Hey everyone! We are Jimmy and Tah, a mixed traveling couple. Kicking off with $4000, we have been traveling Southeast Asia for a year now. Being in Southeast Asia is a blast for sure, with tropical settings, cheap stuff, so much culture to explore! Of course during the past year, there are many things we have learned while traveling Southeast Asia as a couple. So much in fact, we think it is worth sharing with all of you here!
Traveling Southeast Asia as a Couple – What We Have Learnt
We feel even more grateful
One of our favorite ways to maintain our budget lifestyle while traveling, is to travel somewhere not touristy, as that is the place where prices tend to be as local as possible. Somewhere off the beaten path, in rural areas, are perfect to follow the flow of locals and spend even less. Moreover, that’s where we truly see the local life; see how they do not have miscellaneous extravagant stuff, yet still enjoy life and be happy.
The feeling I was having is something I wish every person in the world can have. Sometimes people become so comfortable that they don’t feel grateful for the small stuff in life. There were many times we were traveling around the Philippines and our phones stopped working. We quickly noticed that we were lost, yet this wasn’t an issue. The kindness the locals showed us was even more amazing than the having mobile data. This is when we noticed we could live here.
No Plan is Good
Some of the best adventures we have had in Southeast Asia are when we didn’t plan anything at all. We are so used to being in a rhythm and always having a plan for every step we take. You get so wrapped up in it. We noticed all we were doing was working. In Southeast Asia, it is to not have a plan and just sit back and be grateful for the little things; sunshine, tropical weather, island getaway, bird sounds, coconuts, cheap meals.
When we returned to the Philippines for the second time we originally had plans to go to Port Barton. After cancelling our plans we hopped on the first bus to El Nido, as we found out it is cheaper that way. This was not what we expected and we were in for a real treat when we arrived. There was no accommodation or rooms available within our budget in the town. For the same price as being in the congested little town our driver recommended us Calitang Beach, which was the first time we heard that beach name. We decided to say ‘yes’ to his recommendation, so he took us there and that is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen.
We had the best time soaking in the sunset and had the best night on a very quiet beach. This would have never been possible if we would have followed the plan. We most likely would have never made it to this beach.
Find Humor and Smile in Every Situation
Life can get pretty crazy at times. One minute you could feel on top of the world and the next minute you could feel like the walls are caving in. This is why finding humor in everything can really be useful and helpful.
However, finding humor in everything isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes when all things go wrong the best thing you can do is step back and laugh. Being in Southeast Asia, we realize that humor and pleasure in life is so easy to find; most kids have fun playing outside while it is raining, laughing at each other. People smile and seem greatly happy when you say ‘hello’ in their language.
See the Value of Money in a Different Way
While in Southeast Asia, everything is cheap and dollars can go very far. Once we were in Vietnam, their beer cost us only 25 cents, not even a dollar! Most of the meals cost us no more than 3 dollars per person. A nice, private pool villa in Bali cost us 25 dollars a night.
We get so used to how cheap it is being in Southeast Asia and it has shaped us to be more careful about every dollar we spend while we are in America. With the general meal cost at $10 we think it is pretty expensive as we always compare how the price is in Southeast Asia and this has helped us greatly in saving money for traveling.
Patience is Key
Patience is something I shouldn’t really be talking about. At all. I have little no patience, but I am learning as time goes on. To own something you know you do wrong is the first step. I have learned that patience is something you must have when traveling, especially in Southeast Asia where things seems to be more flexible.
So many times things won’t go as planned or something that should have taken 5 minutes now takes you 2 hours, the great example for this is public transportation schedule and the traffic jam condition in major cities. These are things you need to realize that are going to happen unexpectedly while traveling and when it does happen, our patience works in coping with it. This is the best way to cope with the issue – understanding, being patient.
Also try finding out things you shouldn’t do before traveling is what we always focus on. This could help save a lot of problems in advance. When we were traveling in Bali, there are many things we are not used to – Local traditions and customs. These are things we learn to respect. For example, If you accidentally step on the offering on the ground some locals might get really upset and start yelling. Therefore, being patient together with knowing what not to do before you travel could save you time, money and even a headache.
If you plan to travel Southeast Asia in the future make sure you check out our FREE travel checklist for all the top destinations. These give you must know information and packing essentials! We also have full in-depth video guides for all these destinations!
Jimmy and Tah
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