Backpacking Update: Jobless and Travelling Solo


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 MaiHuay 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.
2nd month backpacking budget updateMy 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.


  1. OMG, I so hear u with this one! Always when I plan something with my friends or anyone, they always change the trip or cancel or something. It is one of the reasons I travel solo, too, I just have to. You are right, the best thing is not to count on anyone when planning ur trips. I did change my plans cos of a guy I was in platonic love with these days, and we never even met (my latest article full rubbish story!) … just don’t give up! I was in the same situation a couple of months ago and now I would never change it for anything else … I can help u to earn money, just let me know 😉

  2. I also felt that loneliness when I was on my Euro trip Doi. But I’ve been traveling solo naman talaga so I didn’t try to escape feeling lonely and depressed. I just let it be, knowing it will soon pass. And it did. And yours will. I’m also location independent, and after my almost 3 months of backpacking in Europe, I’ve been planning on staying one month or so in Chiang Mai. I bet my expenses would be soooo much less!

  3. hwow. di ko kalungtad ing-ana ka dugay doi. haaayyyy… this is a real challenge nga i can’t face it pa. kudos!

  4. Kaya mo yan Doi. 🙂

    There will always be challenges along the way. I know you can find solutions to your challenges. 🙂

    Keep on travelling!

  5. AYAAAAY, nagpadungog ay

    “My closest friends have also asked me to go home to join them on our favourite past times – food trips and road trips.”

    Alhtough assuming ko cuz bcin dili ako imo pasabot.

    Though I really wish you’d come home na Doi, I also believe that you should follow your heart 🙂 you’re in my prayers Doi! 🙂

  6. It can get hard at times, but when measured up with the ups of being on the road, you’ll end up more fulfilled and your soul feeds on these experiences. Doing a great job so far Doi in-spite of the roadblocks.

  7. Don’t give up doi.. Your right 2 mos is too early for you To give up and go back home. For now enjoy it.. Im sure malalampasan at makakayanan mo to..

    Stay safe ..

    Happy travel!!!

  8. You have a resilient spirit, Doi. You’ve amazed me with your audacity and inspired me with that carefree spirit of yours. 🙂 You may be at the crossroads now and wanting to turn back, but I hope you know that you’ve accomplished a lot already and has motivated a lot of your readers to chase their dreams. I’m sure you’ll look back to this adventure with pride and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart. As the French would say, “Bon courage!”

  9. Hi Doi,

    sent you email on contacts of people in Chiang Mai.. hope you get to meet them up if you feel the need to have company. They are pinoys too.. ingats dyan and have super fun in Chiang Mai ^_^


  10. Hi guys! I am deeply touched by your messages and I wanna say thank you! You just don’t know how your comments made my heart glow each time I read them 😉 It gives me more motivation to continue with this journey and face all the challenges ahead. Thank you so much! 😀

  11. Just follow your heart. If the time comes that you are unhappy with what you’re doing, then it will be the moment to think about changing some plans. At least then, you will be fulfilled with the thought of living life with no regrets.

    • *hugs* I agree with Marcos. The Philippines is here for you waiting just in case you feel the need to go home. At least you took the risk to do what you really want and follow your heart’s desire. I know that you’ve been to a lot of ups and downs (especially in the early part of the trip) but still nakaya mo 😀 Although you sound a bit sad in this post, I feel that you are now having a good time in Chiang Mai 😀 Time to work on the other potential online rakets na rin and at the same time have fun with new friends you meet on the road. Kaya mo yan teh!

  12. Hi Doi. I wish I had thought of doing long-term solo backpacking before I settled down. Whatever path you choose to take, I wish you well. Life is short. Do what makes you happy and everything will fall into place. Following your passion is never nonsense and don’t let others tell you that 🙂 Safe travels!

  13. This is a great blog site. I can’t stop reading when I started with your Batanes trip. Try to join Couch Surfing Network. You will meet people and if you are lucky they can host you. That would mean free accom for you. Good luck! I am a galavanter too.

  14. @kara, thank you. you can also still travel despite settling down naman 😉

    @ian, salamat! 😉

    @surfingmayo, thank you for the kind words 😀 I’m already a member of couchsurfing but not that active though. hope to bump into you on one of our journeys 🙂

  15. When i Read your blog about your experience in tiger airways, I started to liked reading more of your blogs…especially this one that can inspire us solo traveller…lalo na sa akin na starting pa lang…
    Bilib ako sa guts mo te… travel abroad alone…being jobless and solo travelling…two thumbs up for you girl!
    Email mo lang ako pag need mo ang travel buddy and ka-share…hehe…don’t worry di lang ako byaheng jologs…kaladkaring nanay din ako…

  16. Awesome article! I think a lot of people can relate to parents and friends back home not understanding why we want to travel instead of settling down into a routine career.

    I’ve also just started a travel blog and I’m hoping it can help fund some of my travels. Let me know if you have any suggestions!



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