True Confessions of a Non-Budget Traveler

budget bedroombudget bathroomI really wanted to be a budget traveler; that was before I encountered a budget room. In the planning phase of our new life adventure, we decided on Southeast Asia/Thailand for our first stop, partly due to its reputation for being an inexpensive place to visit. I remember how I would romanticize about staying in basic (cheap) accommodations, and about how we would be living simply, with nothing more than the clothes that we could carry in our backpacks. We would be free, and we’d need nothing more than a roof over our heads and each other to keep us warm and safe. Throw in some cheap food from street carts and that completed the fantasy; ah yes, blissful simple, cheap living in paradise.

Those were the days, and those were the dreams.

Fast-forward and a harsh slap in the head reality check-I am not a budget traveler. I would like to make excuses and say that I’ve come to a certain point in my life where I’ve worked hard, and feel I’ve earned some upgrades and certain luxuries.  While this is true to an extent, I also know that at my core I’m a candy-ass princess. This is who I am. I like pretty things, shiny things, I like smelling good and I like makeup. Bugs and creepy crawlers make me say ewwwww! I’m not opposed to trying new things, like I might possibly still eat bugs or something (as long as they are cleaned and served by someone with good hygiene of course). LOL But the truth is that I like comfort, and security, and clean beds, and shower stalls, and certain luxuries and privileges that a lot of people have never known, and may never know, and that I (used to) just take for granted.

Does that make me a bad person? I sure hope not, but it makes me hugely grateful that I have been blessed with being born into my cushy North American life, and that I have had the gifts of clean water, food a plenty, free healthcare, high wages, a safe environment free of worries of being bitten by a bug that might kill me, you know, stuff like that.

But back to my point – I’m a non-budget, luxury-loving girl.  Like I was saying, I truly did romanticize this whole adventure before we started, and I liked to imagine myself as someone that I’m realizing I am not. I do think about being without stuff, and about how great it is to not be burdened by ‘things’, and to be real. I like having the opportunity to drop the shit and see what’s beneath it all, and what I am discovering is that while I don’t need 5-star luxury villas and rock star treatment, I just want some nice creature comforts that don’t seem to be on the budget traveler plan.

Maybe I’m just stuck in my ways, and I’m less flexible to change than I was when I was younger?  Maybe I’m just not a very adventurous gal?  Or maybe I just like having it all, and I think that I can still have a genuine, live-like-a-local experience while still having a hot shower every day, and eating food in a restaurant when I want too.

I’m still pretty thrifty (cheap) about some things, and I can’t imagine ever forking out hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel room, but I’m not so budget-minded that I’m willing to share a dorm style room with a shared bathroom to save a few bucks so that I can travel longer.

Perhaps there should be a new category for travelers like me? There is the budget category on one end of the spectrum, and luxury on the other, so am I the middle-class traveler? Or perhaps a budgury (budget-luxury) traveler? Or maybe econolux traveler?

What are your thoughts? What type of traveler are you?



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6 comments… add one
  • Louise
    January 3, 2015, 6:36 pm Reply

    Happy 2015 to both of you. I hear ya and quite understand your pont of view. Depending on the mood and circumstances I can go to either extreme and can usually find a midpoint. However that being said my time walking The Camino was the most awesome experience to date. Looking forward to hearing more. Hugs and love MOM

    • Ange
      January 5, 2015, 12:23 am Reply

      Thanks mom! I still want to do the Camino as well, and I think that experience will be good for me. LOL we’ll see 🙂 Love you!

  • Penny
    January 4, 2015, 9:01 am Reply

    Well Ange, I hear myself in your words!! And really, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what kind of traveller you are. We see people travelling like that in movies, read about it, hear about it…why would it not seem so simple yet glamorous…the perfect way to travel? We only hear the best of it, the good parts! And we need to consider who’s saying it and what their story is. It’s all relative, right? We can’t help what we’re used to and we shouldn’t feel bad for it. I think it’s fantastic that you’re experiencing all of that and you can feel good about having so much more appreciation for what you have and always have had…nothing wrong with having compassion for those who have less…or admiration for those who are willing to rough and tough it.

    I so enjoy reading your thoughts and stories! Enjoy your adventures ahead! 🙂

    • Ange
      January 7, 2015, 10:11 pm Reply

      Thanks sistah! 🙂 Hope you guys are having a great new year so far!

  • Anita
    January 6, 2015, 12:40 pm Reply

    I was definitely a budget traveler when I was young, when I was 20 I hitch-hiked all over Central America for several months. I’ve slept in hammocks in a grass hut on the beach (no floor, door or windows, only the sand for a floor and some openings in the walls for windows and doors), I’ve slept in places with tiny short beds so that your legs hang over the edge (lol) and no hot water, I’ve slept outdoors on the ground, in hotels with galloping herds of rodents running loudly through the walls and ceilings, on people’s living room floors, etc. It was quite an adventure, for sure. But nowadays all I can say about that is No. lol. I’ve become used to comfort, hot water, soap, good food, enough sleep, etc 🙂 And I’m okay with that 🙂

    • Ange
      January 7, 2015, 10:06 pm Reply

      LOL “galloping herds of rodents”? Awesome visual 🙂 thanks for the comment and for the laugh Anita. Isn’t it interesting to reflect back on those things we did when we were younger, and while we love the stories they provide, we’d never want to repeat those experiences at our current age, eh?
      Your 20’s still sounded a lot more bad-ass than mine. You should share more of those stories 🙂

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