Frugal Travel Tips Story #19 – Interview with Juanito Estrada

There are people who go to different countries for a very long time. Some are long term travelers, who hop from one country to another. Some go to different countries for a purpose. Such as Juanito Estrada. I have not met him yet but I’m amazed at how he survived far flung areas in Africa and currently, Nepal.

While I’m taking a break from international volunteering, I admire people who are currently reaching out to do what they need to do. This is indeed a great timing since we are celebrating the International Volunteers Day.

And yes these people travel.. but they travel not just to tour places although it’s indeed a great reward for the work that they do, they travel with a purpose. And you get to learn some culture and some dish to cook as well. Read his food blog and savour different dishes from different countries. Read on how he was able to do it:

juanito estrada

Can you tell me something about yourself? Occupation/hobbies/etc

I am a university lecturer on natural sciences, and currently a professional volunteer. My main advocacy is on environmental health education that empowers minorities to attain a self-sustainable community utilizing local resources. Passions includes philanthropy which is very innate to me, exploring less explored places and my high are the wilderness and being with my small group of close but trusted friends and immediate family members. And I love my privacy. Planting trees and volunteerism is a part of my lifestyle.

Of all the countries you’ve been, which one is your favorite?

Tanzania, it is blessed with everything, the awesome landscapes, exotic animals, the serene vast azure seas of the Indian Ocean, the mystic lakes with endemic organisms, its warm and hospitable with different cultures, traditions, religions but living in harmony, a blessed nation with very rich resources, it is simply paradise!

Any hidden paradise you’ve discovered that are not on guidebooks?

The beaches of the islets in the northern part of Pemba Island in East Africa, from its wonderful, drop off sites teeming with autumn colours of the organisms, isolated white beaches and tropical fruits. Also the vast savannahs of Katavi, Ruaha, and Lake Natron national parks are simply amazing. Cycling and travelling with my foster brother Mustafa Hassanali and his wife Durriyah, and close friend Mohammed Mustafa Hassanali and his family is always a thing that I look forward always every year, I hope I will not miss it this 2016!

Have you met a person that is not from a developed country doing the same thing that you do?
Yes, my foster brother Mustafa Hassanali, he is very passionate about everything on what he can do for others. We have a lot in common, the love for family, nature, cycling, and of course food but we are also opposite in a lot of ways, he hates reading, which I love so much, he is calm and I am an agile but it compliments. He is more than a biological brother.

juanito estrada3

How do you fund your travels?

I always save for my travels so that it will commensurate my lifestyle. Living simply by eating to survive but not to indulge, buying resources from the locals to benefit them directly but also getting the freshest and healthy produced, To savour my travels I love to be acculturated by spending time with the locals and travel using local transports if not hiking, cycling or trekking. To synthesize, save for the best, live simply because the greatest luxury in life is not on splurging, but it is in always in simplicity.

What are your plans after traveling?

Embarking on my I love always, teaching and live simply in a quite place where I grow organic organisms for food trees, continue planting trees and be involve biodiversity conservations, I will still do the things that I love to do today. Travelling is a thing that I cannot stop doing, because it is my greatest teacher and entertainer, it always put me in equilibrium and makes always dynamic. I am simply a nomad.

Do you have frugal travel tips you want to share?
Travel like a local, commune with them as a local, and you will experienced as a stranger that kindness is everywhere and will restore your faith in humanity. The only tip is to be sincere and honest always. Spend like local always!

Any advice to people that wants to follow your lead?

Happiness in life comes from small packages as they say, so put always the spirit of sincerity, compassion and transparency, then you will how to love and it will radiates back. Love changes everything no matter what.

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