timbre”, I learned later). At the last tabacs-shop I asked, they said that I could buy stamps at the big post office, which I knew I would pass along my trail. When I was outside the tabacs looking at my map where the post office was, an old lady walked up to me with a big smile and asked ”Are you looking for the post office?” -”Yes” -”It’s right there on the other side of the square”. She had been in the shop when I asked for the stamps, she was adorable with tinkering eyes, surely around 65-70 years and I was so impressed that she could speak english.

I don’t think small towns like these have many foreign tourists, mostly people within france. Because whenever I spoke english, people around me looked at me and smiled, like an interesting and friendly ‘wow a tourist is here’-smile. Except for the one I was talking to, who usually had a ‘sorry I’m not so good at english’-smile, but still tried to help.

I walked around for a couple of hours and around 16 I was sooo tired, I couldn’t hold my eyes open (I was still a little sick). If it had been summer, I would have taken a siesta in the public garden ”Jardin Darcy”, but since its december, and it was like 6^C, I couldn’t. I took a brake at a café where I ordered some tea, and took a 2 minutes-siesta on the toilet.

I had plans on going to the Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine arts museum) which is in the Palais des ducs et des etats de bourgogne, but apparently, it is open eeeeveryday but tuesdays, so no museum for me.
Instead I took the time to find that famous Owl that is on the Notre-Dame. I walked around the facade a couple of times before I found it, I thought it was going to be bigger. The poor owl was severely damaged on its left side in 2001. I felt sorry for him and rubbed my left hand on the owl to comfort him. But you are also supposed to get good luck if you do it. :)

When the sun was gone, the streets got filled with people, shopping, walking, eating. I got tired again and sat down at a café that looked friendly at the Darcy-station, I asked what’s their speciality, the attendant said ”It’s my own tea”. And I got the best tea I’ve ever tasted. I think it was a sort of mint-tea, it got me thinking of mojito’s, but warm, and sweat with honey. Soooo good.

Amer came earlier then prevented and we drove the 2 hour journey to Lyon. At home we watched some football with his roommates, and later the documentary about Ayrton Senna, one of the best F1 drivers ever. I loved it. It made me laugh, made me mad, and made me cry. The documentary is in portuguese, english and french. I saw it with french subtitles and I actually got mostly everything. I used to think that Portuguese was difficult to understand spoken, but it is so much easier than spoken french!

Now I’m on the train somewhere in the alps between Lyon and Geneva, on my way to the airport to fly back home to Sweden.

Arrevoir, a bientôt!