When you’re backpacking the world, every little purchase can add up at an alarming rate. Most backpackers that I’ve met live on a shoestring budget – and I typically travel in a similar frugal way. Recently I’ve backpacked through Spain, Morocco, France and Italy – and knowing that I wanted to stay out as long as I possibly could, I started cutting corners and finding ways to get by on as little as possible. Some of these tips may seem like no-brainers, but you might be surprised at how many travelers thought that my frugal tips were brilliant, and many began changing their own traveling lifestyles as well.
I took bus #100 from the coast, on Nice’s eastern shore. But I wished that I would have hired a car in Nice, because the twisting cliffside was gorgeous! It inched along the cliffside, on its way toward Monaco. I had grown up knowing of Monaco from its inclusion in various race car video games. As I grew up, I understood it as being one of the poshest areas in the world, and that remained with me as my anticipation grew. I jumped off just after the casino and with no plan or map, I walked around aimlessly through the boulevards and a feeling of chagrin crept up inside of me. I visited the beautiful park and wandered down into the poshest shopping mall I had ever seen, yet I was disappointed with the atmosphere of this small coastal principality. Tall buildings like that of a large American city and little natural physique remained. Money can buy you a lovely car, and a lovely building with a lovely view, but the endless grays of the buildings and streets mixed with the endless glossy reflectional windows disturbed me.
I’ve always wanted to travel the world – the past few years, I’ve been blessed to do just that. I’ve always wanted to live abroad – I have for a couple of months now. I’ve always wanted to live in another country long enough to become an expat local – and now, the opportunity has presented itself. For the past few months, I’ve been writing various articles and stories for an online website, and after a brief and friendly business relationship, I thought it might be nice to settle down in Venice and take on a larger role for the company. While I’ve had the date of my ‘interview/in-person meeting’ for about a month now, I wasn’t really sure anything would work out exactly. But after a short 10-minute interview, I’ve become the newest part of the team.
The streets are aligned with little makeshift stalls of shops and fruit wagons, and there are tens of thousands of people going here and there, and every which way. Everyone is speaking a different language, and some with a different dialect, and you begin to feel alone. You stick out like a sore-thumb, the shop keepers yell and taunt and tease, trying to entice you on their product – no, his product, or theirs, what about this one or his?! “My friend, my friend, cheap price, best price for you, my friend!” You continue forward and each step is labored, as it requires 100% concentration or else one mistaken step could send you falling to the ground or vice versa, tripping someone else. One step over a stack of wood boxes, another step off balanced, around a child, then a pause for a group of people who are crossing your path – and you’re inadvertently pushed into the middle of the stone path, and WOAH! STOP! A motorbike comes whizzing by, barely missing you.
I flew back to Europe from Morocco. After growing up and reading the Count of Monte Cristo, I thought it might be fun to see Marseille, and fondly enough, Marrakech is connected via Ryanair. I decided to leave my rant on Ryanair out of my last travel update, because I enjoyed Morocco too much – even though I flew with the same service from Sevilla to Marrakech. It also happened to be that my flight to Marseille was even more awful.
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