I had a certain amount of money in my pocket. I had a finite number of days I wished to spend traveling. Pretty easy math. Number of dollars divided by number of days. There were no more dollars coming into the equation, so for the equation to work, I had to be careful with the amount I spent per day.
If I knew there was a day coming up that would require more money – I would miserly live a simpler life in the proceeding days to save up for the big spending day/week. When the spending opportunity caught me off guard and I went over my daily budget, I had to pay the piper in the following days until I was even again.
The unplanned cash expenditure of a one way ticket back to California (and eat the already-paid-for second return ticket) put a serious hamper in my budget. The travel deal I had landed to make the trip in the first place was based on coming home on a specific flight on a specific date from Paris, six months into the future. I had to make the money I had left for that specific number of days and I had just knocked a hole in that budget with about a month's equivalent of money pulled out unexpectedly.
My solution was to go to Crete - a little island off the coast of Greece and go"Off Grid" for a month until my remaining days matched up with my remaining money. Walked forever along the coastline until I was miles from civilization (probably multi-million dollar condos there now). I found a little abandoned bamboo hut - just in front of a large olive orchard and about ten feet from the Libyan Sea (a portion of the Mediterranean Sea) and actually had some of the best times of my six-month jaunt to Europe - doing absolutely nothing - no services - no people- no tourists - no museums. I would hike into town once a week - buy bread, wine, cheese. I eventually met the old man that owned the property - he had no problem with me staying there- I helped him in his orange orchard and olive orchard in exchange for the "free" rent. He had been a wild party man back in his day and now he said the only thing he drank anymore was a small glass of extra-virgin olive oil to "stay regular".
I still have the little blue book and a couple of photos. I noticed that I would write down the words I needed to know when going from one country to another (like: count to ten, bread, wine cheese, train station, etc.) phonetically, so I could pronounce them adequately..It did the job.