According to priceoftravel.com out of the top 20 cheapest places to backpack- including dorms, food, attractions, transportation and of course beer- 65% of them are South East Asian. That means meals for 1-2 dollars and a bed for five bucks a night! Somewhere like European or American travel could be double or triple the daily cost of visiting these countries. Most people travelling here tend to stay for 6 months to a year. That's because after you purchase your tickets, shots, visas- which you would need to purchase anyway, you are looking at pretty nominal fees. So it just makes more sense to stay longer! And why not right? I found an apartment for rent for 15 dollars a day, it's a two bedroom. Divide that by 4 people and I would say that's a hell of a deal. It is fully furnished and includes utilities. I am absolutely thrilled. But, as Brenda has told me that does not mean we should rule out hostels. As she put it: "Hostels are where you meet the most people, it's a big part of the travel experience for me. Plus, they offer day trips." So, our planning will probably consist of a little of each.
Cheapest Places to backpack in the World
1. Pokhara, Nepal
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
3. Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Vietnam
4. Goa, India
5. Kiev, Ukraine
6. Kathmandu, Nepal
7. Chiang Mai, Thailand
8. Vietiane, Laos
9. Delhi, India
10. La Paz, Bolivia
11. Quito, Ecuador
12. Luang Prabang, Laos
13. Hoi An, Vietnam
14. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
15. Bangkok, Thailand
16. Cairo, Egypt
17. Bucharest, Romania
18. Sofia, Bulgaria
19. Colombo, Sri Lanka
20. Jakarta, Indonesia
General Care- Volunteering is always welcomed in kindergartens, clinics, orphanages for homework, games and just showing love for kids who need it most.
Teaching- There are many teaching opportunities ranging from language, computers, music, sports and health.
Conservation- Our planet needs help worldwide. Marine conservation opportunities in the gulf of Thailand in Cambodia, wildlife research in the Himalayas, or reforestation in Thailand, marine life and coral reef research in the Andaman Sea.
Building- Developing communities are always in need of schools and libraries. The Philippines needs help with Typhoon recovery and Nepal may need skilled laborers to rebuild after the devastation.
|Brenda, a daily inspiration. <3|
Some of the richest experiences in your life could come from some of the poorest places in the world. How? The food isn't processed. It is fresh, cheap and available everywhere. Can you imagine a year without the need for supermarkets and their boxes upon boxes of preservatives? Taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy meals at a table with other volunteers, nights by the fire and swimming in the beautiful ocean. One thing I look forward to the most is absorbing all that each culture has to bring. The language, the food, the different customs, the clothes, the laws, the way they drive or talk or eat or gesture. Everything is new. I want to see how people interact and how they choose to live their lives. What makes them happy. What peace they find from their religion and how blessed they truly are. I want to understand their history and see their temples, museums, art and hear their music. And I also would like to share with them a little of who I am.
One great thing about volunteering abroad or travelling abroad is how many world travelers you meet. There's nothing like first hand knowledge. The best advice comes from those who have failed and failed and now know how to do something right. That's one of the reasons I wrote this blog in the first place. After multiple cross country trips and many more day trips and weekend road trips I feel confident that I have some good advice to share with those who haven't partaked first hand. And hopefully after Asia I will have plenty more info to share. In the mean time I will share with you what I learned from my reading and research and what Brenda has passed on to me. She is a big reason I want to go to Asia NOW. She traveled, alone throughout Asia and South America, a woman by herself which I find so commendable. It's not easy! And here I am her much older cousin and I want the luxury of a tour guide! All of her experiences have pushed her up a few notches and now we can benefit from that experience! So, now's the time!
My main reason to go to SE Asia is because I never thought I could. And so, as I like to do, I must prove myself wrong. I didn't think I could drive a car. And I didn't think I could drive to Virginia. I didn't think I could drive across the US, and I sure didn't think I'd be planning a trip to a country who doesn't even share our alphabet (how do I say these words?!?). I think growth comes from leaving your comfort zone and for that I will be heading to a place that's least like anywhere I have ever been. Hopefully coming back a stronger, more zen person. I mean it worked for Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love right?