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!
“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.