Traveling to Southeast Asia With $4 In Your Bank Account

My boyfriend and I landed in Bangkok just under a week ago. We're fulfilling our dream to backpack long-term in an area of the world that's completely foreign to both of us.

The plan: six months (at least). Seven countries in Southeast Asia. Four backpacks and a bass guitar. Four legs. Love.

Financial plan: zero

Miguel, having had a real job not so long ago, has nice cushy savings.

But when we landed in Bangkok I had $4 CAD in my bank account. No savings. Only a wild dream to travel and a total lack of respect for financial planning.

While Big Trip #1 to Mexico/Central America was financed by an air-tight plan of part-time ESL work and savings from ex-Big Job, I've just decided to wing it for Big Trip #2.

I've gotten cocky, I guess. Plus this time I've traveling with my partner which means we can lean on each other during the lean times. I'm also earning an income from freelance corporate writing. It's fairly steady and lands in my PayPal account in fat U.S. dollars. The conversion rate is quite favourable in Southeast Asia. But I'm not pulling in a ton and sometimes (like a week ago) there are income gaps.

I had meagre savings but I decided to put them towards my credit card balance (flights) because no one likes Visa interest rates. So instead I'm doing this thing one day at a time.

Workaway projects, careful spending and Couchsurfing should help alleviate costs. I'll keep you all updated as to how it goes.

I wanted to share this because I hope it shows anyone with a small freelance income can travel (and I mean small). Or it could demonstrate that Canadian idiots without financial plans ending up selling ganja/their bodies on Indonesian beaches. Time will tell, my feathered friends!


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This is unreal! How did you do this? 4 bucks? really? You're my hero.

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