Lately I have not really had anything to fight for. Desiring something not only to look forward to but to actively work towards. An easy fix would be to finally succeed with that yearly book-reading challenge (52 books per year). Another would be to think of my PhD as something to conquer. The move to Italy is more organizational than fighting in nature, and beach 2015? while I would not mind those 10-year-dream abs I rather my life did not turn into one of these ridiculous “girl-magazines”.
So walking around for months in a daze of frustrating apathy I once again got a stoke of Wanderlust. The desire to be completely free, to roam the world free of any obligations other than that of wishes and where-ever the train is heading. What I need is to have a long, unorthodox travel tour to look forward to. Me, my backpack, comfortable shoes, and that liberatingly feeling of not having showered for days while packed in a filled-to-the-brim train going somewhere new.
For this I need time and money. When do I have time? When my PhD finishes. When do I have money? When I have saved enough. As I, inspired by friends – and the undeniable logic of the idea, decided to allow myself to go travel for a dreamy-long time as graduation present, two battles began simultaneously:
First – get that first order logic under control and write those bloody papers!
Second – save money!
Despite having at least two-three years before I am expected to finish my PhD I still got completely fired up thinking about where to go, what to do – and all the organizational stuff needed to be attended to. I literally had to keep myself from ordering random good stuff for the road – or even worse – start packing.
In order to engage myself in something a bit more sensible than packing two years in advance, I decided on a mini-challenge to get my fighting spirit up again. In Germany food expenses for one person is calculated to be on average around 40 euros a week. My challenge: For two weeks not spend more than 10 euros per week – in theory living for “free” three weeks of each month.
Knowing my amazing darling parents they will upon reading this ask me: “Do you need money, honey?” To which I in advance can answer: “No, thank you. I am doing this for the fun of it (and to eat all the stuff lying around the kitchen), not due to some impoverishment out of control.”
Now I must admit that 10 euros might be a bit too little, especially when all the potatoes, union, rice and such lying around my kitchen has been eaten, therefore I initiate a two week trial-period. If I find that this makes life way too boring I most likely will continue on with my 13-euro-cheese lifestyle and I guess I have to succumb to the idea that my spring 2015 challenge simply have to be beach 2015…
2 thoughts on “Wanderlust spirit”
Oh, and one more comment that might actually be useful for something, unlike the other one which is mainly just useful for becoming incensed and horrified…
Check this out: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/aug/28/suma-the-natural-food-wholesaler-run-by-workers-on-equal-pay
Suma is based in the UK and delivery to DE might be prohibitively expensive, but maybe there is something similar there? The minimum order for free delivery from Suma is £250, which pays for 25 weeks or more worth of staple foods, like oatmeal, flour, beans, olive oil, etc.
The article talks about "buying clubs" but I think the people in the village where I live wouldn't necessarily go for it, so I haven't tried to start one, and just get in my one or two orders per year. That said, I do also buy vegetables and stuff so my total spend is closer to £20 a week, after averaging out the bulk order and factoring in the normal groceries. In general I'm not great at actually "saving" money, but this bulk-wholesale-buying thing is hard to beat, and way more healthy than eating "fancy" foods.
I think I could really appriciate something like this if I had a more stable lifestyle (I love the idea of equal pay and natural food). However, right now I am traveling too much, I move regularly (rarely stay more than a year in one spot) and as I live in an apartment community the tiny kitchen does not allow for "bunkering".
Without really knowing I think that Germany ought have something similar. Natural food has become a big thing here with several natural food chains and "community farms" that anyone can go and work on. While this is an excellent start, I think that one thing I think we as a community have to start with is – after re-routing necessary traffic (car-free cities – can I get a: Yeah!) – devote ourselves to urban gardening. Penty of projects are trying to think of how to grow more food in the cities, but I don't really see why this development is taking so very long. I guess, bittery, it is once again about money…