My travel plans for next year + daily vlogs.

As I mentioned previously on this blog, travelling as a nomad on a budget requires an extraordinary amount of planning and organisation. Not only do I need to purchase decently priced transportation, I need to secure affordable accommodation and research how long I’m legally able to reside in each location, meaning I must research travel visa requirements at a minimum.

I’m already pricing flights because I plan to start exploring South America by this time next year. While one could travel as a nomad without planning in advance, this will almost always result in more money spent for transportation, especially when it comes to flights. I plan on buying my transatlantic flight by December, approximately nine months in advance of my tentative departure date.

Panama City will be my first destination across the Atlantic. I still have a year until I get to that point, so where will I be in the meantime?

I return to Scotland this December for a few weeks and then head to Thailand for three weeks with my boyfriend. After Thailand, I return to Scotland once again and will remain in Scotland (with possible trips elsewhere in the UK) until the end of May.

At that point, Kuba plans to start travelling with me full-time. We have tentative plans to visit Italy and Bosnia, and I’m pretty sure we’ll end up in Slovenia and Croatia because I’d like to revisit some of my favourite places, namely Ljubljana and Zagreb, with him by my side.

Daily travel vlogs are on the horizon!

Kuba (@minimalismjunky on Instagram) and I are both newbies when it comes to YouTube. We’re committed to our channels because we hope that we can inspire others to eat more fruit, set goals, and fulfil their dreams whatever they may be. We want to show you and others that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.

While my YouTube channel primarily deals with my fruitarian lifestyle and the food I eat, Kuba’s channel focuses on minimalist travel. He did several vlogs while he visited me in Split, Croatia. (I rewatch these videos almost every day here since I miss him so much! How fun will it be to look back on them years from now?)




Kuba will post vlogs during our Thailand trip, as well, and plans to vlog daily once we leave Scotland next summer. If you’re curious about how two minimalist fruit vegans get on, check them out and subscribe! Thanks!

I have no idea where we’ll end up after Panama, but I do know we want to visit as much of Central and South America as we can, spend some time in Mexico and Canada, and eventually visit my sisters in the States.

I would love to call Scotland my home because of the friends I’ve made there, but the weather isn’t conducive to a fruitarian lifestyle. That’s one of the reasons why we’re attracted to Panama. The weather is warm and tropical fruit is available in abundance. Also, Kuba has lived in Scotland for years so he’s ready for a change of pace.

I’m excited for this next year! I want it to pass by quickly but at the same time, I need to remember to appreciate all the moments leading up to next summer. I have plenty to look forward to in the next few months, including Dubrovnik, Dublin, and visits from Kuba and my lovely friends Ivy and Leo!

I hope you have a great weekend! Stay fruity.

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Travelling alone as a woman.

I am halfway through this 6-month Euro trip. I’m so glad that I only have three more months to go. I’ve learned so much during this trip and feel like I’m a completely different person now than when I started. I’ve grown tremendously because of all the new situations I’ve faced.

I’ve lived and travelled alone for most of my adult years, but this trip has been more difficult because I don’t have anyone around to comfort me in person when times get rough. Even when I moved around and travelled before, I had friends or family in every location, or I’d stay in a location for long enough to make new friendships. Now as I travel through Europe, I don’t have anyone by my side. (I am grateful that my boyfriend visits me every few weeks and fortunate that I’ve made a few friends along the way.)

With the exception of Poland, I’ve visited all locations on my own. Travelling alone as a woman has been challenging. All women are susceptible to catcalls, harassment, and leering anytime they are out in public. I’ve been subjected to this no matter where I lived in the States, and this trip has been no different.

Some examples of what I’ve dealt with since leaving Scotland: men making kissing noises at me from their cars as I walk by, men sitting next to me on a park bench (when there are plenty of other places to sit) and starting to chat with me as I’m wearing headphones eating lunch. The same men offering to walk with me through the city. Men leering at me and every other woman on the metro. Men straight up gawking at women sunbathing topless on the beach. It doesn’t matter if this unwanted attention is directed at me or at other women. It makes me sick every time I notice it.

I don’t immediately assume that a man is a creep just because he wants to talk to me in public, but 9/10 times this is the case. The worst case was in Barcelona. In general, Barcelona was bad because I wouldn’t be outside for more than 5 minutes before a man would catcall me. I’m serious, this isn’t an exaggeration. I was eating watermelon on a bench, minding my own business, and an older man sat on the same bench and commented on the watermelon (in Spanish). I figured he was just being friendly so I engaged in conversation. I was excited to have a full-blown conversation in Spanish with someone other than my flatmates.

We had fairly mundane chit-chat about watermelon until he asked me if I had a boyfriend. I explained that yes, I do have a boyfriend and that we are madly in love. Then he started bringing up how ridiculous it is for me to be in Barcelona, without my boyfriend, when there are so many other men available there. And that I should be worried that my boyfriend isn’t in Barcelona with me because he probably has another girlfriend by now.

I tried to convince him that none of this worries me and that I definitely am not interested in other men EVER, hoping he would just leave me alone with my watermelon. Then he started commenting on my tattoos and my body. Telling me how much he liked my tattoos and that I was very fit, all the while eyeing me up and down as I tried to eat my watermelon.

Eventually, he seemed to get the hint that I definitely wasn’t interested in flirting with him, so he started to leave but then asked me for a kiss. I said no, but he insisted that it’s customary in Spanish culture. I told him no. He asked for a kiss on the cheek and on the lips, and I said no. He asked me several times before he set off. He asked me if I’d be in the same place in the following days so he can see me.

I felt pressured to just keep ‘being nice’ even though I felt terribly uncomfortable. We were in a public place so I’m not sure if making a scene would have helped the situation. Now I realise I should have just left, but at the time I didn’t consider that. I was there first, and I didn’t want to assume he had any bad intentions.

This is what happens when I assume men just want to ‘chat’ about something like watermelon.

I don’t know why this is so hard for some men to understand, but if you see a woman alone in public, perhaps she’s wearing headphones, completely absorbed in her phone or food, do NOT speak to her. She doesn’t want to talk to you, or anyone. Leave her alone. If you see a woman sitting alone on a park bench, and there are plenty of other places to sit, do NOT sit next to her and start a chat. Sit anywhere else. Women are allowed to exist alone in public. They don’t need a man to entertain them.

All the big cities I visited were worse than the smaller ones when it comes to street harassment. I guess this makes sense because more people = more creeps (maybe?). In Paris, I got to the point where I was being bothered by men every time I walked through the city so I had no desire to go outside and explore. I couldn’t even go to the shop down the street without a man bothering me.

Once, one started walking side by side with me, saying hello to me multiple times as he walked next to me. I completely ignored him but he kept saying hello, then eventually got fed up, muttered something to me in French, and sped up. Men stared me up and down as I passed them on the street, then they’d turn around on the bench so they could continue watching me. I’d notice men sitting on benches, commenting and critiquing every woman that walked in front of them. I’d even adjust my course if I saw men sitting on a park bench and walk behind them, yet they would turn around to watch me.

While it’s true that anyone with functioning eyeballs can look at anyone else in public, the point is NO ONE should stare like that. If I notice someone attractive, I don’t stare at them and undress them with my eyes, especially if they notice me looking at them! Noticing men leering at me makes me feel gross. Not that dressing a certain way justifies leering eyes, but I don’t dress in revealing clothing at all. I could wear a burlap sack and still get harassed on the street.

If you’re a woman reading this, you know how often stuff like this happens. If you’re a man who doesn’t catcall women, you probably had no idea how prevalent this is. It doesn’t matter what you wear, where you are, or how obviously uninterested you are in the rest of the world at that time. You will get whistled at, leered at, followed, or talked to by some creep.

People have told me: Well, what do you expect? You’re a woman travelling alone. That’s the way it is. That doesn’t make me feel better about the situation! What else can I do…? Does this mean I shouldn’t travel alone, ever?

Some days I don’t want to go outside, or I want to completely cover myself (as if this would prevent creeps from leering). Dealing with this on a daily basis stresses me out. I feel bad about myself because I’m powerless to stop them. There’s nothing I can do to prevent it, short of never leaving the flat. I can’t yell at them or combat them in the street because this won’t change their behaviour and they are looking to get a rise out of me anyway. In my experience, the only way to avoid street harassment as a woman is to have another man by your side.

Some have suggested that catcalling is a cultural thing and that I should have expected it in Spain. Not only is that prejudiced, but it’s completely untrue because catcalling happens EVERYWHERE. I would hope respecting women would be a universal truth, but sadly we will never get to that point. The best we can do is share our stories with other women to sympathise with them, and with other men to let them know how terrible men can be. Women experience this world differently than men, and it is anything from desirable.

So far, I’ve only had one issue with men as I travelled in the Balkan region. In Ljubljana, a man sat RIGHT NEXT to me at a bus stop (when there were plenty of other empty seats there) and stared directly at my chest. It wasn’t a quick glance, he continued to stare even though I watched him do this. I immediately got up and moved to another seat, far away, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

I didn’t have any issues in Rijeka and none in Zagreb (so far), so things are looking up. I hope the rest of my time in Croatia goes smoothly. Even though the first half of the trip was troublesome because I had to deal with annoying creeps on a daily basis, this isn’t enough to deter me from travelling alone in the future. Women should be able to travel alone and we shouldn’t have to change what we want because men are creeps.

I have no desire to return to Berlin, Barcelona, or Paris ever again, at least on my own because the harassment was too much for me. That being said, once I return to Scotland in December, I won’t ever need to travel alone because my boyfriend will be with me 24/7. I am definitely looking forward to that!

Food expenses for Paris, Ljubljana & Rijeka.

I track every penny I spend because this is the only way I can effectively travel on a budget. As I mentioned in my three-part post, The secret to living as a nomad, minimising expenses and managing your money are necessary if you want to travel this way.

I want to show you how much I spend on food while travelling through Europe to give you a better perspective about the cost of healthy whole foods. Healthy eating is my priority no matter where I am so I will pay whatever costs necessary. Fortunately, eating primarily fruits and veggies while travelling is affordable! Being vegan isn’t expensive.

Please check out my previous post about food expenses for the month of July. I spent a few days in Berlin, two weeks in Palma and the rest of the time in Barcelona. This will give you a better idea how much food costs in each location.

At the end of this post, I include a summary of how much I spent per week in every location I’ve visited since I left the States.


My food expenses for August.

August included time spent in Barcelona (Aug. 1-3), two weeks in Paris (Aug. 3-17), a week in Ljubljana (Aug. 17-24), and a week in Rijeka (Aug. 24-31).

I spent €382.29 on groceries (~£321.60 or $426.04). It was €318.10 plus 480.28 kunas. Croatian currency is kunas.

These are the foods I purchased followed by a number representing how many times I purchased that item. Sometimes I purchased bags of peaches in one go, so the number doesn’t represent how many peaches I bought, instead it represents how many times I purchased them. I hope that makes sense! This is to show you which foods I ate the most.

Fruits and veggies were my main staples. Notice I still purchased foods like gluten-free pasta, rice, and other HCLF treats like puffed corn cakes because I wasn’t fully raw for all of August. I switched to 100% raw on August 8th.

Fruit

  • peaches 15
  • melons 13
  • watermelon 13
  • juice / smoothie 12
  • grapes 11
  • bananas 5
  • limes 5
  • lemon 3
  • kiwi 2
  • raspberries 2
  • strawberry
  • apple chips
  • apricots
  • cherries
  • cranberries, dried
  • dates
  • figs
  • oranges
  • pears

Veggies

  • peppers 11
  • tomato 11
  • corn 8
  • cucumber 7
  • broccoli 4
  • mushrooms 4
  • carrot
  • cilantro
  • zucchini

Miscellaneous

  • tomato sauce 4
  • gluten-free pasta 3
  • corn cakes
  • hummus
  • rice

Eating out

I only ate out twice in August. I spent a total of €10.09 (~£8.49 or $11.25). I had smoothies in the Barcelona airport for €6.5 and a smoothie in Rijeka for 26 kunas. This is a huge improvement from the previous month, where I spent €65 eating out.

Total money spent on food for August = €392.38 (~£330.09 or $437.29).

How does this compare to food expenses elsewhere?

This is approximately how much I spent on food per week in all the locations I’ve visited since I left the States:

  • Scotland – €119 (£100) including eating out (lattes) occasionally.
  • Berlin – €128 (including eating out). Around €24 of this total was for eating out.
  • Poland – €48.14 (210 zloty). My boyfriend and I would spend around 60 zloty per day on food for both of us, so this is an estimation.
  • Spain – €92.87 including eating out (lots of vegan ice cream!). I spent four weeks in Spain, two in Palma and two in Barcelona. I spent €371.46 total.
  • Paris – €106.33. I spent two weeks in Paris and spent €212.65 total. I didn’t eat out at all!
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia – €78.98. I spent one week in Ljubljana and didn’t eat out.
  • Rijeka, Croatia – €64.17 (480.28 kunas). I spent one week in Rijeka and ate out once (a smoothie).

So far Poland and Croatia have been the cheapest countries when it comes to groceries. I’m looking forward to spending the next two months in Croatia because I’ll be able to save some money, all while eating as much fresh produce as I desire.

Expect to spend much more on food while travelling if you eat out regularly or drink alcohol or coffee. Not only should you avoid these for the sake of your budget, your health will greatly benefit as well!