It’s official, guys and gals! I finally bought my one-way plane ticket to Bali Indonesia!!! This was totally a spur of the moment decision—something I’ve been convincing myself to commit to ever since arriving back from Buenos Aires in May 2019… when I left my first steady girlfriend behind and threw away most of my clothes at the airport in order to board the plane because I lost my debit card and had zero money.
But the most important part of the story (I’ll write a book someday… for now this travel blog will suffice) is I reached my destination at Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia at the southernmost tip of Chile after over 10 months on the road—hitchhiking, untold hours on buses, 5-days of intense hiking along the Salkantay Trail to reach one of the 7 world wonders, Machu Picchu.
After all of this, I was burnt out of long-term budget travel for understandable reasons. Decided to volunteer at a hostel in East Austin owned by the famous travel blogger and author Nomadic Matt for almost two months, stayed with a few generous friends, and paid rent at Austin Fun House for a few months.
To save money on rent this month, I’ve decided to visit my mom on Nov. 13th (my brother’s birthday), stay for just over a week, and fly directly out of Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport on November 19th with short layovers in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. I’m very excited to go all in on my passion again, commit to the greater purpose, and follow through on my long-term goals to travel the world meeting new people and taking photos of beautiful destinations! To quote Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’, for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”Steve Jobs
One-way plane ticket to Bali Indonesia!
My plan is to go on an extended backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, which includes the countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. I would also like to explore Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, and the tiny island of Sri Lanka, which is home to one of the most scenic train rides in the world for only 73 cents!
It’s located right below India; population 1.3 Billion people as of 2017. Not sure if I’ll have the courage to explore this massive country, but I would also like to visit the northern neighbor of Nepal one way or another. The length of time I’ll be traveling not particularly important and is entirely dependent on how far I can stretch my savings, which is currently next to nothing, so I’m taking a big risk! I’m going to practically kill myself biking around Austin 9 hours per day delivering food with Favor and DoorDash over the next few weeks.
Thankfully I’ll have access to a car during my short stay in Dallas. I sold my 2012 Chevy Cruze after a major engine failure shortly before flying direct to Panama City almost 2 years ago today. This will also be a good excuse to see my mom and her new boyfriend. She recently got a divorce from my step-dad after over 12 years of marriage! That’s a huge decision that I can barely relate to. I want to make sure she’s doing alright before taking off again to pursue my true passion for world travel.
Hopefully I can save up at least $1,500 before embarking on my journey! The cost of living is incredibly cheap in Asian countries compared to the US, especially if you’re a financial minimalist, stay in hostels everywhere, the occasional luxury hotel for free, and refrain going to fancy restaurants. Of course, every once in awhile you need to treat yourself. Treat yo’self, before you wreck yo’self.
I’m also welcoming into my life more abundance, empowerment, and freedom to live on my own terms! Rather than worry about funding sources during this trip (my Airbnb referrals are mostly gone), I’m going to instead quiet the monkey mind, practice daily meditation/yoga, open my mind to all the opportunities around me, and let the positive energy flow naturally. I don’t care how “hippie-dippy” it may seem to some people.
In fact, you may not be aware, but Bali Indonesia is a hot-bed of digital nomads, remote workers, entrepreneurs, photographers, artists, yoga teachers, and creative people doing unconventional things! I’m very excited about all the new interesting people I will meet from every corner of the globe! I’m also opening up to more romantic relationships with beautiful, smart, and adventurous women during this trip.
I really want to interview aspiring and experienced digital nomads on my podcast Digital Nomad Ventures. That’s actually a big part of the reason I’ve decided to book my one-way ticket to Bali Indonesia. Not to mention eating traditional meals for less than $2, exploring the beaches, islands and rice fields, watching beautiful sunsets with new friends, hiking dormant volcanoes, riding scooters through the hills, and so much more! The most exciting part for me is not knowing what to expect. I don’t like having a plan set in stone; I’d much rather get my directions from seasoned travelers, bloggers, and hostel tour guides.
I’ve already begun reaching out to my email list of top Instagram influencers asking to interview them on my podcast and meet up to shoot in exotic locations when I’m in Southeast Asia. The most important thing to keep in mind when taking a risky endeavor is trust that everything will be alright, no matter what happens. I believe a powerful life begins at the end of your comfort zone when you’re in alignment with your purpose, mission, and core values. Remember, you always have friends and supporters to fall back on if the going gets tough.
Coronavirus Update (3/18/2020):
I’ve decided to keep my one-way plane ticket back to Bali, Indonesia. My visa in Thailand expires on March 24th and I have to leave the country. I was considering making a visa run to Laos with a friend from The Netherlands. However, I already booked my flight and I’m sticking to my original plan. You can read my blog post about Crossing the Border into Myanmar.
The Indonesian government has temporarily suspended the visa on arrival (VOA) and now require a health certificate for visitors to the island. They have mandatory temperature scans at most places in Thailand, so it’s pretty evident that I don’t have the virus. However, I’m going to pay a visit to the doctor in Bali Indonesia to get a checkup just in case.
The government has warned that the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Indonesia may spike in the upcoming days as they are set to receive more results from 12 laboratories across the country that were recently authorized to conduct COVID-19 tests. On Tuesday afternoon, Indonesia announced 38 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 172. The death toll remains at five while nine have recovered from the disease, according to the government’s data.
The chief argument against lockdowns is that it could grind the economy, which is already slowing down, to a complete halt, with severe political and social consequences. The government announced it will also encourage people to visit 10 tourist destinations – Toba Lake regency in North Sumatra, Yogyakarta, Malang in East Java, Manado in North Sulawesi, Bali, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Bangka Belitung, and Batam and Bintan in the Riau Islands – by waiving hotel and restaurant taxes.