I’ve made it no secret on this blog that D has an online business that funds our travels. We’re not broke backpackers (budget flashpackers, maybe). I know how lucky we are to have that income stream. I really appreciate this when we can rent our own apartments instead of having to share a room and bathroom with strangers. I can’t do that anymore. I can handle D’s stink, but not anyone else’s!
But these days, we are still operating on just a fraction of the income we had pre-travel. We control a tight monthly budget with an iron grip. After all, we’re not vacationing. We’re just living, except we pick a new place to live in every few weeks. So really, we are both quite stingy when it comes to spending “fun money”. We understand that in exchange for living in amazing places around the world, we sacrifice some pleasures.
Throughout our travels, we’ve missed out on a lot of activities simply because we were unwilling to part with the cash, even an extra $100. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the most regrettable things we missed out on. And what we did instead.
With an extra $100, I would: ride the London Eye – oh how I wanted to do this SO badly! Before setting foot in London, it was all I talked about doing. But my heart sank when I saw just how expensive it would be. Oh, giant ferris wheel, you look amazing, but I can get the views elsewhere.
What we did instead: rode around on the open-top sightseeing bus. It was super touristy but FUN!
With an extra $100, I would: sample the Rijstaffel Indonesian platter – What happens when the Dutch colonizes Indonesia and falls in love with their food? You get the Rijstaffel! A Rijstaffel, or “rice table”, is basically a HUGE spread of many small plates of Dutch-Indonesian dishes (some up to 40 plates!). We really wanted to experience this, but it would have easily blown our budget. I’m kinda kicking myself now!
What we did instead: ate ummmm…a few cakes. Because when in Amsterdam, right?
Buenos Aires, Argentina
With an extra $100, I would: see a tango performance – Buenos Aires is the city where tango was born, and we didn’t even go see a show! How nice it would have been to enjoy a glamorous evening of velvet curtains, glitzy dresses, and seductive dances.
What we did instead: ate steak. A lot and a lot of steak.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
With an extra $100, I would: go ziplining – I love adventure activities and Chiang Mai is the adventure capital of Thailand! When we first arrived, I picked up practically every single tour brochure from the local tourist office: ziplining, ATV, white water rafting, rock climbing… I wanted to do them all. We ended up doing none of them.
What we did instead: took a Thai cooking class! And we’re still making dishes that we learned from the class!
With an extra $100, I would: attend a ladyboy cabaret – When I was a tween, my aunt, upon return from a Thailand trip, showed me pictures of her posing with ladyboys. I had never heard of such things. Or seen such gorgeous creatures. And so, when I finally made it to Bangkok, going to a ladyboy cabaret was at the top of my list. D, however, was so not into the idea.
What we did instead: went to Soi Cowboy and saw some ladyboys there.
With an extra $100, I would: eat chili crabs – When I asked for suggestions for what to do in Singapore, absolutely everybody told us that we must eat chili crab. Along with chicken rice, it’s like the national dish. We spent a month there eating every other local dish, but never once the chili crab.
What we did instead: I managed to drag D to the Night Safari! I loved it, while D thought it was just “meh”. But we both agree that it’s the best zoo we’ve been to.
Even though I say I regret not doing any of these things (and given the chance, I would totally go back and do them), I really can’t complain. More than anything, I’m just happy to be able to live this life of travel. I’m so grateful to be able to wake up in different countries around the world and eat exotic local cuisines. And that’s already fun enough. :)
Have you done any of these? Was it worth the cost or just completely overrated? What do you feel like you’ve missed out on due to being stingy?
This post was inspired by Dollar Shave Club, who asked the question: what would you do with an extra $100? This post is not an ad and I received no compensation.
Note: post edited to change pictures.