Many of you (like… hundreds? ;)) have asked me how the heck it is possible that I manage to travel the world. Do I earn a fortune? Nah, and actually far from that. (Especially now that I have quit my job.) Did I have unlimited days off from work when I used to travel like crazy? Nope, just the same amount as the other colleagues!
So what is the magic trick?
Well, first of all, I don’t live like a queen, I don’t need to buy all the fancy gadgets (such as iphone), I don’t ride a sports car, I don’t wear posh clothes. As a matter of fact, I use a decent smartphone device, my car is super old (sometimes I tend to enter it from the passenger’s side when the driver’s door is locked! and no-one knows why…) and if I wear any cool stuff it’s because I designed it on my own and my mom sewed it as per my design 😉 You know, there are people for whom “to be” is more important than “to have”…
I am single, and that is true, I can afford more than a regular wife with kids. I’m not saying it’s “sooo cool”. I’m just saying it’s the current state of play. That’s what it is so I’m only taking advantage of the situation. Btw, if I had kids, I would still travel 😉 (Just so we are clear!)
People who are closer to me know that I would spend my last money on travels. And I am not going to enumerate all the ways how to travel cheap as most of the travelers’ blogs already share the details. All you need to know is your limits and expectations.
Just so you know, I never go on any organized trips. By organized I mean travelling with travel agency. I never sleep in hotels. I never eat in fancy restaurants. Yes, I drank a few beers in some awesome (and extremely expensive) sky bars in Asia, but it was the least I could do to enter those places. And, as a regular girl, I wanted to check out the famous sky bars (i.e. Sirocco in Bangkok or Ku-De-Ta in Singapore). And the view! Actually, especially the view! 🙂
So if you lower your expectations, if you like eating street food (no, not from the ground!;-)) and you don’t mind sleeping in one room with 11 travelers backpackers, very similar to you by the way, then you can travel really really cheap.
Not to mention Couchsurfing, a community of open-minded people (just like you and me) which basically changed my perception of the world (I wanted to put: changed my life, but that would be a little pathethic though ;-)).
If you still haven’t signed up, I strongly encourage you to do so. And I’m not trying to convince you to sleep for “free”. In fact, I was hosted only 2 or 3 times in my life by complete strangers. No, what I really do is meetings. Believe me or not, you can be part of a history. You know what is the most exciting for me? To be able to organize a meeting with wonderful people (yes! complete strangers!) wherever I go around the world.
I will never forget my post on the Singapore group about hanging out for coffee or beer. Some 30 people replied, both locals and travelers. And guess what… the first post was coming from a guy I had met 2 years before in Lisbon (also through CS). The world is a village, he wrote. Thanks Nuno, it is indeed 🙂
I was so excited about the meeting. I was still in Poland while organizing this and had goosebumps each time I thought about my next travel destination. Because I knew that a bunch of cool people were already waiting to meet up in this tiny country in Asia. In the end, some 20 people came and we drank few beers in a nice travelers bar which we then left for an excellent Indian dinner somewhere in Little India, the Indian district in Singapore. Great soirée indeed. Something to repeat when I decide to come back to this area.
Couchsurfing enable me meeting people around the world. I always ask if there are locals to show me around, to have a beer, or pizza and cappuccino, like the last time I went to Milan (thanks again Lorenzo for being such a lovely guide!)…
I became friends with many of the Couchsurfers. Some of them will stay in my heart forever despite the miles separating us one from another. I could spend time listing out all their names till the morning… Staying at Juana’s, a Singaporean lovely girl, was my first big experience. I was a roukie Couchsurfer in her house in Singapore and I think I will never forget that awesome feeling when we discovered how much in common we both had in spite of all cultural, geographical and religion differences. Great experience!
Yes, travels teach us life. I am not saying we should quit our jobs and just move to another country. Although, that is also one of many people’s biggest dream… 😉 Travels are inspiration. They can be eye-opener, mind-blowing, rich in adventures and full of unknown. And that’s the beauty of travelling…
So… How many travelers or wannabe-travelers here? 🙂