Monday, November 30, 2015
Wow, it has been a while since I have written a blog. It’s been pretty non stop since the traveling started. November 11th I boarded a plane in NY to Gatwick airport in London, England. Pretty scary really, given that I only had a one way, one time passport that was taken from me at the UK Border. A lot of people think that this trip should be easy for me, but the truth of the matter is, when I left England I was 16. The only time that I have flown international, and come back to England has been when my mother arranged and paid for it. My dad, or partner at the time, brought me to the airport, and family was waiting on the other side for my arrival. I had never counted on myself, solely, to navigate my way using public transportation. I’d never had to trust myself to make sure that I was okay, and would arrive where I needed to arrive, and needless to say, I was pretty nervous. All of this is really outside of my comfort zone.
Luckily for me, I do have family in this country, and my first initial destination was to my Aunt’s house. In some ways, there was comfort in knowing that, and in others there was a different kind of fear. The last time I had seen my aunt was when I was 15. We’d had very limited contact even when we were in touch, and next to none for the last 20 years. My cousins are grown adults, and I knew almost nothing about my Uncle Paul. Being invited to stay with them in Christchurch was financially supportive of my traveling frugal blog, but emotionally, it was a risk that I really didn’t talk much about.
Hattan Hostel has been pretty successful so far, and I’m extremely grateful for all of Jackie’s hard work on site. The bookings in Mississippi have slowed down, I assume because it is winter time, but I did expect some traffic for snowbird season. The weather there is in the 70s.. maybe people aren’t sick of the cold yet. The price point is as low as it could possibly be, so at this point its time to turn it over to my higher power, and know that there is a reason for it to be vacant.
So far England has been amazing. Better than I anticipated. Spending a day in London was something I have done with my dad as a small child, but I don’t remember anything about it. This trip was with my cousin, and her first time sight seeing the city also. We woke up around 5am to catch a bus into Bournemouth from Christchurch. From Bournemouth we took a coach for 2 hours into the City of London, and began our rainy but fun day seeing the sights. I’ll write a specific guide to seeing London on a Dime once I have finished writing this overall update.
Altogether I stayed in the south of England for a week. I got to spend quality time with family, see London, spend a day at Durdle Door .. a BEAUTIFUL landscape of cliffs at the Southern end of England, and become acclimated to the British way of life.
The total out of pocket from NYC to the end of my first week in England, flight cost included is:
Flight – $286
Snacks for traveling – $7.25
England socket converter to charge my electronics – $10
Bus from London to Bournemouth – $22
Wok and Roll lunch – $6
Train fare from Bournemouth to Christchurch – $5
Breakfast before London – $4
Lodging with family was free
Food for the most part was free – we brought lunch and dinner with us to London and to Durdle Door
Return trip to London via coach – $35
Sight seeing hop on hop off bus tour of London – $45 (something I usually wouldn’t pay for, but given the rain, it was well worth the free bus rides to each attraction, and the free River Thames cruise that allowed me to get some amazing photos while having shelter to duck under.. not to mention the dry comedy of the boat guide)
Teatime – $4
Shopping for a scarf and hat – $12
Postcards and stamps – $20
Week 1 – $456 ($170 without the flight)