So, we're going abroad again. In September.
Lately, these comments have really started to bother me. Yes, we live pretty damn frugally throughout the year, which puts a cramp in my social life. In January, we moved and paid some tuition out of pocket, which meant we spent an entire month's salary EXTRA on things we normally wouldn't spend money on. That put us in a rough spot but, as we always do, we made it out just fine.
When somebody asks me where I get all this money from, I just say "a tax return." I shouldn't have to say anything else because frankly, it's nobody's business. I am not going in debt to go on these adventures. I am not begging, borrowing or stealing the money. This is my money I'm spending.
I was telling Jeff last night that these trips of ours are the only thing keeping me going right now. Just the thought of "hey, we're really going to do this again" keeps my spirits up. I have no idea what I'm going to do after I graduate. I have no idea if I'll ever find a job in my area of interest. I do know that I spent one depressing summer unemployed, the next working just one day a week and now I'm working 3 days a week while going to school. The time I spend at home, bored out of mind, is suffocating. I hear friends complain about "losers on funemployment" but it's not like that. It's not easy to get a job right now, and it is really, really depressing. I put out 60+ resumes during the summer of 2009 and only landed a job at a horrific small company thanks to a friend that worked there. The summer of 2010 was spent much in the same way, but with no job at the end.
When Jeff and I go on these trips, we live damn cheap. We sleep in sketchy hostels in red light districts to save a few bucks. We live off of bread and peanut butter from foreign grocery stores. We bring instant coffee and Larabars along to sustain us when we can't afford the breakfast not included at the hostel. We walk, everywhere, to save on transportation costs. We try our damnedest to stay under $100/day for both of us, which isn't always the easiest considering the exchange rates.
I grew up poor. This isn't something new to those that know me. I never, ever thought I would have the opportunity to see the world but now that I have, I can't give it up.
If I have to live dirt cheap all year long just to buy plane tickets, I will do it. If I have to live with a crappy cell phone plan in order to buy plane tickets, I will do it. If I have to volunteer for anything and everything under the sun to get free race entries, beer festival entries and vegan food, I will do it.
All I ask is you not question my finances, my responsibilities, my life. The way I see it, I'm doing just fine.