Once upon a time, I never thought people can reach me in the middle of nowhere in that small island called Panglao, Bohol.
Then Enrique came… We hang out a bit, cooked together, ate sea urchin, chitchat about each other’s lives.. and then he moved on and traveled to Boracay and other parts of the Philippines :D.. What, you think there’s a special story behind this??
Well, I get jealous sometimes, because he travels around Europe regularly just like going to 711.. while I’m stuck in South East Asia :(.. And I dont get it when he says he gets envious of my travels in Asia, holler! Cost of living here is way cheaper than there duh..
But when we briefly traveled together, I do observe he is indeed frugal.. we never went to posh restaurant and ate in a carinderia instead.. I’m not surprised though, coz I traveled with other European friends and they have the same habits.
Enrique lives in Austria, but is Filipino by blood.. Read on his thoughts and contributions on Travel Frugal Tip Series:
1. Can you tell me something about yourself? Occupation/hobbies/etc
I’m really not used to talking about myself. It is like looking at the mirror and saying how good looking I am. haha. Anyway, I’m currently working in a museum and studying Romance Philology, major in Spanish and minor in Portuguese. My friends would often describe me as a busy person because if I’m not working, then I’m taking photos or simply out of Vienna. I got my inspiration to write again from my “Bohol savior”, Grace, who encouraged me to share my travel experiences to everyone. It did pay off and so, here’s the result of her persuasion: www.hardcoreviajero.com
2. How many countries have you been so far? Which is your favorite and why?
I’ve visited 16 so far and still counting. Although these countries are different from each otther, they are all equally beautiful. Of all these places, I would have to say that Spain, especially Andalusia, is on top of my list. It is most likely because of the language and the feel-at-home sensation it gives me everytime I set foot in Southern Spain. Not only because of its spectacular sights that I appreciate the region for but also for the warmth of the locals, the food, the weather and the list could go on and on. Getting hosted or ‘adopted’ by different families in Andalusia and acting like a local have made my stay even more worthwhile. More than anything else, it is always the cultural experience that counts. Andalusia simply reminds me of home away from home.
3. How do you fund your travels?
Money is never an issue for me nor a hindrance to visit other places. I fund my travels the ‘traditional way’, meaning that I still keep a piggy bank and save every single cent that comes out of my wallet. As a budget traveler, I tend to search for the cheapest offer there could be or sometimes, I hitch a ride with somebody. Sometimes, I even travel with no money at all just like what I did in Prague when I only had 20 € in my pocket.
4. What are your plans in the future?
My plan is to travel until I get old because the world has so much to offer for curious people like me and I’d like to satisfy that curiosity one day. There’s nothing more fulfulling than to see places and learn new things from different people of other cultures. Life is a continuous journey of new discoveries and the world is not so small after all. By the way, did I mention that I would also like to work?
5. How can you make the world a better place?
Changing the world would have to start with oneself. One reason I’m traveling is to widen my knowledge of other cultures and in return, I could share a piece of my identity to the people I meet along the way. By that, I simply mean that we should start communicating and stop making prejudices towards others and only then we could make a world a better place.
6. Lastly, any frugal travel tips you want to share?
The problem with being on a holiday is that we sometimes tend to splurge money on food, souvenirs and other stuff but I’ve learned so much from Couchsurfing. Thanks to my guests, I’ve been able to enjoy my holidays without having to leave Vienna. But whenever it’s my turn to travel, I also make sure that my hosts take part in my vacation. The best way to save money is simply by exploring the city by foot, plus you’ll get to see more sights. Mingle with the locals– who knows, they might invite you for a free meal:).( I met a couple in Spain and they invited me for dinner:)) As for eating, I would recommend going to small quality and affordable restaurants to try their local cuisine or better yet, go to the supermarket. I also cook for my host whenever I couchsurf. Sightseeing can also be done without having to spend much. Bring a Student-ID (if you are one) to get discounts or check the schedule of museums if they offer free entrance for everyone. Getting discount cards can also be of great help. To sum it up, though it’s very tempting, don’t spend money more than you should.