I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Stephie D
Jun 18, 2017

Find out how you can too! Ask Me Anything about it!

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Which countries did you ever gone?

Jun 19, 11:13AM EDT1

England, Wales, US, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad, Guyana, New Zealand, Australia, Nicaragua, US Virgin Islands, Hawaii (still US but wayyy out there)

Jun 19, 8:35PM EDT1

What did your parents/family say when you decided to do somethig like that?

Jun 19, 5:16AM EDT1

They were more scared than I was. My dad said if I hadn't been traveling to Central America for as long as I did, he'd think I was crazy. But he knew that I wouldn't do anything I wasn't fully prepared for. My mom was all for it. Both of my parents are world travellers as well. They just wanted me to be happy, so I appreciated that.

Jun 19, 8:33PM EDT1

What were the glaring differences between people in those countries and back home?

Jun 18, 3:06AM EDT1

Overall, the fact that people everywhere but the U.S. were open and helpful and friendlier than I was used to seeing. They were also much more laid back and happy. In New Zealand, during a transaction such as checking out at a grocery store, you'll get no less than 4 thank you's. There are roadwork signs that apologize for the inconvenience and thank YOU. lol. During a transaction, they'll say: "That'll be $20.50 thank you." I'm used to hearing 'please' instead. 

Jun 18, 4:11AM EDT1

What country is the most hospitable, to you?

Jun 19, 4:39AM EDT1

Which are the top five places you would recommend others to visit and enjoy?

Jun 18, 12:54AM EDT1

Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Virgin Islands, Belize.

Jun 18, 4:06AM EDT1

What's the best country that you've visited so far?

Jun 17, 10:34AM EDT1

Well, they were all good in their own rights and they all have their setbacks. I love Costa Rica but New Zealand and Australia are amazing as well. I try to look for the best in every place I go, so it's actually a hard question to answer!

Jun 17, 5:29PM EDT1

Hi! Were the people there hospitable?

Jun 17, 9:06AM EDT1

Yes, I've found most people in every country were hospitable.

Jun 17, 5:30PM EDT1

What kind of cultural differences have you observed in the different countries you have been to so far?

Jun 16, 8:30PM EDT1

Well there were a lot...depends on what country you're asking about really. In NZ and Oz, being an American, it was sometimes difficult getting used to the terms they used that meant the same thing, just different words. In Central America, people would stand way too close to me for my comfort and the men were very forward. 

Jun 17, 5:32PM EDT1

Did you visit those countries to fulfil some official work and duties?

Jun 16, 6:41PM EDT0

Nope, just doing it for fun. I did move to Costa Rica to volunteer with wild animals, which is actually where everything started.

Jun 17, 5:32PM EDT1

The idea is fantastic! But have you never dreamt about jacuzzi, luxurious hotel room and stuff?

Jun 16, 6:13PM EDT1

After a while, of course! I would treat myself to a nice hotel room and doing house sits, sometimes they had really nice places with pools and nicer homes than I lived in!

Jun 17, 5:33PM EDT1

Did you communicate with your family during your travels?

Jun 16, 5:56PM EDT1

Yes, of course. Email, mostly. I did set up a Google voice account so I could call the U.S for free through my computer whenever I wanted.

Jun 17, 5:34PM EDT1

What are the main dangers when you travel cheaply?

Jun 16, 3:44PM EDT1

I didn't have first hand experience with this, but read enough reviews of hosts on HelpX that stated the hosts were sometimes after sex or had really bad standards of living. Some people had to 'escape' in the middle of the night from crazy hosts. Luckily they wrote about it. I'd just watch out for helpx positions because it seems a lot of those people are just lazy who want others to do work for them in exchange for room/board which may be substandard. Google the person's name as well to see if anything comes up. Staying in hostels can be sketchy. I refused to stay in one the entire time I was on the road. Have to watch out for things being stolen. I'd just say, go with your gut feeling..if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

Jun 17, 5:37PM EDT1

Would you go to the same places with your family?

Jun 16, 5:39AM EDT1

Not all of them. My mother traveled quite a few times to NZ and once to Oz. Her and I went to Costa Rica once. My standard of travel is far below my parents'.

Jun 17, 5:38PM EDT1

How has been your experience as a sole traveler visiting various countries around the world?

Jun 15, 2:58PM EDT1

I've had a complete blast! I've met a lot of wonderful people and seen some amazing sights. I was much happier being alone than I would have been with a partner. It gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted to and not at the mercy of someone else.

Jun 17, 5:39PM EDT1

At what age did you strive to travel across the world and live a free life?

Jun 15, 2:24PM EDT1

I started at age 43.

Jun 17, 5:39PM EDT1

Hi, where did you live?

Jun 15, 1:50PM EDT1

I lived in Texas.

Jun 17, 5:39PM EDT1

Do you plan to go on a world tour again as a solo traveler?

Jun 15, 11:33AM EDT1

I'll never stop traveling although sometimes I may settle down (like I am now). 

Jun 17, 5:40PM EDT1

Did you have to change your lifestyle drastically to live on that small budget?

Jun 15, 6:28AM EDT1

Not really and in some cases I was living BETTER than I had. You really only need a few things...clothes, toiletries, food, a roof over your head and a computer! I still ate well, which I didn't skimp on much. If you think about it, your income mainly goes to your mortgage/rent and bills. Once you don't have those things, your expenses aren't that much. Money to travel, be it by air/bus/train and then having a free place to live (house sitting) or a cheap place like airbnb or homestays. You can typically buy a cheap plan for your phone or pay as you go as you won't be using it much. Cook at home instead of eating out, etc.

Jun 17, 5:43PM EDT1

Which country you have visited has the best standard of living?

Jun 15, 2:22AM EDT1

The U.S. still nails it as far as standard of living. NZ homes are typically drafty and cold unless you're really rich. Australian homes aren't bad but electricity is expensive there so it can take a while to get used to the heat inside the house during the day since they don't tend to use A/C. 

Jun 17, 5:44PM EDT1

Which country do you believe has the most interesting and satisfactory cuisine?

Jun 14, 9:11PM EDT1

None that I've been to! When I think of great cuisine, I think Italy or France. Central America isn't well known for its cuisine. I will say that Panama had some of the best seafood (prawns, particularly) that I've ever had. They were so fresh and inexpensive...that's one thing I really miss about that place.

Jun 14, 9:22PM EDT1

Fascinating! Could you share some photos?

Jun 14, 7:44PM EDT1

You can find them on my blog at www.warmreptle.wordpress.com and my book site www.twobraudsabroad.com but here are a couple (won't let me add any more).Sheep farm in New Zealand

baby sloth in Costa Rica

Jun 14, 9:29PM EDT1

Oh I like this one - have you met lots of sloths on your trips?

Jun 19, 6:17AM EDT1
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