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Oct 07 2013

The Day I Blew my Travel Budget… Big Time!

It was just one of those days…

A couple of days before, I pulled my sunglasses out of my handbag where they were safely stored, or so I thought, and found one of the arms was missing.  I couldn’t and still can’t work out how it happened.

Broken sunglassesFor the next two days, I continued to use them, minus one arm.  I must have looked really silly but I thought it was funny.  It was the fact that they wouldn’t stay put that was the problem.   I had thought of trying to repair them myself but the superglue I carry with me wouldn’t have worked and the duct tape might stick to my hair, which would be painful, so I knew that at some point some I would need to buy some new ones.  I did but it was one of those expenses I hadn’t budgeted for.

I was in a town specifically to visit the national park it borders and thought I could do that independently.  I found out that I could but it would cost me.  I couldn’t get a bus and the only way up was to hire a car or pay a taxi driver to take me.  I could have just left the next day and not seen the national park but I really wanted to.  That was the whole point of me being there.  In the end, I decided to go for it and just do it.  I didn’t have any choice.  I managed to make a deal with a taxi driver to take me to the national park and then to the city where I could catch a train to my destination.  He said that he could take me to my next destination via a viewpoint that would give me a spectacular view of the lake… but it would cost me extra.  Hmmm… I had to think for a while.

I went to see the amazing view in Lovćen National Park and it was well worth it, as you can see.
Lovćen National Park
What was I going to do next?  My brain was working hard, weighing up the cost and the consequences of going and not going.  If there was at least one other person with me, it would have been a no-brainer.  For more than one person, it was really good value for money and wouldn’t have taken long to make the decision but it was just me.   After a lot of debating, and I mean a lot of debating, I decided to go for it.  I was wooed by the photos opps and would have to tighten the purse strings elsewhere – decision made!

I actually had no idea that we would be taking a windy and poorly maintained road.  There were potholes galore and the driver was manoeuvring the car to avoid them.  Then the road began to twist and turn with some hairpin bends thrown in for good measure.  The road improved as the journey continued but the view… well, that was definitely worth it.

Lake Skadar

The driver was great and stopped often so I could take some video footage as well as photos.  We had a longer stop at Rijeka Crnojevica, which was the perfect place to walk around and take more photos, especially of the lake and the old bridge, Stari Most.

Rijeka Crnojevica

The journey continued around the lake, stopping periodically for more photos, before reaching my destination, Virpazar.

Normally, I’m really good at searching for accommodation that meets my needs for the best price but, as it was ‘blow my budget day’, I plumped for the first one I came across.  I am sure that if I had walked around, I would have gotten a better deal but I just couldn’t be bothered.  Not great for someone who had decided to tighten her purse strings!  Oh well, I had an AMAZING day and definitely not something I would regret.  It was worth every penny, even though it blew my budget.

In the end, it wasn’t my budget that concerned me the most but the fact that it wasn’t the most eco-friendly way to travel, with one person in a car.  I tried to find other travellers but there weren’t any where I was staying so, knowing what I know now, I would book a tour that would take in those sites to reduce the impact on the environment.

Have your say

Have you had days like that?  I love to hear your stories.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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