Jess, reacting to something hilarious that Josh said, Vienna, Austria

Let’s go!

Hi everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written for public consumption. It feels awesome, but also awkward. I mean, it’s been a few years, so where do I even begin?? I think the perfect place to start is to describe my traveling philosophy.

Since, I last wrote to you, A LOT has happened. First of all, I attended and finished my Master’s degree. I am now an Elementary Teacher for children with language-based learning disabilities. As a teacher, I have more time-off than most people I know, which is great for my love of traveling. However, I also make less than most people I know, which is not so great for my love of traveling. And yet, I find that I travel for leisure more often than most people I know.

When I talk to people about traveling, I hear constantly how people are jealous of the places I’ve been, or how they want to go abroad, or how they want to spend money on experiences. The funny thing is that very rarely do people actually do this. It blows my mind. If I want to travel, I save up, plan a trip, and go. Why is it so much harder for other people to do this?

I think the main reason for this is that people think that they can’t afford traveling abroad. When I talk with people about traveling abroad, they are totally uninformed on all the ways to save money and still not compromise your comfort and main amenities. They think it’s reasonable to spend $900 on a weekend to Mexico from Houston. Or spend more on one week in Europe than Josh and I spent in five. Or have no idea what a hostel looks like. Or just book the most convenient (i.e. expensive) flight to wherever they want to go. The world of budget travel is accessible, but you have to know where to look.

Are you imagining dirty hostels with bed bugs surrounded by brothels and drug deals? Or being starving and smelly the whole time? From the reactions people have to budget travel, it seems like they think that’s what I mean. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve spent $200+ on hotels in Europe and I’ve spent $20-30 on hostels. I’ll tell you that both were comparable in comfort and I got free breakfast in the hostels. Sure, the hostel might not have some fancy TV or the latest bathroom appliances. But why do you care about those things if you are there to travel? If you MUST have a giant whirlpool tub or refuse to share a bathroom, Airbnb is another option. A hostel or a cheaper room on Airbnb will give you everything you need. All-inclusive resorts and fancy hotels are pointless unless you can frivolously spend that kind of money. And for me on a teacher’s salary, it’s totally pointless. PLUS, the more you save on things like hotels and food, the more places you can go and see….which is the point of travel, right? People want to hear cool stories. No one gives a shit what kind of bed you slept in.

I’ll be showing you the world of budget travel that won’t make you cringe, give you tips for saving money in some of my favorite places, pretend I’m a photographer and show you pics, aaaaannnd of course a ton of lists of crap I hope you’ll pretend to be interested in. So, if you have always wanted to travel abroad, but have felt it out of your price range, stick with me (and Josh because he has the same mindset). Get over your misconceptions and book a flight to a dream destination!

See ya soon!

Jess

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