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  • Last Modified: September 15, 2017 07:27 PM

Dry Clean Only

After a lengthy and always expensive visit home, spending several months in South East Asia was a much needed break for my budget. I was able to travel to Bali, three islands in the Philippines and up and down the coast of Vietnam while effortlessly sticking to my average budget of $50-$60 (USD) a day. That includes flights, ferries, food, accommodations, entertainment and of course a motor bike in every city. (Post on SEA being cheap AF coming soon with tips and recommendations) I started in Bali, even though I had been there before because this trip was going to be a lot different than the last, which was over a year ago. The first time around I was taking in all that Bali and the surrounding islands had to offer. I checked out the restaurants, did my fare share of bar hopping and of course pulled some all nighters at beach-side dance clubs. But this trip was very different. I was going to Bali for a specific reason. To surf.



To be clear: I still suck at surfing, but I’m a lot better than I was the last time I was in Bali. That’s when I paddled out and popped up on a board for the first time. Even though I grew up in California and spent a lot of time at the beach, I had never even tried to learn to surf. In fact, I hadn’t really learned to do anything - other than work.

When I set out on this trip around the world people would ask me if I was running away from someone, in search of something, or maybe even trying to find myself and I always laughed. Why did I need some profound reason to want to travel the world? I think if I set out on this journey in search of something specific I probably wouldn’t have found it. Leaving everything up to chance and open for interpretation, I have learned a lot of things about myself that I never knew. So I guess I have found myself in a way.

Three years ago I would have never considered myself a "sporty” person. I was instantly turned off by dudes who suggested hiking as a viable date option. I begrudgingly went to the gym but only so I would look good on the beach in a bikini that would never actually be worn in the ocean. My favorite bikini before I left my old life was dry clean only. Go ahead and let that sink in… my bathing suit was DRY CLEAN ONLY. Man, what an asshole I was.

Over the last three years I’ve gone wake boarding in lakes and oceans in two countries...


Hiked around South America...


Surfed in five different countries on varying boards and breaks...


Sand boarded down massive dunes in Peru - landing me in the hospital...


Galloped on horses in Jordan and camels in Egypt...


Learned how to ride a manual motor bike in flip flops - complete with hand clutch and foot shift...


Jumped off cliffs in the Philippines...


And just recently added kite surfing to the list of things my mother can think killed me when I don’t respond to her texts right away...
 


It should be said that I am by no means an expert or even half decent at any of the aforementioned activities, but I wouldn’t even know I suck at duck diving a surf board and still have to plug my nose when I jump into water like a 5 year old if I didn’t give some of this ridiculousness a try.

People use the term "you don’t know what you’re missing” without assigning the right weight to the phrase. Think about how heartbreaking that actually is. Not even knowing that something you could be doing at this very instant would bring you more joy than you’ve experienced doing anything else to date. So. Sad. Surfing is now one of my absolute favorite things to do. It has drastically changed the way I travel and I only discovered it at age 30. I did most of the things I mentioned above for the very first time at 29, 30 and now 31 years old. I truly had no idea what I was missing, sitting on a towel at the beach in my useless bikini, tragically unaware of how much I was missing.

Don’t be like me, circa 2013. The next time you see someone doing something that seems like it might be fun, or interesting or even just thought provoking… try it. You never know, it might turn out to be your new favorite thing. And if it’s an expensive hobby, like kite surfing, try it in SEA where everything is so ridiculously cheap, you can’t afford NOT to make a fool of yourself trying out your new potential passion.


*Don't forget to get my travel hacking eBook if you haven't yet! Just click the banner at the top of this page*


 - What visiting more than 60 countries has taught me and how it can help you make your travel dreams a reality. All you need is a desire to visit new places and I’ll help you do the rest. I didn’t start seeing the world until I was almost 30 years old, tied down by an employment contract, apartment lease, car payment and plenty of debt. I’ll tell you how I escaped it all to become a world traveling gypsy and how I’ve managed to maintain my budget after more than 2 years of continuous international travel. Whether you’re interested in long term travel or making the most of your annual leave, this book will give you the tools to travel like a pro, for a fraction of the cost -
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