My burning desire to travel was first sparked by a high school trip to Italy. I had no idea what was in Italy. All I knew is they made a lot of pizza and that and all my friends were going on the trip. I saved up all my Lifeguarding monies so I could set out on my first adventure! Ironically, my first travel experience was one of the most high class vacations I have been on. Great food, great wine (at least I thought it was great because I was 18), nice hotels, an air conditioned bus, a fantastic tour guide, and the gorgeous sites of Italy! I was hooked, the travel bug had bit!
The University years followed and any student can relate to the “Hobo” part of that…. nothing High Class involved. I managed to make my way out to Calgary where I crashed on a friend’s couch, my parents were kind enough to take my brother and I to Florida with them for a few Christmas vacations, and as a graduation gift I received a trip to Cuba!
In Teacher’s College I hit my stride. My careful budgeting from the year and a half before paid off and I had enough money to do a teaching placement with in Cameroon, Africa!!! Trying to save $50, I opted out of the Health Plan for students and used my Dad’s coverage. It turns out my Dad’s plan would not pay for the $650 worth of vaccinations I would need to go to Africa, whereahs the student plan would. Dear potential Hobos, Always do your research!!! It was well worth it though because Cameroon was the best travel experience of my life.
When I got back to Canada and graduated I did not have a job but my then boyfriend, now husband, generously offered that I come and live with him. The only problem is I didn’t have any work to help pay the rent. Fortunately, a friend emailed me a teaching position that would pay me ONE MILLION WON for a month of teaching! The position was in Seoul, South Korea and they paid my airfare, food, and set me up in a goshiwon. Just in case you were wondering, ONE MILLION Won is equivalent to $1000. BlingBling. I worked for the month and then backpacked around South Korea for a few weeks with the remaining money that I had.
Upon my return, I was lucky enough to get a job teaching in town. One of the teachers I share an office with spoke of the time he took his family to Honduras. It sounded amazing and I decided that it would be the perfect spot for a High Class Hobo to vacation. Honduras is the ‘up and coming’ Costa Rica which means you get the beauty and landscape of Costa Rica without the inflated tourist prices. Before my partner knew it, tickets were booked and we were off for Christmas. On a beach, on a private island, at sunset, I proposed to my now husband. It was a wonderful vacation!
Our honeymoon actually was High Class with only a hint of hobo. We travelled to Switzerland (with our backpacks of course) and we hiked, canyoned, paraglided, and took in the breath taking scenery until we decided we could no longer afford Switzerland. We boarded a river cruise boat which started in Basil, Switzerland and took us up the Rhine River through France and Germany and ended in Amsterdam. The boat was brand new, the food was phenomenal, the tours were all included, and the people were a riot. They did, however, look at us like we were lost when we boarded the boat with our backpacks and ate like a pair of starving wolves at our first dinner.
My next adventure to Costa Rica was cut short because my best friend and I were offered an interview to be on the TV show, “The Amazing Race Canada”. We didn’t get on the show but a girl I taught with in Cameroon did so we cheered for her. Although it cost me some extra money, I don’t regret missing out on some of my vacation. Having the interview was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we will not stop applying until we get on that show!
When my best friend and I got rejected from the TV show we decided we would go on our own Amazing Race! So we booked tickets to Ecuador. I went down first and stayed for a week in the Amazon Jungle in a hut. Although the floorboards looked like they were going to break, the “showers” were cold, and one girl had a chicken lay an egg on her bed, the price was right and it was a blast. My best friend met me in Quito and we toured the rest of Ecuador together. Although tempting, we did not go to the Galapagos Islands. I’ll save that for when I win the lottery.
I dragged my husband on my most recent High Class Hobo adventure to Thailand and Cambodia. We were in Thailand for two weeks and Cambodia for one week. These countries proved to be perfect for a High Class Hobo. It was a great bang for your buck. The most we paid for accommodations was $25 a night and that was for a private room in a hotel with a pool, breakfast included. Our New Years bill came to a whopping total of $27 and we ate and drank like royalty for the entire night. We took ferries, tuktuks, and cheap flights to get around the countries.
As I depart on my next big adventure I am going to be on even more of a budget than usual. I made the rather poor financial decision to take a semester off of school. I work summer school and I have been serving on the side to try to make some extra money but I will not have a pay cheque from August through to February. The thought of this terrifies me but I have confidence in my abilities to live like a High Class Hobo. That being said, if you see random stuff from my house on Kijiji, you’ll know I was a little too High Class and not enough Hobo. Wish me luck!