My European Blunder : (
This past semester I had the privilege of studying abroad in Ireland for four months. I loved my adventure and took advantage of it by visiting some European countries. After all, who can resist seeing the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and the Duomo in Milan, Italy? It was truly amazing, not to mention beautiful. Within the first two months, the outings as well as the conversion of the different currency made a major dent in my account.
The travel bug had bitten my once fugal persona for two of the four months of the term. Most of my hard-earned money from working everyday in the summer and throughout my college years was rapidly dwindling. It was extremely painful to see my checking and saving account drop and it caused me a lot of anxiety.
As previously stated, I will not spend money unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’m even graduating college in three years to avoid debt; but, that’s another story!
Back to my unforgettable trip, in Europe I was faced with the decision of saving money and perhaps missing the opportunity of a lifetime to visit countries, or, possibly come home with an empty account. What did I choose? What would you choose?
I choose to research every country. I looked up every review on hostiles, restaurants and transportation that were on the internet. Trip Advisor became one of my best friends. Finding clean yet inexpensive places to stay, restaurants to eat at and getting around cities was a big task that required hours of work. Pardon the pun, but it paid off.
Saying no to luxury hotels, nice restaurants and endless carriage rides (My friends and I did break down and have one in the countryside of Galway) was difficult. Nevertheless, by limiting expenses, I was able to see Europe, amazing sites, and share some wonderful memories with my newfound friends. I still came home with quite a large indent in my saving and checking accounts, but I spent my money wisely and would not have done anything differently. It truly was the experience of a lifetime.
I fell in love with Europe, with travel, adventure, and all the people. I came back with respect for our currency and the exchange rate while managing to save money more wisely. One can be cheap, one can spend their savings or, one can be intelligent and do both. I did both and had fun.