“If you are enquiring about a recent transaction, please press 1. If you are enquiring about…”

Travelling is great. Really, it is. There’s nothing more fulfilling in life than exploring what the world has to offer. Whilst it is certainly possible to travel on a budget, one thing required by anyone attempting to leave the town they currently reside in, is money. Be it a £5 bus fare, a £500 plane ticket, the cost of a hotel, hostel, travel insurance, visas, spending money….the list goes on. Regardless of what some people might tell you, and unless you are one of the lucky few who lead a simple, self-sustaining life, you can not survive without money. So we work, we save, all fun and games.

Bank accounts. Now these are a necessary feature for almost all people in employment. Most have low interest rates, but hey, can’t complain really. Gotta keep the pennies somewhere. For the most part, bank accounts are great things.

Online banking. This is where my current headache is at. I’ve been using Lloyds online banking for YEARS and I don’t remember having any major issues with it. It’s quite simple, key in your account number, password, then memorable info…et voila, you’re in. Then there’s Nationwide. 

To be fair, I haven’t used their online services before, so for all I know they could be great. But I have never know it be so difficult to set up the service. There was a problem with my card, so I called them up, listened to their “on hold” music for ten minutes or so, spoke the jolly man on the other end and was told they’d send me out a new card. They also sent me one of those key pad thingies (I’m still not convinced they make things any easier…in fact I’d say they posed more of a security risk, but maybe I’m just being fussy…). Fine. Send me out a new card, but please send me a new pin number as well. “Oh you don’t need a new pin number, the old one will work fine”.

Received new card. Old pin number doesn’t work. Blocked my card.

So I call them up again, listened to their “on hold” music for a further fifteen minutes, spoke to the tired woman on the other end and was told they would send me my new pin. Fine.

They will be sending my new pin to my parents address. Eventually I will call my parents and ask for the details, before making yet another attempt at accessing my online account. Hopefully it will work, I’ll be able to transfer money and all will be hunky dory. (I’ve also been attempting to sort out some Kuwait finances…but I won’t get started on that hassle…)

In the meantime I still have a bazillion things I need to pay for towards this Australia trip…and 27 days till I fly…

I love travelling, I really do. I just wish the banks and other such organisations felt the same way, appreciated this once in a lifetime opportunity you are providing yourself and maybe shimmy things along a bit quicker in support (I’m ridiculing myself as I write this).

Here’s to knowing it’ll be worth it in the end.

Em xx

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