Firstly, congratulations on making the most excellent decision to read this blog!
Secondly, I am aware that personal concepts of FAQs may bring about questions, such as
* What is the meaning of Life?
* Why is the sky blue?
* How can I lose weight and keep it off?
Therefore… you are welcome to ask us anything. If you like to relate it just a weeny bit to our experimental adventure that is perpetual travel, we will be better equipped to provide for FRA (Frequently Responded Answers – I think I am onto something here!).
To make things easier, here are answers to questions we are frequently asked. If you will not find what you are looking for here, send your question through the contact page.
FAQs ON INTERNET
***How the hell do you manage to get Internet all the time? Isn’t it really expensive depending on where you are? Do you plan your trips with the possibility of internet in the back of your head?***
Tomek: We don’t use roaming, must be the answer!
Well, basically, we try to arrange everything before we go to the other country – internet access can differ greatly from country to country.
In some countries, it is possible to buy a SIM card, and use the internet when you’re on the road (in the city, to use google maps etc.) – and when you’re back in your apartment, use wifi/internet there.
In other countries, internet via mobile phones may be expensive, even if using a local SIM card, or even not possible (i.e. in Japan) – they typically have other means of accessing the internet when on the road, i.e. with WiMAX or LTE “eggs” (tiny devices which you can put in your bag or pocket, and which have 10+ hours of battery life, sometimes they come with a flat rate, sometimes not…).
Generally speaking, internet is not really expensive abroad:
– we either buy a local SIM card, or the owner provides for a wimax/lte modem for the length of our stay (the owner usually has a long-term contract, and it costs him/her €20/month or so)
– we have quite many friends abroad! this was one (of many) reasons why we started traveling. Locals are the best source of info – we ask them how they typically access internet “on the road”. Internet “on the road” is CRUCIAL, as in most of the cities, you can do on the go train/bus/metro trip planning from point A to B via google maps, check what’s near and where to go when something’s not near, translate stuff and all internet of the 21st century has to offer.
So yes, we always plan trips with internet in mind.
***Have you ever looked into the possibility of a satellite connection? I wonder if that’s affordable and/or “portable”?***
Tomek: A satellite connection, for the internet? As far as I know, you usually subscribe to some provider which has a satellite over some part of the Earth, which wouldn’t work well with travels!
Internet was really not a problem for us. Except in Cambodia, where a SIM card with several GBs costs just a few dollars, but somehow my phone didn’t want to share the connection with my laptop – so I’ve even managed to root my phone to see what’s wrong, before I found out that in access points (APN), one has to set “default,dun” for “APN type”, to be able to share the connection (a provider may just set it to “default” and connection sharing wouldn’t work – the phone would not enable NAT.
FAQs ON WORK AND MONEY
***How do you manage to keep up working regularly? ***
Tomek: We usually stay at home from Monday to Friday to work. Sometimes we go out to buy some food or we go to the restaurant but don’t plan full day trips. If I have to leave longer, I take my laptop with me, the mobile phone, where we can check Skype/email, and if anything urgent comes up, I can react fast.
On Saturday and Sunday, we work a bit before going out but try not to, unless really necessary.
Travelling and working is as tough as any job, I guess.
***How do you finance PT life?***
Dasza: We finance our travel with our work. Actually, it was another reason for us to travel the world. The tax you pay at your home country! So basically, I do not earn much with my blogging so far – when compared to my previous income of a full time speech & language therapist in Germany.
But, because we are able to pay way lower taxes (on what Tomek earns), we see no difference in our income.You can change your tax place and that makes quite a difference. (Unless you are American – then it gets more complicated.)
FAQs ON TRAVEL COSTS
***I read that you are paying 2000 euros/month for the place your are living in in Tokyo at the moment; given this kind of budget, do you find that having to find temporary accommodation wherever you go makes accommodation one of the biggest expenses?***
Dasza: The cost of renting may be bigger abroad, especially in developed countries, as you’re not the local citizen and don’t know how (or simply can’t as a non citizen) to rent a flat like local people do. Also, you pay more, as you don’t sign any long term contract – this is normal everywhere. On the other hand, if you rent a flat (we use airbnb.com or 9flats.com), you can save a lot when compared to booking a hotel. In developing countries, flat rental can be a lot lower than in your home country.
The 2000 Euros we’ve paid for a house in Tokyo…well, our friend who is living there said: “I can’t believe you’ve managed to find a house like this, in this area – it’s so affordable”. We are usually looking for a home from around 20 to 55 Euros per night – the Tokyo house was a big splurge for us and an exception!!!
***We are giving deliberate thoughts to perpetual travel. Prices will obviously evolve by the time we head off, but I would like to have a vague idea of the kind of budget line we should be thinking of ***
Dasza: The cool idea about traveling the way we do – life does not have to be much more expensive than in your home country:
– Renting a place to stay accounts for about 50% of our costs in a given country. It is actually a good number to calculate costs in general (at least for us it works that way) – food, entertainment, public transport and sightseeing costs make pretty much for the other 50%.
– Food prices. Each country offers different ranges of products, and you should adjust your habits in every country if you don’t want to spend a fortune. For example, in Asia, some dairy products can have horrific prices (cheese), so we typically don’t eat it. Those countries have alternatives, for example “processed sandwich slices”, which may be cheaper – but this stuff has so much in common with cheese as Fanta with freshly squeezed orange juice… So we tend to try what local people eat. It can be hit and miss sometimes, especially if you have no idea what a given product is, and all text on the wrapping is Korean or Japanese only.
– Cosmetics and toiletries. They tend to be more expensive in developing countries than in developed countries, or, your favourite brand may not be here – so you may want to take some supplies with you.
– Transport. We mostly avoid taxis and use public transport – google maps in your smartphone is a big helper and money saver.
– Touristy places typically offer low quality at high cost, so we avoid eating and drinking at hotel restaurants and look for places filled with locals. One exception in the world is Japan, where the quality is usually very high everywhere. Stars do correspond to quality like nowhere else.
– It’s good to book in advance. Long distance air tickets will be cheaper when bought way in advance; your choice of accommodation will be greater when made in advance, too.
You should certainly have some emergency account which you can rely on in the unlikely event that things go wrong. It never went wrong for us, but it’s good to have some comforting safety-cushion in mind.
***Hope this was somewhat helpful***