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Costa Rica Budget

March 29, 2010 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Costa Rica was definitely more expensive than a lot of the places we’ve been over the last year and a half. That being said it also offered the most convenience and more modern amenities than anywhere else… which I suppose could be a plus or a minus depending on what you’re looking for. For us it was just what we needed. After a year on the road, and a particularly busy three months we were quite happy to find a nice place to rent and stay put for six months.

Before I jump into the numbers part of this post I want to remind everyone that we’re not budget backpackers. Yes you can do Costa Rica a lot cheaper than we did, but since this isn’t just a vacation for us, it’s a lifestyle, we often make choices that aren’t inline with other travelers priorities.

A comfortable place and a decent internet connection are always first priority on our list of requirements, which often means we stick to more touristy places and don’t venture off the beaten track as much as other travelers. When we arrived in Costa Rica we both had a lot of work lined up and knew we’d be spending the majority of our days online, so it was even more important than usual. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

The Long Term Travel Gear List

September 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Frequent moves are a part of life when you’re a nomadic freelancer and when we move from country to country we try to settle into a location for at least a month at a time, often staying for a few months in one spot. But sometimes we’ll move from place to place every couple weeks. Over time, I had hoped that we would turn into an elite team of baggage packing ninjas, but truth be told it still comes down to muscle and bullheadedness whenever we move our 70-80kg of gear. I’m still amazed that we have so much stuff, but there’s a fine balance between packing light, living comfortably, and being work efficient. I thought it would be interesting, or maybe even helpful for a few people to see what we haul along to live like we do.

Goodbye Vancouver
Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Malaysia and Canada travel budgets

September 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Continuing our series of travel budget posts, here’s the numbers from the last 3 months. We spent 2 months in Malaysia with 1 month spent in Penang and 1 month in Malaysian Borneo. Since this was the end of the Asian leg of our journey, we traveled around a lot more and took part in a few more costly activities like diving at Sipadan and a motorcycle tour near Kota Kinabalu. I also had to buy a new laptop in Kuala Lumpur to replace my busted computer. Then there’s the clothes budget. We had to prepare for upcoming Canadian weather and business meetings. Overall, it was a big hit to the wallet.

Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Interviewed by JetSetCitizen.com

September 27, 2009 - Filed under General, Travel

jetsetcitizen

So a while back, John from JetSetCitizen.com asked us if we’d like to do an interview with him about our nomadic travel lifestyle. We took him up on it and the resulting interview was just posted.

Have a look here: Interview with Nomadic Couple, Kelly Hale and Mike Schimanowsky

Thanks John! It really made us think about our lifestyle, traveling as a couple and how that impacts our journey and relationship.

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

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 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

Week 36 & 37: The downside of travel

May 17, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

For the most part, we’ve avoided talking about the difficulties of long-term travel. There’s sort of an unwritten rule among travelers that you just don’t talk about the bad stuff. Sure, it’s ok to bitch about lost luggage, a missed flight, or being ripped-off by a taxi driver, but no one really wants to hear that traveling can be tedious and stressful. Most people prefer to imagine our lives are nothing but poolside piña coladas, and endless Saturdays. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.

I think for most travelers, there comes a point when the romantic idealism wears off and the reality of long-term travel sets in. For us that point was last week. I can’t really pin it down to a specific moment or event, but rather the culmination of 9 months in Asia. Cultural differences, language barriers, and the challenges of living this type of lifestyle have become more and more apparent, and it’s been a difficult couple of weeks. What’s culturally charming on a two week vacation can become remarkably frustrating after a few months. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 34: Back to Koh Samui

April 28, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

One of the harder parts about this crazy lifestyle of ours is that we are constantly picking up and moving somewhere new. We’re not exactly traveling light, which can make planes, buses, ferries, taxis, jeepnies and tuk tuks, a little difficult. And I’m often envious of those people with the tiny little backpacks.

This time before heading back to Koh Samui, we decided to do a bit of downsizing in order to lighten our load. We both got rid of quite a bit of stuff, but unfortunately it didn’t seem to make a dent in our belongings. So far we’ve been pretty good about shopping, and haven’t really purchased any souvenirs, but between the dive gear, camera gear, and computer gear, our bags are definitely heavier than we’d like.

downsizing
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Posted by: Kelly

Getting Around in the Philippines

December 3, 2008 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Planning, Travel

Transportation in the Philippines can seem a little daunting at first. Unlike many other South East Asian countries, there isn’t really an established “backpacker trail” and getting from place to place can take a bit of time. That being said, there is usually more than one option to get you where you want to go and depending on your budget there’s sure to be something to suit your needs. So whether you choose to travel by air, land, or sea, remember that getting there is sometimes half the fun.

Airlines

Domestic air travel in the Philippines is relatively affordable, and of course the quickest way to get around. The ferry from Manila to Puerto Princessa is a grueling 22 hours (if everything runs on time) where as the flight will take you a little over an hour. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

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