March was an incredible month of travel starting with a colorful sunrise in the Sahara Desert of Morocco to celebrating my 29th birthday in London to having a minor anxiety attack climbing the Eiffel Tower to drinking beers with my Scottish roommates in Munich.
As much as I fell in love with Europe and enjoyed the centuries-old architecture and cobblestone streets, the famous painting of Da Vinci, Manet, and others, the communist history of Eastern Europe, and the delicious local dishes, I was physically and mentally tired when I hit the tarmac in Dubai.
March was a month of constant movement. As much as I love the fast-paced life and thrive on pressure and movement, I realized that slow travel is a bit more my style. Despite the constant movement, March was a great month of new experiences, new friends, and a case of bad luck.
Great Escape Monthly Review: March 2016
Where I’ve Been
- 5 days in Morocco
- 5 days in London
- 5 days in Paris
- 2 days in Amsterdam
- 2 days in Berlin
- 2.5 days in Warsaw
- 2.5 days in Krakow
- 1 day in Bratislava
- 2 days in Munich
- 1 day in Oman
- 3.5 days in Dubai
- Celebrating my 29th Birthday in London – I purposely timed my days in London to fall during my birthday since I have a handful of friends in the city. I’m not much of a birthday person, but it was nice to spend the day with a good friend who took me out to a nice dinner and let me crash at his flat. Thanks, Kyle!
- Falling in love with Paris – I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I fell in love with Paris immediately. Paris is every cliché in the book, yet I never wanted to leave. Between the art museums, crepes, and classic Parisian architecture, I never wanted to leave.
- Snorkeling in Oman – One of my favorite memories from my travels was a day trip from Dubai to Musandam Oman where I spent the day sunbathing in the shadows of the fjords and getting stung by jellyfish. Despite the jellyfish stings that covered my body, the snorkeling was amazing, and I plan to go back someday to do some diving.
- I took three overnight buses in a row within a 10-day span – As a budget traveler, I’m always looking for the cheapest transportation option. Because I’m an idiot and didn’t buy my train tickets the minute I could, I ended up opting for the bus as it was significantly cheaper. Do I regret it? No, because I saved hundreds of Euros. However, I was sleep deprived, which was probably one of the main factors in my “hide in my Dubai hotel for days” mood.
- My computer broke in Krakow – As someone who makes her money online, a functioning laptop is key. After an emotional day touring Auschwitz II – Birkenau, I headed to Starbucks to work only to discover my Macbook wouldn’t start. I quickly went to the authorized Apple dealer at the mall in a panic. Unfortunately, they couldn’t fix my laptop and suggested that I try another authorized dealer shop near my hostel. Of course, they were closed so I had to wait until the next day to find out if my computer was fixable and if I could beg them to fix it that day as I was leaving that night on an overnight train. I ended up calling my father in tears. Thankfully after some begging, the shop was able to fix my computer that day. If you’re ever in Krakow, I highly recommend the iMad Krakow shop!
- My debit card number was stolen – Not only was I dealing with computer problems, I found out the same morning that someone stole my debit card number and took $300 out of an ATM in California. Charles Schwab is awesome and canceled my card and refunded my money, but I was without my debit card for several weeks. I survived on using my credit card and taking out a cash advance when I needed the cash. Charles Schwab was supposed to expedite my new card to me in Dubai, but I had to forward it to Sydney instead.
Being on the move constantly was not good for making any money in March. With a limited time in some cities combined with a computer out-of-service for 48 hours, I was only able to complete my regular client work. I raked in a whopping $210!
However, I scored a couple of new clients at the end of March so, despite the tiny income, April was shaping up to be a great month of growth. With a dwindling travel fund, I was actively looking for more work.
March was my most expensive month to date, which was to be expected since I was spending time in some of the most expensive cities in the world. Of course, extra expenses like computer repairs, cash advance fees, and a new phone, the expenses quickly added up.
- Transportation (i.e., plane, trains, buses, etc.): $539.57
- Accommodation: $386.45
- Food & Drinks: $500
- Tours, Activities & Fun Things: $515.22
- Other (i.e., tips, clothes, postcards, etc.): $853.43*
* My “other” categories was extremely overbudget due to a purchase of a new phone in Dubai and also my laptop repair. While I certainly wasn’t looking forward to spending that kind of money, both were necessary purchases for my business and personal life.
The month of March saw $2794.67 exiting my travel fund. Yikes! That’s roughly about $90 a day, which isn’t too bad considering I spent half the month in some of the world’s most expensive cities. If you take out the cost of my new phone and computer repairs, then I spent just under $70 a day.
Favorite Photo of the Month
The famous souks of Marrakech are a sensory overload filled with beautiful handcrafted goods, spicy food, and cat calls from all directions. My travel mates spent several hours just wandering around and getting lost in the side streets. I fell madly in love with this lanterns, but alas, I couldn’t bring one along on my whirlwind tour of Europe and Australia.
Goals for April
- Find a job in Australia
- Find new clients and grow my income
- Be in one place for more than a week
Books I Read in March
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – It took me awhile to get into the book, but I enjoyed the book. It wasn’t quite the ending I was expecting, but with my recent travels in France and Germany, it was great timing.
Favorite Quote of the Month
“I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.” ~ Amy Thomas, Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light
Until next time, safe travels my friends!