Growing up, I’ve always fantasised about living in different parts of the world like Paris and New York. The idea was as soon as I was done with a place, I’d pack up and move on. Who knew I’d end up doing something similar today?
In the last three years, I’ve lived on and off in Interlaken, Switzerland, for over 13 months in total (and counting). While it’s a ridiculously expensive country, it’s a painfully stunning country that you must visit at least once in your life.
Before coming to Switzerland, note that transportation is stupidly expensive. A full price bus ticket can cost 4 Francs, which is the equivalent of USD 4. To avoid unnecessarily wasting money on transport, planning your trip is key. Once you have an itinerary laid out, you’ll be able to see when you’ll need to take train rides between cities and villages, which will allow you to search for train passes that can save you quite some money.
Can I be honest for a second? Money is the one thing that fuels my travels. Without it, it’s almost impossible to travel.
When travelling, money is always tied to the idea of opportunity cost. If I splurge in one area, I can’t splurge in another. It’s a constant trade-off that I need to justify to myself over and over again. These days, I spend more on accommodation because I work and travel meaning I want a good night’s rest and quiet and comfortable space to work in the day.
In my opinion, not enough people talk about money – how they make it, how they save it, how they spend it, how they use what they have to make more of it etc. While I’m obviously not an expert, I thought I’d contribute to this super important conversation about money, and the money habits I practice while travelling.
Friend: “YO I NEED TRAVEL TIPS. Have you written a blog post on it? I wanna go to Lisbon and some other places.. but I have NO idea where to start.”
Me: “Here’s where to start.”
Let me preface this by saying that planning to travel is making a series of small decisions and then putting money down on those decisions. It helps if you know what your travel style is like, what you generally enjoy doing and what you want out of a trip.
1. Decide to go and tell the world about it so you can’t back out.
I’m writing this on a train from Interlaken to Bern, marvelling at the beauty of the sunset. The shades of blues and pinks and deeper pinks never fail to distract me from more productive endeavours like, you know, writing a blog post. Sometimes, I find myself asking: Is it really worth it? Is the trouble of researching and planning and spending hard-earned money just to leave familiarity and comfort actually worth it? Looking at this glorious sunset, my answer is absofuckinglutely.
Just decide to go and get on with it. Continue reading