Recently I’ve noticed people asking me a lot more questions about my lifestyle. I’m asked a variety of things from what’s your favourite place? to where do you recommend I go? So, I’ve decided to write an article answering the questions I’m most frequently asked.
How do you afford to travel so much?
This is the number 1 question I’m asked by pretty much everyone who speaks to me about travelling. I’ve written a few articles on this including a breakdown of my budget in Sofia to show people I really don’t spend a lot of money on a weekend away and how to have a cheap weekend in Europe. I’ll just mention a few key points here –
- I’m a bargain hunter – I book flights in bulk when there is a sale on
- I plan ahead and do an awful lot of research for each trip
- I stay in hostels to save money on accommodation
- I walk everywhere possible when abroad so transport costs are low
- I give myself a budget and stick to it
See, there is no magical formula to suddenly be able to afford frequent travelling. At the end of the day it boils down to what you really want to spend your money on. I’m not fussed on going to the cinema, going clubbing at home or even going out for dinner frequently. I want to spend my money on flights, on excursions to new places and on foreign currencies. If you want to travel badly enough you’ll find a way to make if affordable, just like I did.
What is your favourite place?
Oh god this is impossible. Do any of you remember the McCain Chips advert? (Youtube link here to remind you) That’s how I feel about this question (totally kidding dad, I prefer you to chips!) But in all seriousness, it’s so hard to pick a favourite place. Eastern Europe is so different to Western Europe and America is so different from both of them. I have places I’ve enjoyed more than others but I don’t think I have just one favourite. A few of my favourites that I’ve been to over the last year (in no particular order) are Germany, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Austria. Who knows, I may visit somewhere in the future and just know it’s my favourite place. I have no idea what the future holds, everywhere fascinates me and I’m determined to travel as far and wide as possible.
Doesn’t everywhere look the same now?
I’ll admit, it takes a lot more to WOW me now than it did when I first started travelling but this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate beauty any more. It just means I have been fortunate enough to see some pretty spectacular places and the bar has been raised. It also doesn’t mean that everywhere looks the same. How can anyone compare Switzerland to Denmark or Hungary to Finland?
Sure, some Eastern European countries have similar architectures and lots of the old towns have the same kind of layout, but it’s the history that differentiates them, it’s the people who live there and it’s the language they speak. So in short the answer is no, everywhere doesn’t look the same to me.
Do you manage to truly see a place in just a weekend?
The majority of my trips are done on the weekend as I work full time (I wrote an article on how I manage this too). I manage to cram an awful lot into these weekends but I don’t come home saying I’ve seen and done absolutely everything I wanted to in a country. Sure, I might have managed to tick off everything I wanted to see in that city during a weekend but 99% of the time I want to return and see other places. Will I ever be content with how much I’ve travelled? Probably not. For now at least my thirst for travel is strong and my bucket list is never ending.
Is it dodgy staying in a hostel?
God no. I’ve stayed in hostels that are nicer than hotels. If you’re a newbie to hostelling or just a little bit nervous then stay in a private room. Seriously though, dorm rooms are great for meeting people. (Although it’s best to stay in rooms of 8 or less just because it can get pretty noisy at night otherwise!)
When will you stop travelling?
Never. Next question please…..
Don’t you get lonely travelling alone?
Absolutely not. I’ve found that travelling on my own has made me more of an extrovert. You have no one but yourself to rely on, so you push yourself further than you normally would. I make sure I introduce myself to people staying in my hostel dorm and if there is a pub crawl or organised tour with the hostel I jump at the opportunity to meet new people (& to try the local beer…)
Can I come with you?
Of course! (If I actually know you, otherwise it might be a bit creepy). I have a group of girls I regularly travel with but we love people joining us on our adventures and mishaps. However, be warned we don’t wait for anyone. If we are determined to go somewhere we will book it immediately most of the time, so you have to keep up!
How do you manage to travel so much when you work full time?
Just going to leave this article right here for you to read…
Doesn’t travelling make you tired?
I am constantly on the go. I barely have time to unpack from one adventure before I’m at the airport for the next one. Don’t get me wrong, I chose this lifestyle, I love living my life in the fast lane but sometimes I completely burn out. This is the first weekend in 12 weeks, yes TWELVE WEEKS, that I’ve had a weekend day I can chill out on (and I decided to spend it writing about travelling, are you starting to see how addicted I am to travel?)
The only thing I can really say is I work hard and I play hard – oh so cliché but true. I have a lot of downtime during the week after work where I catch up on sleep and try to see the friends I rarely see at weekends anymore. I try my hardest to get forty winks on the flight home from each trip but sometimes this just isn’t possible. The way I see it is that I’ll never be as young as I am today again so it’s only going to get more tiring as the years go by and I may as well push myself as much as I can now.
Where do you recommend I visit in Europe?
This is such a tricky one to answer. It really depends on what you are looking for. If you want to party I recommend Berlin or Budapest. If you want to eat yummy food then you need to get yourself to Naples. If you want to see really cool castles & architecture Romania is the place for you. If you want to see untouched beauty get yourself to Austria or Switzerland. If you are looking for a cheap weekend somewhere different to the UK then get yourself to Lithuania .
There are seriously so many different places that you can explore in Europe and beyond. Everyone has different tastes, expectations, budgets and experiences. I am happy to share with you places I’ve loved but ultimately it’s my personal choice and you might have a completely different experience than I did.
It’s currently the first weekend of July (Happy 4th my lovely American friends) and in two weeks I fly to Belfast. I have another 8 countries I’m visiting this year but I have some holiday time to use up at work so may well add another half a dozen or so more to that. After all, the world is my oyster…