I seem to always be saving money, either for travel or something else like a Masters degree and apart from making me a bit grumpy and down every now and again I don’t find it too tough a challenge. I’ve realised that because of this I am quite an outcast and that a large percentage of people genuinely lack the ability to save money. Here are my theories.
After recently reading the book ‘Age of Absurdity’ by Michael Foley I have begun to spot all around me signs of instant gratification. People may be saving with intention but when their bank balance reaches a certain level it will suddenly spell out ‘iphone’ or ‘weekend away in a nice hotel’ or ‘shiny expensive shoes’ and all of these things provide you not only with the instant gratification of owning them but, what I think is more important, attention and compliments. Ultimately being careful with money wins you no friends and no attention, you don’t look cool. At what makes it worse is after all the hard work of saving, when you can afford your target, the response is always ‘you’re so lucky’. Luck has nothing to do with hard work and sacrifice. Read More »
For those of you not familiar with the phrase ‘same same’ it is what you will often hear round the streets of SE Asia from people such as market sellers comparing two things which are at the same time similar but often very different, i.e different qualities of product. In a way I think this phrase really sums up the three countries; Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In a way the three countries are quite similar, the streets can look and function the same and the food has very similar staples but at the same time any two can feel worlds apart. Read More »
I’m having a bit of an inspirational lull at the moment as I’m just loitering around in Phu Quoc, I’m staying here for 10 days, which is really far too long but I need to bide some time before going to Cambodia and seeing as I paid for the boat to get here then I may as well take my time, there is a beach with crystal clear water just 100m away so it’s a good place to choose.
My breakfasts will be a bit repetitive as they are included with the room, there isn’t a great selection but what there is is good. I’m staying at A74 hotel which is $25 a night for a sea view double room, we get 10% off for staying 7 days so $22.5 or £14. I only really need 2 meals a day so my lunches can be a little absurd. As I’m not doing much here this is most of my spendings, though a motorbike will be hired one day and a snorkelling trip was done another. I tend to have one fresh coconut water a day which costs 12,000/36p and is a truly healthy treat. Apparently it is so close to the substance of blood plasma they used it for transfusions in the Vietnam (American war) war. If you’re lucky they will then chop the coconut open and let you scoop out the flesh. Read More »
Since going travelling has become a reality I’ve listened to many people say they also intend to travel, sometimes after saving up for only a few months whilst I have spent the large part of a year saving and still worry about having enough to travel with. There have been many expenses which I didn’t particularly think about beforehand such as insurance and vaccinations so I thought I would write a short budgeting guide which I hope will provide me with everything I need and desire on the first 6 months of my trip. I don’t really know what I will be doing after 6 months so budgeting for that is a complete stab in the dark, as long as I have enough for a flight back to Europe and 2 weeks of living in contingency then I’m satisfied.
Backpack – Controversially I spent £18 on my back pack and it holds 35l. It was reduced from £60 and I don’t intend to be in any climate other than hot and humid so I can (hopefully) get away with this light treat. I plan on making a separate entry on the contents of my backpack but for now I will summarise that including netbook (300) the contents of my backpack costs roughly £500. This is with nothing more specialised than a silk sleep sack, swiss army knife etc. Read More »