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How to travel with minimal expenses

because, let’s be real here, no one can afford that shit.

1. Accommodations: 

Couch surf. Seriously, go to www.couchsurfing.org and get yourself an account. People waste so much money on accommodations when they can stay at someone’s house for free. Also, this helps you make the best of your trip because the people you are staying with will probably be able to give you some advice on the best places to eat and things that you’ve got to see. 

If you are unwilling to couch surf because of safety concerns or just a general lack of interest, I will say that if you are careful, it can be a very safe and fun thing. Still, my second recommendation would be for you to stay in a hostel or a cheap motel. Bring a sleeping bag with you so you don’t have to deal with dirty sheets (though hostels are generally pretty clean) and maybe your own travel pillow. An alternative to a pillow is just to bundle together a couple of sweatshirts and call it a night, If you are staying at a hostel, the rooms with the most beds are the cheapest. Staying in a room full of strangers can seem daunting, but it’s actually usually a pretty good time. You can rent a locker (but buy your own lock for these things because you can never be too careful) and keep your valuables on your person. Never EVER leave things like cameras, wallets, passports, or MP3 players in a place where strangers can get to them. Also, bring shower shoes. Just do it. Seriously. Foot fungus is no joke.

2. Travel Expenses

This is the  #1 most expensive part of traveling. 

Flights: Look at every single flight booking company you can find for the best deals. If you are a student, you can try sites like studentuniverse.com, if you’re in Spain, try Vueling. If you’re going from the UK to Europe, check out Ryanair. There are seriously tons of websites and cheap airlines that will make it more affordable for you. Keep in mind that it might be easier to fly out of another city and just take the bus there (though this will mean longer travel time). Also, try to fly on a Tuesday because, for some reason, that’s when tickets are usually cheapest. Try to book either really far in advance or insanely last minute (not advisable and you may get stranded somewhere if you bank on this).

Bus and Trains: These mean longer travel time and are usually less comfortable, but they are BY FAR the cheaper option. One thing to note about trains is, unless you get a private car, you will have nowhere to put big luggage. I don’t recommend traveling with a lot of luggage anyway, but, from personal experience, you will very much regret bringing a large suitcase onto a train.

3. Food

Traveling does not mean eating out for every meal. That is a stupid waste of money. Give yourself one or two nights where you go out to a nice (isn) dinner, but save your money and go to the grocery story for every other meal. That may mean drinking yogurt out of a bag and eating dry cereal, or overdosing on turkey sandwiches, but who cares when you get to go see more amazing things? Essentially, buy what’s cheapest and cook it yourself (in the hostel’s kitchen, your host’s kitchen, or your bed if neither of those pan out) You won’t always get a hot meal, but you will always get fed.

Also, buying alcohol at clubs and bars is like throwing your money into a black hole. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink, because that would be ridiculous, but limit yourself to one or two. Don’t drink to get drunk because you won’t remember it anyway and you can do that at home. Spend this money doing something unforgettable and un-regrettable. 

4. Souvenirs:

You don’t need them. Instead of spending money on little trinkets that you won’t look at after a month back home, get a nice camera and take pictures of the memories you’re creating. I guarantee you will look at the pictures of your camel ride through the Sahara more than you will look at that glass figurine or dagger that you just had to have.

Also, probably the best thing you can do before you travel is invest in a story journal and a good pen. You will be able to look back at your adventures and remember every detail instead of looking at a small token that will remind you of the shop you got it from.

5. Don’t be afraid to come home broke

Save your money for adventures, but then spend it when you see an amazing opportunity. Money isn’t meant to be hoarded. Don’t wait for the next adventure because it might be better and you have to make sure you still have some money when you get home. Do everything you can and get a job as soon as you get back. 

I try to never be ashamed of things like this-falling off the bar-because you know what? I climbed up a giant ladder and jumped off a platform without really knowing what was going to come next.

Who even cares about falling?

In what was does it make sense to be embarrassed about not being perfect when you try something new? 

You’ve go out there, try everything, and then be proud of your efforts even if you failed spectacularly.

My very first trapeze attempt! It’s higher and harder than it looks, people!

"If it scares you, it might be worth trying"

This is a picture of my twin sister trapeze-ing (I have videos of myself trapeze-ing but no pictures because I fell and tore up my hands a little bit so I had to stop). My dad took my sisters and I to a trapeze class, and oh my goodness was it terrifying, but it was also liberating and exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat (even though I fell).

Sometimes all you can do is jump and see what happens next.

Hi there! I stumbled across your blog in the teaching abroad tag! It said something about teaching in Spain? Just wondering if you did! Or if you ended you ended up teaching abroad anywhere! I'm graduating teachers college in the fall and am looking to teach abroad - anywhere! So I'm just looking for some advice :)

I have not yet taught abroad. I went to Spain as a student last year, and the post about teaching abroad was an announcement that I will be teaching abroad next year in China. The program I am going with is CIEE because, based on my research, I find them to be a reputable, trustworthy company. If you are planning on teaching abroad, I encourage you to check out their website (just google CIEE Teach Abroad). They go to a bunch of cool places all over the world.

I also encourage you do to research of your own to find a company that you feel comfortable with.

Here are some things that I have found that make me distrust teach abroad websites:

1. When the application process is too brief (e.g. Does not ask for essays, does not ask in depth questions about your education, does not require any kind of recommendation etc)

2. Does not require a University diploma, or have an age limit (i.e. does not require you to be over eighteen)

3. When everything is free. There should always be at least some sort of processing fee and fee for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.

Also, I don’t trust sites when they say that you do not have to pay for your flight. There are programs with schools that will reimburse you for plane ticket if you complete your contract, but they won’t pay for your ticket before you get there,

4. Asks for personal information such as your social security number and your passport number and has no application fee. These sights are just trying to get all of your information so that they can steal your identity, it’s a trap.

5. If the website does not look official. Everything should be written in the same font (and same font size except for headings and such which can be slightly larger), there should not be too much text on one page (by this I mean there should not be 10 pages of text on one, endless scroll page), there should be links to each new piece of information..what I am getting at is that the websites should be generally well organized and look like they were made by professionals.

and

6. The teaching jobs should not pay extraordinary salaries, or promise bonuses for every little thing. 

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The word “selfie”

Today I was approached by a professor of the English department at my school.

She informed me that the word “selfie” has been added to the Oxford Dictionary, and has been chosen as the word of the year.

This got groans and mutterings of “kill me now” from my non-English major friends with whom I was speaking. They turned to me, surprised that I had not done the same thing. One of them asked me my opinion on the matter, so here it is:

Language is in a constant state of flux. New words are added while older words fall out of use and, eventually, disappear. I think if language was stagnant, it would not be as beautiful and interesting as it is.

Shakespeare himself invented many words that we now think of as formal words, but were once regarded as gibberish (much like the word “selfie” is today) because they were made up. That’s the great thing about language though, you can make it anything that you want it to be!

Here are some examples of words that were invented by Shakespeare:

Addiction

Circumstantial

Critical

Countless

Disgraceful

Fitful

Impartial

Lackluster

Multitudinous

Sanctimonious

Swagger (seriously. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene I)


You can see my point. If “selfie” and “twerk” are our generation’s contributions to the dictionary and are representative of the fluid nature of language, I say let’s go with it and see where it leads.

Forgive me,

I have been a somewhat less than attentive blogger lately.

It’s just, this blog is called Tori Gone Global so I feel like I should only post about my experiences when I go to other countries.

But the United States is on the globe, right? HECK YEAH IT IS.

So I’m going to try to blog more about things I do here.

For now, all I’ve got going on is school. I’m taking way too many classes this semester (and next semester for that matter) but it means I can graduate in the spring so it’ll all be worth it!

Speaking of next semester, I registered last week. It was probably the single most frustrating experience I have ever had at Fort Lewis. My professor says the experience will teach me about bureaucracy and how to deal with it, but I really think I’d be happy going in to that one blind and figuring it out when I got there.

It’ll be nice to go home for a little while and rest! Thanksgiving break, here I come!

My family is really something else

All in all, this trip was pretty magical.

Me and the man who said, “yes Tori, skip school and come to Mexico with me just because you feel like it,”: My dad.

I can’t describe to you how much I ate while I was there, and it was all so phenomenally delicious.

I have the best uncles a girl could ask for

What would a visit to a ranch be without a little horseback riding?

The most consistently beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen, Baboyahui Ranch in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

I recently went to Mexico and this is what I learned

about how to be old:

1. Talk about the regularity of your bowel movements.

2. Talk about recent visits to the doctor.

3. Talk about all health issues or possible health issues you discussed with your doctor.

4. Talk about cancer.

5. Technology will never come naturally.

6. Buy reading glasses.

7. Change electronic device settings to the largest font available. 

8. Wake up at 5 am.

9. Drink a lot of tequila.

10. Have opinions about everything.

11. Spend a large amount of time contemplating your eventual demise.

12. Talk about this eventual demise with anyone who will listen.

13. Read magazines and pick out outfits for other people.

14. Talk about your favorite grandchildren.

15. Talk about why they are your favorite grandchildren.

16. Take metamucil.

17. Reminisce about the good ol’ days.

18. Sticking just your head in the pool on a hot day is not an option.

19. Bedhead is not for public eyes.

20. Let the young crowd take the pictures.

Thank you to my aunts and uncles for participating in my education this trip. I learned a lot.