Budget traveling again.

feels good to be budget traveling again

Damm it feels good to be budget traveling again.

Happy new year everybody 😀 I hope you’re all having a good start to the new year.

As you may know my 2017 ended and 2018 started in Morocco. I’ve just returned and wanted to update you all with my first post of the new year.

If you read my previous post, (ready to travel again) or if you’re a regular reader; you will know this was my first trip since I fell out of love with traveling.

I have to say, it felt so good to be budget traveling again after my hiatus from traveling. And Morocco, if you’ve never been – you have to experience it. To be honest with you, even though I’d heard good things before hand, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It actually surprised me just how much I enjoyed it but I also think that was partly due to just enjoying budget traveling again.

feels good to be budget traveling again

Wide eyed tourist.

You know, when I previously traveled continuously for 6 years, going to a new country was just normal to me; it was just what I did.

However this time around it felt different, fresh and exciting, and that’s something I haven’t felt with traveling in such a long time. I’m talking about all of it, from writing about going on the trip, packing for the trip, the journey to the airport, the flight, arriving in Marrakech and the whole week – It felt so good for it all to be fresh and new.

That first night, stepping out of the airport to be greeted by over-zealous taxi drivers, it was a little overwhelming – And I liked it. Sounds weird but it was like I hadn’t experienced it before (although I had many times) and for just a moment I didn’t know how to react to it.

Once I composed myself, found my taxi, reached my hostel and ventured out into the streets of Marrakech to meet my friends, I actually felt like a wide-eyed tourist and not the seasoned traveler I had previously become.

feels good to be budget traveling again

I can remember walking down the street looking for the restaurant and it felt weird, I felt this nervous excitement which was gone during my previous traveling stint. Even after I met up with them, I sat there trying to take it all in. My brain was trying to process everything around me, and my friends could tell I was a little over the place.

A weird Experience.

However, as the night progressed, we ventured into the street markets and famous Marrakech souks. As hawkers, vendors and beggars approached us and in some cases harassed us, my brain started to go through some kind of transformation. It may sound a little crazy but the more they approached us, the more I was remembering how to be a traveler.

feels good to budget travel again

It’s hard to explain but it was like half of me was this wide-eyed tourist trying to process everything but at the same time my traveler instincts were taking over, the more we were approached the more savvy I was to them. In a way it’s like the hawkers and vendors were triggers that bought out the seasoned traveler inside me.

Getting back into the swing of things.

By the end of the night, I felt like a sportsman who had returned after injury having been out of the game for so long; at first, a little rusty but by the end of the night I was back in the swing of things. (I hope that makes sense, like it does in my mind haha.)

From the moment I had breakfast in the hostel and got talking to other travelers that second day it was like I had never stopped traveling in the first place. I got to know the staff, other guests and even gave advice to first time backpackers who were a little worried about their trip. Everything felt natural, like I was back in my natural habitat or even like I had found myself.

feels good to be budget traveling again

I was back into traveler mode, my brain picked up certain spots so I could remember how to navigate the chaotic streets and souks. I was haggling with vendors, dodging snake charmers, looking for the cheapest options for food and drink and I felt at home while doing it; It was natural.

I guess you can compare it to riding a bike – no matter how long you don’t do it, you’ll never forget how to.

A savvy budget traveler.

Although it was a short holiday and not long-term traveling I still treated it as a budget trip, and I’m happy to say I spent a lot less than what I anticipated.

If you’re looking to travel to Marrakech on a tight budget it can be done. My hostel – Hostel Riad Marrakech Rouge was very cheap (only £4 per night for a 6 bed dorm.) It’s consistently voted one of the best hostels in Marrakech, and I would definitely go back if I was to go back to Marrakech. (Post on the hostel coming soon). I had already booked my Sahara desert trip before hand so that expense I didn’t have to worry about but there are plenty of tour agencies that will give you a decent price.

feels good to be budget traveling again

With some searching around food can be also be very cheap, you can eat good on 45 Dirhams or less, which equates to about £3.50. Put it this way on my last night I splashed out and ate in a very fancy french restaurant, with a 3 coarse meal – it cost me £20 in total with drinks. If this restaurant was in England that same meal would have been triple the price.

Excursions and tours may set you back a little but there are plenty of tour operators around Marrakech and like in all countries you just have to do some shopping around, and this being Marrakech; some haggling goes a long way to reduce the cost of excursions.

Haggle, haggle, haggle.

Talking about haggling, that is the name of the game in the souks, you WILL get scammed and ripped off if you do not haggle. Haggling is part of the culture here, it’s not just with tourists and travelers but locals haggle too. If you’re not comfortable or don’t know how to haggle make sure you go shopping with somebody who does. I was able to save so much by haggling for my souvenirs. (I will be writing a post on the art of haggling soon.)

feels good to be budget traveling again

It wasn’t just the haggling but everything through the week, dodging snakes charmer’s, navigating the streets and souks, riding camels, feeling absolute serenity in the Sahara desert, I loved every minute and I enjoyed budget traveling again.

Enjoying budget traveling again.

The main reason I stopped traveling in the first place was because I stopped enjoying it. During the 6 years I previously traveled it got to a point where I was just going through the motions. The excitement was gone, seeing and experiencing world wonders just didn’t have the effect it should have done. However I am so glad and thrilled during my week in Morocco that had all gone.

feels good to be budget traveling again

Although it didn’t take long for traveling to feel natural there was a real buzz, an excitement, I actively wanted to try new foods, take pictures, go and see sights, learn about the history and cultures of the mountain and desert people (people who are from the desert are called nomads) and actually do things and that felt so good.

Ready for long-term budget traveling again.

This week in Morocco served as a test run for me, a taster if you like. One of the reasons I agreed to go out to meet my friends was to see if I was ready to travel again. And, the answer is a resounding YES!

Having taken the year out from traveling, I wanted to see how I would react to being out in the world again and the fact that it didn’t take long for it to feel natural confirmed to me that I’m ready for budget traveling again. I have definitely got the thirst back.

You know they say things happen for a reason, and over the years certain things happened at certain times, certain people came into my life and it really made me believe in that. And, I guess how I felt towards the end of my time in South America happened for a reason. I needed to come home, I needed the year out and the rest from traveling to really re-invigorate myself.

feels good to be budget traveling again

This past year while I’ve been at home has made me realise, this is who I am…A free spirit, a traveler, a nomad and I was made to roam. I’m sure you might be saying well you can do both, have a settled base, and travel like most people do but that’s just not me.

Making plans for 2018.

So, now that I’ve returned home from Morocco feeling reinvigorated and with the thirst to travel again, my thoughts are completely different to ones I had the last time I came home.

The last time I came home I wanted to unpack, dump my backpack into the wardrobe, eat bacon sandwiches and just do nothing but play on my Xbox. However this time around…ok, ok, I still wanted a bacon sandwich but my first thought and the only thoughts is to plan my next trip; and on a much more long-term basis with no intention of coming home. I will be forever roaming the world!

***

I do apologise for this very selfish post regarding only my feelings to budget traveling again but it’s one I felt I needed to write before I write anything about Marrakech and the Sahara desert.

My next post will focus more on Marrakesh and the nitty-gritty of what you’re going to need to know traveling there.

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  1. Getting on the road after a gap can take time. Its like you loose your touch and need to start from basics again but this time the journey to get back in form is quicker. With a place like Morrocco full of people and haggling can make it all the more difficult. But it must still be worth every bit.

  2. It was good to hear your perspective as to how you used to travel a lot for 6 years and then you stopped enjoying and now you are back with a bang. I am sure Morrocco revived all the thrills of being a traveler. Taking a break is indeed a great way to start afresh. It was good to hear about the local life and how haggling is the way to save a hole in the pocket. Hope you enjoy all your other trips of 2018.

  3. Love reading your experience in Morocco. It is always interesting to see others perspective. I spent three weeks in Morocco with my family. Wishing you very best on your travels in 2018.

  4. I’m glad you had such a lovely experience in Morocco, I hope to visit it in the near future! I loved your post because I am also a budget traveler! The pictures are amazing! Although the one with the snakes is not one of my favorite because I have a fear of them! I can’t wait to see your next adventure! ❤

  5. I can totally agree with you. I feel like sometimes we do something too much that we kind of lose the love for it. We have to just take a quick break from it and then come back to it. I’m glad you were able to find your love for travel again and Morraco sounds so much fun during the day and at night.

  6. Happy New Year Amit! And yay, sounds like you’ve fallen back in love with travelling again – and what better country to rekindle the relationship than Morocco ? I love it too, the sounds, smells, tastes. Everything there is a treat for the sense ? will you go back again do you think? I recommend Fez if you do – the chourara tannery is definitely an experience x

  7. Glad to hear you enjoyed traveling again! I’m a budget traveler myself and I’ll be traveling fulltime soon. I really want to make sure I never lose. the excitement to explore new places. This wan an interesting read.

  8. Sometimes, no matter how much we love something, if we do too much of it, it starts to lose its lustre. That’s probably what happened to you and travelling and I guess you did exactly what one must do in such a situation- take a break! I am happy that you fell in love with travelling all over again, that break surely helped! You can never totally fall out of love with travelling I guess ? Good to see you all excited and geared up for 2018, wish you all the best for happy and safe travels!

  9. I have never been a long term traveller, but I daresay I can understand the feeling of something you usually love doing ending up being a routine chore. I’m glad however, that you found it in you to rediscover your passion and have decided to continue. All the best!

  10. Thanks for this one, I’m a thrift/budget traveler too. Even just a short holiday or long. You seem very expert when it comes to traveling ?

  11. Morocco is on my list, for this year and as I didn’t had idea what to expect your post is very helpful.
    I’m glad you enjoy traveling again.
    Thank you for sharing.

  12. First off all of your pictures are stunning! I have never been to Morocco, but it looks beautiful and a place I would like to go. I did not know haggling was part of the culture I am going to have to work on that if I ever go. I definitely love budget traveling, this all sounds like a great budget to travel on. Thank you for sharing all your tips!

  13. Ahh.. that feeling of thrill and wonder when traveling, I know the feeling. But for me it only goes away when I visit a place that has nothing new to offer. For example, when I went to Kuala Lumpur and it looks just like Manila, it was hard for me to be excited when I practically feel like I didn’t leave my country. But Morocco, I think it’d be different for me and I can already predict that I’d be just as amazed as you when I finally go there. My friend just went there recently and she loved it, couldn’t stop talking about it. She did mention about the pesky people though, she said it was hard to feel like she wasn’t getting scammed whenever she talked to them.

    I am not good at haggling haha… I would try one time but if the vendor refuses, I wouldn’t push it. I know, I should learn to be more persuasive.

  14. I can’t wait to read about Marrakech but it is also nice to hear your perspective on budget travel and why you took a break. I do not get to travel as much so it is interesting to hear that it can become not as exciting, I am glad you are getting back in the game though! You share such great photos and stories.

    Bekah recently posted…Go on Safari in Florida! (Part 1)My Profile

  15. Wow, I really identified myself with this post! I spent the past two years travelling non-stop and visiting city after city and country after country in a matter of weeks, so by the twelve month I felt drained and exhausted. As you said, all the excitement was gone and I was just ticking boxes out of my list instead of actually enjoying the experience. I decided to go back home for a while to re charge batteries and get a bit of stability in my life again and I hope that, after some time, I can relish in the experience of travelling again. I hope so, because I know I can’t stay put very long, but, in the meantime, I will enjoy vegetarian sandwiches and and youtube webseries. Morocco sounds great, by the way!

  16. Marrakech is on my bucket list and reading this recap of your experience bumped it up even higher! I can’t wait to visit and stroll through the markets…they look almost magical with so many different items and colors and textures! Even better if I’m able to do it on a budget like you!

  17. Glad to hear that you’re back to budget traveling. Been doing this on my trips not because I want it but because I have limited budget to begin with hahahaha.

    Thanks for this nice read. I got some new perspective of things.

    More power to your blog.

  18. I’m glad to hear you are back at it, it must be such a step to take the first trip. Morocco must be a very unique place and I love the insight of your writing and pictures. It’s good to hear that you’re excited about your next trip and can’t wait to read about it!

  19. All the travel types have their own pros and cons. I think Budget traveling makes us more keen about the surrounding as we are always scanning for budget-friendly things. That’s funny, isn’t it?
    All the very best for your travel plans in 2018.

  20. There are many, many things for which I like this! First of all, it appears welcome back is needed 🙂 I hope that, from now on, you will enjoy every single moment of your traveling time :):) Second of all, Morocco has been a dream destination for a while now and, somehow, this article made me want it even more… Maybe not in 2018, but soon! Have safe travels… wherever these might take you!

  21. Morrocco is high on my bucket list, but I need to sort the visa situation first. From what I see from your post and other travel bloggers, that is a wonderful destination I can’t wait to explore

  22. YES YES YES!! I love this post for so many reasons!
    First of all, I am going to Morocco this year and am so pumped! Why? Well obviously its awesome and I havent been to the african continent, and its on my bucket list and I want to do the Sahara thing…etc etc
    But really, I too miss the BUDGET TRAVELING feel too! This time last year, Darcee & I were cruising for a month across the entire west coast of India. We were haggling, staying in dives, eating street food, and spending pennies on the dollar for an epic adventure while being scared out of our minds. Then we went to the UK, Canada, & Central Europe. Dont get me wrong, I loved those trips but they were costly on my pocketbook.
    Plus I miss that stomach churning nervous feeling as I enter an area I have no idea about that is a wee bit sketch in the minds of my US friends and family! Cheers to you for finding that feeling again & thanks for the tips in Marrakech.

    Eric Gamble recently posted…2018 BUCKET LIST HOPES AND GOALSMy Profile

  23. I’m glad you had a good experience in Morocco and it sparked your love for travel again. I traveled to Morocco solo earlier this year as well, and as a female solo traveler I had a completely different experience. It was probably the most difficult and exhausting trips I’ve done out of the 50+ countries I’ve traveled to, but I learned a lot about that part of the world and about myself, which I’m grateful for. It’s unfortunate how big the gender gap is there and what a different experience a man vs a woman traveler can have there, but it was also a very eye opening experience that there are indeed still places around the world where this huge gender gap still exists.

  24. Budget traveling is fun and is a real test for any traveler. Nothing teaches you survival skills than traveling on a strict budget on a daily basis.

  25. Please don’t apologize for writing about this “selfish” topic! I actually found it really interesting and am glad you shared your feelings about traveling again with us. At first I was thinking, “I can’t imagine becoming tired of traveling,” but then I don’t know what it’s like to travel for six years straight. I worked on cruise ships for many years, but that’s a different type of travel where you always have a home base of friends and colleagues to come back to, and you build up quite a social life. Plus, you also have time off in between contracts to get revitalized. But anyway, I’m glad that you’re feeling reinvigorated after your year’s break and are excited about travel again! Can’t wait to hear about Marrakech and the Sahara! Those are two places I’ve been dreaming about visiting!

  26. You traveled for six years straight? How awesome is that! I can understand why you felt jaded after a while but I’m happy to hear you’re back on the wagon again. Happy trails for 2018!

  27. I can definitely imagine that after 6 years travelling, it would be less exciting. I would be devastated if I got to that point. Admittedly I dont spend months looking forward to trips now but usually because I know I have stuff planned. Morrocco is definitely a great place and I am glad you refound your zest

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