I’m on a tight budget. Because I want to travel for months on end, I can’t act like I’m on a two week spring break and let lose financially. Saving a few dollars is worth passing on the western food, and walking an extra few sweaty blocks with my backpack to find a cheaper accommodation is commonplace. I once heard about a few girls on an extreme traveling budget. They decided to walk an extra 2 kilometers to buy water from a different shop. The total savings in the end, the equivalent of 5 cents.
While that’s an extreme case, many people chose not to participate in some activities in order to save the money, and often times, that is a good decision. Activities on the road range from rafting or zip-lining to caring for elephants and can be very pricey. A lot of the time I have to pass, but even on a budget, I fell its needed to splurge from time to time. I believe missing out on something is not always worth the few bucks you would save. In Laos, we chose to do a three day trek through the jungle and it ended up being some of the best few days of the trip.
Coming up to the present, I was debating scuba diving. I’ve wanted to do it for years but it’s expensive. There really isn’t any way around it. A single dive is usually fifty plus dollars and getting certified will run around three hundred, and that’s in one of the cheapest spots in the world. I traveled half way around the world to one of the premier scuba diving locations, Southeast Asia and if I were to pass on the opportunity now, I would have to question why I’m traveling in the first place. I’ve come to these exotic places to experience the best that they have to offer, right?
In the end, scuba diving met all of my expectations. It was amazing. Being able to breath while you’re swimming around at the bottom of the ocean is just a surreal experience. We saw huge jellyfish and 18in puffer fish and were followed by a group of large batfish all the way to the surface, but my favorite moment had to be when a large school of shiny silver fish completely engulfed us. There is simply so much life down there that goes completely unnoticed at the surface.
I shelled out the money willingly and am so glad I did. Some travelers are just too cheap and it ends up costing them more in the end