Month 50: Travel Summary and Statistics


River Thames at Sunset

Month 50 was all about hitting pause and figuring out what I want to do with my life. Sounds deep, huh? I guess it kind of was.

I had originally planned to spend a week at home before jetting off again, but cancelled my plans at the last minute to spend more time with my family.

It was a wonderful month.

lauren at airport

When you’ve been travelling for as long as I have, visits back home are often rushed and rarely relaxing. There are so many things I put off when I’m on the road — minor health concerns, buying things, getting stuff fixed — that landing in London has me rushing around and booking appointments before my head hits the pillow that first night.

First on my list was getting a haircut. It had been 18 months since I’d last had it cut, so getting rid of eight inches felt amazing. I love my new look!

Next, it was time to make up for all of those special occasions I’d missed while I’d been travelling. I treated my mum to a birthday manicure and a new diary, and took my sister out for a birthday afternoon tea treat at my favourite spot in London. The Sanderson Hotel does a mad hatter-themed afternoon tea and it’s the best.

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Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

With that side of things taken care off, it was time for a medical checkup! This meant a visit to the dentist, an optician (for a floater that suddenly appeared in my eye in Amsterdam in May and had yet to disappear), and the doctor (for a lump on my eyelid that appeared last December in the Philippines).

Fortunately, there wasn’t anything too serious to worry about. I’ll need to have surgery at some point on my eyelid lump — surgery that involves flipping my eyelid up and slicing out the lump from the inside! — but it’s not urgent so I can put it off for a year until my next visit.

River Thames at Sunset

My tech needed a tune-up just as much as my body, so I paid a visit to the Apple Store to get my Macbook Pro looked at. I’d started receiving messages about how my battery needed to be replaced last September while I was in the Maldives, but hadn’t been able to be apart from my laptop until now. I was thrilled when the guy who saw me took a look at my laptop and offered to replace the scratched screen and dented body as well. All in all, the repairs totalled $1000, but I got them for free thanks to AppleCare.

I broke my DSLR in Myanmar back in December and rather than getting it repaired, I decided to wait and splash out on something new. My photography skills are pretty lacking and I’ve been wanting to improve them for a while — I’m someone who shoots mostly in auto and relies on 10 years of Photoshop editing experience to get my photos how I want them to look. I decided to buy the Sony A7 II and I’m already noticing a huge increase in the quality of my photos.

It was also time to replenish the contents of my backpack. I threw out 90% of the clothes I’ve been travelling with and replaced them all. I bought a ton of makeup. I bought a Fitbit.

Press Coverage of Lauren Juliff

Workwise I had some major successes this month. I was featured on the front page of both news.com.au and the Wall Street Journal! What a dream.

Another highlight was finding my book for sale in Stanfords Covent Garden, the biggest travel bookstore in the world. Even better: it was also on display in the window!

Lauren holding How Not to Travel the World

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My time at home was one of renewal so I skipped out on the hanging out with friends this time around. Instead, I stayed happily inside. I went for walks along the river. I headed out for daily early morning runs until I could jog five kilometres without stopping. I ate healthily. I turned off my laptop and spent quality time with my family.

Fun fact! A couple of miles away from my home is a JFK memorial on an acre of American soil. I stumbled across it on one of my walks — pretty cool!

JFK Memorial

While this post isn’t the most exciting of updates, I hope it gives you an insight into what it’s like when a long-term traveller returns home. It can be hectic, but I leave feeling healthy and tuned up!

Travel map for month 50

Countries Visited: 2

Spain, United Kingdom

Cities Visited: 3

London, Madrid, Staines

Distance Travelled: 1033 miles

Photos Taken: 391

Number of flights: 1

Number of trains: 6

Highlight of the Month

Outselling Bill Bryson on Amazon!

How Not to Travel the World on Amazon

Travel Expenses:

Accommodation:

  • Madrid: $184.90 over 10 days: $18.49 per night
    • I stayed in this gorgeous apartment for our six weeks in Madrid and it’s one of my favourite places we’ve stayed. It was in the perfect location for exploring the cool neighbourhood of La Latina, was close to lots of tapas bars and restaurants, had air conditioning (a must in Madrid in summer!), a spacious kitchen, and about twenty different places to work in. I’d totally stay here again next time I’m in Madrid.
  • London — no cost as I was staying at my parents!

Transportation:

  • Flight from Madrid to London: $179.79
  • Various train journeys between Staines and London over the month: $151.50

Food: $217.08

Activities:

  • David Gilmour tickets for two shows: $278.77
  • Dengue Fever tickets: $25.46
  • Afternoon tea in London: $144.66

Miscellaneous: 

Business expenses:

Yearly hosting with WP Engine: $372.00
Monthly email newsletter service from Mailchimp: $50.00
Monthly Feedblitz RSS service: $1.49

Total amount spent: $6563.63 

Yikes! Normally I head home to save money!

Month 51 travel map

My next steps

I’m back on the mend, so it’s time to grab my passport and get moving again!

From London, I’ll be flying to Madrid for a few days to meet Dave after he finishes the Camino de Santiago. My only plan for these days is to eat as much jamon as possible.

Then it’s back to Southeast Asia for the winter! First stop: Bangkok, a place I’ve spent embarrassingly little time in. I’m excited to hang out with friends and eat street food.

Next, Cambodia. I wasn’t able to celebrate Dave’s birthday with him this year while he was walking the Camino, so I’ve planned out a fun adventure for him in one of our favourite countries instead. Our first stop: a floating hotel in the jungle, far away from civilisation and Wi-Fi.

 

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

 

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22 Comments

  1. Dominique
    November 9, 2015
    Reply

    Good job on featuring next to all those famous travel writers in the window of the shop! And on outselling Bill Bryson!! Your month sounded pretty similar to what I did after returning to the Netherlands having lived in the UAE for two years. I just repurchased a full wardrobe and relaxed with family and friends. It sounds like you’ve had a very successful and great month :)

    • Lauren
      November 10, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Dominique! Heading home after a long stint of travel is so great, isn’t it?

  2. Anca | Globaloud
    November 9, 2015
    Reply

    So many travel bloggers are returning to Thailand this winter. I’m so jealous of all of you cause this is going to be the first winter in years that I wouldn’t go to any tropical country. Only cold European winter this year.

    • Lauren
      November 10, 2015
      Reply

      One of the reasons for us returning to Thailand was so that we could catch up with some of our travel blogging buddies! And then we swiftly left because I needed space haha :-). Enjoy your European winter and hope it doesn’t get too cold for you!

  3. Keir Briscoe
    November 9, 2015
    Reply

    Great to see you blogging regularly again. I started following you just as you got tied up writing the book. So I am really enjoying the regular updates.

    • Lauren
      November 9, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks for sticking around for as long as you have then, Keir! Lots of fun updates coming your way soon :-)

  4. Sarah
    November 9, 2015
    Reply

    Sounds like a dream! It’s always nice to be back home after being away. Congrats on the articles – WSJ especially is pretty big deal!

    • Lauren
      November 9, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you! I was thrilled to be featured :-D

  5. Angie
    November 10, 2015
    Reply

    I am so glad you got some rest and so excited that your book is doing well!

    • Lauren
      November 10, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Angie! Me too! :-)

  6. Chelsea
    November 10, 2015
    Reply

    So good to hear that you are feeling better for going home and that cancelling the Seychelles trip was the best thing to do.

    I will be back in Staines for 2 weeks at Christmas – where is the JFK memorial? I’d love to check it out.

    • Lauren
      November 11, 2015
      Reply

      If you search for JFK Memorial Staines on Google Maps it should come up. It’s in Runnymede. You can get there walking along the Thames, which is really pretty! Also, there’s a tea room just in front of it with delicious cake! :-)

  7. Seth Liu
    November 10, 2015
    Reply

    Hi, so when was month 50? August or September 2015?

    • Lauren
      November 10, 2015
      Reply

      It was the 17th August to the 17th September.

  8. Dan B
    November 10, 2015
    Reply

    It’s not surprising you outsold Bill Bryson when his ebook is $17! That’s ridiculous.

    It’s been interesting reading about your current thoughts and problems as they reflect a lot of my own feelings about travel. I feel like travel has helped me grow a lot, but it doesn’t fill the void within me. I just read this book by Viktor Frankl called Man’s Search For Meaning. The main idea is that we need to find a reason to live. For many this is a partner they love, or making a positive difference to the world.

    For me travel isn’t reason enough to live. It wont drag me out of bed on depressed days. Travel often isn’t worthwhile for how much energy and anxiety you expend on it. So I continue my own search for that reason within life! Very deep for a blog comment, sorry.

    • Lauren
      November 11, 2015
      Reply

      I think I do agree with you. As you know, travel has been amazing and so transformative for me, but I’ve stopped feeling like it’s the sole thing I want to focus all of my energies into. For me, at least, now that the big fears I’ve had about travel have faded away, it feels almost too easy? As long as I have money, I can travel. I need another challenge in my life. Something that pushes me harder. But also something that doesn’t take away that freedom to travel, as that’s still fun and important to me!

  9. Lombok Wander
    November 11, 2015
    Reply

    So you traveling the world for 50 months??

    • Lauren
      November 11, 2015
      Reply

      Yep.

  10. Terri
    November 11, 2015
    Reply

    Woohoo on outselling Bill Bryson! He’s a native of my state–Iowa. OK, I gotta ask, but no judging, just wondering. $1,400+ on new makeup?! Seriously? What do you buy? P.S. I love this post!

    • Lauren
      November 12, 2015
      Reply

      Hahaha. I’m obsessed with Sephora and spend all year adding things to my basket and then when I get home, purchase them all :-)

  11. Brooklyn
    November 15, 2015
    Reply

    Sounds like you had an amazing month!
    I definitely understand taking time off to just reset. So good for you for recognizing what you needed. I feel so often people ignore that feeling and pay for it later.
    Congrats on all of your accomplishments!

    http://justbeingbrooklyn.com/

    • Lauren
      November 21, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks, Brooklyn! I had definitely been ignoring it for well over a year, so it was much needed and has me feeling stronger than ever! :-)

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