I don’t know how many posts I’ve started with “paradise on earth” but Gili T deserves this post. I’ve been really fortunate this past year to vis lots of beautiful “paradise” places. The latest visit to paradise was in the form of Gili Trawangan. Sara and I read reviews online and received recommendations to stay away from Gili T … it’s an island with a bunch of 18 year olds partying, dirty, and not that many beautiful beaches compared to Gili Air or Gili Meno. We were debating wether to skip Gilis all together (a $60 2 hr fast boat ride from Bali or 7 hour long trip for $12), we’ve seen lots of beautiful beaches in Thailand, why should we go see more, specially if neither of the Gili’s is better than the Thai islands based on the reviews?? We’re so glad we ignored all of that!
Friends and acquaintances often make the mistake that we’re well off because we’re traveling the world and are “jet-setters”. The reality is that we’re not well off and still have more than $40k in student debt! However, one thing we have done in the past is budget, save, and spend smart.
Last night we realized we could not go on a motorcycle road trip in Bali due to lack of an international driver’s license. We were really sad since we had already made the decision to take a tour of Bali for 2 weeks on a scooter.
Today in the morning we did a bit of research online to see how we could still go on our trip without getting into much trouble with the law. We could not find any good information on how to get a driver’s license in Bali online but fortunately we did find someone’s comment in a travel forum that they were able to get a tourist driver’s license in Denpasar (2 hours away from Ubud) for 300,000 rupiahs (equivalent of ~$30). With this sliver of hope, we decided to ask around.
Bali is a small island that spans 153 km east to west and 112 km north to south. Most of the roads are concrete and even though you drive opposite side of the road to what we’re used to and traffic can be crazy, we wanted an adventure!
Yesterday we had pulled out a map of Bali, circled spots we wanted to visit and rented a scooter for $3 a day!
Due to a canceled flight, we are now spending 17 hours in Hong Kong airport on our way to Bali from Bangkok. It makes no sense. Bangkok to Bali it’s no more than a 3.5 hour flight … yet it’s taking us more than 36 hours to get there. The downside of pre-planned Round the World Trip airline ticket … but can we really complain?
We asked the tuk-tuk driver where he would go if there were a tsunami and he said he was driving towards his home. Without thinking, I bravely asked if we could go with him. I would never make such a request under normal circumstances, but I didn’t think getting dropped off on a mountain with no cover for an indefinite period of time was a good idea. We needed an internet connection that would update us regularly about the tsunami warning. The driver sorta nodded, but I really wasn’t sure. And then his wife arrived on her moped behind us and the driver sighed with relief as he pointed toward her head scarf and said, “my wife.”
We’re back in Thailand after a short fun stay in Kuala Lumpur. We land in Phuket and are waiting for our minibus to take us to the pier when we meet Luciano. He’s a mid-30 year old Argentinian traveling in SE Asia for 3 weeks. As we mingle for a few seconds, we decide to cancel the shuttle van and share a cab to the pier … less expensive and faster!
On our 40 minute trip to the pier, Luciano shares with us a sad, funny, and horrific story of his friend Ivan.
Ivan and Luciano work together in Buenos Aires in finance and decide to visit Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos for 3 weeks. They fly into Bangkok (BKK) and stay two nights before heading to the next city. However, all is changed on the second night of their trip.
A few days ago we got motivated to share our experience on how to travel the world with less than $50/day a person. The first post of this series was regarding flights. We received great feedback from our friends and as promised we will continue to share tips on travel. For the second post of the series we visit the topic of lodging.
Is this really possible? Pay for a place to spend the night and still have money to buy food, pay for entertainment, and transportation? The short answer is yes. For the long answer, keep reading.
Last 3 months include Turkey, Jordan, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos.
Will upload a better quality video once I have fast internet!
I’ve learned that long term travel is not for everyone. Some people like to escape the 9-5 only for a week or two. They like to have a place called “base” and not be afar from family. Others, however, like the freedom that comes with long term travel. One morning you could be watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat and two weeks later you’ll be kayaking the Mekong river searching for river dolphins. Or you can be in Venice thinking your next stop is Florence but then decide on a last minute hunch that Slovenia is probably nice to visit and in a few hours you’re on a train to Ljubljana.
Many of our friends have asked us how and why we’ve taken a 10 month trip. To help you decide if long term travel is for you and if you can afford it, we will write a series of posts that hopefully address this issue.