Going to travel agents to get Euros is a sign that an adventure is just around the corner. But it also means you have to find pounds to exchange in the first place. Today I completed this task, as well as transferring money from my savings into my current account to pay for summer rent, so a hell of a lot of money went out of my account. SCARY! – I’m trying not to think about it.

When I was younger foreign currency didn’t seem like a thing of value to me, it was like spending Monopoly money. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t understand the money because it had a different name or if it was because I was on holiday and I’d been given spending money so I could buy all the things I wouldn’t at home – like pointless toys and loads of keyrings!  That feeling no longer exists.

Having saved and paid for this holiday all on my own (apart from spending money which has come out of a savings account my mum gave me when I turned 18) every time I spend money I have a sense of dread. It has cost a lot more than I thought – and hoped – it would be, leaving me and my bank account feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. Holidays just don’t seem to have the same appeal when you have to pay for EVERYTHING yourself! Having said that, I did have a great sense of achievement paying for my holiday last summer by myself without the help of a savings account, but a one-week package holiday does not cost the same amount as a two and a half week trip around Europe. In fact I’ve spent the same amount on booking fees, flights and the interrail pass as I did for my entire holiday to Corfu. How?!

Anyway, everyone tells me not to worry and go and enjoy it – it’s not every day you get to go on an adventure – and with a new camera in tow I hope to make loads of new memories. It is hard to appreciate the money spent as I haven’t left my living room yet but we’ll see. I bet I’ll come back without a care in the world, lots of souviners and bad sunburn (the Irish in me always comes out as the sun appears!).

And on reflection, I think the reason it always felt like I wasn’t spending a peny when abroad was proably because 90% of my money was just given to me. Oh how times have changed!

Lauren x

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