Week 45: The week that we forgot

July 21, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

Ok so I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but to be honest, not a lot happened during our last week in Penang. We had couple of the biggest storms we’ve seen since we arrived in Asia (with the exception of the huge one in the Philippines). The thunder was some of the loudest I’ve ever heard, and the lightning was so close together it felt like it was practically on top of us. At one point it struck a tree outside of our condo and I must have jumped about 3 feet.

Needless to say with the weather so crappy we didn’t get up to much that week. We ate dinner at the hawker stalls a few more times, and hit up the local mall to buy a few new books and pick up some travel essentials to see us through the last few weeks.

We’re down to our last month of traveling in Asia, and have quite a bit planned. We’re hoping to put away the laptops as much as possible, and head a little more off the beaten path. So, we might be a little late with the next couple of updates, but stay tuned for our adventures in Borneo!

Posted by: Kelly

Philippines, Thailand, and Bali travel budgets

July 9, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Friends and family often tell us they’re jealous of our adventures and how lucky we are to be able to afford our nomadic travel lifestyle. We agree. We’re in a very advantageous position, earning an income working online while we travel. But how much is this costing us exactly, and how does the cost of living abroad compare to what we were paying back home in Vancouver, Canada?

You’ll notice that we spent significantly less in the Philippines on a per month basis than anywhere else. I primarily attribute this to being settled in a beach house with a full kitchen for a 4 month stretch and being fairly remote which limited restaurant expenses to local options. This illustrates my previous post about how to keep costs down by traveling slowly and minimizing food expenses. There’s also no international flight costs included in the Philippines expenses. I’m not sure if something like that should be averaged over the whole trip, or attributed to the arrival country. In which case, Hong Kong cost us $3400. :) Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 44: This week in pictures

July 6, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

Monday: Steamboat dinner @ Guan Guan Cafe

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Posted by: Kelly

Week 43: Penang continued…

June 30, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

We’ve been in Penang for just over 2 weeks now, and to be honest, our feelings about the place are still kind of mixed. The area we’re staying in, Batu Ferringhi, consists mainly of large hotels and overpriced restaurants, and it seems as if the entire place is undergoing construction. It often feels as if you’re walking through a hurricane zone. That being said, it’s oddly quiet here. Most of the shops and restaurants are closed during the day, and don’t bother opening till early evening and some times not even at all. There is a strange inconsistency to opening hours, which we just can’t seem to figure out.

Batu Ferringhi

On Saturday we decided to head into George Town to check out some of the heritage buildings, and see what there was to offer. We headed to the tourist office first, in order to grab a map and get ourselves oriented, but surprise, surprise it was closed. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

100th post: Traveling vs Vacationing. 10 ways to keep costs down.

June 29, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

For the last 10 months, we’ve been long-term traveling or living abroad in Southeast Asia. I don’t use the word ‘vacation’ as what we do is pretty far from the usual two to three week action packed splurge. The major difference is that we are working while we travel, but also that our lives can take on a sense of routine even though we’re shifting from place to place. While it often lacks the escapism that a vacation implies, I think there are added benefits to seeing another side of a country by living in it.

100th Post!

We do have a standard of living that is comparable to our life back home in most facets, staying in rented apartments or hotels. We don’t stay in hostels or crash on peoples couches to save money, but try to maintain a sense of frugality and ‘live like a local’ where possible. We stretch out our resources and take advantage of the lower cost of living in a developing country while working online. Additionally, traveling smarter by comparison shopping for flight and accommodation deals has kept our trip inline with our budget expectations. We typically estimate $1000 per month for accommodation and $1000 per month for food and entertainment expenses for the two of us. We budget flight expenses separately. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 42: Penang, Malaysia

June 23, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Weekly Report

Our first full week here in Penang has been a little overcast and a tad rainy so we haven’t been getting in a lot of beach time. We have, however, been doing a fair bit of eating! Penang is famous for it’s “hawker food” (street food), and there’s no shortage of hawker centers all over Penang. They’re sort of like giant outdoor food courts with stalls around the outside and plastic tables and chairs in the middle. There’s one not far from us and we’ve been working our way through the almost endless amount of options.

Long Beach Hawker Food Center, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
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Posted by: Kelly

Bali Beers

June 19, 2009 - Filed under Drinks

Kelly and I are fans of sharing the big beer with a couple small glasses. It’s something we picked up in Brazil at the many restaurants where you get a seat at a plastic table in the middle of the sidewalk or sometimes in the middle of the street. You even get a giant beer cozy to keep it cool. It’s often a little bit cheaper, and there’s something very communal about it. 1 beer/2 glasses is often one of our first translations into the native tongue.

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Posted by: Shim

Foto Friday: Batu Ferringhi Beach, Penang

June 19, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday

Batu Ferringhi Beach, Penang

Posted by: Shim

Week 41: From Bali to Malaysia

June 15, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

last days in Bali

We rounded out our month in Bali chillin’ at the beach and getting a bit of work done. With Mike’s computer out of commission we were doing double duty with mine, so we had to play nice and share. Since Mike had a bit more work to do than me, I took the opportunity to spoil myself with a bit of a spa day while he used my computer to catch up on a few things. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Foto Friday: Underwater Self-Portrait

June 11, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday

Underwater Self-Portrait

Posted by: Kelly