Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dreamville, USA

Life in Gainesville this week has been fun. Its been peaceful, educational and productive. Today's adventures included a short visit to the Union Station Famer's Market, a nice long meditation session by our housemate Mike, and an egg sandwich at Louie's Lunch, a seemingly hole in the wall family owned diner that has been serving burgers and eggs since 1938. (Think vintage Coca-Cola signs and Gator-related newspaper clippings featuring Steve as a ballplayer). The crowd was mixed, but all shared one thing: they were local enough to know that Louis was good luch stop. (Fried egg sandwich with lettuce and tomato, $1.09).

Last night Tau and I ate at the Top, a veggie-friendly restaurant right on Main Street downtown. We've been trying really hard to live as inexpensively as possible, but we decided that a fun dinner out was in order. This eccletic restaurant opened while I lived in Gainesville and was well known as the "emo" place. (If you're not sure what that means, ask someone under the age of 35, or a guy that wears eyeliner and they'll explain.) Regardless though, people of all sorts go there, although I have to mention that most of the men there last night had some serious beards. This wouldn't be worth mentioning unless it was an absurd percentage, which it was, and if the beards were't incredibly long and wirey, which they were. Anyway, I'm always up for eating anywhere whose sign outside says "Vegan Chocolate Cake". Tau and I both love eating "family style", (my dad is also a big fan as its an easy way for him to get to have both things on the menu that he really wants). So we got pesto gnocchi and pecan encrusted tofu with shitake mushrooms with broccoli and the Top's famous sweet potato fries. A damn good way to spend $21. I actually only ate half of my half, so it was also lunch today :)

Whenever I read travel blogs I always wonder how people fund their fantastic adventures, so I’ll be quite frank with you and explain how I’m doing it: basically for now its all savings. I have several fixed costs each month as we all do, they are the following:
  • Cell phone: $65 ($50 for unlimited minutes + $5 texts + taxes and all those other fees that we all pay for no good reason that I know of)
  • Internet: $60 (via a T-Mobile Lapstick. Gives me 5G of data each month, I have no idea if that will be enough, it’s new, so we’ll see.)
  • Health Insurance: $52 (Blue Cross Blue Shield, hospitalization and surgery coverage only)
  • Car Payment: $161
  • Car Insurance: $200
  • Gas: ?? A few weeks on the road will determine what this will look like each month
  • Food: ?? Also don’t have a real budget for food. I need to work on this, but I’m trying to eat deliciously healthy while being affordable, so I'm pretty sure that means cook as much as possible!
  • Accommodation: $0 – the plan is never to have to pay to sleep, and I plan on being a fantatic about this.
  • Storage for all the stuff that didn't fit in my car: $0 thanks to mom's hospitality and attic space

(This is where MasterCard would be really happy if I said, "Spending well earned money on amazing travel adventure: priceless.)

So those are the basics in terms of financials. Of course there are going to be other expenses, like the 4 really fun postcards I bought in Micanopy the other day, so we’ll see how this all works out. The majority of this trip will be funded by savings with the addition of some part time consultant work. Let me know if you have a project that I may be able to help you with from the road!


  1. love the budget did you get the hostel for free??

  2. it's so amazing what a different adventure you had in gainesville than if you would have stayed with me. New adventure with a new outlook on our old town. love it.