At the beginning of December our good friends, Mike Nyffeler and Chelé Norrie, set out on a similar adventure to our dream. As I mentioned in my post on 1-17-11 (called: “A Drunken ‘Ah-ha’ Moment…“), these two amazing friends left Nebraska to see what this amazing world has to offer, and to eventually meet up with a man that is fueled to bridge the education gap and connect his people of Nepal to opportunities…but, that’s a whole other story (check out http://thehimalayangap.com/ for more info…It’s a great project)!
They took the money they had in their bank accounts (if I remember correctly Mike had less than $500 in his name when he left) and went on an adventure. I don’t know exactly all the places they went, but I loved seeing pictures of them traveling through out Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal. It was eventually through them that my husband and I confirmed in our own minds, that we too could travel with the money we had in our account (which at the time was less then $500). The point I’m trying to make here is you don’t have to be rich to travel, you just have to be smart with your money.
I calculated that Chais and I need about $85 a day to survive in Kearney, Ne. I added our monthly expenses together (rent, utilities, cell phones, doctor bills, life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, gas for cars, groceries, entertainment, etc.) then divided by an average of 30 days in a month. It costs, on the high side, about $25 a day to live in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia or the Philippines, than after we add in the expenses we’ll still have to pay in the United States it’ll average out to about $60 a day to live! That’s a savings of $750 a month to live in the SE Asian islands vs. Kearney, Ne….for us at least. It may be more or less depending on the persons expenses, etc.
Needless to say, to travel throughout Indonesia would be much less expensive than traveling through Florida. After seeing the beauty of the places Mike and Chelé have been in the SE Asian islands, and after calculating how much it would cost to travel through the islands, we realized that we HAD to travel before we settled in Japan.
Further calculations to traveling the SE Asian Islands:
- We recently bought our plane tickets for a little over $2000 (straight to Bali, Indonesia)
- Plane Tickets to hop from Indonesia to Thailand, or Thailand to Malaysia (anywhere in the SE Asian Islands) average about $65/person, however some tickets cost as little as $20 or less…plane tickets are cheap there!
As per Mike and Chelé you can buy a plate of food for as little as $2 at an authentic restaurant! Food is cheap…and tastes amazing!
We’ll stay in hostels that average about $500 for a month…some are as little as $200 a month, it just depends on what city you are staying in and if you don’t mind sharing a room and/or bathroom with other backpackers! Bigger cities have the least expensive hostels.
We had assumed that we would backpack from city to city for 3-6 months before traveling to Japan to teach, then the March 11th Earthquake and tsunami hit Japan…
~Chais and Shawna Meyer