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Our Nomadic Life — 2009 in Review

January 1, 2010 - Filed under General

2009 was an amazing year for us. It was a year full of travel, new experiences, fantastic memories, and thankfully a lot more ups than downs. It was our first full year without a permanent home and our first full year freelancing from the road. We visited 7 countries in 12 months, took 18 flights, and made a million new memories.

Below are just a few of those memories, as we look back and reminisce over an amazing 2009.

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We rang in the New Year with some friends at a beach resort in the Philippines. We had some great dives in January, made some new friends, rented a motorbike, and celebrated my 30th birthday. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 47: Diving Sipadan and Mabul

I’m a spoiled scuba diver. I started diving last October in the Philippines when I realized that my motorcycle habit wasn’t going to be fulfilled and was instantly fascinated with the underwater world. Over the last year, I’ve done around 80+ dives (not too shabby for a recreational diver!). While I’ve enjoyed almost every dive, the first 40 or so tend to be the most memorable since they took place in the Philippines.

The Philippines pretty much had it all as far as I was concerned. Great macro and muck diving in the Dauin area. Fantastic wall dives at Siquijor. Beautiful soft corals and schools of fish at Apo Island. Turtles at Moalboal and sharks at Malapascua. It’s a package that was hard to beat. Traveling through Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, I never came across a place with the diversity that the Visayas offered. Sure, there were some amazing hi-lights along the way like the whale shark in Thailand and manta rays in Indonesia, but never matching the sheer range of corals, creatures, and dive opportunities. Until Sipadan…

Sipadan, Borneo
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Posted by: Shim

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 39: 9 months in Asia and the things we (will) miss.

May 31, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

We’ve just crossed the 9 month marker of our 1 year journey. Having been through Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, our time abroad is quickly coming to a close. In a few weeks we’ll be heading back to see more of Malaysia’s north coast around Penang and possibly the Perhentian islands for some diving, then on to Borneo for a few more weeks of diving and motorcycling before flying back to Hong Kong to return home to Canada in August.

South East Asia map of our travels
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Posted by: Shim

Philippines Recap

March 1, 2009 - Filed under General, Planning

It’s been six months since we started this crazy adventure of ours and arrived in the Philippines. We weren’t quite sure what we were getting ourselves into when we landed in Cebu on Sept, 2, but if there is one thing I’ve learned since we started this trip is that you can do all the research in the world, but you will never know what a place is truly like until you arrive.

It’s been an amazing six months. There have been some ups and some downs, and it hasn’t always been exactly what we hoped it would be, but I wouldn’t trade it for a minute. Mike and I are both very excited about the next phase, and are looking forward to arriving in Thailand after a brief week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Before we do, we wanted to give you a little recap of our time in the Philippines.

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Posted by: Kelly

Week 25: Things to do before leaving the Philippines

February 22, 2009 - Filed under Drinks, Planning, Scuba Diving, Travel, Weekly Report

With a week left before we head to Thailand, we’ve attempted to mark off the last few random things remaining on our Philippines checklist…

#1. Try San Miguel Strong Ice

We’ve never seen anyone drinking it. Is it a cider? Nope, it turns out that it’s yet another pale pilsen. This time its ice filtered and packing a bit more of a punch. 6.3% alcohol, making it a close second to Red Horse Strong Beer.

San Miguel Strong Ice
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Posted by: Shim

A Guide to living short-term in the Philippines

February 21, 2009 - Filed under Planning

Ever thought about spending a couple of months in the Philippines, but weren’t sure where to start? We’ve teamed up with Location Independent to bring you a guide to living in Dumaguete, as a traveling freelancer, digital nomad, location independent professional, or whatever label you prefer.

The guide contains information on:

  • Visa Requirements
  • Transportation
  • Internet Access
  • Accommodation Recommendations
  • Alternative Office Spaces
  • and Online Resources

To find out more, or purchase a guide ($7) visit locationindependent.com

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Posted by: Shim

Foto Friday – Dauin Cathedral

February 20, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday

I have nothing to say… but it’s Friday so here’s a photo…

Dauin Cathedral

Posted by: Kelly

Week 24: Another broken strobe light

February 17, 2009 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Weekly Report

The battery pack on my strobe light broke again. This is the second time it’s happened in the last 6 months and as you can probably imagine I’m less than impressed. It couldn’t have come at worse time either. We’re nearing the end of our stay here in the Philippines, and there isn’t enough time to get a replacement shipped before we leave so, it’ll have to wait till we get to Thailand. I’m really bummed as there were a couple of dive sites I wanted to return to, to capture a few last shots to remember them by.

Despite this, Mike and I did a couple of dives this week anyway. It’s still beautiful and I love it, but I kept wanting to take pictures of all the cute little critters. I think it’s definitely gonna take me a while to get used to diving without my camera. Hopefully I can figure out how to replace it once we get to Thailand, but until then here are the last of my underwater pictures.

mantis shrimp

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Posted by: Shim

Week 22: Dinner Parties with Friends

February 3, 2009 - Filed under Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Scuba Diving, Stuff to do, Weekly Report

It’s likely due to our limited time left in the Philippines that this week we attempted to be a little more social with a few of our local friends. We’ve been busy working and preparing for the next phase of our trip, but no excuses! Parties must be partied…

Early in the week we had Patrick from Dive Society over for a lasagna dinner accompanied by a few bottles of wine. He’s given his notice at the dive shop where he works as a dive instructor and will be becoming a nomadic yogi rambling through Bali in the near future. We hope to meet up again in Thailand in a couple months. Patrick is also an illustrator. Check out his portfolio site if you’ve got a minute.

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Posted by: Shim