kamila

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Stop looking inside my pocket!

I’ve been meaning to write this post since my last trip to the Balkans (Macedonia and Kosovo) that I still haven’t talked about in here. Back then I was buzzing with emotions and probably also with anger but as the time has passed everything just faded away. Now I’m in the Balkans again, travelling solo through Albania (and next Macedonia and Serbia), all the negativeness came back and I really need to get it out of my chest.

cafe in Pristina, Kosovo
cafe in Pristina, Kosovo

I don’t know if this is only the Polish thing and if it is I’m sorry for bitching about my own nation. I hardly ever say bad things about my country and people but there are few exceptions and this is one of them. Every time I meet a Polish people during my travels (and that’s especially if I’m in the Balkans or Caucasus…) one of the first questions after the usual what’s your name is how much was your ticket to this destination. And if I paid more that this person I’m always welcomed with a silly smile, like I’m a loser because I’ve spent 10€ more. And the ticket is just the top of the iceberg, then come questions about everything else: transportation, accommodation, entrance fee and so on, and so on.

money in Transnistria
Even in Transnistria, a country that doesn’t exist, you need to pay for things, with their own currency

During my last trip to Macedonia I met a fellow Polish traveler. Of course he immediately asked me how much I’m paying for the accommodation in Skopje. When I said 16€ he literally laughed at me as he paid half this price. But he didn’t consider that I was staying directly in the center and had my own en suite room while he had to walk at least 20 minutes to the main sights and he was sharing a dorm room with 5 other people. He didn’t consider all the factors, only the price was important. We’ve been stumbling across each other for the whole week and eventually were on the same flight from Pristina – every time we’ve met he always asked me about money, like there were no other interesting topics to discuss and he had any right to look inside my pocket. Maybe he tried to look cool in my eyes, showing me how cheap he can travel and how silly I am for not doing the same but honestly I found him simply stupid.

Skopje
Skopje, Macedonia – one of my favorite cities to return to!

I’ve been having similar stories for ages. And I’m not the only one. Earlier this year when I was flying from Berlin to Croatia half of the plane were Polish people and I kept hearing conversations about ticket prices for all the time. I’ve scored crazy cheap tickets there too, 20€ for return, but this didn’t mean I kept bragging everyone around and making fun of them if they paid more. Yet I’ve heard few more times when people laughed at their fellow passengers that they paid 25€ for one way ticket instead of 10€. Come on, 25€ is still very cheap for the international flight! Or when a friend of mine (also a blogger, at Daleko Niedaleko, who currently lives in Zanzibar) decided to visit Uganda and shared her plans on her Facebook page she immediately got comments asking how much was the ticket. Of course she was judged that she has spent way too much money on it and she is crazy for paying that much (I don’t remember the price now but is it really important?) It was her money and she could do whatever she wanted to with them!!! Now I’m solo in Albania and the country is full of Polish tourists. And I keep hearing these conversations for all the time: in the restaurants, when visiting sights or simply sitting on the beach. And they just drive me crazy!

goryle_03
Ewa’s picture from Uganda – gorillas are already a good reason to go there, aren’t they?

I don’t want to be a hypocrite here, I also used to travel on a very tight budget and counted every single penny. But I’ve never judged anyone and what they do with money they’ve earned. I still am a frugal traveler but I’m spending my money wise. I’d stay in a cheaper accommodation but would pay extra for a private room. I’m looking at the location and prefer to be closer to sights. But if I feel like splurging every once in a while I don’t have a problem with that. I choose public transport over taxis and I do my research on restaurants but sometimes I’m willing to pay extra for a lovely view to accompany me with my meal or coffee (like right now as I’m sitting above the beach in Ksamil with the beautiful view of Ionian sea and Corfu island in Greece). But these all are my mindful travel choices, no one but me should care about them and I really shouldn’t be explaining myself to anyone.

Ksamil, Albania
My view when writing this post in Ksamil, Albania

Recently one of my best friends wrote a perfect post telling how come he has money for travels. These were just few sentences that can be sum up with two words: I work and I save. And that’s the key to success. I work really hard (sometimes too hard actually) so I can travel the world and write such random posts from places like Albania. And when I do travel I want it to be the way I choose it to be, even if it means spending a little bit extra that the lowest possible price. But that’s my problem, not yours so stop caring about my (and everyone else) money and deal with your own finances! And if you want to spend as little as possible on your trips that’s more than fine for me! Just don’t try to make me feel guilty of what I’m doing with my money just because I’m different than you.

Have you also heard similar stories about your travels? Or maybe they are other things you hear that keep bugging you?


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3 Paź '16

There are 52 Comments.

  1. 23:33 03/10/2016

    It was about 500 USD, return flight from Zanzibar to Entebbe. I was not able to book much in advance (could have been a bit cheaper) and I was totally not flexible with the dates but hey, I thought, that it is a great chance to see the endangered mountain gorillas so I just went for it. I think it was worth every dollar!But yeah, I heard comments that it is too expensive. So what? Might be, but this was the money I was ready to spend to fulfill my dreams :) What’s wrong with that?

    By the way, go and visit Corfu if you can. It’s beautiful :)
    Ewa latest post…Garść informacji praktycznych o ZanzibarzeMy Profile

    • kami
      21:59 04/10/2016

      nothing is wrong with you :) and at least you made your dreams come true!

      Sadly no Corfu for me this time. But one day who knows :)

  2. ‘Love the post Kami, and the topic!

    Quite frankly, I don’t really care how much other people spend. I did my GAP year travel, years ago when things were awfully cheap where I used to pay $2.00 per night. In Prague! Now, I’m more established and I don’t, or want to pay, for sharing a dorm room or shared bathroom anymore lol! Last year, we went to the Baltic States and I took taxis everywhere. The cost €3-€5.00. I’m not waiting for a bus when the price is that cheap lol!

    Same goes for Thailand. Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train – $25.00. Bangkok to Chiang Mai by plane – $25.00. Guess which one I took?
    Victoria @The British Berliner latest post…51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!My Profile

    • kami
      22:02 04/10/2016

      Thank you! I really feel we shouldn’t explain our choices to anyone and I can totally get why you took taxis in the Baltics or flew in Thailand, I’d probably do the same now!

  3. Whaaat? 20 Euro for a return ticket from Berlin to Croatia? That’s AT LEAST two times too much, you posh, profligate travel blogger ;)

    Good post, your money – your decisions. If I want to eat a steak on a silver plate sitting on top of Mount Everest and I have the money and I’m willing to spend them on that, that’s nobody else’s business.

    Cheers!
    Przemek latest post…Kanion Antylopy i Horseshoe Bend, czyli dojechaliśmy do PageMy Profile

    • kami
      22:05 04/10/2016

      I know, I overpaid! Shame on me! ;)

      True that! But you know that if you do it, you will have 80% people around you commenting how crazy (=stupid) you are for wasting that money!

  4. I don’f often meet Polish people during my holiday as I usually travel far away, but when I went to… Slovakia I was surprised to by asked this question by every Polish persn I talked to (three in total).
    Monika latest post…Why are you going there?My Profile

    • kami
      22:06 04/10/2016

      I usually tend to avoid Polish people during my travels (partly because of these questions) but sometimes I do talk to them or hear other conversations and somehow always the topic comes up…

  5. Finally! ;-D so funny because when I started reading your article I immediately had the image of this guy in my mind that we met and there he comes! so annoying to be asked all those questions all the time. some people spend money on clothes and new handbags, I spend for travel, full stop. and I think saving like crazy when you’re on site (like this guy did) is just.. not why I travel. it’s like going to the beach to sunbathe and exposing only your left side to the sun. not for me.
    Kinga latest post…5 top tips for preparing for your next solo extreme adventureMy Profile

    • kami
      18:52 17/10/2016

      True. But if he wants to do that – that’s his decision and we’re not the ones to judge it, just like he shouldn’t comment on our travel choices!

  6. Dobra. A ile dałaś za ten bilet? ;)

  7. Mam wrażenie, że to pokłosie mody na tanie podróżowanie okraszone polskim cwaniactwem. Ja się na szczęście nie spotkałam z podobnymi reakcjami, chociaż też spotykam rodaków w podróży, ale najczęściej takich jak my sami, czyli podróżujących z dziećmi, gdzie w czasie rozmów poruszane są raczej rodzicielskie tematy.

  8. Megan
    19:25 05/10/2016

    What the effing f? this is mind-blowing to me because i have never asked someone anything similar to this. and i have never met anyone who has cared. next time someone asks something so idiotic or brags about their travel costs, say you paid like 980 bucks for your ticket and 250 for your hotel and tell them to eff off.
    Megan latest post…Ten Things I Will Miss About Living in FrankfurtMy Profile

    • kami
      18:53 17/10/2016

      maybe I should really do that! I was afraid this might be mostly a Polish thing and I just hate it, yet it keeps happening…

  9. Well, usually I feel like total looser next to you :) As I never bought plane ticket for 8 PLN (it was Goteborg, right?) But seriously, I’m also sick of people-travellers/tourist who are focused only on how to travel cheaper, better for free! It’s stupid and leads nowhere.. Even I have to remind myself that 300 PLN for plane ticket is still cheap, although I see everywhere offers like 39 PLN or 78 PLN. Still comparing to train or car it is cheap!

    • kami
      19:22 17/10/2016

      8PLN was one of a kind deal, even I was surprised as it never happened to me before. And as for the rest – exactly! When you think how far you can go for this 300PLN it still sounds like a good deal! Of course the cheaper, the better but let’s be real!

  10. Niefajno, jak pamiętam z żadnym (dosłownie) rodakiem spotkanym za granicą nie zamieniłem słowa o pieniądzach miast tego gawędząc o fajnych stronach miejsc w których się spotkaliśmy wymieniając wskazówkami i odkryciami na ich temat. Poza tym mega dobre zdjęcie Skopje <3 Cały nasz tydzień w tym mieście padał deszcz i nisko wisiały chmury - aż wierzyć się nie chce że tak może tam wyglądać ;)

    • wiadomo, kwestia szczęścia! Zdecydowana większość rodaków spotkanych przeze mnie to świetni ludzie, ale trafiło się tez niestety sporo tych słabych. A i te moje frustracje nie tylko do podróży się odnoszą, chociaż takie przykłady akurat przytoczyłam. Więcej chyba takich komentarzy słyszę w Polsce, głównie od ludzi którzy często nawet nie byli w miejscach o których mówią, ale i tak wiedzą lepiej bo znajomy sąsiada itp…
      Dzięki!!! ja wczoraj na słaby dzień w Skopje trafiłam niestety, ale jak widać i dobre się trafiają jak w maju miałam :)

  11. Mnie ostatnio ktoś zapytał o całościowy koszt mojej 16-miesiecznej podróży rowerowej, by potem skwitowac to słowami “łoooo, to strasznie dużo, mój znajomy wydał w rok w Azji o wiele mniej”. A na marginesie, wystarczyło tylko zastosować wyższą matematykę, czyli podzielić naszą kwotę na dwie osoby, uwzględnić inną liczbę miesięcy, odjąć mega drogą Australię i wyszło by, że my w tej Azji wydaliśmy hajsy całkiem porównywalne :)

  12. ja też nie lubię, jak ktoś patrzy nam w portfel. Generalnie jak ktoś słyszy “3 tygodnie w Rosji, na Ukrainie i w Rumunii” [nasz ostatni wyjazd], to jest reakcja, że ‘to pewno musi być strasznie drogie’ – a tymczasem na osobę wydaliśmy ok. 2000 zł za 3 tygodnie, jadąc autem i śpiąc głównie na dziko… niektórzy wydają +/- tyle na tydzień plażingu (ale za to śpią np. w 4* hotelu). I jeden i drugi sposób podróżowania jest dobry – co kto lubi ;)

  13. Kasia
    07:06 06/10/2016

    True story. I always find that amazing. The most shaming I got was for not booking a chartered holiday in Crete (cheaper!!!) but flying there and doing a road trip. Yes it was more expensive, but I managed to see several amazing places that people doing all-inclusive would probably not visit. And no-one can take that away from me :) Love the post and the pictures.

    • kami
      19:28 17/10/2016

      Thanks! And you’re right, even if you paid more no one can take from you all these amazing places you’ve seen and things you’ve experienced. And they’re much more valuable than money!

  14. Nie gadać z innymi turystami, skupić sie na lokalsach, to i tematy rozmów będą ciekawsze ;)

  15. Wydaje mi się, że Polacy zadają tego typu pytania częściej niż inne nacje przy czym niektórzy są po prostu ciekawi a inni porównują do siebie i cieszą się, że wydali mniej. Co faktycznie nie ma większego sensu, bo jak napisałaś – nie można porównać jedynki w centrum do wieloosobowego pokoju w hostelu 20 min od rynku. Generalnie mi powoli też przechodzi syndrom ‘wydać jak najmniej’, bo inne rzeczy też mają znaczenie. Chyba trzeba po prostu nie przejmować się tymi pytaniami, zbywać je albo z uśmiechem odpowiadać, że zapłaciło się odpowiednią cenę za fajne warunki :)

  16. I’ve never had a problem like this while traveling. The only time was when I went to Mexico and a Mexican friend I met with told me I should try Couchsurfing because it was free. I actually didn’t mind that advice because it wasn’t like he was trying to brag. But I know people who get jealous because I travel, and I just want to be like we’ll you’re married, we have to make choices. I’m choosing to travel. Also, when I was living in the USA I worked three jobs, so I saved a lot in order to travel.
    Jasilyn latest post…Design Market UfaMy Profile

    • kami
      19:37 17/10/2016

      I sometimes feel that people who comment on how much you travel are those who would love to travel but can’t do it for some reasons (or even are afraid to go somewhere), for them it’s the way to deal with this loss. And well, CouchSurfing only seems to be free but you’re giving away your time and often also pay for dinner, drinks etc. But of course it’s easier to think that way :)

  17. Próbuję sobie przypomnieć i raczej nie mam takich doświadczeń. Bardziej wymienianie się wskazówkami, radami, polecanie miejsc. A w Europie unikam rodaków, więc może porostu chodzenie własnymi ścieżkami mnie uchroniło :) Ja często słyszę pytania, a ile kosztuje taki wyjazd do Azji i tego nie lubię, bo czuję się wtedy jakbym musiała się z czegoś wytłumaczyć ;-)Z jednej strony rozumiem ciekawość, bo sama tez czasem pytam o koszty miejsca, którego nie znam, z drugiej strony jak pada magiczne pytanie a ile taki wyjazd kosztuje to czuje jak by nagle cały świat uciszał się i wszystkie oczy na mnie ;-) A ja nie zawsze wybieram najtańszą drogę …. I wtedy właśnie się zaczyna a ja słyszałam, ze można za tyle…

    • też unikam Polaków, ale czasami wręcz się nie da – i wtedy przeważnie te niefortunne pytania się pojawiają. i własnie, tłumaczenie się i wpędzanie w poczucie winy, że się wydało więcej ;)

    • ja nie unikam Polaków, ale z dala od domu sami niektórzy unikają jak słyszą polski język. W przeciwieństwie do nas bo jak słyszę mój język to zawsze się odezwę z niektórzy siedzą jak ćwoki i udają. Tylko kogo? Anglików? Błagam, za ładni jesteście moi drodzy. Nigdy nie gadam o pieniądzach bo to dla mnie nieelegancki temat, tym bardziej z obcymi ludźmi :)

  18. Ja swoje podróżowanie ledwo zaczęłam i nie miałam okazji spotkać wielu Polaków na trasie (a Ci których spotkałam są fantastyczni). Natomiast często spotykam się tu na miejscu z kręceniem nosem na podróżowanie w pojedynkę ;)

    • do komentarzy o podróżowanie w pojedynkę się przyzwyczaiłam i nawet je rozumiem, w końcu to nie aż takie normalne, że baba sama po świecie jeździ. a te pytania o kasę nie ograniczają się tylko do ludzi spotkanych w podróży niestety

  19. z przerażeniem czytam ciągle jak podróżować tanio..no kurde czasami się nie da tym bardziej, że ja zawsze mam jasno wyznaczone cele i określony czas a nie pół roku, zero pracy i zbieram jałmużnę i łapię stopa bo na to nie mam czasu..niekoniecznie tanio bo nie o to mi chodzi w moich podróżach, to spełnianie marzeń jeśli jeszcze ktoś wie o co chodzi, marzeń nie z przeceny ani z promocji, na które trzeba zapracować ;)

  20. Viera
    21:20 02/11/2016

    Kami, do you think it would help beat those curious fellow travelers if you answered their impolite questions re how much you’ve paid for this and that like “the return flight ticket cost me just €2 and the suite I’m staying in is free. They have a special sale this week.” :D

  21. Wow, and I was thinking that this money thing is some kind of Balkan syndrome… But now I see it’s may be some kind of Eastern European thing.
    More money means bigger d*ck and t*ts I guess…

    • kami
      18:58 20/11/2016

      Could be the Eastern European thing, after years of Soviet rule people probably get suspicious how others can do something more unusual that just living ;)

  22. To chyba taka polska rzecz, twierdzenie, ze wszystko ma zdecydowanie wyższą cenę do wartości i powinno się polować na jak najlepsze promocje. A jeśli płacisz pełną cenę (nawet jeśli coś jest bardzo dobrej jakości i zdecydowanie jest warte pełnej ceny) to jesteś frajer i nie umiesz szukać promocji.
    Karola latest post…Zakopane – dzień drugiMy Profile

  23. I perfectly know what you mean. During our last, New Year’s trip to Riga we had a stopover in Kaunas. It was a bigger group of frequent, ultra budget travelers. Because I didn’t want to sleep in the car with other 7 people (!) I booked a normal, backpacker’s hostel in Kaunas for I think less than 11 Euro. And guess what? All the way from Warsaw to Kaunas I was listening to never ending list of complaints about “how is it expensive and unnecessary, we could sleep in the car in winter, sitting in our sleeping bags on the parking lot”. Anyway, when we arrived at the place and I’ve seen them dragging their sleeping bags to the hostel (because they thought there’s no bedding), and their faces when they heard about something as basic as “free tea and coffee” in the kitchen, “free food”, and being shocked about clean showers, I really couldn’t stop laughing. It seems that even though they spent their lives traveling, they never heard about hot shower, pillow and coffee included in the price, because 11 Euro was simply “too much”. Not because they couldn’t afford, just because they didn’t think it’s proper to spend “so much”. LOL
    Ibazela latest post…Packing list for the Taizé European Meeting in RigaMy Profile

    • kami
      21:55 28/01/2017

      and the funny thing is – most likely these people would spend much more in their hometowns for some random evening out with friends. Yet during travels a strict budget is the most important thing. I guess I will never understand people… ;)

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