Mountains and Money

Written by Allyssa February 21, 2020

I never get tired of the breathtaking mountain view. Every morning, when I open my curtains, I take in the landscape, and every single time, it still amazes me. This past weekend, I decided to wander aimlessly throughout the nearby cities, and no words can convey the level of serenity and content I felt during that time. Birds sang from the trees, the wind rustled through leaves, and branches acted as an accompaniment to their music. It was unforgettable, and exactly what I didn’t know I needed.

Now an update on the goals I set in my first blog. Setting a study schedule: this goal evolved into a more general goal of organizing my schedule. Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to bring a planner with me, so instead, I used my phone calendar. I actually found this to be a lot more convenient and easier to use and adjust. It’s been very helpful in keeping me on track with studying regularly and completing my assignments in a timely manner, while still having plenty of time for myself and my friends.

Another goal I had was to absorb as much of the Italian culture as I can, and I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of that. From interacting with the locals, to participating in events in the area, it has all been so much fun. On February 2nd, Crespano del Grappa, a town just a few minutes walk away from Paderno, celebrated Carnevale with a parade, and I attended it with a few friends. Kids and parents ran around in costumes, food trucks and stands were set up around the area, and confetti was thrown anywhere and everywhere. It’s been almost two weeks, and I’m still finding confetti around my room.

As much as I love talking about my experience so far, let’s talk about the best way to get the most out of your budget.

Step 1: To make the most of your budget, you have to first have a budget. Know how long you have and do some research on how much people will typically spend for that long. For example, if you want to spend a weekend in Paris, people will typically spend $500-$600 for a 2-3 day stay, including transportation. Give yourself a limit. Set an amount and tell yourself that you will not spend more than that, and do your best to stick to it.

Step 2: Look at all your options when purchasing tickets. Compare planes, trains, buses, ferries or anything else you can think of. See how the price changes if you leave a little earlier or a little later, but make sure to still consider the cost of an extra night stay. Weigh your priorities. If it’s a little more expensive, but it’s a longer travel time, is it worth it to you?

Step 3: Prioritize your spending during your time somewhere new. If you want to take tours or go into places that charge entry fees be sure to set that money aside. If you want to go out to the bar or a club, then give yourself a limit, or you risk not being able to tour that historic palace, visit that famous museum, or eat at that fancy restaurant later. If experiencing more of the culture is important to you, be sure to weigh your options.

Falling in love with Italy has been quite the adventure, and I am eager to fall even deeper. Wish me luck on my journey, and I wish you all the best for yours, wherever you may be and wherever you may go. That’s all I have for today. I hope it helps you when planning your next trip!