I call him kuya Freddie bear because of his teddy bear size ^_^… although i think his weight decreased a bit because of his stint in Africa as a VSO Volunteer.
He is such a life of the party, and everybody loves him because of his jolly big heart. I would never have known interesting people if not because of him, and I enjoyed the local scenery of Bandung, Indonesia because of his good company too. ^_^ Ok, enough pimping :))..
This dude has traveled around as a representative of some big organization, part of the activities he did was to meet presidents of each ASEAN country… yet despite his high profile status, kuya Fred is a humble approachable freddie bear.. read on what he contributed in Travel Frugal Tips:
1. Can you tell me something about yourself? Occupation/hobbies/etc
An Indonesian, a combination of the east part (father) and the west part (mother) of the country who started traveling from 19 years old, first traveling was West Papua and then continued traveling around Indonesia and South East Asia countries. An IT specialist who love doing voluntary works and have passion in photography and documentary films. A Couchsurfing ambassador for 3 years and traveling to meet people not just going to places. And I always find away to stay longer in one places and meet and learn about the places through the people. I used to be an Indonesian official government for 12 years before decided to take an early pension and become a humanitarian.
2. How many countries have you been so far?
All 10 ASEAN countries (Indonesia, The Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar), Timor Leste, Japan, Hongkong and Malawi. So 14 countries in total.
Which is your favorite and why?
Japan and Malawi. Japan is one Asian country that is sophisticated and modern but yet still keep their traditional culture and custom with high respect. The people are so discipline but yet very friendly. Malawi is my first African country. A very lovely country with a very friendly people. I lived there for almost a year and have the chance to travel around to almost all part of Malawi.
3. How do you fund your travels?
Most of my traveling abroad were paid. I joined a youth exchange program of ASEAN-Japan called The Ship for South East Asia Youth Program (SSEAYP) and lucky enough to travel the whole ASEAN countries and Japan for free. I went to The Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and Malawi because I joined an International volunteer sending organization, VSO. I also travelled around using my saving and always use couchsurfing and stay with couchsurfers.
4. What are your plans in the future?
I plan to travel and explore more Myanmar, as when I lived and worked in Thailand, I met lots of Burmese friends and right now most of them went back and live in Myanmar. I also plan to travel to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
5. How can you make the world a better place?
By sharing myself and my resources (time, expertise, money, smiles, experiences, knowledge, happiness, positive energy etc) to others. Meeting people, as many as possible, being inspired and become an inspiration to others.
6. Lastly, any frugal travel tips you want to share?
Try to join activities that allow you travel. Meeting people and interact with them, share yourself and you will be amazed to see the power of sharing. Use couchsurfing or try to travel to places where you have friends living there. Do some research before you go and be more flexible and relax. Lastly : when we don’t get what we want, we still can appreciate the experience.
He made this wonderful video 2 years ago when we were in the mountains of the Thai-Burma border. Time Fries indeed ^_^