I stepped off the ferry in Belfast with exactly ₤2.29 in coins and no bills. I only had one night in Northern Ireland before heading to a friend’s place near Derry (where Euros are the prevailing currency), and I was determined to make the best use of this money while not having to withdraw more pounds at an ATM and subjecting myself to the associated withdrawal fees.

With some trepidation, I asked a staff member at the ferry station if it was reasonable to walk to the city centre.

“Ha! No, love,” was the response that elicited a cringe from me.

“How much is the bus?”

“Not sure, but you’d better hurry – it’s over there, and about to leave,” he said with an encouraging smile.

I raced to the bus depot to find three buses. I approached the first one. “Do you go to the city centre?”

“Yes love, but do you have a pre-paid ticket?” This was a question with what I thought would be an obvious answer, given my initial query.

“Um, no.”

“Well, you can pay on board here. It’s ₤3.”

Strike one. I didn’t know exactly how much I had in my wallet, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t ₤3.

Continue reading on theprofessionalhobo.com

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  • Nora Dunn

    In 2006, Nora sold everything she owned in Canada (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace her dreams of full-…

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