Jess Travel Things #8: The unavoidable question

Admittedly, this is not so much of a travel thing as it is a fact of life, as any Asian American will attest to. I’ve been asked this follow up question (and its many variations, but this particular phrasing is my favorite) as much in the US as abroad. It’s a bit of a sensitive one, and some people get upset about it… but I know that it comes from a place of curiosity. I’ve often wanted to ask the same thing but I can’t say I know the perfect way to do it. But at least I can come up with many alternatives better than “where is your face from?”

Jess Travel Things #5: Not staying on budget

The plan was to budget $50/day, including food accommodation, flights, etc. You can probably see how that didn’t exactly work out…

Before I left, I got advice from a mentor who had gone on her own extended world trip: if there’s something you want to do, don’t miss out on it because of the cost. $500 is a crazy lot in the backpacker world, but nothing comes close to the cost of regret.

Jess Travel Things #4: Accomplishing great feats of mosquito net engineering

If there’s a mosquito within 1km of where I’m staying, it will find me. That’s why I took my own mosquito net with me on the road. Hanging it up was sometimes an exercise in inventiveness and creativity… scroll to the end to see a real life set up!

Jess Travel Things #3: Walking for 30 minutes instead of paying for a tuk tuk

Walking is a great way to actually get to know the place that you’re in, but I admit that not wanting to spend money may have sometimes been a bigger motivator. Even when that money was only $2.35.

Going from having a well paying job in NYC to not having steady income in a developing country meant that I had to redefine my relationship with money. For a while, that meant defaulting to “avoid spending any money, period!”