Money talks differently…

To those who know me well, I can be quite the procrastinator. Sometimes I have lame, or very lame excuses. Sometimes, it’s really a matter of priority, such that if I’ve procrastinated for 2 weeks, what’s another week when I have something that’s due today?!

Well I know I been home from my 2013 Epic Journey since end of July. I have traveled to the Canadian Rockies in August and to New York City in November. But at the end of the day, I still have not sat down and done the expense summary I started while traveling to 14 different countries.

I mean, sure, the money is spent already but to some degree I want to know what percentage of my money was spent on logistics and what was spent on fun. This way, in the future, when someone ask me how to budget their trips, I can be of assistance. Also, this way I know where my money has gone.

2014 has started and I have finally began summarizing my spending on a spreadsheet. This has got me thinking…

“Why does money talk to me differently when I am traveling???”

In this lifetime, I have always lived within my means, typically frugal but also known to splurge on name brand stuff and then experience buyer’s remorse. However, I am also a pack rat, as I deem many things to be a treasure. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s been many times where I chose to not buy something, thinking I can do without it – even if it is something that’s actually a necessity. These are attachment issues that I’m currently dealing with.

All in all, I am a scrooge to myself. So more self-love is necessary in general.

Some of the leftover foreign currencies from my travels.

Some of the leftover foreign currencies from my travels.

While I was on the road for 8 months, my spending habits changed and I saw money from a different angle. How is it that there’s a different Karen Sze that emerges when I am traveling for extended period of time!?

Perhaps it was a matter of having time as a restraint. I couldn’t be my usual self and wait for a sale or check which store has the best price – so that I can save a bit of money. I mean sure, there was a few times when I was at a bus terminal, in need of a bus ticket and I checked the various bus companies to see who have the better time schedule and price. Nevertheless, more often than not, I bought what I wanted and bought what I needed.

Perhaps I was all confused with the different currency exchange and actually did not realize how much I am spending. This may have occurred when I was tired but generally, I have a cheat sheet. The cheat sheet would list out what $1, $5, $10, $20 be in Canadian currency. On the 2013 Epic journey, I had an app my smartphone which took care of the currency exchange calculations for me.

Perhaps I finally realized and accepted that sometimes money has to be spent to gain an experience. That gaining the experience is much more worthwhile in the long run. That from the experience I could gather wisdom I would not have otherwise. That sometimes, being a scrooge to myself is harmful. That I am worthy.

Regardless, of the reason why or how money speaks to me differently while I travel, what I know for sure is this:

  • Travel is capable of bringing out a different side of me.
  • Travel helps me see the mundane in a different light.
  • Travel helps me look inwardly at myself and outwardly at the world and how we interact with each other.
  • Travel helps me to Let Go.

How has travel changed you?
ORIf you haven’t traveled at all, how do you think travel may change you?

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