And on days like today I am neither. Actually, I’m taking a holiday from traveling ( I know right, what?). One of the most surprising things about traveling is just how exhausting it can get. Today I am sitting in an apartment on the 10th floor of a high end condo, in Kuala Lumpur. And I know that this isn’t what real traveling is supposed to be like but after having spent a month in Thailand sleeping in barely there bamboo bungalows on concrete beds, bunking with a cockroach or two, the opportunity to enjoy a few home comforts is not something I could pass up.
This got me thinking about how traveling sometimes can mean enjoying luxury. I know that on a few occasions Danny and I have been more tourists than travelers. What do I mean by that? Well rather than seeking out cost-free or cheap activities and sourcing budget meals, we’ve just kind of took a bunch of cash out with us and didn’t really mind spending it on things like 3 course dinners or a massage. When I say “didn’t mind”, that’s not entirely true. I stress over everything, its kind of a hobby of mine (: and money is no exception. So when we do have these ‘tourist’ days, I always feel a bit of guilt at the end of the day.
But should I feel guilty? I mean yes, staying on a tight budget means you can travel for much longer and go to more places, but at what cost? Saying no to yourself would just result in regret, right?
Also perspective sometimes helps me calm down when I am adamant we are on the verge of bankruptcy. Take for example this 3 course dinner we had at a place called Diver’s Inn;
In addition to the food we had a water and a coke. In total the bill came to 1550 baht, so roughly £36. At the time I felt a little uneasy spending so much money on food, but in reality where on earth could you get a 3 course meal and drinks in the UK and pay under £40 for two people? So putting it in those terms in my mind made the total a little more bearable. Plus, it was super tasty!
The point of coming to South East Asia first was to make our money go as a far as possible, but at the same time I’m not sure how many times I am going to get to experience being here. That’s why saying ‘no’ to everything is counter productive. This is a once in a lifetime kind of trip.
Some days I will have nice dinners, and spend half a day’s budget on massages and others I will have fried rice for 50 baht as breakfast, lunch and dinner. At the end of the day, its about doing whatever makes you happy.