This guest post was written by Alex Johnson, a blogger and lover of the little things in life, from delicious brunch spots to interior design. Recently moving to Sydney, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and others along the way!
Last year, we spent a whole month in Thailand as part of our six-month backpacking trip. If we started with the idea of staying within a budget, we quickly realised that we didn’t want our trip to be entirely dictated by money. We kept our budget loose, without going crazy either, even if it meant that we needed to re-think our itinerary.
As much of an effort as it has always been for me to use social networks ever since we created this blog, it is undeniable that they have been taking a more and more important place in our lives. We are getting caught in a race to display perfect pictures to show off what we own or experience.
A lifetime wouldn’t be enough to discover everything a country, as small as it might be, has to offer. In three weeks (19 days precisely), we wanted to be able to see a bit of everything that makes Sri Lanka such a diverse country. We came up with an itinerary combining cultural aspects and outdoor wonders from tea plantations to the seaside.
I have been living in Texas for almost three months and the pieces of my new life are slowly coming together. I am getting used to a new lifestyle, my green card and work permit are hopefully on their way and I am really looking forward to having my friends and family coming from France to show them around.
We met in Paris, then met up in Scotland, we took holidays in Jamaica, backpacked through Asia and we are now settling in America. Our relationship has been shaped by discoveries of new cultures and places. Like everything else in life, travel comes with less glorious moments. I gathered here some of these stories. I must say though that even if we gave ourselves good scares, we never found ourselves in life-threatening or other really bad situations.
We knew Japan would be expensive so we initially had a budget of $95 per day. We quickly decided that we didn’t want our trip to be entirely dictated by a budget so we kept it loose, without going crazy either. We were able to more or less stick to it, spending close to $110 per day (or $55 per person). We were surprised to notice that we spent almost the same as in Hawaii, where we flew from, but without restricting ourselves as much.
Since we’re travelling as a couple, the averages described below are for two people per day and are actually rounded up.
After living in France and travelling through Asia together, the new chapter of our lives includes marriage and settling in Texas but first, long visa procedures… We had been engaged for over 2 years and we were planning on getting married in Texas so we decided that I should get a K1 or fiance visa. Although it leads to a green card application, the K1 visa is considered a non-immigrant visa and allows you to get married within 90 days after entering the US.
Ever since the moment we met in Paris five years ago, Simon and I travelled quite a lot. When we were leaving apart in different countries, we would visit each other, we went on holidays together and more recently, we spent six months backpacking through Asia. Even though you don’t pack the same way for a week of holidays or a long-term backpacking trip, we have developed some habits and there are a few things that we can’t travel without anymore.
If you have read this blog before, you might remember that we didn’t exactly fall in love with Hong Kong. After a month in Japan, where the streets are clean and people are kind and helpful (even though they don’t speak English), we ended up in the crowded and dirty streets of Wan Chai where I felt uncomfortable and stared at. It wasn’t our favourite destination but we would still encourage other travellers to go and experience it by themselves. Although we met people who share our point of view about the city, a lot of people actually love it there and expats are countless.