Street Where the Riches of Ages are Stowed

Portabello Road, Portabello Road,

Street where the riches of ages are stowed.

Anything and everything a chap can unload

Is sold off the ‘barrow at Portabello Road.

   …Bedknobs and Broomticks

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Just look at those colors. Isn’t it amazing?

I admit that I adore open air markets. However, Portabello Road Market is not simply an open air market – the term just doesn’t do it justice. This Market was incredible and like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was filled with amazing shops, quaint places to eat, open fruit/vegetable markets and unique carts selling all sorts of knick-knacks…and lots of antiques! However, let me be clear, these are no ordinary antiques – they are literally the “riches of ages”. There are items from great estates, from the glorious times gone by…lovely silver tea sets shined up to perfection, display cases of glorious costume jewelry spanning through decades of style, elegant cameos (some authentic and some knockoff), and historical items from WW I and WW 2. It was such fun experiencing the eras of history through people’s former treasures.

Listening to the advice of several travel blogs, (Even Wandering Bastards do their homework!) we got up really early and took the tube to the Notting Hill Tube stop in order to beat the crowds. It was excellent advice and we were able to arrive as the shopkeepers and cart owners were setting up their wares. Walking down into a basement full of treasures we were surprised to find a wonderful non-toursty spot for breakfast where we enjoyed scones, hot chocolate and some delicious sausage. We then spent the rest of our morning sharing adoration for the items that caught our eye.

(And yes, in total Wandering Bastard style, I may have walked up the street singing the Bedknobs and Broomsticks Portabello Road song…a few times.)

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Dad and Catherine in front of one of the many fruit/veggie stands

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“Minding the Gap” on the Tube

 

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Even at Portabello Road you can find happiness…I mean Gelato.  🙂

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Painting the roses red…not pink, not green not aquamarine! (The rose bushes in London are MASSIVE!)

Gelato Fund

Traveling is expensive you say – well, yes and no. No, it’s not free…but yes there are ways of doing it that make it more affordable.

Please believe me, after the initial cost of a passport you are well on your way.  (For ideas on affording a passport/directions on how to get one see blog post here: https://wanderingbastards.com/2017/02/01/ready-to-wander-first-thing-is-first-get-a-passport/)  I cannot stress enough how motivating it is just having a passport your hands! It’s amazing how much not taking this one simple step holds people up!  I’m a firm believer that if someone really wants something, despite their circumstances – they will find a way. Having said that, traveling has become quite the science and here are a few tricks I’ve learned…

Credit Card Airline Points:  Ok, so I’m not condoning going into debt in order to travel. That is a BAD idea and it will make your potential adventure into a stressful misadventure. (Not worth it!) What I mean by credit card points is getting a credit card that gives airline points and using it for everyday expenses…and then paying it off each month leaving NO BALANCE. You can pay for almost anything with your debit/credit card so why not put those everyday expenses to work for you? Expenses like: rent/mortgage, food, power, water, gasoline, electric, hair color/cuts, business expenses…the list goes on and on. As long as you pay it off each month and don’t get caught up in feeling like its monopoly money you will be AMAZED at how quickly your points add up. (Oh and an additional perk of this is you will be building your credit!) The Jedi Master of credit card airline points is this guy: https://thepointsguy.com/ . The Points Guy is so good at breaking down the science of Airline Points. Definitely worth checking out his website!

Start a Gelato Fund or aka Good Old Fashioned Saving: Boring right? Except it’s not. If you want something you go after it. Traveling isn’t any different. You’ve got a passport now start dreaming…once you start seeing it as a real possibility you will realize how much money you waste everyday! Put it out there – I’m saving for Europe/Costa Rica. (insert wherever your dream adventures). The next time you feel like splurging on eating out or supporting your soda/coffee addiction, stop and think about how much money you are really wasting. It’s a conscious decision – my sister calls it her Gelato Fund. “I would rather eat Gelato in Italy than splurge on fast food or a nice dinner out.” My dear potential Wandering Bastards…I’ve had Gelato in Italy and believe me when I tell you…it’s absolutely worth waiting and saving for it.  Need ideas? I have a friend who wrote a great blog post about how she saves money for traveling. I LOVE her approach, check her blog out: https://cyndigrahamcracker.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/my-favorite-travel-sites/ It’s got an awesome travel site list too…seriously she is like the queen of travel deals. She inspires me every time I talk to her! (Oh and yay, she has agreed to be a guest blogger for us too so watch for that!)

Minimize: There is a huge minimalist movement going on right now. What is minimalism?  Well, there is a saying…The first step in crafting the life that you want is to get rid of everything you don’t. News flash…we don’t need all this stuff. (I need to work on this too.) Every last bit of advertisement in the world has one purpose…to get us to buy stuff. Why not stop buying into it and start buying into ourselves? The next time you feel that urge to buy the latest phone/computer or find yourself splurging on something that you think will bring you happiness…think about your Gelato Fund. Gelato in Italy is real happiness folks…at least it’s more real than eating out/drinking soda. Need more motivation? I love Ted Talks…I just do. Here is a link to some great inspirational minimalist Ted Talks to help you clean up your life and get going on your Gelato Fund! http://frugaling.org/8-ted-talks-will-inspire-become-minimalist/

*Please note: Gelato Fund can be substituted for various motivational travel goals – the Paris Crepe Fund or Bavarian Pretzel Fund sound great too! (Both are also amazing by the way!) Oh and it doesn’t have to be food based either. For our gluten/dairy intolerant Wandering Bastards, how about the Costa Rica Zipline Fund, Grand Canyon Adventure Fund, Disneyland Fund or Malaysian  Escapade Fund. You get where I’m going here…

Perhaps we should call it what it really is…a Wandering Bastard Fund!  🙂

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Ready to wander? First thing is first…get a passport.

If you even have an inkling to travel –  a passport is a must.

Is Christmas, a birthday or anniversary coming up? Are you looking for a great wedding or baby shower gift? Money towards a passport is the perfect gift because it’s a gift of endless possibilities. What better way to tell someone you love them than by giving them the world? (And what better way to treat/invest in yourself?) passport2

At the time this post was written, a U.S. Passport cost for someone over 16 is around $135 with processing fees if you are under 16 it’s around $105 with processing fees. That is pretty spendy for a small booklet of paper but it is TOTALLY worth every penny. I repeat – worth.every.penny.

Remember, when it comes to planning it’s passport first – vacation afterwards. Don’t wait to apply for a passport until you have a vacation planned. Passports are already a big enough expense without adding it onto the cost of a vacation. If you have a passport in hand months before you start planning – it will feel like a non-related expense.

I must also mention that passport processing can take 4-6 weeks.  This means that you could potentially miss out on that great airfare or cruise deal simply because you don’t have a passport.

If you have never applied for a passport, the process can be a little intimidating but it doesn’t need to be! Here is a great blog post from one of our favorite travel blogs with step by step instructions: http://www.peanutsorpretzels.com/how-to-get-your-first-u-s-passport-in-5-easy-steps/

Also, here is a link to the passport application forms: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/forms.html

If you already have a passport – check the expiration before making any plans. An expired passport is NO BUENO! Some countries do not let you travel if your passport is set to expire three to six months before your departure date. (Some even won’t let you travel if your passport expires three to six months after your scheduled return date from that country.) Always check you passport expiration before you plan.

Honestly, once you bite the bullet and get that first passport in hand you will have a strong desire to actually use it! (I believe it’s the definition of “wanderlust”) That’s where the fun begins and before you know it – you’re a wandering bastard!

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