I have gone back and forth on this post. I framed this trip up as a project to experiment with traveling on a budget. What it was under the surface was a time of horrible discord with the person I was in a relationship with at the time. It was a trip that originally he was going to be on with me. And it ended up just being me and the dog.
Still, I tried to make the best of it. No matter how my heart felt, I wanted to keep my eye on my financial goals and cash flow the entire thing. This is when it is easiest for me to buy a bunch of crap I don’t need and throw it on a credit card to feel better. There was no way I was doing that this time.
I had two nights of my trip set to spend at my brother’s house, and three nights in very reasonably prices KOA cabins. I had a cooler full of food, and a bunch of Cliff Bars, fruit, nuts, and other snacks to help keep me out of restaurants. My gas tank was full and I was ready to go!
I was gone for four nights instead of five, and here are my totals:
Pet related: $17.55
I ended up eating $56.32 on lodging because I left a day early. It was worth it – I wasn’t happy with it, and I wanted to be back with my brother’s family.
Of all the money I spent, the best was $10 for an outdoor tasting at the Wild Turkey Distillery!
I learned that I can travel on the cheap. I learned that I can have financial control even when my heart hurts. And I learned that I’m ready for my future travel plans to be with a partner. I saw some beautiful things, but the experience will be sweeter with the right person standing next to me.
I came out of this with no added debt, completion of my emergency fund ahead of schedule, and renewed clarity on my life in general. On to the next chapter.