Eat Pray Love, a non-fiction bestseller, tells the true story of Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman who embarked on a life-changing trip across the world after her marriage broke down. She spent four months in Italy (which constitutes the ‘Eat’ part of the title), three months searching for her spirituality in India (representing ‘Pray’), before ending the year in Bali, looking for the perfect balance of the two and ultimately finding love. Gilbert’s journey and subsequent enlightening have inspired many people across the world, leading many to attempt their own versions of her trip.
The book was adapted into a film in 2010, which starred Julia Roberts as Gilbert, and brought her pilgrimage to a whole new audience. Many people dream of embarking on their own inspired adventure to the three countries Gilbert visited, but get concerned about the cost. Well, in this day and age, there’s no need to blow the bank on an Eat Pray Love-esque jaunt across the globe. Log on to BUCKiTDREAM to discover if anyone else has attempted the holy travel trinity, then keep that BUCKiTDREAM planner handy as we take you through the best ways to eat, pray, and hopefully love, on a budget!
Eat So, eating is all about Italy. When she visited The Boot, Gilbert discovered the pleasures of nourishment through the texture, ingredients, and care that Italians give their cuisine. Many people associate fantastic food with extravagant costs, but the truth is, delectable food can be found at a very reasonable price in Italy if you know where to look. Naples is the place to go for fantastic pizza; they invented it, after all. There are plenty of tiny, family-run pizzerias that exist in the city, all of which serve up delicious slices at a fraction of the price you might expect. Check out Starita Pizzeria for a true taste of Napoli.
Rome is the place to find all sorts of amazing, traditional Italian pasta dishes. Obviously, Rome is a capital city and usually awash with tourists, so you’ve got to be smart and avoid the tourist traps along the main thoroughfares. But once you do, a whole new world of Italian cuisine opens up to you. Most of these trattorias and ristorantes won’t look like much from the outside, but don’t let that fool you. Head on over to somewhere like Da Sergio to sample some of the best carbonaras in town (and by extension, Italy).
Pray Praying is all about India, and luckily, the place is awash with spirituality. One of your first stops in the country should be Goa, which is a popular choice for travelers looking to find themselves. Although it sounds like a cliché, it doesn’t have to be; finding yourself is a very real prospect once you touch down in Goa, and you’ll soon see why. Lined with glorious beaches and drenched in sunshine, the area promotes relaxation, meditation, and yoga. Fancy embarking on a beach-based yoga session under a glorious sunrise? No problem. Ever wanted to learn the true art of chanting? You can do that too. Living in India is very cheap, and fortunately, it doesn’t cost anything to stretch out on a beach for a couple of hours.
Goa is a great place to ease yourself into the spiritual side of life, but if you’re lucky enough to spend a few weeks in India, you might want to move further afield and enhance your spiritual journey. The Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune is a fantastic facility that attracts people from all over the world. Parmath Niketan in Rishikesh is a perfect place to go if you’re new to meditation or yoga, and if you really get the bug for it, there are courses for people who wish to become teachers.
Love Love is a trickier prospect than eating and praying, so no promises here; but for the best chance, you should follow in Elizabeth Gilbert’s footsteps and head to Bali. Bali is a paradise island that’s one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s also a spot that offers great value for money, and as we’re voyaging on the budget, you won’t need to save up a large amount to spend a couple of months there.
The aim in Bali is to hunker down and savor all you’ve learned about food and praying from Italy and India; maybe you’ll find love and maybe you won’t. But you will certainly enjoy bathing in the crystal blue seas and lying on the gorgeous sandy beaches that line the island, not to mention the tropical scenery just waiting to be explored. Maybe the trick is to fall in love with Bali itself… And if that’s the case, it shouldn’t take you too long!
Budget is always a consideration when you’re embarking on a bucket list adventure, but there are always ways around any kind of monetary constraints. Once you’ve paid for your plane ticket, Italy, India, and Indonesia can be surprisingly cost-effective, leaving you to eat, pray, and love to your heart’s cont