Episode 41 – Travel the World on $50 a Day

This is the fourth of seven episodes from my travel podcast series, Boarding Call.  It was originally published on April 23, 2015.

Our Guest

Matt Kepnes is better known as Nomadic Matt, and is the author of the book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.  (BBC Travel calls it “the bible for budget travellers.”) He shares some of his thinking with us and tells us how he’s using the ideas from the book to get himself across the United States to promote the most recent edition of the book.

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I Hate Haggling

When it comes to the popularity of Southeast Asian backpacker trail, there are really two major reasons why the region rates so highly with westerners – and they’re as diametrically opposed as the left and right brain.

On one hand, Southeast Asia has some of the most glorious vistas in the world. The cultures are unique, the people are warm and welcoming, and the scenery is phenomenal.  It really is a special place that is worth taking time to come and appreciate.

On the other hand, Southeast Asia is easy on the wallet. You can snag a bed in a hostel for roughly the same price as a Starbucks latte, eat an entire day’s worth food for the same as you’d spend on the value menu after a night out drinking, and beer can sometimes be cheaper than bottled water or Coca-Cola.  There is a lot to love about how far your dollar stretches in this region.

Money, however, is also at the root of one of Southeast Asia’s least attractive features – having to haggle.

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Where To Sleep – January 2016

When I spent three months in Japan, I didn’t have to worry about where I was going to sleep every night.  I had a home base at Chris’ western Tokyo apartment, and so all I needed to do was figure out what I’d get up to each day.

Being on the road means finding different places to crash in each city I visit.  It’s one the things I research the most when I decide that I’m heading off to a new destination.

There is no shortage of choices of places to stay in Southeast Asia. While you can rely on review websites, travel guide books and word of mouth, you never really know what you’re getting yourself in to until you drop your bags and check out your bunk.

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VIDEO : Laundry Day

Yes – backpacking and globetrotting is a lot of fun.  You get to see amazing places, go on incredible adventures, and get up close and personal with history.  But it’s not one long vacation.  All the mundane crap that goes along with daily life follows you wherever you go – including, having to do your laundry.

Join me as I wash my first load on the road.  (And if you watch carefully, you’ll see my skivvies. I don’t know if that’s your thing, but they’re there.  No shame.)

 

©JNTO

Thank You, Japan

When I arrived in Tokyo in September, the idea of spending three months abroad in another country was just that – an idea.  The longest I had ever been away from Canada was three weeks – and that was as a kid on a road trip pilgrimage to Walt Disney World on summer holidays.

But here I am, 98 days later (89 before Christmas, 9 after a visit back to Canada for Christmas) putting on my backpack, ready to leave, having effectively lived in Japan for the better part of three months.

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