Hey y’all! I know a lot of you have been curious about what the hell I’m doing with my life right now, as you’ve seen on my Instagram stories that I just packed up my life for a month, sublet my apartment and had no real set plan. Probably gave some of you a bit of anxiety, but don’t worry… I’ve figured it out.
So, I’ll start with WHY I’m being a gypsy for a month and why my apartment is sublet. I briefly touched on my breakup in my 2017 recap, but I didn’t go into full detail about what my plans were before the breakup. As of 6 months ago, I was supposed to be moving to Nashville this spring. Back in the fall, my ex and I had listed our apartment to sublet it out, so that we could test out Nashville for a month or two before we took the plunge. We had a few people interested in the sublet, but then he and I ended up going our separate ways.
When we broke up, I had 3 days to let my apartment know whether or not I was subletting still, so I just decided to do it and knew I’d figure it out once the time came. So, here we are! I’ve decided to stay in Chicago for another year, so I will be going back to my apartment after this month, but decided to take this time to do some traveling! I’m using my family’s place in Florida as a home base this month, but will be spending most of my time in Europe!
A lot of you have been curious as to how I can just set off to Europe for two to three weeks at a time. I am fortunate enough to have the flexibility at my day job to work from home, so when I am traveling for these 3 weeks, I’m actually not planning on taking much time off from work. I plan to do some exploring and see friends during the day and on weekends and then still work regular EST hours during the week, which would be 3 pm- 11 pm in Europe.
Another question I have been getting a lot is how I afford to travel so much. First off, I utilize Airbnb to rent my apartment out whenever I can, especially when I go on long trips like this one. That way, instead of paying rent when I’m not there, someone else is paying it, and I can use that money towards my travels! The best part about traveling so much… is that it makes it easier and easier to travel so much. The reason for this is the connections you make along the way. You end up meeting people similar to you, who share your love for adventures and exploring and you create this instant bond. I always tend to feel a deeper connection with people I travel with. I also always welcome my travel friends into my home when they are traveling to Chicago, and they tend to do the same. I have met travel friends who I’ve gone back and stayed with in countless US cities, Germany, Spain, England, Australia, Thailand, Bali, and the Czech Republic. Staying with friends really cuts down the costs of traveling, so it helps me stretch my budget, which allows me to travel longer and more frequently.
If you haven’t started traveling and making these connections yet, there are still other ways. When I travel to new places where I don’t know anyone, I try to travel with groups of friends, that way you can split the cost of your accommodations multiple ways. If you don’t have friends that want to travel with you, try looking into volunteer programs in other countries. I volunteered in Peru for 3 weeks a few years ago through IVHQ, and it was extremely affordable. I think it came out to $25 a night to stay in the volunteer house and that included all of your meals!
So next week, I’ll be hopping across the pond to visit 6 different cities in Europe, 5 of which I’ve been to before. I’ll be staying with local friends at their houses in 3 of the cities, 2 of the cities I’ll be sharing an Airbnb with my American friends and 1 city I’ll be doing on my own. To get an idea of how much I spend while traveling and how I am affording this… I’ve booked almost all of my flights/trains/buses, and accommodations and I am at about $1,500 so far… for 7 cities and 2.5 weeks of travel, that’s pretty amazing! A lot of times you can’t even get round-trip flights to Europe for that much! The “subletters” are paying me $2,000 for their time there, so the way I’m looking at it, I still have $500 to spare! Again, the fact that I can stay with friends for so much of this trip is realllllllly helping me budget wise.
I’m super excited to show you guys around next week because I’ll be visiting 3 of my favorite cities of all time and seeing some of my favorite people! Many people don’t like to go back to places they’ve already been before because they want to explore new places, but personally, I LOVE going back to places I’ve already been before. Every time is a different experience and each visit you feel more and more at home in that city. Don’t get me wrong, I love exploring new places, but there’s something special about feeling comfortable and at home in a city that’s not yours.
As for WHERE I’m actually going, you’ll have to wait just a littleeee longer. I’ll be posting three posts this week about my trip, where I’m going, why they’re special to me and what I’m most excited about this time around, so stay tuned xoxo!