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Ω2

Finances

   Most of the people who get informed about my trip wish they had time and money, like me. They think that I have time and money on a magic way. No, my father is neither a ship-owner nor I got any legacy from a rich relative. I am much poorer than the average Greek, actually.

   First of all, I think someone must achieve his dream on his own power in order to appreciate it. So, when he enjoys the positives of the trip, he knows that he worked hard and that enjoyment is his reward. I do not think I would appreciate it so much, if everything was ready for me by other people. I did not have sponsors for my trip, because at that time nobody was believing that I could realize my dream. Imagine that I was calling companies and I was saying I am a 23-year-old guy who wants to travel by himself to India by a small enduro motorcycle with a 250 cc engine, when I had not traveled even to the neighbor country by motorcycle. Who would believe a 23-year-old boy with such plans?

   It was very nice that a few people from some companies considered my dreams seriously, they believed me, they respected me and they helped me as much as they could. However, the amount of the economic help was not determinative for my trip. They just offered me some discounts on some things I bought from their shops. I thank them mostly for their psychological support. Moto Market, Honda Davanopoulos, eXTra Products Tasoulis, Makan and the moto magazine supported my dream. In addition, countless motorcyclists from the internet forum moto.gr and the club Aprilia Bikers, after an unbelievable movement, they sent me spare parts to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Their price was not low.

The expenses during my trip.

Total expenses : 9,514 € (354 € per month)

 

   I saved all the money I needed for my trip when I was working hard for years. I did several jobs but I saved most of these money when I was waiting tables in restaurants. I was literally running with loaded trays for ten to sixteen hours every day. On top of that, I should not live like the average Greek, if I wanted to save some money. I was never staying alone in a house. When I was living in the city where my parents are living, I was staying with them. I had a flat-mate elsewhere. I was going in clubs, cafeterias or restaurants very rarely, not because I wanted to save money, but because that way of life makes me unhappy.

   Although the countries where I was traveling were cheap, I was keeping in mind that my wallet does not generate any money. When I was not sleeping in my tent, I was sleeping in the cheapest hostels which cost 0.50 to 3 euros. Higher prices were an exception. Some of those hostels, however, were so dirty that most people would not like even to take a look.

   I was doing the same with food and water. I was not eating in the luxurious restaurants for tourists. When I was not cooking for myself, I was eating in the simple restaurants where the local people eat or I was buying street food. I was doing that even in India. I was paying 0.30 to 1.50 euro for a full meal. The average expenses for a day’s food during my trip was 2.32 euros. I was drinking water from any tap, spring or stream. You can count on your fingers all the bottles of water I bought during my trip. I do that, not only to save money, but also because I do not want to contribute to the extreme pollution of our planet by plastics.

   The biggest expense was the spare parts and consumables for my motorbike. Normally, they are not available in the countries where I was traveling. So, if I was finding them imported in any shop which had the monopoly, sometimes the price was more expensive than in my country. When I could not find them at all, they were shipped to me from Greece by a transport company, as it happened four times. Happily, this motorcycle is reliable and it did not need a lot of spare parts.

Fuel (Consumption 3.52 liters / 100 km (66.82 miles per US liquid gallon or 80.25 miles per imperial gallon))

Fuel price (€ / liter)Distance (km.)Cost (€)
Total73.4061.917,35
Greece1,00042216,76
Turkey1,5818.396396,52
Iran0,0778.23133,50
Pakistan0,6687.181170,29
India0,88526.291742,72
Nepal0,8272.74389,02
Turkmenistan0,1428634,69
Uzbekistan0,4603.54149,25
Tajikistan0,6542.51454,78
Kyrgyzstan0,6182.75384,37
Kazakhstan0,5723.81677,66
Azerbaijan0,44748411,30
Georgia0,7001.33650,36
Armenia0,6594.563123,79
Nagorno-Karabakh0,70027212,34

Engine oil

Distance (km.)Quantity (liters)Cost (€)
Total73.406120,7386,83
Greece & Turkey8.818955,22
Iran8.2311120,10
Pakistan7.181819,54
India26.29138,7104,33
Nepal2.743311,26
Turkmenistan863410,58
Uzbekistan3.541314,82
Tajikistan2.51413,17
Kyrgyzstan2.7531240,13
Kazakhstan3.8161026,82
Azerbaijan48400
Georgia1.336410,73
Armenia4.5631770,13
Nagorno-Karabakh27200

Food

Average price (€ / day)DaysCost (€)
Total1.867,53
Turkey2,9967200,47
Iran1,203946,97
Pakistan1,8357104,51
India1,94232450,66
Nepal3,8761236,32
Turkmenistan1,6258,12
Uzbekistan2,683080,31
Tajikistan4,372296,07
Kyrgyzstan2,483484,38
Kazakhstan3,261548,89
Azerbaijan4,67418,69
Georgia2,931652,65
Armenia1,87228425,79
Nagorno-Karabakh3,43413,70

Accommodation at hostels

Average price (€ / day)NightsCost (€)
Total229597,65
Turkey9,71987,36
Iran4,041040,42
Pakistan2,222964,25
India1,86120223,00
Nepal1,464261,26
Turkmenistan-00
Uzbekistan5,731480,27
Tajikistan10,11220,22
Kyrgyzstan-00
Kazakhstan6,95320,86
Azerbaijan-00
Georgia-00
Armenia-00
Nagorno-Karabakh-00

 

   The expenses above equal 1,917.35 + 386.83 + 1,867.53 + 597.65 = 4,769.36 euros totally. I also spent 602.29 euros for communication (internet and telephone calls), 465.24 euros for sightseeing and recreational activities and 1,661.88 euros for consumables and spare parts for my motorbike. A big part of them was spent on the rear suspension which broke down at the beginning of my trip and I returned to Greece in order to replace it. I spent 2,014.90 euros more for various expenses. So, in 2 years and 2.5 months of traveling I totally spent 9,513.67 euros. That means 354 euros per month, which is less than the expenses of the average Greek who stays at home.

 

   I spent more money in Greece for the preparation of this expedition rather than during the trip. I paid 12,187 euros including everything from the motorcycle, its service and its accessories to the clothes I was wearing. This amount includes even the 1,500 euros that I had to pay as a guarantee for the Carnet de Passages en Douane, which were returned to me when I got back from my trip. Imagine that 12,187 euros are not enough to purchase just one of those unequipped huge on-off motorbikes, which are considered a “must” for long-distance traveling. With this money I bought the motorbike plus the whole equipment I needed. I paid 1,800 euros to buy the motorbike, which was 10 years old at that time, and I spent 3,200 euros more to repair it and equip it. So, with just 5,000 euros I had the vehicle of my dreams to travel the whole world (the distance I finally covered was almost twice as much as the equatorial perimeter of the earth). The above price is after the discounts that the companies which supported me offered me (they are estimated at around 1,000 euros totally).

   I was receiving the money from towns or cities through ATMs and I was keeping an adequate amount of dollars and euros as a backup. In Iran and Turkmenistan the ATMs were not connected to the foreign banks, so I could not use them. Constrainedly, I withdrew all the money I would need through ATMs in the country were I was before I entered in Iran or Turkmenistan and I carried them in cash.

 

   So, I live my life in a wonderful way, for sure, but everything has its price. Otherwise, everyone would live the way I live. However, most people consider it a degradation to sleep on the floor in dirty hotels with mice and lizards around or to eat by hand between dirty Indians while they have to remove bugs from their food. I live this way because I simply do not care at all about all those things. They do not annoy me and I never had any health problem due to them.

   I am happy when I enslave my soul (working, as we are used to say) for as short time as possible. I usually work so hard that most people would not like even to think about it. That is not an issue for me. What I want is to lose the least possible time in a job (in Greek language we use the same word for job and slavery. Only the accent is changing.). Of course, some people do a job which makes them happy. They do not just sell their time and their soul. Sometimes, I do jobs that I enjoy and lastly, I am happy to say that I am very close to the point where I can live by doing mostly this kind of jobs.

 

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