Wednesday, January 16, 2013


As I sat on my uncle's leather couch sipping a cheap but awesome chocolate stout from Trader Joes, I reflected. I thought about how relatively peaceful my life has been the past couple of months since my arrival to California. I thought how wonderfully peaceful this day was (before my lovable, adorable, whiny two year old cousin got home) and as I sat there reading my "Spanish for Gringos" book, after budgeting for a moped, paying folks back, an apartment and summer music festivals, it hit me: I like money.

For those who know me, I've never had much of a respect for money, evident by my lack of ability for saving, the fact that I never noticed when it went missing, the fact that I always chose "more interesting" jobs over "stable jobs". During my travels, some time a month into my time in Europe and a week into Paris, I ran out of money. After a ridiculous amount of panic, my grandmother helped me out and supported my time abroad both financially and mentally...and I needed a LOT of mental help...primarily because I needed a lot of financial help. A few years ago, not knowing where I would be the next day sounded mighty appealing. The adventure! The romance! The potential! But now, as I get older, the thought of not knowing where I will be staying that night is stressful. Or more specifically, not knowing where I'll be staying in addition to no potential accommodation  (e.g. hostel, campsite, whatevs) is a stressful situation. Afterwards, I spent an exciting, yet nerve-wracking three more months in France. When I wasn't at a farm, homestay or accomodation, I was freaking the heck out. Where am I going to sleep? Will I have to sleep on the street? Why does everyone in Dublin look newly homeless? Will I have to camp on a beach again like I did in Rosslare? (Note: In terms of aesthetics and warmth, Rosslare beach is NOT fun. Beach beetles, seaweed, crazy wind and the paranoia of high tide. Though the fisherman there are very nice and will look out for you if you're a random clueless girl.) 

(Rosslare, Ireland. Somewhere outside the Europort ferry)

Anyway, after such a crazy adventure I came to California, found a job and after the first paycheck, something happened. I thought about all the stress I went through in Europe and all the things I loved doing there and the things that I wanted to do but couldn't because it required money that I didn't have. Immediately, I decided I would just hoard all my money and not do anything. After that, I thought of my cool Australian gite-mate I met while staying at a fromagerie farm in central France. As we lounged on my sleeping bag under the bright sun in front of our adorable, yet spider-infested gite (teensy house) she explained to me how she tended to money hoard but then it hit her that what's the point of saving all your money if you don't live? With that thought, I decided to always have a nice balance of exploring, party-going and future festival-mongering. And this brings me back to my uncle's couch, sipping beer, studying Spanish for my trip to Barcelona right after creating a nice list for summer music festivals.

This is what I've learned and maintained (maintenance being the most important part of learning). Money isn't horrible. It's a vehicle to getting what you need. Too much and too little can be a pain in the ass so take only what you need, make sure to have a little fun and move on. 


1 comment:

  1. Agreed! I'm more of a saver / hoarder type. I feel guilty when I spend ANYTHING and feel crazy giddy when I get stuff I need on sale. I should be in a coupon cutting cult, haha. Phill is the opposite. We are learning to balance each other out.


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