Were you aware that only 36% of Americans have a valid passport? Unbelievable right?! I couldn’t believe it the fist time I heard it. It only makes me sad because that only means that not enough of us are out there living our dreams.
I had the great honor last spring and summer to study abroad in Europe for 4 months. Everyday I dream of the day that I will return to these timeless cities. They have each kept pieces of my heart forever and the memories I have made I know will make stories to last a lifetime.
During my time abroad I traveled to various European countries (Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal and Greece) and I would like to share my experiences with you as well as provide some helpful tips that I learned along the way about traveling for anyone to take note of. As a student traveling abroad I really tried to find the most affordable ways of travel so I hope you can find a thing or two from my experiences to help you on your ventures.
Before anything I would like to share a piece of my thoughts on taking that first step towards traveling. I don’t know how many times I have heard this exact phrase, “One day I wish to travel the world.” This sentence alone tells me that the idea of traveling is just a dream left at the bottom of the priority list. We tend to prioritize the things we tell ourselves are more important than our happiness. In return we end up pushing our dreams and desires lower and lower to the point that they can seem unattainable and often give up on them completely. Especially as a first time traveler, the thought of having to save/spend tons of money for a trip is simply intimidating and if you’re anything like me, end up feeling selfish and guilty about spending so much money on yourself.
Well, my best piece of advice and what I tell anyone that uses the lack of money as their excuse not to travel is, “Just buy your plane ticket with a year of anticipation and take it from there.“Do not wait until you have ‘enough’ money saved up” to plan your trip because with that mind set the day may never come. It is our natural instinct as “responsible adults” if you will, to push back what makes us happy to do what we think is the right thing to do, and many times “the right thing” is not enough to make us happy. We can’t afford to live the one life we get (or that we can remember) living unhappily! Yes, I am a strong believer in working hard and saving money but just as much I believe in treating yourself and taking care of what makes you happy in order to live a fulfilled life. So as I said, just buy that ticket as soon as you can afford it and allow yourself some time after you book your flight to do the actual planning and saving up for your ACTUAL trip. The hardest and most important part is actually purchasing that ticket to be completely honest with you. Believe it or not, once you have that covered, there is not much left to do but save your pennies to spend on your trip. Whether that’s $500 or $5,000, both budgets will guarantee you the time of your life because seeing the Trevi Fountain in Rome and visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris are equally as affordable within both budgets, because it’s FREE!! You can travel to Paris for a week with less than $500. TRUST ME and I can prove it to you. Excluding the flight of course but by the time you are on your trip that flight was long ago paid for.
A very important point to remember is that when traveling it is not about how much money you can spend, but about the experiences you will encounter along the way. Money becomes meaningless once you’re there seeing sites with your own eyes that you have only before seen in textbooks as a child or through a screen on the internet. There is not enough money in the world that can buy you the feeling you get when you walk into the Sistine chapel or when you see pieces of art work thousands of years old created by some of the greatest artists that have ever existed. And the best part is that a lot of these experiences are many times completely FREE or at a very low discounted price.
Traveling is simple and many times we don’t realize how easy it can be because it just SEEMS to be something people do when they’re accomplished and have money to spare. The truth is, one will never have enough money to spare. The more money one has, the more you find to spend it on. Besides, money comes and goes, opportunities do not, it is up to you to take those chances. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
But enough about my opinions, I will be constructing city guides with my pointers to the cities that I got to visit while I was in Europe. Hopefully they can convince more of you to take that leap of faith and just go for it because ANYBODY can afford to travel and there is no better eye opening experience in the world than meeting other cultures that surround our planet Earth.
Thank you so much for reading, I really hope you enjoyed it and have been inspired in some way 🙂
I hope you have a beautiful day ❤
– Jesusita 🙂 x