I have accepted that “And how do you afford to travel” (accompanied with a suggestive look) is a question I will deal with for a long time to come. Despite tagging my sponsor some time last year and forwarding that blog post as a response to anyone that asks me on Whatsapp, I still get queried. The most recent question came on my Citizen TV live interview last week.
I will therefore let you into the not-so-glamorous side of my life by getting personal about the 10 things I had to say goodbye to.
- My own space (also known as rent). While I have very accommodating parents, I understand the value of moving into my own place. My best friend constantly reminds me that having responsibilities (rent and bills) is a key factor in personal growth. However, if I paid rent, I wouldn’t afford half the travels I do now. An alternative for anyone without this luxury is shared accommodation.
- Luxury travel. You can choose to wait for the time you’ll afford an air ticket and sleep in a fancy hotel, buy expensive drinks and have a full-on party while there, or decide to hop onto a bus, camp at the back of the hotel and exchange expensive drinks for scenery and communion with nature. Your call.
- The party life. I thank God for delivering me from that mentality that a fun weekend is one where I have to go on the rave. Friday night dancing, Saturday hangover-fixing, and poof! Back to work. You’ll be surprised that the money you spend on drinks, Uber and Chicken on the morning after is enough to take you camping in some of the most beautiful places.
- Eating out. Now, let’s get this clear, I’ve never really been a fan of restaurant-sampling. However, I realised that foregoing that 150/= (1.5USD) lunch plate at work for a month already saves me 3000/= a month, which is sufficient for a day trip with the many tour companies out there. So that’s one weekend sorted already. I carry my own lunch to work daily.
- Shopping sprees. I think my girlfriends and I went for clothes/shoes/make-up shopping every 2 or so weeks while I was in campus and shortly after. Now I just pass those invites because I would rather be wearing my 3 year old jeans by the sea somewhere.
- Luxury hair/nails etc. My hair and nails are basic. Well kept but basic. I secretly roll my eyes every time someone with a human hair weave/wig and intimidating nail extensions asks me “So who’s really paying for this”? Girl! Bye!
7. Expensive dates. Girls are good at this. Expensive coffee dates, expensive nights out/dinners. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do these once in a while, but can we just meet
at my housein a middle range restaurant and save that sea food date for the sea-shore?
8. Pride. I bargain. If there’s anything I have learnt from the corporate world, it’s to ALWAYS SELL YOURSELF! Most people want something back so think about what you can offer and HYPE it. I recently got 27,000/= (270 USD) off a trip by sending just one email to somebody I havn’t even met.
If you can’t come up with anything, bargain either way. There’s no reason why you should pay the full amount at a hotel/campsite when it’s low season, for instance.
9. Weekend activities. I played in an orchestra for about 5 years. I adore choral music (singing and concerts). However, I had to drop something I spent hundreds of hours trying to perfect to allow me to see the world. I’m not super-human and I can only do so much with my time. It took me a whole year to accept this to myself, but I finally let go. I keep my weekends free.
10. The need for company. If you want to go for something, go for it. You can’t always wait for people to join you in what you love to do for you to do it. This applies to everything really. You’ll find that once you start, you’ll meet people that are more suited to your path than if you just sat there and did ‘ordinary’ with the crowd.
Shall I then see you up and go?