How to travel on a budget without weeping at every given moment.

You don’t.

Just kidding, but the last week or so has been tough. Me and Todd are travelling down the East coast of Australia over the next couple of months, and it seems every time we hit a grocery store or coffee shop we argue for half an hour before giving in and purchasing the bare minimum. We’ve been eating roughly one meal a day and taking full advantage of the Air Bnb’s free breakfast, and hiding away inside in fear of spending more money in the ever-tempting world outside.

This situation comes with its major downsides of course. We are travelling the most tourist-driven place on the planet, unable to indulge in any exciting activities. We’re seeing all the potential wonder this country has to offer and just having to shield our eyes and drive resentfully past. No glass-bottom kayak tours, no abseiling, no rock climbing or snorkelling or surfing. Things that we’d assume to be free end up taking up too much time for the free parking spaces, or have sneaky entry fees at the gates.

It’s all well and good saying we’ll just drive and see the beautiful beaches but when there are unexpected fees at every turn, shockingly expensive gas stations, and alluring the dreaded coffee shops and gelato parlours, that’s much easier said than done.

BUT

It is no life at all to let yourself descend into misery every other day and to rest your happiness on how much money you have, so the answer lies in the way we choose to live on a budget; to avoid excess and take the small treats when you can, few and far between, but grateful and appreciated. I think the best way to tackle this is to take the small pleasures and a shorter trip, then go back to work when we run out, and try again later. I will return, whether that be in a few months, a year or in the future, I will save the missed chances for the bucket list and save them for a later, and more financially stable, time.

It’s like we’re both spending our time trying to build up the momentum to spark a little happiness before starting back at square one; both exhausted and numb, and both likely dreaming of somewhere or sometime else. This is all coming to a swift end, the flame kindled for the last 12 months snuffed out, and I refuse to remember Australia by the time I was left sad and tired at the mercy of a restless and frustrated American boy, but rather the good times we did manage to afford, and all the little pleasures in between. I can be happy with the knowledge that I did what I could to maintain an enjoyable and worthwhile lifestyle this year. And I will miss him with a glowing cheerfulness rather than hold onto the damp regret of not doing more or spending our time differently.

Happiness is found within yourself; your attitude and decisions you make. Money is a corrupt artificial structure to be utilised when possible, but not to be held responsible for your level of self-worth.

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