Podcast Interview with James of JourneyingJames.com

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

soloflighted sessions with james

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

journeying james

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.

james Biri Rock formations

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

james betiacamiguin giant cross

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!

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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.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.

22 thoughts on “Podcast Interview with James of JourneyingJames.com”

  1. "buy a map" this is really cool. nice tip james because it surely motivates a person to travel and realize that there's a big world other than their little world (their room and the city they live in).
    it's following James blog specially those challeneges that he sets which i believe like most of his posts motivates people that they can travel cheap.
    astig! my intro music na. hahaha… kuyaw bai.

  2. @mervz: indeed! he's really helpful with his articles as well! I learned a lot from his cheap backpacking ways. 😀

    @dong ho: his 'challenges' are really exciting, he wasn't satisfied with the 14-day Visayas or the Mindanao Challenge. Now he has the 100 days! iba talaga. haha. boring kaayo walay music sa sugod. hehe

    @crazy sexy fun traveler: I think it was a contest and with his story, it's really something! 😀

  3. hardcore indeed!
    di ko alam yang story na naholdup sa malaysia. nakakapraning na mawalan ng passport on the road. good thing you survived. now i wonder pano siya nakaexit sa malaysia at nakapasok ulit ng pinas?

  4. ed congrats! may OBB na (if that's how they call it as well in radio/podcast). Nice hearing James sa interview. katakot ang mawalan ng passport at mawalan ng pera…hardcore backpacker nga! ingat sa mga trips sa 100 days James good luck!

  5. @chyng: yep, dun talaga ako namangha and dun ko din narealize why he set up the different 'no ATM, no credit card' challenges around the Philippines. 

    @Jerome: haha, not familiar with the term. pero buti na lang may intro na rin kahit papaano, thanks! yes, it was really crazy what happened to him in Malaysia, gud luck talaga sa kanyang trip! 😀

  6. met james and traveled with him. He is one example of how we travel and kept tabs on our life, not our expenses. I believed in his dreams and wished him all the best. 
    Thanks for this Ed. Your generosity knows no bounds. 
    Happy New Year. 

  7. Natawa ako sa answer ni James sa last question. Di pala sha serious sa buong interview! 😀
    Bow talaga ako kay James (don't worry, he's really NOT getting any kiss from me, bwahaha). I can't do what he does. Solo travels and minimum budget. I get bored when I'm alone and I love to spend when I'm traveling. 🙂
    Btw, I like the intro…with music pa.

  8. @Journeys and Travels: Hi Doc! Will be spending time with James and some PTB members soon. Hope to know them even better! Thanks Doc! Hope to meet you on the road as well! Thanks for listening and happy new year too!

    @AJ: haha. We actually kept on laughing during the interview (di lang halata sa recording kasi mahina yung device) cause we felt so serious at times. Every time we'd stop the recorder, labas muna ng tawa. hehe. Haha, I can agree that you tend to spend more when you travel solo. haha. Thanks AJ! Kelangan na talagang lagyan ng intro and closing para may konteng epek. Nakakabored na kasi pakinggan yung boses ko lang. haha! 

  9. naks may intro music na! mr. dj, pwede ba mag-request? wehehe
    James is an inspiration to budget travelers. Kelangan ko mag-training under him about spending less hehe nakasama ko na siya sa Pangasinan and in a way, i can attest na kaya niya talaga yang mga challenges niya and yes, connections do help din if you want to spend less sa travel tsaka tiis sa luho 

  10. this is the first time i heard myself on the internet and i soooooo love it #narcissisticLANG
    thank you so much ed for having this feature/series on your blog. can you give me all the recordings ng mga past bloggers when we see sa LN3? to keep me motivated during my 100days challenge.

  11. @micamyx: haha, ok lang ba ang intro? hehe. baka palitan ko, feeling ko trying hard. haha #selfconsciouslang. hehe. Onga Mica, kakatulong talaga ang connections when travelling. Ibang level talaga si James! 😀

    @journeyingjames: thanks a lot sa feedback! medyo ok ok na ata toh compared before. hehe. thanks also for letting me interview you james! a lot of people I'm sure will be inspired by the thoughts you've shared in this podcast (I actually let a couple of colleagues listen to this interview. – bilib na bilib sila sa ginagawa mo). Sure thing, I can give you a copy. Pero I haven't edited the rest of the podcasts – coming soon pa. Excited na ako sa LN3!

  12. Ed. Nice interview and all the tips about solo traveling. some lessons to be learned in his past experiences, especially the incident in Malaysia. We are looking forward to meet James again. By this time, here in Bukidnon early 2nd quarter this year. :-).

  13. @Bonzenti: Hi Sir! Thanks for listening! I really wanted to highlight past experiences from him cause I was so amazed by his survival skills. 🙂

    @Christian: Thanks, Christian! I really didn't expect that statement. It's basic and practical!

    @Gladys: Thanks for listening Gladys! 😀


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