Frugal Travel Tips Story #17 – Interview with Shirine Taylor

Frugal Travel Tips Story #17 – Interview with Shirine Taylor

While I pat myself on the back for surviving Nepal at $10/day, and Malaysia at $15/day, I can’t believe someone is actually traveling at $5/day..

This young lady has got me impressed! And guess what, she is from the West! ^_^ Read more about Shirine’s travel lifestyle:

Can you tell me something about yourself? Occupation/hobbies/etc
I’m a twenty-one year old American who has been living abroad and traveling for three years now. Just over a year ago I set out to cycle around the world, an adventure I will continue for the next few years, as I trek, camp, pedal, and climb, my way through the most beautiful mountains our world has to offer. I absolutely love the outdoors and just about anything that goes with it, especially the mountains. I also enjoy reading non-fiction, photography, meeting new people, and writing.

Of all the countries you’ve been, which one is your favorite?
I don’t think I could truly pick one favorite. As of now Bolivia and Peru are definitely very high on my list, as is Zanskar, a high altitude region in the northern Indian Himalayas. And truthfully, my own home in Oregon is one of my favorite places in the world as well!

Any hidden paradise you’ve discovered that are not on guidebooks?
Since I am cycling, so moving slowly, I discover hidden paradises daily that are not in guidebooks. I live for the small villages I get invited into, the temples perched out of the way on cliffs in the middle of nowhere, and little hidden rivers and lakes to camp by. Usually if it’s in a guidebook, it’s probably not going to leave much of an impression on me since it’s set up for tourists. In fact, I never even travel with a guidebook because I think they hold you back.

shirine taylor
Photo credit:

Have you met a person that is not from a developed country doing the same thing that you do?
I have met travelers from non developed countries, notably from Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, India, and Nepal, and I even met one Nepali who had preciously done a short cycle tour through China.

How do you fund your travels?
I was a nanny back home making a mere ten dollars an hour (minimum wage), but by living in a cheap apartment and getting my priorities straight I was able to save enough to leave. Now I just live really cheap, either in my tent, with families, or in hostels I can work at in order to stretch, my savings as far as they will go. I was able to live for 2.000$, or five dollars a day, this last year, and will continue this journey on a 5-10$ a budget for the next few years.

What are your plans after traveling?
Someday I would love to build my own house and own a bit of land, a sort of basecamp to come back to after different adventures. I would also love to combine my passions, the outdoors and children, by starting or joining a program which takes youngsters fishing, camping, backpacking, climbing… anything really, a program which gets them outside! I would also love to someday write for a magazine or newspaper, rejoin ski patrol, and possibly become a teacher. My list is endless, I’m not the kind of person who will go my whole life in one career, but rather someone who will find new projects constantly.

shirine taylor
Photo credit:

Do you have frugal travel tips you want to share?
Frugal travel tips are my favorite. Get your priorities straight! I don’t drink, smoke, go out for coffee, drive, or partake in any other “unnecessary” expensive activities since I have decided a simple life without a lot of “stuff” is well worth all the experiences I am having. On the other hand, I do have an expensive camera, nice gear, and no problem buying season passes for skiing or plane tickets for travel. I have chosen the activities which are important to me and make due without all of the rest, no tv, no internet, and not a whole lot of “stuff.” If you want to travel, you can make it happen. Priorities, priorities, priorities!

Any advice to people that wants to follow your lead?
Do it! Seriously, think about it, why not? Why not travel, live on the road, visit villages, mountains, and cities all over our world? Cycling around the world sounds crazy until you actually begin, but in reality, it’s just another way of living.

Hope you learned something.. The world is too wonderful not to explore ^_^. For more of her travel adventures, check out her blog at

2 thoughts on “Frugal Travel Tips Story #17 – Interview with Shirine Taylor

  1. I’m very glad Shirine is getting the exposure she deserves. She’s a young woman with an old traveling soul, it’s beautiful to see that someone has so much courage to travel the world on such a low budget.

  2. I was looking for tips to travel for less, but there really weren’t any. What so many young people think is if it doesn’t cost them the money then a price doesn’t exist. And human nature being what it is, things that are free are seldom appreciated.

    For example, I met a young girl from UK and asked her for her best tip to save money. She said to make friends with the local, Nepali. So, she would rather sponge off local people from one of the world’s poorest counties than pay her own way. You need to take into account how much money things cost on your way, not just what you can get away without paying for. They even slip into UNESCO sites and pretend to be Hindu so they can go inside the temples.

    These things are not the way to travel. I wish this traveler could have shared how she does it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *