As we sit on yet another bus, I decide to fill my three hour ride with another update. If you, the reader, haven’t any idea what I’m talking about, read my first update here.
We are currently leaving the city of Bordeaux, on the southwestern side of France, en route to the famous pink city of Toulouse. The past few days have been very eventful. Days that we will surely remember for a long time.
We emphasize budget travel, and we don’t mean discount hotels and Uber rides.
We often sacrifice comfort (and sanity) to save a few coins, whether it be: walking an hour from the drop off point to our accommodations; sharing a tiny room with three other people we met off Couchsurfing; eating cheap baguettes and cheese (though I’ll never get tired of that); or even hitchhiking hundreds of kilometres to the next town.
All these methods (and a few others), have already saved us hundreds of euros. As we are voyagers with no particular destination, money is usually the biggest concern. We have to be resourceful at every turn, and frugal with every decision.
There have been new experiences for the both of us (hitchhiking for one – naturally many people have issues trying this one).
Each experience helped to improve our confidence and our abilities when it comes to travel. We took the opportunity to do something that is way out of our comfort zones. Face your anxieties head on. Quiet that little voice in the back of your head- the one saying that you can’t do it. Once you succeed, that little voice will have less power. Works every time.
Our last update leaves us finishing up our Workaway in Close to Pontivy, France.
With new experiences, new friends, and our hearts full of excitement for our next adventure. To say that our hosts, Caz and Phil, are wonderful people would be an understatement. They made us feel like family right away, and the whole experience has taught us a lot. Besides the things we learned from our hosts directly (gardening, woodwork, electrical, etc.), the experience solidified in our minds that you can find good people and good homes anywhere.
There are friends waiting to be made, if you find it within yourself to go find them (although sometimes they find you), and it’s always a fulfilling experience.
We miss Caz and Phil dearly, and we know we have a home with them in France when we return. Two weeks flew by, with all the accommodations (and lots of food), good times and even beer. They helped us gain the confidence we needed in the Workaway program. Being only their second “workaway-ers”, we hope we helped in their gaining of confidence in program as well.
Busses go everywhere, and you can find a really cheap deal.
You just have to dig around a bit.
If saving money is your game, it’s worth your while to look into local bus companies (here’s an example of some cheap companies).
Some air companies also have incredible deals for short distance flights. Ryanair is the company we heard so much about, and sure enough, we landed a deal that takes us from Toulouse to Madrid for 9 euros each (plus tax, of course). By far the cheapest flight I have ever taken. “Rideshares” have proven to be fairly expensive here in Europe, compared to our experiences in Canada. I know hitchhiking isn’t for everyone, but it’s obviously the cheapest and (I find) the most rewarding of them all.
Getting to and from on the cheap isn’t always easy, but it’s more often than not a memorable trip.
We have been taking advantage of all the online resources that we can muster, even if only to save a few euros. Costs add up alarmingly fast if you don’t pay attention.
Sites like Workaway (long term) and Couchsurfing (short term) are great for places to stay, but getting there is often where the costs hide. If you are patient, and you do a bit of digging, you can find the cheapest way to get to your destination.