It’s been more than a year in the making. Not a day goes by – no, not an hour goes by that I don’t think about it. I have been researching and saving for this trip for what feels like an eternity and in a little more than one month it will finally begin. It’s a trip to top all trips : one year around the world with nothing but my backpack and my girlfriend Breada. I’ve never been so anxious and excited at the same time in my life. I’ve never done a trip of this magnitude before. I mean, it was only 5 years ago I left the country for the first time. Since, however, its all i’ve wanted to do.
We’re flying on a one way ticket from Boston to Bangkok (for just $26 each! We’ll talk about that in a later post). The first major region we’re trekking is Southeast Asia. We have a rough itinerary of where we are going, but only the first two weeks are set in stone. The farther out the place is, the less likely we will stick to our original route. Things change along the way and we don’t want to be stuck with a trip we can’t change. As of now our map looks something like this…
(*The dates are irrelevant I just needed to put something in to create the map. All but the first two weeks are bound to change*)
We’ll revisit this map whenever we leave Southeast Asia and see how well we kept to the plan. Something tells me it won’t be very well, but ya never know. With any luck, a year will just be the tip of the iceberg. One of our goals while were away is to receive our TESOL certification ( Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages ) and get jobs teaching English. It’s a 4 week intense course on how to teach English, without actually knowing the native language of where you are teaching. This will open doors for many teaching opportunities around the world. The pay isn’t great by US standards, average is about $1000 a month, but where we’re going thats plenty. Also, many of the jobs cover your visa and living accommodations so it’s easy to save a good chunk of what you earn. We won’t be getting more serious about this til’ the midway point or even later in to the trip though. We want to get a lot of exploring done before we settle down somewhere for an extended period of time.
A lot of people ask what a trip like this is going to cost. Currently our budget is $ 40 USD a day each, giving us a grand total of $14,600 for a year. This,however, isn’t an accurate representation of the trip. It does not include any costs incurred before the trip such as clothing or toiletries, travel insurance, the TESOL course, or most importantly air transportation. We plan on booking all of our airfare using frequent flyer miles, which will save us thousands over the course of the year. Using points and miles will be essential to keeping our transportation costs down and we’ll cover them in a later post. Add in all extra costs and our number is closer to $20,000 for the year. To be honest, I don’t plan on spending that much, but I always like to budget more just in case. Most of the countries we’ll be visiting we can get by with $15-30 USD each a day, but in the off chance we venture to Europe we’ll want to have a little extra.
Another way we plan on keeping our costs down and get off the beaten path a little bit is to Workaway. Workaway is a site that helps partner people with hosts in exchange for work. It can be anything from working on a farm in Costa Rica to tending the bar at a hostel in New Zealand. The typical Workaway is 20-25 hours a week for a place to stay, meals, and an opportunity to experience somewhere like a local and not a tourist. One of my life goals is to run my own hostel, so getting some first hand experience while traveling won’t hurt. I already have a few saved on the site i’d love to do.
As you may have noticed from the map, many of the countries we plan on traveling through are underdeveloped. Internet may be scarce in some places and keeping in touch with all our friends and family will be difficult. Thats where the blog comes in. It serves two purposes : a way to keep in touch with family and friends but also to help other travelers and prospective travelers with their own adventures. I believe with a little work travel can be done very cheap and I hope to convince some skeptics through our posts. Whether you’re someone we know personally keeping tabs on our whereabouts or someone we’ve yet to meet looking for some tips on cheap travel, we thank you for finding our page and hope you enjoy reading about our adventures!