Spain

Hiking, a festival, even vegan popsicles!

We just finished up our second week here in Spain. Life is good! Time is passing quickly and we feel like we’ve been in Torremolinos for longer than a few weeks already. Perhaps it’s because we keep a full schedule of work and play, or because we like it here and feel right at home. 🙂

Pinar de los Manantiales hike

We went on our first hike in Torremolinos this past week. Kuba really likes hiking and trekking up mountains. I don’t feel like I’m in the best shape for a rigorous hike just yet, so we started out with an easy hike named Pinar de los Manantiales just outside the city centre.

Kuba found this hike through the WikiLoc app, an offline hiking app full of maps and routes of hikes around the world. This app is useful because you can use it offline, meaning you don’t need cell reception to find your way. It beeps at you if you stray too far off course, and it remembers your route if you decide to venture off the trail. That way, you’ll always be able to find your way back to where you started.

The hike had a slight incline and wasn’t too strenuous. We went further than the map recommended and climbed a bit higher, which was worth it! It took us around two hours including time to stop and film along the way. It was a nice way to break in my new Merrell shoes.

Check out Kuba’s vlog of our hike if you want to see our view of Torremolinos down below. 🙂

Playa de la Carihuela

We like to walk along the beach front promenade in the evening. Sometimes Kuba will go for a quick dip in the sea, and then we’ll toss the frisbee around until he dries off. Usually, we stick to the Playamar beach area just past Playa del Bajondillo because there’s plenty of free space for frisbee and palm trees for shade, but last week we decided to walk the other way on the promenade, South of Torremolinos toward Benalmádena and Fuengirola.

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Playa de la Carihuela didn’t seem as busy as the Bajondillo area, but it was still lined with plenty of cafés and shops. Unlike the promenade that goes along Playa del Bajondillo and Playamar, the promenade here was strictly for pedestrians only, as bikes were directed down another path. We’ll need to investigate this alternative path further as we hope to rent bikes one of these days.

We definitely prefer strolling along the beach during the week as it’s less busy. Even though we don’t visit the beach every day, I’m glad we have the opportunity to do so because the beaches here remind me of those in California. The palm trees remind me of the beaches in Santa Barbara; the wide sandy beaches remind me of Venice Beach. I feel right at “home” here. 😉

el Festival de las Culturas

This past weekend the 2nd annual Festival de las Culturas took place in Torremolinos in the Plaza de la Nogalera from Thursday to Sunday. We found out about this festival thanks to Facebook, as we regularly browse through local events just in case we find something interesting.

Various countries were represented in this festival (I think I counted 16) including Mexico, the US, Thailand, and India, among others. Typically they were represented with a food stall or artisan crafts but also with music and dance performances. We didn’t spend much time here since most of the food was meat-heavy (and the smell of grilled meat put us off) but we couldn’t resist these colourful umbrellas.

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Visiting local events like this is fun because it makes us feel less like tourists. I’m sure plenty of tourists enjoyed this event as well, but listening to music and unwinding in the plaza, which happens to be a few minutes walk from our flat, is a nice feeling. We’re never in a rush here since we have three months to soak it all in. 🙂

vegan popsicles in Fuengirola

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Fuengirola is a quick train ride down the coast so we figured why not explore the city for the first time.

Based on what I found as I browsed HappyCow, Fuengirola is full of vegan-friendly shops and cafés. A vegan-friendly popsicle shop, named Stickhouse, piqued my interest. Kuba and I both tried the chocolate popsicle, and we opted to have it freshly dipped in chocolate and rolled in almonds. Yum!

Not all of Stickhouse’s popsicles are vegan, however, but several of the fruit and chocolate ones were. The man working there was very friendly and knowledgeable about the vegan options. I haven’t had a dipped chocolate popsicle like that in years, so I was happy to indulge. 🙂

In the end, we didn’t find much else to do in Fuengirola besides walking along the beach. We just prefer the quieter beaches of Torremolinos, I guess!

That being said, I wouldn’t mind returning to Fuengirola at some point to tour the Castillo de Sohail since entry is free. (It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 – 14:00.)

the week ahead

This week we plan to visit Nerja (another resort town east of Málaga on the coast) for a hike up the Rio Chillar. We don’t have anything else set in stone besides a day trip to Madrid on the 27th. This will be my third time in the city. We are meeting up with another nomadic vegan couple, as well as revisiting some of my favourite sites. Madrid will always be special to me because it was my first trip to Madrid that inspired me to quit my job in the States and start downsizing my life. 🙂

We are considering visiting Granada or Seville as well. Do you have any recommendations for these cities or any other cities in Spain?

Thank you for reading! ❤

Our first week on Costa del Sol

We’ve been in Torremolinos just over a week now and I really like it! I feel like Kuba and I are on holiday because our work schedule is casual, we’re eating as much fresh, ripe fruit as we care for, and we walk along the beach almost every evening. 🙂

We’ll be based in Torremolinos for three months. Last summer, I hopped around Europe every couple of weeks or so. I much prefer this slower pace since we have time to relax and we’re not pressured into seeing all the sites in one go. We can take it easy and enjoy life just like the locals.

The beaches here are clean and surprisingly, they’re never too busy during the week. Calle Peligro, a winding path lined with shops and cafes, leads us to the beach from the city centre. (It’s a dangerous street, indeed, with all the stairs!) From there, we stroll along the beachfront promenade until we reach our preferred section of the beach, a bit further away from the end of Calle Peligro, since it’s always empty and perfect for frisbee. 😉

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We lucked out with the location of our flat because it’s conveniently located. We’re staying in a studio flat in a residential area next to the city centre. Walking to the beach takes us only 15-20 minutes. This flat is spacious and well-lit with a balcony. The sun shines through the window in the early morning but the flat stays nice and cool during the rest of the day.

I give you a little tour of our flat in my first Torremolinos vlog. 🙂

fruterías are life

The best part about living in our flat is that we have a little fruit shop down the street. We’ve been purchasing all of our produce from this shop because it’s much cheaper than produce at big-box stores like Mercadona. It’s also better quality and delicious. Lucky us!

Even though we’ve been eating as much fresh produce and whole foods as we like, we still have only managed to spend around €106 on food in our first week. This has to be one of the best perks of living in Spain. Keep in mind we only ate out once that week with two scoops of vegan ice cream on our way to the beach. (Couldn’t resist.) Focusing on whole plant-based foods and cooking at home means our food costs are half of what they were in the UK.

In my latest video, I explain our food expenses and what we’ve been eating during our first week in Spain. I also offer some money-saving tips to help you keep your food budget low while travelling.

Jardin Botanico Molino de Inca

We visited the botanical gardens here since they are listed as one of the “must see” attractions in Torremolinos. It only cost €1 to enter and is located a short walk from our flat. The gardens were nice, full of palm trees, and even include a small Japanese garden. Sadly, they also have wild birds in cages on display in one area of the gardens. We weren’t aware of this prior to entering, otherwise, we’d have skipped it. Just beware of that if you’re considering visiting it.

Check out Kuba’s vlog for a sneak peek of the gardens.

Parque de la Batería

We also scoped out Parque de la Batería the other day since it’s close to Carrefour, a massive supermarket full of international foods. I shopped at Carrefour when I stayed in Barcelona last summer, so I hoped we could explore the Mexican and Asian food options there. We found cheaper tortillas for our burrito bowl lunches and delicious vegan dark chocolate in their organic section. Score!

Anyways, back to the park. 😛 Parque de la Batería is the largest green space in Torremolinos so we had to visit it. We found plenty of shady park benches, water fountains, and even some California palm trees! We visited the park in the early afternoon and it was practically empty. Good for us, bad for our photos since we like to photograph people. At any rate, it was a beautiful sunny day for a walk in the park.

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We climbed the tower (which also comes equipped with a lift) for a nice view of the beach and city down below.

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a quick trip to Málaga

Málaga is a short train ride away so we ventured there this past Friday. I needed to buy some new hiking shoes (my other barefoot shoes were defective!) so we figured why not explore a new city. Our flight from London put us in Málaga but since we arrived late in the evening, we didn’t have time to walk around before heading into Torremolinos.

Málaga is a port city similar to Torremolinos with its sandy beaches and resorts. However, with a population of roughly 569,000, it’s much larger than Torremolinos by 500k.

After securing new Merrell hiking shoes at Corte Ingles, we wandered through Málaga’s Old Town and strolled through Paseo España, a shady palm-lined garden along the water. We continued on the Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso and ate cherries at La Playa de Malagueta.

We also noticed several pieces by French artist Invader. The first time I saw one of his pieces in person was when I visited Ljubljana last summer. Now I keep an eye out for them. 😉

I think I prefer the smaller city vibes of Torremolinos since the beaches here are never that busy. Still, we’ll need to revisit Málaga again before we leave this part of Spain. Fortunately, we have until the end of August.

Spain was one of my favourite destinations last summer and it still is. I could definitely see us settling down in Spain someday! Not anytime soon though, we have van plans starting next year. 😉

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Have you visited Spain’s Costa del Sol before?

What sites do you recommend?

6-month Euro trip: Where have I been?

I have less than three weeks left to go! Once I return to Scotland this December, I will have been outside the US for an entire year. Wow! And I can’t believe this six-month trip is finally coming to a close.

 

This trip hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve learned a lot about myself and have a much better idea about where I want to travel to in the future. And I feel that being apart from my boyfriend for the majority of this trip (save for the two weeks in Poland and the three other weekends we spent together) made our relationship stronger. We’ve been dating for almost nine months now yet have been apart for six! Soon I’ll dedicate a video or two detailing some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past six months. I have a lot to say about it!

I had the BEST day today exploring Wicklow Mountains National Park and the largest waterfall in Ireland with my new friend Sheila. Stay tuned for my vlog of this day trip later this week!

Thanks so much for reading my blog and watching my videos!

How much do I spend on food? Expenses for Zagreb, Split & Korčula.

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. You’ll notice that I don’t travel as if I’m on holiday. I don’t drink alcohol or coffee and I try to avoid eating out (very easy to avoid it as a raw fruit vegan!) because eating out is expensive and the portions are small.

All of my meals are ‘prepared’ at home, meaning I rinse and cut the fruit as needed. 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.

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Sweet nectarines at Rijeka’s main market. Travelling as a vegan is easy!

Please check out my previous post about food expenses for the month of August. I spent a few days in Barcelona, two weeks in Paris, a week in Ljubljana, and a week in Rijeka. 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 September.

September included a week spent in Zagreb (Sep. 1-8), two weeks in Split (Sep. 8-22), and a week in Korčula (Sep. 22-30).

I spent 2444 kunas on groceries (~£284, €325, or $365).

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.

Of course, fruits and veggies were my main staples. I’m surprised grapes narrowly beat out watermelon for the most-purchased food in September!

Fruit

  • grapes 20
  • watermelon 18
  • juice / smoothie 11
  • melons 9
  • bananas 8
  • grapefruit 5
  • kiwi 4
  • peaches 4
  • oranges 3
  • apples 2
  • lemon 2
  • limes 2
  • pears 2
  • prunes 2
  • dried cranberries 1
  • raisins 1

Veggies

  • broccoli 11
  • tomato 10
  • mushrooms 8
  • corn 3
  • cucumber 2
  • peppers 2
  • avocado 1
  • carrot 1
  • green beans 1
  • potato 1
  • zucchini 1

Miscellaneous

  • tomato sauce 1
  • gluten-free pasta 1

I ate gluten-free pasta once at the end of my first month of being raw. (And I did not feel well after eating it!) Since then I’ve eaten mainly fruit with the exception of steamed veggies (usually broccoli and mushrooms) every few days. I tried avocado for the first time in ages but hated it! I also tried boiled potatoes once I settled in Korčula and quickly realised these are definitely not for me. I can’t believe I’m not into potatoes anymore because I was obsessed with potatoes in Scotland! I also find myself less and less interested in steamed veggies. Nothing compares to the taste of fresh fruit.

I realise now that I’m still purchasing juice with abandon. Going forward, I will try to keep this expense to a minimum. Not only is juice more expensive than whole fruits, it’s not the healthiest option because it’s devoid of fiber. Consuming fruits whole is the best because the fiber moderates the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. Also, purchasing juice means I’m creating unnecessary waste because it comes in a container, whether it be a carton or bottle. I want to minimise that as much as possible.

Eating out

I only ate out once in September (a raw vegan-friendly restaurant in Zagreb) and purchased two fresh-squeezed juices from a juice bar (also in Zagreb), so I included those in the total as well. I spent a total of 118 kunas (~£14, €16, or $18). This is more than I spent last month but still reasonable. I don’t plan on eating out at a proper restaurant again because I didn’t feel well after my meal. It was raw vegan and tasty but too high in fat for me. My head felt congested immediately after finishing it.

For October, my goals are to drink less juice and to focus on fruit over steamed veggies.

Total money spent on food for September = 2562 kunas (~£297, €340, or $382).


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 -£100 (€119) including eating out (lattes) occasionally.
  • Berlin – €128. Around €24 of this total was for eating out.
  • Poland – 120 zloty (€48.14). 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 – 480 kunas (€64). I spent one week in Rijeka and ate out once (a smoothie).
  • Zagreb, Croatia – 651 kunas (€87) including eating out once and two fresh-squeezed juices from the juice bar that week.
  • Split, Croatia – 569 kunas (€76). I spent two weeks in Split and spent 1138 kunas total. I didn’t eat out a single time!
  • Korčula, Croatia – 773 kunas (€103) spent during my first week in Korčula. Only groceries, no eating out.

So far Poland and the Balkan countries have been the cheapest when it comes to fruits and vegetables. The local markets in Ljubljana, and all the cities I’ve visited so far in Croatia had top quality produce for reasonable prices. I’d much rather be on the mainland just for the markets, but I can’t beat the island’s scenery and chill vibes.

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Dolac market in Zagreb.

I’m surprised to find out that I’m spending more money in Croatia than I initially planned. Comparing weekly averages, I spent more in Zagreb, Split, and Korčula than I did in Rijeka. But why?

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia so perhaps food is more expensive there because it’s a larger city. Markets make a difference in food costs as well. Most of my food in Zagreb came from a shop, unlike my food in Split since I visited the market daily for watermelon. None of my food in Korčula came from a market. Also, produce on the island of Korčula happens to be more expensive because most (if not all) of it is imported from the mainland.

It’s worth mentioning that I still had two days’ worth of fruit stocked up at the end of the month. I didn’t need to venture out to purchase more food until October 3rd.

How much do you spend on food while travelling?

You create your own reality. Take the first step today.

This time last year I had a few short months before I would leave the States for Scotland. Most days I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and it hasn’t even been a year yet since I started travelling internationally full-time.

By the time I graduated high school in 2002, the extent of my international travel included living in Japan for a year or so and visiting Italy and Greece on a school trip.

My first trip abroad as an adult was in October 2014. I visited Madrid and Barcelona with my friend Christina for about a week. This trip is what inspired me to quit my job!

I returned to Madrid five months later. I spent a few days in Madrid, a few days in London, and then travelled to Edinburgh. This was my first time visiting the UK. I returned home knowing I’d soon depart the States for full-time travel a few months down the line. I purchased my one-way ticket soon after I returned, and began planning my move to Glasgow in December.

At this point, I had visited or lived in six countries other than the US: Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, England, and Scotland.

By the time this 6-month Euro trip ends, I will have added six more countries to this list: Germany, Poland, France, Slovenia, Croatia, and Ireland. And then I’m off to Thailand!

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Palma de Mallorca has been one of my favourite destinations on this Euro trip. I can’t wait to visit again!

From high school until the moment I booked my first trip to Spain, 12 years later, I travelled around the US but never considered the possibility of travelling abroad. Mistakenly, I assumed trips like this would cost too much money, that I could never afford it, and I didn’t necessarily want to take off work for a trip anyway. I was too focused on work. I liked working hard because that’s the type of person I am, and I love learning new things so pushing myself at work was always my focus, no matter my career. I wanted to keep climbing the ladder so to speak. Not only would work be more challenging the higher I climbed, I’d earn more money.

Now that I’ve completely changed my way of living, I realise my focus back then was misplaced. My life is incredibly simple now that I’m a minimalist and raw vegan. It doesn’t feel like it at times because I’m bouncing around Europe, but my worries are far less now that I’ve streamlined my life.

This transformation wasn’t easy and didn’t happen overnight. My life now isn’t a product of luck or chance, I worked hard to get to this point. All of my ‘mistakes’ in the past taught me invaluable lessons and shaped me into the person I am today.

It doesn’t matter where you are at this moment, if you are unhappy about anything in your life, take steps to change it. Don’t waste time complaining about it, actually get up and do something to improve your situation. It’s never too late to completely change your life.

But to do so you must take that first step. Maybe it’s quitting your job after working there for years unsatisfied, maybe it’s opening up a savings account and creating a budget, or maybe it’s cleaning out your closet and donating all the clothes you never wear. If you don’t take that first step, you’ll NEVER change your life. We all need to start somewhere, so take that first step today!

You alone control your destiny, so take charge, be patient, and put in the work.

Nearly a year has gone by since I began this journey. By next summer, my boyfriend and I plan to visit Italy and Bosnia before travelling to Panama. A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined that THIS would be my life. I’m grateful to be in this position and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Want to be inspired? Check out these posts:

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!