The Struggle Travels in My Suitcase

In London, Travail, The Art of Travel Spring 2015 by Michael Frazier6 Comments

I should have saved my post for spring break for this week—haha—but netherless I have plenty of struggles to share. I think the most burdensome struggles I’ve had to face was my travel bookings and the subsequent financial strains. By the time I return to the states, I will have traveled to eight countries, including England (currently writing this from Wales). As exciting as traveling is, it’s taxing physically, emotionally, and financially. My wallet thinks I hate him.

My first big lost was for a trip I haven’t been on yet. I’m going to Madrid for Bank Holiday in May, and I ended up finding a good ticket for about 60 pounds. But I ended up buying the wrong ticket, so I had to pay another 30 pounds to change the ticket. So I ended up paying about 90 pounds for a round trip ticket. Then I planned on taking a one-day trip to Paris via the Eurostar which cost about 60 pounds. Unfortunately, I booked my trip on the Wednesday that I have registration (this week). I have my priorities straight, so I canceled the trip (hopefully this is the first year that I get all of the classes that I want). The third struggle, and the most devastating, was for Prague. I was supposed to go one weekend in the middle of March. Unfortunately, I ended up having to cancel the trip, because I was unable to get the weekend off from work (and I found out the week before—I put in the request at least a month prior). Instead of losing the entire ticket (over 200 dollars) I was able to switch it to the last weekend I had left (the weekend before finals). I’m preparing a funeral for my GPA—haha. And lastly, as I mentioned in my last post, I went to the wrong airport when I was going to Athens so then I had to pay over 200 dollars to get a new ticket.

So roughly I’ve wasted about 600 dollars on careless mistakes. I’m glad I’m writing this, because just seeing how many mistakes I’ve made really puts into perspective what I won’t do next time. I’m glad I’m traveling a lot, but I also wish I wasn’t traveling as much. Planning is stress and I feel like I don’t know enough of London. With the couple of weeks I have left I’m trying to do as much exploring as possible, but it’s hard! London seems much bigger than Manhattan, and just finding enough time in the day to focus on HW, work, and Me is a task. Plus I’m on the water and cracker diet now. All of the frivolous mistakes I’ve made really put a dent in my budget, and I think it’s one of the biggest travel trials I have—surviving! I’ve recently started cooking big pasta meals that will last me three days, eating the 3 pound lunch combos from Tesco and Sainsbury, and have been eating the free curry from Hare Krishna about three days a week to get by. If I learned one thing, it’s not to overcommit and less is always more—forsure. I don’t see England being my last time going abroad, so I definitely have some tips for myself in the future.

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  1. Trust me, I know what you mean when you say your wallet thinks you hate him!! I did not realize how much traveling adds up. It is unreal! Before this, I never noticed the cost of taxis, plane tickets, all of that and when the mishaps happen like booking the wrong flight. I think that is what I learned most from this study abroad experience.

    From a girl who has been eating PB&Js and pasta every day for three days now, you are not alone in this. We can make it through!

    And at the end of the day it is all totally worth it to be doing the traveling we are so privileged to be doing.

    Best of luck!


    1. Author

      Privilege is the right word! Just looking back at some of the stuff my friends and I have done, and it’s crazy.

      We will survive though haha!

  2. Hi Michael. I 100% agree with you that less is more. Over the course of my semester here in Prague, I have only stayed here about 4 weekends. The rest I have spent on expensive, sometimes stressful, trips. I am sorry for all the money you have spent, it sounds like you have had some stressful experiences with bookings. But if it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one! I am pretty sure my wallet hates me (especially considering it was almost stolen). The money just seems to keep adding up, whether it’s trips or food or clothing, etc. I definitely need to start cooking for myself more, I might take some tips from you and start cooking in bulk for myself! I order food everyday mostly, it’s actually getting out of hand. Nevertheless, I do agree with Megan and think we are very privileged to have these experiences!

    1. Author

      Lol! Your wallet comment. And where all have you traveled? I know a lot of the Prague students travel every week, because it’s pretty easy to see all of Prague pretty quickly? And yus, regardless of our struggle we have all been very blessed!

  3. Dear my poor poor Michael,

    Hi. I am sending my condolences to your wallet, I’m sure he understands. To make him feel a little better, when you come to Madrid, I shall have to take some ease off of him. Honestly, don’t feel bad! Two things about your blog that I wanted to mention. First, the intense amount of traveling is almost necessary. If it helps, think about it this way: when will you ever be able to travel for $200 in Europe ever again? Next time you come, it will be at least $2,000. Besides, airline prices in America is so f*cking ridiculous, I paid $500 to go to San Diego for a week my sophomore year spring break so enjoy and contrary to popular belief, your wallet will thank you. The other aspect of intense traveling, however, is the short amount of time you have. I’m surprised to hear that you have priorities. From my experience (especially with semester classmates), they are more than willing to take an absence for an entire week than sit in class or submit an assignment (mainly due to the first line of reasoning I mentioned previously). With only 4 or so months in Europe, trying to fit all of those countries in is definitely exhausting and more often than not, will annihilate your wallet. It’s times like these that I’m glad I had the chance to space the same amount of traveling out throughout 9 months.

    Finally, albeit a tiny detail, I like how you capitalized the “m” in Me. I think that’s the first thing I neglect during travel: me. Hunger, exhaustion, condition aside, I will see the freakin’ Duomo even if it kills me. So good on you, make sure you don’t neglect yourself and take some time to relax and absorb your experiences. I miss you~

  4. Author

    Hi Susan!

    That is so true, and I hadn’t even thought of it that way. Every time I want to come back to Europe it’s going to end up costing a fortune. -_-
    And yeah, I know a lot of students who have placed classes second since coming abroad. I’ve def cut ends when it comes to studying etc., but let’s just say one class is slaying me right now haha. The academics in London is actually on-par if not harder than New York. And yuss #selfcare. That’s been the theme of my sophomore year haha. And I miss you too! I arrive in Madrid tomorrow evening and will be there till Monday! The weather looks perfect, and I’m so excited.

    Can’t wait to see you~

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