First of all, I have to plea a big mea culpa for an un-announced mini retirement/FIRE the last 4 months. I have had the chance to enjoy an Erasmus program in the Czech Republic and took it with both hands. As one of my passions is travelling, this provided the perfect opportunity. By the way, one of the great benefits in the Czech Republic is the cheap beer. Expect to pay around €1,30 for 0,5 liters in non-touristic bars. Beer is literally cheaper than water or coke. Unsurprisingly, they are world’s number 1 in beer consumption per capita.
While being abroad, there was only one task to complete: do research and write a master thesis. As I did not have any courses, this gave me the luxury of planning my own days and weeks thus creating some kind of mini, short-retirement. I have had the time of my life to be honest. It was crazy. Receiving the gift of time, I decided to undertake some big travel plans. It started in a modest way, visiting Prague, Brno, Bratislava and Vienna. Shortly after, a friend and I took our bags and left to the USA in March. We had a 3 day stop in Lisbon because flight tickets were way cheaper from there. Arriving in the USA, we roadtripped Florida and visited Miami for a couple of days, then Fort Lauderdale and Orlando with the well-known Universal Studios Theme Park. We ended this trip with an awesome cruise towards The Bahamas and spent a day on the beach and in the famous Atlantis Paradise Hotel.
Yes, life was great over there and the adventure stopped way too soon. Luckily, April provided a new holiday. I went a week to Israel to practice sports during the morning, while enjoying free time in the afternoon and evening. We visited Jeruzalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Caesaria (the 3 major cities and one old Roman Empire heritage village). Another awesome holiday ended and left us with beautiful memories.
Getting back home, my French flatmate and I decided to travel some more in the neighbourhood and drove all the way to Krakow in Poland. Accordingly, we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau as this was only a 1-hour drive away from Krakow. A very touching experience.
After this citytrip and holidays, I was really bitten by the travel bug and could just not stop without a final travel. Convincing my travel buddy, we booked flight tickets to the United Arab Emirates to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi in May. On the way back, we had a 2 – day stop in Budapest as flight tickets were once again way cheaper. It was awesome! Dubai is an incredible holiday destination! As we went during Ramadan, I was a little afraid at first about the local laws and customs. None of these were justified! The people were incredible, very friendly and neat. The city itself is very clean and boasts huge buildings and luxury. The weather was lovely too. One of the advantages of travelling to Dubai during Ramadan is the enormous choice of cheap luxury hotels. We visited different hotels but one example is the Grand Hyatt in Dubai. We paid approximately €55 per person per night for a room with view on the Burj Khalifa, a huge breakfast and delicious dinner with alcoholic drinks included. We were treated as superstars. This was kinda weird but nice at the same time because sometimes you just don’t want to worry.
I have to admit these were the best 4 months of my life. But now, what did all those holidays costs? I cannot provide an exact figure, but it should amount to a total of around €5,000 all included. I think this is a very reasonable amount of money for everything we got in return. We didn’t look after a dollar and did everything our young heart desired. This includes spending $190 on alcohol the first day on the cruise to The Bahamas, $350 to dine in Burj Al Arab or $550 for a 2 day stay in the Five Palm Jumeirah Resort. Woops. No regrets however, we enjoyed a truly incredible time.
As I was occupied with the above mentioned travel plans and master paper, I decided to not check the stock markets too often and to take a break from blogging. Reading lots of research studies and writing a master thesis is not really helpful to write blogposts in the precious free time.
In the weeks that follow, I will try to pick up my old blogging routine once again and write updates on both the stock as crypto portfolio. More importantly, I will switch into a more frugal mode as these splurges cannot continue forever, unfortunately.
So far my ‘I’m-still-alive-message’, hope you enjoyed reading! Did you ever make big travels or try a mini-retirement? Feel free to share your adventures!