Cheap Thrills

Well, not exactly cheap, but my boyfriend just booked us a travel package for Ottawa which I’m very excited about. I haven’t done any traveling this summer what with me being a poor student and him being helplessly tied up at work. Somehow, the fact that this trip is my birthday present makes it all the more glamorous. I know most people wouldn’t describe our capital city as such. The city isn’t exactly known to be a tourist hot spot, unlike Paris or New York. To me, Ottawa conjures up images of beautiful architecture, frozen Rideau Canal, and beaver pelt hats. Speaking of hats, I would love to have a pill box hat to travel in. I’m hoping that when we go next week, it will be sunny and gorgeous, and void of huge tourist crowds. And, did I mention that we are flying there? It’ll only be an hour flight.

image taken from

Now for the real cheap thrills.. After we finalized our travel plans, I was told by my supervisor that I will be down to two shifts instead of three a week because of my schedule at school. Burns…….That’s going to significantly affect my paycheck. I am so sick of being poor. It’s ironic that when I was working, I wished I was back in school, and now that I am, I wish I was working. Well, that’s not completely true; I wish I had the money I had while I was working. And if the grass is always greener on the other side, if I had money and didn’t have to work, would I still be dreaming about another lifestyle? And what would that be? Something more interesting, I suppose.

Being a student isn’t so bad. There are perks besides the obvious (hello, education?). Museums and art galleries usually have a student discount for us post-secondaries. And in the age of credit cards, and entrepreneurism via internet with little to no start-up costs, it might seem at times that the middle class is the biggest class of the modern period. And the invention of the middle class was made possible when people started saying, hey, we can live the lifestyle of the bourgeois. Screw them. We’ll make our own fame and fortune and buy the same luxuries they have at cheaper costs and lower quality. If we have to, we’ll fake it, or take out a loan. In that spirit, I am writing a list of simple luxuries I like to enjoy on a tight budget. This is not a list to encourage spending money that one doesn’t actually have and will eventually have to pay interest on, but rather things or activities that take the edge off and make my life rosy. Here goes, my list of simple luxuries for up to $20:

  • sipping on an iced tea sweetened with just a few drips of honey on a hot, long walk
  • taking a walk through an affluent neighbourhood and admiring their gardens and homes
  • falling asleep to the sound of rain outside
  • Sunday pancake breakfasts at the dining table with classical music filling the rooms
  • finding $20 in my pocket
  • window shopping in the design district
  • planning and making the perfect meal for two; sitting down and eating that meal slowly with the one I love
  • eating dinner on a patio when the sun is just beginning to set with a glass of wine, maybe a Riesling
  • coming home to a sweaty sweetie working hard at dinner
  • getting a hug after a bad day
  • a bike ride in the country

image taken from The Sartorialist

By the way, I can never figure out how people manage to ride a bike in a dress without flashing everyone. Believe me, I’ve tried.


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