Travel can change your life for the better. The trick is making it work on a budget. Fortunately, this week at Bootsnall, we’re focusing our content on how travel and a tight budget don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and the myriad ways that our writers have come up with to fall in love with the world, no matter their income.
Denise Pulis offers us her best advice for enjoying Budapest and why it just may be better (it’s certainly cheaper) than Prague, Emma Davies shares the story of how she and her partner built a traveling life (tiny house and all), Jenn Miller schools us in why it’s so important to be open to love (for a place and its people) on the road, and David Joshua Jennings gives us his sometimes unorthodox tips on how to travel on minimum wage, even in Europe.
Are you looking for a more authentic-feeling Eastern European alternative to Prague’s overpriced restaurants and accommodation and its theme park feel? Denise Pulis has eight reasons why you should skip out on the Czech Capital and visit Budapest now.
“While parts of Budapest can seem a little bit raw and ill-maintained, it’s not difficult to see the city’s beauty beneath even the thickest layer of dirt or graffiti. This is because central Budapest is blessed with so many examples of neoclassical and secessionist architecture that all you need to do to be wowed is to wander around and keep your eyes open. For some architectural eye-candy, sign yourself up for a tour of Parliament (there’s a discount for EU citizens) and one of the Hungarian State Opera, then take a walk along UNESCO-protected Andrassy Street.”
Before setting off for nine months of traveling in a tiny home she made from an old camper van with her partner, Emma Davies looks back at what motivated them to make the change from working a nine-to-five and saving for a house to living in a small space on the road.
“We had gone from being a fed-up couple escaping in a van to a freelance travel-writing team, or as Andy likes to call us, a travel writing phenomenon. People’s reactions have been surprising, most are very happy for us and keen to know how things are coming along. A few have voiced their concerns about what the future holds for us when we return, but life is too short to worry about that. Our family and friends will always be here, and until we are ready to settle down, money and possessions will just have to take a back seat to happiness. Some folks couldn’t picture it. They didn’t get how anyone could live in a van with a mattress in the back and not wash for months, but this image doesn’t resemble our solar-paneled fully-equipped, tiny home, at all.”
After a life spent mostly on the road, Jenn Miller knows why it’s so important to give in to being open and vulnerable on our travels: So we can fall in love with the world, engaging and learning on our travels, as opposed to merely escaping and observing.
“Falling in love is scary. It requires a certain vulnerability. It requires us to know and be known. It means opening a part of ourselves in a way that risks injury…When we travel for escape, there is a closed-off aspect to how we engage with the world. We are fleeing something, and we’re avoiding that thing at all possible costs. Which means that we can’t open up, or we’d have to face that thing. When you travel for discovery, you’re willing to open up to those hard things, face them, and let the world teach you through what you find.”
Everyone has their own tactics for traveling on a tight budget. David Joshua Jennings shares his tips on traveling when you’re making minimum wage (or less!), even in Europe and other more expensive destinations.
“I make what many in the West would consider almost no money whatsoever – currently somewhere between $200 and $1100 a month. This has been the case for the last six years, and yet during this time I have been able to travel to 61 different countries. I continue to travel constantly, making enough money to do so by writing travel articles and publishing the occasional short story or poem, and by living very frugally.”