I stood in Anthony’s bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror.

Same jeans. Same gray T-shirt from Target with doves flying on it. Same old gray fleece. Same hiking shoes. Same, same, same!

GROSS.

“Anthony, I cannot stand it! I have to go and get something new. Now.” I moaned to him, throwing up my hands in frustration and then sinking back onto the Moroccoan-style couch in his living room.

Fortunately, Anthony is a good friend and a patient person (you have to if you shop with me since I get moody) and instantly agreed to go with me.

We headed to Gran Via to hit the shops.

The problem with shopping when backpacking is money. Meaning, I wanted all of these lovely things (hello, soft and sweet hoodie; dress to frolic about on the Greek Islands; killer heels that would most likely force a fall; strings of necklaces) and could buy … nothing.

Well, nearly nothing.

“Anthony!!” I squealed each time I found something. “I just love it.”

“Budget,” he would remind me, shaking his head, laughing his infectious laugh and walking away.

I had allowed myself 20 Euros. That was it. I could buy one big-ticket item, or get a bunch of little things. I would have loved one nice, pricey piece of clothing, but one nice and pricey piece of clothing doesn’t get you nearly as far than a few little things.

I found a 5 Euro shirt at H&M, then a pair of 10 Euro knock-off Chucks at a shoe store.

And, that was it.

I was done.

“Look, I have five euros to spare for my next shopping adventure,” I informed Anthony.

He looked at me and laughed.

Like I was going to be able to do that again.

That night when we went to an intercambio at J & J’s, I rocked my new shirt and shoes and felt magnificent. Awesome. Like a million bucks. Clean. Refreshed. Revived. (You get the point.)

It’s amazing what a 15 euro shopping spree can do for the backpacker’s soul.

4 comments

  1. Very good of you to keep on a budget. Two months in I also bought some stuff, although I wasn’t smart enough to set a budget first. I did, however, promise that whatever I bought, I would have to throw an equal amount away.

    It was easy though, it’s so surprising how gross t-shirts get after a while of traveling.

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    1. I am so sick of the same clothes. Budgeting is really tough, but going to go and buy some cheap solid color shirts. And going to toss the stuff it replaces (well, donate it). And yes, you are right. It is surprising how gross t-shirts get after awhile. šŸ™‚

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  2. That’s so funny that you went shopping on Gran Via. I felt the same way, and I was only traveling for 2 weeks! By the time I got to Madrid (luckily I got to do laundry at my friends place the weekend before) I laid out ALL my clothes on my hostel bed and was just annoyed at my warddrobe options. So I looked at how many euros I had left for my trip and realized I could actually spend like $50 on some new clothes. So I went one afternoon after sight-seeing down Gran Via and popped into a store with sales going on. it was awesome! I ended up getting khaki-esque slacks, a dress, and a halter top. I felt so much better and more fashionable. if only for the next 2 days šŸ™‚

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    1. Love shopping on Gran Via. I was across the street from a Aqua, a massive mall, in Valencia the other day and HAD to go buy some new t-shirts and trash the old ones. Then, the next day, there was El Corte Ingles on the other street. Needless to say, my budget has been smashed, trashed and I now have no cash. But, yay for new clothes!! Hope you are well, love!

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