Every time I hear somebody complain that they don’t have enough money that’s why they can’t travel, I refer them to James and his blog. Being able to backpack for 14 days in the Visayas with only 250 bucks as his budget per day, it’s evident that this guy is out to prove things wrong; extremely wrong at that.
Episode 9 of my Podcast Interview Series
James of JourneyingJames.com
Blogging at JourneyingJames.com, James is one of the more hardcore backpackers that I know because of how he maximizes his trips. In my case, I make it a point to squeeze my budget when I travel, but James takes budgetting to a totally different level. He’s the guy who sleeps in a hammock!
It’s funny that even during our interview, we met up at a lobby in a cinema house which shows that true to his ways, the podcast didn’t have to be conducted in a lavish setting. Listen as he shares his thoughts when he got held up in Malaysia and his vision of promoting his way of travelling to dispel the notion that “travelling is only for the rich”.
Interview Location: Gateway Cinema Lobby, Cubao, Philippines
Please click the ‘Play’ button to listen to the Podcast:
I added music on the podcast and I apologize for the low quality microphone during the actual interview. This will become a staple in my other episodes until I can invest on a good set of recording devices.
What is your primary goal why you set up your travel blog?
One, I want to encourage all the Filipinos out there that travelling can be cheap. Even 500 Pesos a day or less, you can really enjoy the beauty of the Philippines. I want to encourage everyone that travelling is not only for the rich; it’s actually for everyone.
Secondly, I want to document the things that I’m doing so that maybe 50 years from now, or the generations after me will be able to read my adventures and I’ll be sharing some stories with my kids and grandkids and encourage them also to try to these adventures that I’m doing.
How did you come up with the 250 Peso/Day Backpacking Challenge?
I did that last year, I roamed around Western Visayas starting from Bacolod ending in my place in Laguna. I did that because I really wanted to tell out loud to Filipinos that travelling is very, very cheap. 250 Pesos – so that even those people with minimum salaries can do what I did. By the way, it’s all in, fare, food, transportation, everything. I spent only 250 Pesos per day.
I even went to Boracay, I think that’s the most expensive tourist spot here in the Philippines. I spent three days there and would you believe that one day in Boracay, the cheapest I did was I spent only 99 pesos? In Boracay for a day and nag-EAT-All-You-Can pa ako! Everyone can do that!
Article Reference: 14 Days Solo Backpacking Challenge
Can you share us your story when you got held up in Malaysia?
I was held up in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. My passport, camera, and travel money for a week… all gone.
The hold-upper left me with 10 Singaporean dollars and I think I still had 500 Pesos on my secret pocket in my bag. I was able to survive for more than a week with that amount and that’s also one of the reasons why I thought of budget travelling. I learned that even without a passport, I could travel around Malaysia; even without money!
I met some people who helped me, some people who gave me food. Actually that is my first blog (post) and surprisingly, it won an award. I won 10,000 Pesos for that blog. Looking back at it, I learned a lot.
Article Reference: Goodbye Passport, Farewell Bangkok
What’s your take on solo travelling?
Solo travelling could be fun. It allows you to meet people you will not be able to meet if you’re travelling with a group. It will force you to talk to your seatmate. It will force you to ask people to stop and take a picture of you.
You will find things that you will not see when you’re travelling with a group because the tendency is to talk to them always and not really go to the other side and explore. I think everyone should try solo travelling; it’s really, really fun!
Are there any tips you’d like share to those who are hesitant to go out and explore the world?
Buy a Philippine map. Put a mark on all the places you really want to visit and start from there. Find some promo tickets because if you really want to travel but you’re hesitant, you’ll just end up in your couch. So buy a map!
100 Days of Backpacking in the Philippines
Dubbed as Isang Daan (100), this is James’s biggest and most challenging adventure (to date) where he plans to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible. Read more about his plan here.
Exciting things are lined up this 2012, good luck on your adventure James! Thanks a lot for the interview!
Check out my podcasts with other bloggers below:
- Episode 001: Gael of ThePinaySoloBackpacker.com
- Episode 002: Estan of Langyaw.com
- Episode 003: Brenna of PhilippineTravelogue.com
- Episode 004: Mica of Senyorita.net
- Episode 005: Ron of FlipTravels.com
- Episode 006: Flip of FlipNomad.com
- Episode 007: Chichi of WeAreSoleSisters.com
- Episode 008: Doi of TheTravellingFeet.com
- Episode 009: James of JourneyingJames.com
- Episode 010: Nina of JustWandering.org
- Episode 011: Chyng of ChyngReyes.com
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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