Month 1: Travel Summary and statistics


This is what happens when you wear the same pair of shoes for a month...

I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown.

It’s crazy to think that this time just over one month ago, I had landed in Dubrovnik for the very first day of my trip. In some respects it feels like I’ve only been away for a few days, but in others it feels like I’ve been doing this for years.

Backpacking for the last month has been a big change for me. I used to spend my previous holidays lying on the beach for two weeks doing absolutely nothing. I’ve settled into my new travel style well, and I’ve enjoyed actually walking around exploring individual cities, learning about their history and culture.

However, I definitely wasn’t expecting to find it this emotionally hard.

As someone who has never experienced homesickness before, I naively wasn’t expecting to miss home at all. I think I probably spent my entire first week in tears and frequently contemplated giving up and flying back home.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying it, I just found that my emotions were amplified by a hundred, and I was getting ridiculously upset over every little thing.

I’ve settled into a routine now though, I rarely feel homesick, and I’m just enjoying meeting new people and seeing the world.

I thought I’d take a look back over the last month, and share with you some of the statistics from my trip so far:

Travel stats – 

Countries Visited: 3

Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia.

I originally only planned on spending a week or so in Croatia, and I ended up spending over 3 weeks there! I completely fell in love with this beautiful country, and probably could have spent even longer there.

Cities Visited: 12

Dubrovnik, Mostar, Split, Supetar, Bol, Zadar, Pag, Zagreb, Plitvica Jezera, Crikvenica, Ljubljana, Bled.

Number of beds slept in: 13

Number of photos taken: 1467

Transportation:

Number of buses taken – 14

Number of trains taken – 1

Money Spent:

Croatia – £939.78 = £36.14 per day

Slovenia – £165.06 = £27.51 per day

One thing I’ve learnt so far is that I NEED to budget my money better. I had no idea how much I was spending until I calculated it for this post, and it’s definitely a lot more than I was expecting/hoping for.

Number of things lost:

A toothbrush, a hairbrush, a pair of sunglasses, TWO pairs of shoes, tweezers and a travel adaptor.

This is what happens when you wear the same pair of shoes for a month…

I still don’t know how I managed to lose two pairs of shoes…

Number of McDonalds eaten: 5

I was doing SO well… I spent three weeks without eating a single McDonalds, but as soon as I got to Ljubljana that all changed and I ate there 5 times in 5 days…

The next month:

As I write this, I am currently in Hungary. Over the next month I’ll be visiting Ukraine, Russia, Taiwan and China. I’m insanely excited about going to Asia for the first time.

Despite all of the emotional stress and ups and downs, overall I’ve had one of the best months of my life, and I can’t wait to see what the next month holds for me…

 

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to check them all out!

Previous Views from Ljubljana Castle at Sunset
Next The Beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park

59 Comments

  1. Jaime
    August 22, 2011
    Reply

    I love this post… I love that you eat McDonalds… too cus yeah I eat it ummm often and I know I shouldn’t I just cant help it. So yes how do you loose 2 pairs of shoes? I am glad you got through the 1st week it ‘s a tough one for sure! Can’t wait to read more about your adventures!

    • August 23, 2011
      Reply

      I use the excuse that I’m just going in there for the free wifi, but it’s just so delicious!

      Well, my flip flops had no grip on them, and i fell over so many times that it was getting ridiculous, so I accidentally on purpose left them in my room… My other shoes got really smelly so I left them outside my door so as not to poison everyone with the fumes, and then forgot to get them when I left! I really do need to buy new shoes though – those tan lines are ridiculous!

  2. Erik
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    It’s been exciting following along!

    Only 1467 photos? :-) I take that in 3 days (I’ve been accused of overdoing it, too :-)

    • August 23, 2011
      Reply

      I was lazy in Croatia and didn’t do much at all except sit and drink beer… Didn’t take many pictures then at all. Since leaving I’ve been taking A LOT more!

  3. jill- Jack and JIll Travel
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Crazy how time flies, isn’t it?

    • August 23, 2011
      Reply

      I know – this feels like the fastest month of my life!

  4. Bryan @ BudgetYourTrip
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Wow, sounds like you’re having a blast. Can’t wait to see more of those photos. And perhaps we should talk about your spending habits, too… ;)

    • August 23, 2011
      Reply

      I’m having SUCH a fun time! Hmm… I’ll be heading to Asia soon so hopefully will be spending MUCH less :D

  5. William
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Congratulations on your first month of solo travel, it’s terrific!

  6. Katie
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    When do you head to Russia? I’ll be in St. Petersburg for a month starting Sept 12th.

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Ah, I’ll be leaving Russia on the 1st Sept, so looks like I’ll just miss you!

  7. Natalie
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    I think you did quite well on your budgeting – between 27 and 36 UK pounds is good. Better than I could do.

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks Natalie! I was hoping to spend a bit less than that, but I am in Europe after all so I guess I did do quite well! :)

  8. Arjun Ray
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Congratulations on completion of your 1st travel month!! Seems just yesterday that you were doing a count down on the days left for your departure. 5 times in 1 month at McDonalds is not bad at all (Remember Lauren Vs.Food!!)>> Keep up your adventures and communications with the world!! God Bless.

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks Arjun! Well, the only reason I didn’t have McDonalds more was because I couldn’t find it anywhere in Croatia!

  9. Julia
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Really interesting to read this. I’m also worried about budgeting and not keeping track of my money, I need to be strict with myself cos otherwise I know I’ll get carried away! Haha. And thank God you didn’t take your singing toothbrush. Would’ve been a tragedy if you’d lost that. Shoes are replaceable. :)

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Oh, definitely! And I think if you write it down then you’re more likely to spend less as you’re more aware of how much money you’re actually going through…

      Ah, the singing toothbrush – that would have made me so many friends!

  10. Jayne
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    hahaha at the pic of your feet – I recognise that problem! Loved your summary Lauren. Happy travels – and less of the McDonalds comsumption please :P

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Really desperately need different shoes now…. :)

  11. Jade Johnston
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    You are so brave to travel solo! Good for you and keep bringing us the occasional stats post. Its a great help for those planning their own trip.

    Jade Johnston |

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Aww thanks Jade! I’ll be doing one of them every month :)

  12. Heather
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    The free wifi is a great reason to head straight for a McDonalds! :-)

    The pattern your shoes made is so much cooler than the flip flip lines I had on my feet after a couple of months of road tripping around Oz.

    Congrats on your first month! The homesickness comes and goes and you’ll get through it :-)(with tears along the way of course).

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks, Heather! I’m going to have to get some flip flops, and then I can only imagine what my tan lines are going to end up like then!

  13. Monica (Total Travel Bug)
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Good effort on keeping track of your money! This is something I really wish I’d done, not just to try and save money but it’s so helpful for other people.

    Keep enjoying every minute because your whole time will fly!

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      I barely made much of an effort for this first month – but I’m going to start keeping track of everything I spend from now on!

  14. PostcardFromBK
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Lol @ McDonalds. We broke down and ate there on the second week of our trip while in Rome. We justified it because we never eat there at home, but sometimes you just want to know exactly what you’re getting.

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Ah, see, I ALWAYS eat it at home too, so I can’t use that excuse!

  15. Toni
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Everyone is guilty of the McDonalds trap – if people say they’ve never done it, they’re lying! lol.
    And hun, seriously, how in the hell do you lose that much within the first month – ridiculous =D

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      I know! I’m so careless, and really need to start making sure I have everything before I leave! I’m terrible…

  16. Megan
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Nothing wrong with McDonalds – the only time I don’t make a point of eating it at least once in a particular country is when it’s a country that McDonalds hasn’t yet conquered…like Syria, Mongolia, Nepal…and that’s almost about it! :D

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Hahaha, I’ve started taking photos of all the mcdonalds I eat at on the trip now! Just can’t resist it…

  17. Jordan
    August 23, 2011
    Reply

    Haha! You’ve got some killer zebra feet there…

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      I know…. And they’re only getting worse!

  18. fotoeins
    August 24, 2011
    Reply

    Lauren, it’s been a great month, but you’ve got so much more in front of you. It’s good you recognize you miss home, and it’s hard to shake off years of all that you know that is home. But you’ve got this really cool adventure in front of you, and you know it’s the thing to do. You don’t have to be rush-rush all the time in your newfound travel routine; your idea of doing *nothing* and lying on the beach for your own peace of mind and stillness for the soul are all very good, too.

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      That’s true, and I’ve had plenty of lazy days where I’ve sat and done nothing – good to get a mix of both in there :)

  19. Si @thedepartureboard.com
    August 24, 2011
    Reply

    Lauren, I got worried scrolling down and reading your post…Number of things lost then a picture of your feet…I had to count your toes!

    Love the blog, regards
    Si

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Hahahahaha! Brilliant, and yeah that wouldn’t be so good :)

  20. Kris Koeller
    August 24, 2011
    Reply

    I have a sandal tan from 20 years ago that still looks amazing (if you think that’s amazing).

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Seriously?! I hope i don’t have this tan still in 20 years time!!!

  21. eGichomo
    August 25, 2011
    Reply

    This is a lovely post. It’s nice to reflect on the past so that you’re able to plan the future. I hope you manage to control being homesick. I know how that gets. All the best with your future plans :)

    • August 25, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks! I’m dealing with the homesickness much better now :)

  22. Scott
    August 26, 2011
    Reply

    Congrats on a month Lauren!

  23. Maria Alexandra @latinAbroad
    August 26, 2011
    Reply

    I just had to say, those tan lines are the most.epic.ever. For that alone I’m RTing this!! (oh and, yes, good month of traveling indeed, too)

    ;) =P

    Have a great weekend love & keep on travelin’ <3

    • September 6, 2011
      Reply

      Hahahahaha thanks! I’ve certainly had a lot of attention and comments on the strange tan lines..

  24. Iain Mallory
    August 27, 2011
    Reply

    One month already and yet the adventure has only just started. 1467 pics…. slouch ;) wonder how many you will have by the time you return home.

    • September 6, 2011
      Reply

      Hahahaha, I normally take a lot more photos – and I’ve taken about triple that in the next month!

  25. Reena
    August 29, 2011
    Reply

    You picked a great area to start your big trip in — beautiful and half familiar half strange

    Congrats on the sandal tan — I had a huge Z on my feet for AGES for this exact same reason :)

    • September 6, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks Reena! That was exactly why I chose Eastern Europe to start in :)

      I’ve since lost my sandals, so the tan is fading gradually…

  26. Nomadic Samuel
    August 31, 2011
    Reply

    Cool stats! Your budget was quite reasonable.

  27. Tyler @ roundtheworldtravelchallenge.com
    September 3, 2011
    Reply

    I hear the scenery is just beautiful.

    How did you spend your days? What was the average rate on a room/hostel?

    • September 6, 2011
      Reply

      The average rate was 20-30 euros.

  28. Angela
    September 5, 2011
    Reply

    Lovely plan, very curious about your impressions on Russia, it’s not the typical tourist destination, well done you chose to go there too.

    • September 6, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks Angela – Russia was… Interesting! Quite hard to get around with the language barrier but I really enjoyed Moscow!

  29. Runaway Brit
    September 10, 2011
    Reply

    Congratulations on your first month. You seem to be having an incredible time. Don’t feel guilty about the McDonalds, we’ve had it twice in South America already and we’ve only been here a week! I had my first steak here yesterday though and I don’t think I’ll be going to McDonalds for a long time now!!!

  30. George
    September 16, 2011
    Reply

    I can’t believe how many of your posts I have missed out I guess I am constantly missing you on twitter.

    In 3 months I am 2 pairs of shoes down too and most importantly the loss of my 6 sided nail file was a big blow for me. A manicure used to be going down to Julie’s to be pampered for 45mins now I wash my hands and cut all my nails off. How things change?

    Reading about how you are moving on to Asia upsets me knowing I have to go back to the U.K for 9 months. But hey us solo female travellers have to stick together hey xx

  31. Bridgett Mccarty
    December 5, 2011
    Reply

    I have a sandal tan from 20 years ago that still looks amazing (if you think that’s amazing). For that alone I’m RTing this!! Thanks Scott!

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