Hunter worked all last summer and lived with in what I have been informed is a shockingly inadequate allowance all year in order to save enough money to backpack around Europe this summer. He and three friends had the whole thing planned. They would go lots of places and see lots of football. France is hosting the Eurocup. Seems that’s as specific as 20 year old boys get.
Guess it’s a good thing they didn’t put more effort into it as one by one all his buddies dropped out. Being a good ish mother and travel junkie, I agreed to go with him for the first 3 weeks. But only under my conditions. We would travel on his budget (or as close as I could stomach) and we had to have a purpose. It could be anything… A visit to the largest church in each town, a beer in the oldest bar or finding a souvenir fridge magnet in a tat shop. His choice.
Hunter decided to try and qualify for the traveler’s century club. Started in 1954, this club is open to anyone who has visited 100 countries and some specific territories . Hunter already had a pretty good start. It seemed like a worthy goal.
Well, shoot me. I have traditionally been a slow traveler…. Stay a few days, get to know a neighbourhood. And I have always splurged as much as I could possibly justify.
As I write this I am halfway through a 5 hour bus trip going from Riga to Vilnius. We’ve been on the road for 8 days ; Lithuania will be our 6th country. More on these places we’ve visited in future blog posts. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:
- Budget travel takes way more research
- No one cares about dollars, the Euro is king
- Hunter looks at his phone more than out the window
- Airbnb’s are amazing but don’t have blow dryers.
- I can survive everyday being a bad hair day
- Microsoft thinks my email is being hacked in each new place and freezes my accounts
- Unfreezing Microsoft is a nightmare
- Bags get exponentially heavier the longer you carry them. (Thank you Hunter for all your help)
- I can travel even lighter
- Adventure is always worth it, and
- Traveling with your child, no matter how crazy you may make each other, is the greatest luxury life gives you.