I’ve been in Scotland for the past week, the first time I’ve been here in about twenty years.
The first time I was here was on a break from college. I had taken a spring semester off, and was planning to transfer to a new school in the fall. My friend was living over in England for a year, and he invited me over. We spent a few weeks together traveling around continental Europe and the UK.
It wasn’t a luxury trip by any means. We routinely slept on trains and on buses to save on money, and primarily existed on baguettes and butter, which we fed to each other as we walked down the streets.
If I recall, my budget for that trip was around $25 a day. Even in 1998 dollars that feels like an obscenely small amount of money, and I was scarcely able to make do with it, but I did. It was all I had from spare money made from working at the local gas station.
A few years later, I went on a cross country road trip. We had no plan, we just drove west and went whenever fancy took us. I got to see Canada for the first time (okay, we headed north too), Chicago, Kansas City, South Dakota, and Denver. Some places I went on that trip I’ve not been back to since.
I don’t recall what my budget was for that trip, but I do know that in a week and a half, we stayed in a hotel exactly once. (Ahh, I will always remember you, Comfort Inn in Fort Morgan, CO.) The rest of the time, we just slept in the car.
Now this might seem the seventh level of hell for some of you, and that’s okay. But I bring it all up to show you that you don’t need to be older—and certainly not rich—to travel the world.