Travel Frugal Tips Series on the Road #16

Travel Frugal Tips Series on the Road #16

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 ^_^

Post Mortem and Blog Awards

My blog is a finalist for the Philippine Blog Awards, lifestyle category, Luzon level. Wow, gee.. This Grasya on the road less traveled is smiling. I’m starting to reap the good karma yay! yay! ^_^

Dear God, thanks for all this, but we still have a long way to go, many challenges to conquer, many places to discover, many still needs to receive random acts of kindness. Bow.

Wrap Up! Onwards to the next chapter

So I have really moved on. ^_^ and as a VSO Volunteer that has returned to her motherland, I’m happy to report my accomplishments from my stay in Thailand:

I. Expected: 1 website, output: 7 websites (harhar)

II. Workshops:
a. as trainer: 3 CMS Training
b. as participant/observer:
– 1 APWLD staff retreat
– 1 communications workshop
– 2 feminist legal training workshops
– 2 VSO workshops

III. Numerous parties and meetups including:
– meeting with VSO CEO Marg Mayne
– meetings with Tracey Martin, former VSO Thai-Burma Country Director (to make sure im working)
– meeting with the consulates on environmental campaigns
– couchsurfing meetups at Thapae gate

IV. Hundreds of “hopefully real” new friends/networks from different parts of the world

V. readers from different countries

I therefore conclude, it was a great life. Now on to the next chapter, but before that, i’ll sit back, reminisce, and have my grace period. ^_^

Amidst floods and storms

Amidst floods and storms

Life goes on really.

Amidst catastrophe, what we can do is stay calm, be prepared and see what is on the bright side..



Speaking of preparation, I have invited environmentalists on my farewell party and maybe we can discuss how to cope up with climate change.. coz life is short, and we don’t want Mother Nature to make it shorter xD

If you want to help flood victims in South East Asia especially Thailand and Philippines, these links can help you contact relief agencies, organizations and other caring individuals:


You can post in your relief operations on the comments too. Thank you beautiful souls.

**credit of the photos goes to Tucky Wattanakittiwarakul and Petchnoi Osathaphan, thanks for sharing it on facebook

The real farmville

I was at a farm to visit another VSO Volunteer from Uganda who’s placed here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was a great experience to see what other volunteers are doing, and I might apply it too when I get back.. who knows i could monitor my web projects online while tending the cow in our farm right? xD i may not know how to train the cow yet but once i learned, i could put a tutorial on youtube (twisted head on the loose)

Anyway, here are significant observations.

1. The farm has around 30 people and the produce of the farm is still not enough to feed all of them, so they still have to depend on funding for additional costs. There are projects to help the farm become self sustainable but it is still ongoing..

2. There are volunteers from the United States, Netherlands, and of course our VSO Volunteer Robert from Uganda and they train students in the farm on rights, advocacy and agriculture.

3. There is WIFI in the farm.

4. One big ripe papaya costs only 15 baht and feeds 30+ people already xD