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Week 56: Costa Rica and our “Casa del Surf”

September 29, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

After a great month back in Canada visiting family and friends we were both anxious to get back to what’s become “normal life” for us. We arrived in Costa Rica Saturday night and breezed through customs. The airport in Liberia is super small, basically a converted airplane hanger, and makes arriving in the Costa Rica really easy. Plus, flying into Liberia meant we were only about an hours drive from Tamarindo, instead of the 4-5 hours it would take from San Jose.

I had been to Tamarindo about 6 years ago, and have great memories of it being a sleepy little surf town so convinced Mike it would make a good first stop in our quest for a place to live.

Tamarindo, Costa Rica
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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 10: Finding a new place to live in Dauin

November 11, 2008 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Weekly Report

Another week gone by. Week 10! I can hardly believe how fast time is flying. This week was mostly spent working and looking for a new place to live.  Both of us had a few work projects on the go, and finding a new home has been top of the list for a couple weeks now. I’ve actually been a bit surprised at how hard it’s been to find something decent. I realize we have a lot of things on our list of wants/needs, but for some reason I thought it would be a little easier.

Much like we did when we first arrived in Dumaguete, we checked out a couple of cafes where they have a few listings posted. One place in particular, the “Why Not Bar”, seemed promising at first, but we quickly realized most of their listings were for show, and not much was actually available. We did a few more searches online, and even resorted to the old fashioned walk/drive around looking for ‘for rent’ signs.   Just as we were beginning to give up and start looking at other options, (such as heading to Thailand earlier than we thought) we found something. It turns out, as with most things in life, it’s all about who you know. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 8: Boracay

October 30, 2008 - Filed under Eats, Entertainment, Scuba Diving, Stuff to do, Travel, Weekly Report

We’ve spent 2 months in the Philippines! Wow, that went by fast. This week we headed off to the Buglasan festival in Dumaguete which is kind of like a tourism fair for the local communities on Negros Oriental where each town or barangay sets up a display area lauding their tourist attractions. It was quaint, and there was a great selection of barbecued foods and baked goods at the concession area. Plus, each evening there are musical competitions and we were lucky enough to show up on rock band night having missed the marching band event the previous day… There were around 40 bands playing that night for 10 minutes each. I don’t know the words to many of the songs they were singing, but it was a nice break from the love ballads pouring out of most places.

A couple days later we headed off to Boracay to check out the white sand beaches. We’d been putting it off because we’d heard it was over-commercialized and touristy, but after the last 2 months in the Philippines and realizing just how rural the country is outside of the cities, we decided to take a week or two to see if it was a viable place to live long term. We flew from Dumaguete to Manilla but due to a flight delay we really didn’t have any time to scope out Manilla. From what I saw it was big, with lots of hi-rises. Flying on to Caticlan, we were met at the airport by the hotel ‘shuttle service’ – where a guy with our names on a card piled us and our luggage into a trike and took us to the Caticlan port. We then took a short 5 minute boat ride over to Boracay and another 5 minute trike ride to the hotel we had arranged to stay in.


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Posted by: Shim

Home Sweet Home (at least for now anyway)

September 23, 2008 - Filed under General

After three weeks of traveling around and checking out a few different places in the Philippines, we finally found a place to rent. It’s been a bit of an interesting process, as people tend to tell you what they think you want to hear rather than the reality of the situation. It also took a little longer than expected… it seems that filipinos take “Island Time” to a whole new level. Never the less, we now have somewhere to call home, at least for the next month anyway.

We have rented a studio apartment at the back of the resort we’ve been staying at. It’s small but it’s clean and has a kitchen which is great as Mike mentioned in the previous post… Plus we get to use all of the resort amenities like the swimming pool, dive shop, internet and backup power generator (the power goes out a lot here). There’s also a couple of restaurants/bars a small spa, and a free shuttle into town.

Anyway… since pictures speak louder than words I decided to put together a photo tour of our new place…



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Posted by: Kelly

Week 2: Dumaguete

September 17, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

After a relaxing week on Panglao, we came to the conclusion that although beautiful, it was perhaps a little too small for us to stay there long term.  So we decided to continue on to the next destination on our list. Dumaguete.

Dumaguete is a laid-back university town on the south-east coast of Negros Oriental. Although lacking a white sand beach, there is a quaint little promenade that runs along the shoreline, with a few little cafes scattered along it, which make for a great place to people watch.

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Posted by: Kelly