Money, money, money…

The best advice I received before leaving for my study abroad came from my mother, of course. She had told me to travel as much as possible and don’t worry about the money because you have your whole life to make money. I am a very frugal person… yet a very adventurous and travel hungry person so this advice may have been very hard to swallow from my standpoint.

Oh how I wish I would have listened to her in the beginning… now I am wanting to go so many places but I do not have as much time to do it, my time here is coming to an end and there are so many places untouched. I want to make it to Portugal, Sweden, Israel, Morocco, Poland, Greece, Ireland, and London. Well I had many chances to go to most of these places but I was too frugal wanting to save up my money for another adventure. My adventures have been my favorite time here! Skyscanner is now my best friend and the price of American flights are now even more astonishing and quite frankly ridiculous, why does it cost so much to fly within our own country?

I have however made it to France! That is a huge step in itself (achieving study abroad and making it here at all.) While in France I have traveled to Arcachon (holding the biggest sand dune in Europe), Bordeaux (where I live <3), Saint-Emilion (Wine, wine, wine), Toulouse (home of cassoulet), Bayonne (DA BEACH), Paris (you should know this one), Nice (beautiful beaches, tons of brand names), Aix-en-Provence (famous for parfume), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Bergamo (home of stracciatella), and Milano (Italia)!!

All in all this semester has been a success and Italy is my favorite place so far, if you ever get a chance, GO TO ITALY!! Before leaving I will get to go to Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Spain. I am definitely not disappointed but I am convinced that the best way to come to Europe is on a backpacking trip just taking trains everywhere ! That is the best way to get the best prices and the best experiences!

Have fun, don’t be afraid to spend money because experiences are priceless! Listen to the wise words of your mother, or in this case my mother. 2016-03-26 11.48.50

You’re Only Here Once

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Make the most of your time if you don’t travel while you are already in Europe, the prices are going to go way up. Remember that skyscanner is your best friend and plan in advance always.
I am spending my semester in Bordeaux France and though I have no been here long I have been able to explore the region a bit through bus lines, train lines (SNCF mostly) and soon by air!
If you are in France I would advise you to travel the region you are in first and then when you want to go to Germany or some land that seems close but is quite expensive, take on the challenge and find small towns to stop at on the way and break up the trip. I promise it will be less expensive.
Another little travel tip, try to travel with people who have the same budget as you and also same values in general. it is hard to travel when everyone wants to go to different places and you have a very small amount of time to get all these places covered.
Most of all have fun and don’t be scared to travel by yourself! BUT if you travel by yourself be very careful and triple check where you are staying to make sure it is in a safe area!
Have fun travel buddies and keep sharing your stories!
Kariana Dear ( a wonderluster on a budget)