10 Things You’ll Learn When You’re Flat Broke In An Unfamiliar Country

1.Pride is for rich people. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Besides, as a backpacker most people will expect you to be a scrounger anyway, so why disappoint? Worst they can say is No.

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2.Hand washing your clothes, although time consuming, can be surprisingly therapeutic. If you’re unemployed and penniless, what else do you even have to kill a day with?

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3.Milk is not essential. Once your cereal is in the bowl, you might as well still eat it, even if the milk turned out to be a lump of cream today. Dry cereal and black coffee are your friends until you can afford to add little dairy luxuries.

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4.Cravings are temporary. If you accept them and do nothing about them, you’ll eventually forget about them. This applies to purchases like clothes, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, snacks… Not hygiene, if you’re craving a shower, please do take one, people around you will probably appreciate that.

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5.People can be surprisingly generous. You won’t necessarily realise it until you’re in a time of genuine need, but when you reach out for help, it will sometimes truly shock you who will hold their hand out to you.

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6.Cup a Soup is a godsend and doubles up as a perfectly edible pasta sauce.

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7.Bad skin is unavoidable. Maybe it’s the cheap diet, the non-medicated face wash, or just the stress of no income and no light at the end of the tunnel, but spots happen when you have no money, and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about them, but they too, are temporary, so don’t panic, you won’t always resemble a pepperoni pizza.

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8.Windows are overrated. If you have to take the cheapest room in the place, and that happens to be the 12 share dorm with only walls, beds and a door, suck it up sweetheart, that’s still considered a luxury for some people.

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9.Rain won’t kill you, you are not made of sugar. It probably won’t hurt you to get from A to B on foot. Unless you’re on your way to the interview that will see you out of said money troubles, in which case, maybe this once, stay out of the bad weather and treat yourself to a bus ride.

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10.Homeless people are not all bad. When you’re inches from becoming part of their crew, you begin to see them in a very new light. It doesn’t take much to go from living the high life to sheltering in shop doorways overnight. Maybe when you get yourself back on track you could consider offering somebody else a helping hand, or at least a spare blanket.

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Stay safe travellers, and be sensible with your dollars.

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