Two months ago, I embarked on this journey wherein I decided to lead a location independent lifestyle as I travelled to Southeast Asia with two travel buddies. I told myself I’d be ok financially since I will be splitting some of the travel expenses with my friends (e.g. accommodations, food, transportation).
But a week after our backpacking stint, when we were on our way to catch up with friends at Sihanoukville, Travel Buddy # 1 cancelled the trip the last minute because he had to meet someone in Bangkok a few days after and it would be impractical to travel to two destinations for a short period of time. Travel Buddy # 2 decided to bail out from the whole backpacking journey as he realized that what we were trying to accomplish and discover was not the lifestyle he’d want for himself.
Dazed from that unexpected turn of events, I ended up travelling solo to Sihanoukville. Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t fully understand what exactly transpired during that time and how we ended up from a trio to a solo. I didn’t know if it was the creepy room of the guesthouse I rented on my first night in Sihanoukville, the exhaustion from a 14-hr bus trip going there or the after shock of ending up alone in a foreign place, which resulted to my breakdown that day.
Yeah. That day I cried in Sihanoukville was the day I told myself that backpacking is not all fun.
I hit rock bottom and to get out of my depression, I immediately travelled back to Bangkok to meet up with Travel Buddy # 1 and another friend. I thought it would be best to surround myself with two of the most energetic friends I know who’ll help me forget that uneventful day. While my mind was still floating, I told myself that from that point on, I shouldn’t rely on others for the success of my own journey. I should be in control of my own adventure and that I should snap out of that state.
After I lasted my first month on the road, I found myself jobless. I was silently praying for that day to come so that I could concentrate on building my sites but when it did happen, I couldn’t explain the emotions that ran through my head. This website is barely making any money to help fund my travels. I froze the income I rely from Adsense since I could only withdraw the amount back home.
“How do I generate more funds?” I continuously ask myself this question. I am still thinking of ways to help this site earn fast money or I’d probably end up sitting on a corner in Khao San Road trying to unleash some hidden talents while I place a tip hat in front of me Though I always travel on a budget, this expensive vice I chose is depleting my funds day by day.
I also mentioned from a previous post that I had to create my own extreme backpacking food budget challenge before I move out of Siem Reap. I was to catch up with Travel Buddy # 1 as we’ll head north to Laos to meet up with his girlfriend. An hour before I was to leave my guesthouse in SR, I learned that Travel Buddy # 1 won’t be going to Laos but rather booked a flight to Singapore. While I travelled on an overland border crossing from Siem Reap to Bangkok I already knew that I might end up losing a travel companion if I continue with this journey. I already knew that my travel funds would be in danger because there’s no one to split my travel expenses with.
Should I give up? Shall I pack my bags and head back home to my country? Do I go back to Siem Reap, the city I consider as my comfort home in SEA when it comes to budgeting?
I throw caution to the wind and decided to travel to Chiang Mai instead in time for the Songkran Festival. And so far, fate has been so kind to me.
Huay Satan Waterfalls, Chiang Mai
I met new friends along the way as I joined the city in celebrating the 2012 Songkran Festival. I was also able to explore the city and go on an adventure tour at a bargain price. If living in Thailand for a longer period of time isn’t that much of a hassle, I would appoint the city of Chiang Mai as my second comfort home in SEA and would stay here indefinitely too.
As for the money, I’ve spent approximately $691 (29,500 Php) for my 2-month stay travelling back and forth Thailand and Cambodia. Food still dominates the biggest expense on where I spend my money.
My spending on accommodations also increased from last month’s due to my solo living/trips. I expect that this expense will also increase in the next coming months now that I’ll continue this journey on my own. And with that, I’ll have to probably cut costs on food and other expenses to make room for this unexpected change.
I guess that’s about the update I could give you now. I really don’t know where my travelling feet would bring me. My parents have pleaded for me to go home and stop the nonsense I’m doing. My closest friends have also asked me to go home to join them on our favourite past times – food trips and road trips.
Honestly, the thought of going home is so tempting. But I also don’t want to give up yet. Two months is too early. I know people may not understand what I’m doing or why I’m doing this. But if I give up too early on my dream to travel the world and spread the word, I might not be able to do this again. I know that challenges and roadblocks will always be there that’s why I’m trying my best to fight all of them to accomplish what I came here for.