Travel FAQ

At MPG a few weeks ago, one thing we didn’t have time for was panalists each answering some common questions about travel. The idea was to give travelers some great advice but also show that there isn’t a right answer because most of our answers are different.

“What type of accommodations do you normally stay in when you travel?” More

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Meet, Plan, Go

I’ve decided to bring the blog out of retirement to share some quick updates about what we’re up to now that our backpacks are sadly tucked away.

While we haven’t been to any exotic destinations recently, our travel spirit remains alive. Tim and I are speaking next week at a National Event called Meet, Plan, Go. This is a seriously cool event. It’s all about promoting long-term travel among North Americans (because believe it or not, long-term travel in kind of normal in other places like Europe).

Tim and I are thrilled to be involved with MPG, not just because the other people involved are even more passionate about travel than we are, but because the opportunity to travel has meant so much to us that we can’t wait to encourage other people to take the same leap of faith.

If you don’t live in Boston, that’s okay because there are 17 events going on through-out the country. (the one in Boston just happens to be the coolest)  If you’ve ever thought about traveling for more than a few weeks then we hope to see you there.

P.S.  If you have been missing my traveling words of wisdom, Here are two places I have been moonlighting recently.

The Cost of Long-term Travel

Budgets and Spending for Five Months of Travel

on the island of Boracay in the Phillipines

(Note: I know I have been neglecting the blog lately. Although I was hoping to write more about our experiences, since there is still so much we never shared, I think Tim and I’s life has officially moved back to boring/conventional mode. Therefore, all thoughts of beaches and exotic curries have been replaced with excel files and how to find a decent apartment to rent in Boston. We hope you’ve enjoyed the posts!)

People always want to know how much money we needed to save to quit our jobs and travel the world. It was the question we got from everyone before we left, so Tim and I decided to keep track of everything we spent. (okay I did, and I bugged Tim about everything he spent money on that day during dinner.)

scribbles to convert between Kip, Dong, and Dollars

Quitting our jobs was a far from reckless whim. We saved for years before we went and I kept spreadsheets. I researched each country and gave us daily budgets based on other backpackers’ experiences. The daily spending was only a fraction of the cost though. We had to budget for travel, pre-departure expenses, other home expenses (b/c some bills just don’t go away), emergency funds, and we needed money for when we came home unemployed.

Now, I’m opening up my budget notebook. I want everyone to know just how cheap you can travel in Asia. How much money did we need to travel for 5 months and spend 6 weeks unemployed in the States? More

The Dock of the Bay

[Audio https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9901364/01_Sittin_On_The_Dock_Of_The_Bay.mp3%5D

The Trip before the Trip – San Francisco, California

The Painted Ladies

At midnight on Thursday, after sitting on a plane for over 6 hours I looked down on what was supposed to be San Francisco. The Pilot was explaining that we had been circling for some time over the city covered in thick fog and now we were out of gas and going to Oakland to fill up (which was even foggier, but there was no line to land). Being an East Coaster, I don’t know exactly how Oakland fits in with SF (well I do now) so when we landed and were informed that we were getting gas and would be back in the air to SFO eventually I wasn’t sure what to do. “How much is a taxi and how long is the ride?” …”Oh wait, the BART runs all the way here?” So I got off at Oakland.

the BART at midnight - not too sketchy

Now, my friend had a town car meeting her at the airport that I was supposed to jump into, so being down-grading to a 45 minute commute on the subway at midnight, or 3am according to my internal clock, was low on my list. As I was running with bags to make sure I made the last train a thought came over me: this is going to be my life for the next several months – dealing with it in the U.S. is good practice – at least the directions are in English. After arriving at my stop and following a very stubborn blue dot on my iphone in every direction but the right one, and then finally dragging my bag in correct direction (up a 20 degree inclined hill for several blocks), I made it to the hotel. I found Michelle, changed my shirt and despite every bone in my body begging me not to, we went and grabbed a beer and at a great pub – and then, just like magic I felt completely content.
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