Locations: Tbilisi, Kutaisi [Republic of Georgia], Thessaloniki [Greece]
My one year anniversary of when I started traveling will hit this week. Let’s see how my finances shook out this week; it’s been a busy one….
On Sunday, I took the თბილისი (Tbilisi) metro to the train station: $0.19. Then, I took a train from Tbilisi to ქუთაისი (Kutaisi): $3.02. It was a 5.5 hour ride on the mostly empty train. It took about an hour longer than the vans that go everywhere, but far more comfortable. I highly recommend train travel in Georgia when it’s available.
On Tuesday, I took a personal van from the city of Kutaisi to the airport: $1.89. It was a half hour ride, and (since it’s low season) I was the only customer. Winning!
Also on Tuesday, I took a flight from Kutaisi to Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki): $28.00. A 2.5 hour flight on a budget airline for that price; hell, yes! I think I was the only one on the plane that isn’t Greek or Georgian. I also got to see first-hand how much easier it is for me to travel verses a Georgian. They had to present their passports; bank statements; and answer questions about where they were staying, for how long, what the purpose of their visit was…. The border control agent just looked at my passport, commented on how different I look from my picture, asked if I’d just flown from Georgia, and gave me a new stamp. I only got one question, and it wasn’t even a ‘real’ one.
After flying in, I look a bus from the airport to downtown Thessaloniki: $2.28. It’s not Georgia prices, but it’s still pretty good.
On Wednesday, I went out with some French guys from the hostel. They got really drunk, and we decided it would be best to take a taxi back rather than try to walk since half of us were stumbling (I’ll let you guess if I was part of the wasted half). A 10 minute ride later, and $1.43 less in my wallet (that was my split), we arrived back safely.
Friday and Saturday were my last days in Tbilisi: $3.76 per night. I ended up spending about 2 months in total time there, and I made pretty good friends with the manager. When you spend a while somewhere, you can save a decent amount of money and even make some friends.
On Sunday and Monday, I stayed at a hostel in Kutaisi: $6.00 per night. Off season in Kutaisi is pretty dead. I’m not going to say I was the only foreigner there (since that’s ridiculous), but I was the only person in a rather large hostel. I got the staff all to myself!
Tuesday to Thursday were at my favorite hostel in Thessaloniki: $15.40 per night. Hostels in Greece are far more expensive than in Georgia. I miss those half Asian prices already….
So you’ll notice my food bill pretty much doubled when I hit Greece. Going out’s still cheaper than Western Europe, but it’s got nothing on Georgia (or Turkey for that matter). I do get to enjoy all my favorite Greek food now though. That’s something.
Travel insurance: $8.64 per day.
VPN: $0.26 per day.
Amazon Prime: $0.33 per day.
This blog: $0.31 per day.
Skype number with US calling: $0.08 per day.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: effectively $0.41 per day.
On Saturday, I had my ‘holiday shopping’ along with a few miscellaneous things (mostly credit cards) dropped in the mail: $64.94. International shipping is a bitch. It costs more than the actual items. But there are some things that are hard to come by outside the West. I’ve saved enough money staying away from the expensive part of the world to more than make up for it though.
On Monday, I hit up the dentist for a cleaning before leaving Georgia: $56.56. That’s the most expensive cleaning I’ve had out of the three times I’ve had it done there. It’s still reasonable though, and I sure didn’t want to try a dentist in Greece. Drug prices are great here, but the health care….
While my teeth were being cleaned, the dentist discovered a cavity! That’s the first one I’ve had in years. I don’t know how that happened, but I decided to get that fixed before leaving the cheapest country I’ve found so far: $26.39.
On Tuesday, I topped up my mobile data on my travel carrier: $20.00 for 1G of data. For Europe, that’s not bad.
On Wednesday, I bought some socks: $5.70 for four pairs. They’re not the best socks in the world, but they’re thin and sturdy which is all I need for being constantly traveling.
Also on Wednesday, I did laundry: $3.99. Because staying clean is good.
So I went over budget this week. I blame the dental work. Next week, should provide a better picture of about what Greece is costing me. See you then.