Note: The Rules & Guidelines for the Yes Quest can be found here.
It's been nearly two weeks since I arrived in South America, and the Yes Quest has put a dent in my bank account. I have a bipolar relationship with money when I travel. I tick up my costs by avoiding hostels in favor of modest AirBnBs, mostly because I'm enough of a princess to think that bunk beds aren't for people over 30, and ear plugs aren't sophisticated enough to drown out a drunk 19 year old Aussie who is saying adios to her itinerant boyfriend at 4am with sobs of ohmygod, I know we only met like four days but you are like, the LOVE OF MY LIFE.
I'll also spend bigger chunks of $$ on experiences that I'm not likely to get again. Wine tour in Mendoza? Done. Scuba diving certification in Thailand? Absolutely. Take a bath in beer in Prague? Cheers! I feel a twinge of anxiety every time my credit card logs a few more Argentinian pesos, Thai baht, or Czech kouruna, and I constantly have to remind myself that this experience is an uncommon investment. While I can't rely on a 7% return thanks to the stock market or a 40% return on cryptocurrency (or -40%, as is the case right now. Fake money is volatile, yo), I tell myself that the connections and the stories I've experienced — and bought — over the last 11 months will ultimately result in a high rate of return.
And then I refuse to buy shampoo because it costs $5.
Generally, I help stop the hemmorrhage of costs by eating in at least two meals per day, keeping my alcohol consumption low, and walking wherever I can. It's a balance that, so far, has created a stable little venn diagram of comfort/adventure/budget that works for me. But thanks to the Yes Quest, I'm suddenly going out to more dinners, drinking more wine, and generally messing with my Venn diagram of content. My quiet breakfasts at home have been replaced with $10 cafe plates. I've had four multi-course tasting menus in the past two weeks and tasted at least 30 different wines. It's not so extravagant that I'm putting myself into debt, because a) that would violate the Rules & Guidelines and b) I'm not that stupid, but it is forcing me to constantly evaluate my relationship with money, and to understand that like all energy and interaction, the goal is to get the money to flow in consistently and out without drama.