Posted by: standing_baba | March 13, 2011

Statistics for Weeks 69 – 92 (The Break the Bank Edition)

Stats

DATES: September 13th, 2010 – March 13th, 2011 (six months)
START LOCATION: Florianopolis, Brazil
END LOCATION: Florianopolis, Brazil

TOTAL DISTANCE CYCLED: N/A
DAYS ON BIKE: N/A
AVERAGE DISTANCE PER DAY: N/A
LONGEST DAY: N/A
SHORTEST DAY: N/A
TOTAL DISTANCE CYCLED TO DATE: 5,344.77 miles (8,435.57 km)

EXCHANGE RATE:

On September 13th, 2010: US $1 = 1.77 Reais
On March 13th, 2011: US$1 = 1.67

TOTAL MONEY SPENT: US $8,002.00
AVERAGE SPENT PER DAY: US $43.97
MOST EXPENSIVE DAY: US$300 (Kindle & gear purchases)
LEAST EXPENSIVE DAY: US $0.00

TOTAL MONEY SPENT TO DATE: US $16,449.51
TOTAL DAYS TRAVELING: 651 (1.78 years)
TRIP AVERAGE SPENT PER DAY: US $25.27

NIGHTS OF CAMPING: Many!
NIGHTS IN CASAS DE CICLISTAS: N/A
NIGHTS IN COUCHSURFERS’ HOMES: Many!
NIGHTS IN FRIENDS’ HOMES: Many!
NIGHTS IN STRANGERS’ HOMES: N/A
NIGHTS IN FIRESTATIONS: 1
NIGHTS IN POLICE STATIONS: N/A
NIGHTS IN HOSTELS: 5ish
NIGHTS IN HOTELS: 50ish
NIGHTS IN MY OWN HOME: 4 incredible months

MAJOR EXPENSES & HIGHLIGHTS:

Brazilian Carnivals with friends: 1
Four months rent: US$1,026.43
Utilities: estimated US$150
Oktoberfests in southern Brazil: 1
Açaí bowls with banana & granola: 50+
Six months of college loan payments: US$540
Average Floripa city bus fare: US$1.78
City buses taken: Too many!
Ten day vacation with American Friend: US$900
All-you-can-eat sushi dinners: 10+
Long-distance cyclists hosted in my home: 5
Nationalities: Colombian, Chilean & French
Island bike tours organized: 1
Three domestic flights: US$277
Capoeira rodas played: a few
New cellphone with radio: US$55
Rio de Janeiro’s New Year firework show: amazing
Movie nights out: 5ish
Live music events: 30+
Web design program: US$160
Ten day vacation with Brazilian Friend: US$600
Two months gym membership: US$200
Sandboarding sessions on dunes: 5
Beach days: 74 (maybe 75)
Live-streamed TED Talks attended: 12
Weeks vacationing with parents: 3
Gear purchased online & brought by parents: US$100
Brazilian rental car roadtrip with parents: 2,600 miles
Cost of a vulture through windshields: US$180
Parents’ surprising zen during accident: priceless
Family members at Brazilian Christmas party: 30+
Domestic city-to-city bus trips: 10+
Manioca roots harvested: 7
Waterfalls seen: literally hundreds
DJ house party fee: US$85
Boat trips: 25+
Kindle 3G wireless reading device with accessories: US$200 (Best purchase ever!)
Business book package: US$97
Photos take with new point-and-click camera: 500+
New camera price: US$200
Days hiking in national park: 3
Rattlesnakes that struck at and barely missed guide: 1
Poems written: 133
Paper books bought: 7
Electronic books purchased: 15+
Books read: slightly fewer than purchased

SUMMARY:

Money spent was calculated by comparing bank accounts on September 13, 2010 to bank accounts on March 13th, 2011. Major purchases were calculated from memory or by searching my Gmail inbox for electronic receipts. Earnings were not included in this report.

I spent US$8,002.00 in six months. Was it worth it? Absolutely and resolutely, yes. I learned Brazilian Portuguese to fluency (my definition: being able to smoothly communicate and understand any idea in the written and spoken language), did whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without tracking expenses, and made true friends that I’ll dearly miss when I leave the country.

Could I have spent less? Yes. In the above list you can see that I upgraded technology, invested in learning courses, indulged often, and traveled a lot. Also, a huge part of what made my off-the-bike life so memorable was time spent with friends. In Brazil, this generally means going to a bar, club, or cafe—all of which cost money. Alcohol and entrance fees, though not necessary expenses, were the costly by-product of so many happy Brazilian nights.

March 16th I begin pedaling toward Uruguay and Argentina after six months off the bike. I will once again post statistics, including miles and highlights, once a week on Sundays.


Responses

  1. Trevor,

    Great post! I forsee a lot of comments on this one, written or otherwise. It’d be interesting for someone (your old Austin roommate perhaps) to post what they’ve spent during the last six months living in country, not learning languages, not swimming under waterfalls and not dodging rattlesnakes. I think it would be an eye-opening comparison.

    Looking forward to following you as you head further south and beyond.

    • MB&S READERS: IF INTERESTED IN THE BELOW COMPARISON, PLEASE POST HERE HOW MUCH YOU SPENT FROM SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2010 TO MARCH 13TH, 2011. IT’S AS SIMPLE AS SUBTRACTING THE LATTER FROM THE FORMER VIA YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS. ANY MAJOR EXPENSES AND LIFE HIGHLIGHTS WOULD HELP TO PAINT THE FINANCIAL PICTURE. THANK YOU!

      Terry, always the great motivator. I appreciate the comment…

      I too think it’d be a good idea to compare financially State-side living to my travels. I’m going to put the idea out there via Facebook and Twitter, beside this post’s comment section. Any comparison will show how affordable travel can be; it’ll probably prove too that it’s actually cheaper than being home.

      However, I doubt the comparison will send a surge of travelers abroad for a couple of reasons. One, it’s just not a priority for some people. And that’s fine.

      Two, when crunching numbers people place importance on income lost while unemployed and not experience gained as a traveler. As the economy slinks people are afraid to take risks. Leaving a job is about the scariest thing some people can imagine. They fail to realize that in the long-run the international contacts made and the professional experience gained, especially languages, can catapult careers to new and unforeseen places, most of which offer more earning potential.

      Seth Godin wrote recently on his blog, “Unskilled labor is what you call someone who merely has skills that most everyone else has…If it’s not scarce, why pay extra?…Unskilled now means not-specially skilled.” Travel, if done purposefully, equips people with valuable, unique skills. Besides the small army of people I’ve met that are active in interesting projects around the world, I’ve had much more opportunity thanks to my second-language Spanish, and I’m expecting Portuguese to open doors as well.


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