One of the questions I get asked most often is “Chris, how do you afford to travel so much?” For those of you new to my journey, let me catch you up a bit. Two years ago I began the process of getting rid of all my material possessions and bought a one way ticket to pursue my dream of traveling the world! I didn’t have thousands of dollars, in fact I was honestly quite scared because I didn’t have much money and I didn’t think that traveling as much as I had planned would’ve be possible! I know there’s many of first time travelers out there who are feeling the same way! In this write up I’m going to be telling you how I managed to travel around the world on a budget and the ways you can too! Let me also add that this is not sponsored in any way, I just want to spread some of the love and advice!. Thank you!
Workaway is an amazing resource that I have used throughout my travels. They are have opportunities for travelers in over 180 different countries and have over 30,000 hosts! Workaway looks for volunteers that can offer literally anything! Some examples of work can include teaching english to children, helping build houses or other community projects, painting murals, and so many other things….. I would never be able to sit here and name all the opportunities, but I do recommend checking out their sites as everything is listed there! (and it’s also pretty fun to look at) What I love most about their services is that all the host that they partner you with have all undergone lots of inspections and your guaranteed to be safe! Most hosts require anywhere from 3-5 hours of work a day and usually 4 days a week at minimum depending on what opportunities you’re seeking! In exchange you’ll receive accommodation, food, and a genuine local experience in another part of the world…..for free!
Hostels are amazing for many different reasons! In the last two and a half years I’ve only managed to stay in hotel rooms a few times and that was because I was in Asia where they were extremely affordable, the rest has all been in hostels. I’ve stayed in over 150 different hostels around the world and I promise you only 2 were bad stays. (both were in Amsterdam) Why hostels? Hostels attract other travelers who are on a budget and usually traveling long term, which makes for a great place to meet friends especially if you are a solo traveler like I am. Hostels also usually host a lot of activities such as nightly games, pub crawls, and art contest…. activities to get everyone together. Nonetheless, I’ve met so many amazing people at hostels and I plan on staying in them for as long as I keep on traveling! Hostels vary in price depending on what region of the world you are visit, but my go to site for checking out hostels is Hostelword.com , there you can search specific cities to compare prices, as well as see the facilities, photos, and reviews of each hostel. (that is registered with Hostelworld)
Couch Surfing is an a mobile application and website that allows travelers to connect with locals all around the world! Couch Surfing hosts can typically help you out by giving you a place to stay for the night or several days, showing you around, or even to help you get situated when moving to a new area. Couch Surfing is available in over 70 different countries and has a community that is over 300,000 people strong. One of the main reasons why I love Couch Surfing is because you almost always meet people with the same mindset and you always get to see a side of the city, town, or village that you’re in that you wouldn’t have seen because you are with a local. This experience can make your stay a lot more authentic and honestly a lot more enjoyable! Couch surfing is also a lot easier to use and put into play than the first two resources I talked about. Requesting to stay in someones home has never been easier! The Couch Surfing application is easy to download and after setting up a profile, you can start surfing almost instantly. On the app you can search for specific regions, countries, and exact cities to see who is available and offering to host during the dates that you will be visiting, once you find someone that you think you could get a long with just fine, you simply send them a message and wait! The great thing about this app is that you can send as many requests as you’d like and the best part is that it is free! However, they do have a way to get your account verified, which in return helps others know that you are safe and not some crazy person, this costs a one time fee of $10, but makes it so much easier for others to accept you into their homes. I’ll be honest, I don’t have a verified account, but I do have plenty of references and that helps me get accepted more frequently than when I initially started!
Thank you so much for checking out this post! I hope that these 3 tips will be able motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and seek the unknown. Please leave me some feedback and let me know of your upcoming travel plans in the comments! Safe travels everyone and I’ll see you on the next one!
A couple of days ago I posted a story on Instagram asking if you guys were interested in learning a bit about myself, how I managed to start traveling, and why I choose to live nomadically. In this post I will talk about what inspired me, making the decision to quit my job, and of course a little bit about who I am and my past that lead me up to this point. Here’s a little headshot if you don’t already know who I am! 😁
My name is Christopher Rodriguez, I’m 24 years old and I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Long Beach, California. I come from a very big family, which I love more than anything else. Besides family my other two passions are photography and travel. For the last two years I have been traveling around the world and I have somehow managed to make it to 49 countries, across 6 different continents! Every time I say/write that I still can’t believe it, simply because my life hasn’t always been this way! In fact, traveling around the world and living out of a backpack was something I had never even heard of prior to this idea being pitched at me. Before I took off to travel the world I served as a Paratrooper in the United States Army for 4 years and then I contracted for the government as a dieselmechanic for about 6 months before eventually resigning to pursue a life filled with adventure and constant excitement!
Just over 2 years ago I was working long hours as a contractor for the Army, servicing heavy equipment vehicles and spending well over 40 hours a week in a shop wearing coveralls and a ventilator. Even though I completely hated my job at the time, I was content and satisfied because I was making a really good salary and it was a career I could have stayed in easily my whole life. I had a great group of friends and they all pretty much complained about their jobs too, so I figured it was just normal to feel this way. Long story short, the plan was to work, buy a house, and I guess work more until I retire, but that all changed one day thanks to my buddy Mitch. Let me tell you a bit about this guy…..
I met Mitch in 2015 at a random party while I was in the military and we instantly got a long. After killing a bottle of vodka, shot for shot in front of group of people with this guy we decided that we should probably be friends. I had recently just gotten out of a big relationship so I was in the process of looking for a place to stay, that’s when Mitch offered me a room at his house, I couldn’t believe it personally because we were both drunk, but I told him I could come and see the room he had for rent in the morning. The next morning I moved in with Mitch and we lived together up until the day we left. So now that you know a bit about Mitch I can tell you about the role he played in all of this! One day I came home from work and Mitch is super excited and he starts telling me that he will be leaving for Australia and New Zealand in a few months for his childhood friends wedding and that he would love for me to come. First off, I looked at him quite retarded at first because I was so confused, I remember saying “Dude Australia! What! I don’t even have a passport? How do we get there?”. Mitch had lots of experience with traveling around the world and that was kind of his personality I would say at the time. I was always interested in the stories, but just didn’t ever see myself doing it. I gave it some thought for a few days, then I mentioned it again and he said “I’m going to just quit my job and take off man.” I said ” What the fuck dude! Really?”, a couple days later the man himself had convinced me to get a passport and a one way ticket to Australia! Just like that the journey was going to be starting, we had 6 months until our flight and we both didn’t have a whole lot saved. About 4 months prior to leaving we decided that from New Zealand we’d be going in to Europe and just backpacking Europe as well! My plan after those 6 months of travel was to come back home and work again, but that turned out to be false. I had fallen too much in love with a world that I had never known before! I love connecting with others, and my whole outlook on life has changed. Quitting my job and listening to some crazy New Zealand guy was the craziest decision I could’ve ever made, but it was definitely the best!
Now this question runs through my head quite often, but every time it does the question fades away quickly! Throughout this journey I’ve learned so much more about myself and I can definitely say that my outlook on life is completely different than it was two years ago! As of right now my plan is to continue to travel the world and continue to create the life that I wish to live for myself. I’m going to continue to roam around freely and enjoy every day like its my last! Most importantly I want to continue to inspire others to break out of their comfort zone and to not be afraid of change. Sometimes taking the first step into the unknown can change your life forever. You never know what is waiting for you out in this big world that we live in, unless you go out and explore it for yourself! So for the next, who knows how long…. I plan on traveling around the world and continuing to progress as a photographer. I would love to be able to make a full living as a freelance photographer, but as of right now I’m quite far away from achieving that goal. All I can do now is continue to work hard, seek those destinations that are less traveled, and continue to build a brand for myself throughout the platforms that I’m currently engaging on. Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Make sure to follow and leave a comment because I will definitely be posting on here more often!
If you’re reading this blog post chances are that the word “Free” got you here, which is absolutely amazing! Let me tell you why! I recently spent 3 1/2 weeks in the beautiful city of Barcelona and one of the things that intrigued me the most about the city was how much there was to see and do that costed little to no money at all. In this post I’ll be naming off some of my favorite sites and some tips that can hopefully make your Barcelona trip a lot more smoother. Hope you enjoy!
Park Guell is a public park that is located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona. This park was built from 1900-1914 by the famous artist Antoni Gaudi and in 1926 it opened for the very first time as public park. It’s a place you must visit when in Barcelona, but there is one catch! If you want to enter for free you have to be at the park before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m., otherwise it does cost you 8 Euro to enter. In my personal opinion, it is so much better checking out at those times anyways, as there will be no crowd at all and the sunrises and sunsets from Park Guell are stunning!
Let me start by saying that the view from the Carmel Bunkers is like no other in Barcelona! The Caramel Bunkers were bunkers that were built during the Spanish civil war, but not long after the war they were left abandoned. Throughout the late 1900’s they became really cool places for people to go and hang out to enjoy a nice 360 degrees view of Barcelona. Do keep in mind that the walk up does take a bit of effort and I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bring water! It also gets very chilly up there so I’d recommend bringing at least a thin sweater with you.
No trip to Barcelona is complete without a casual stroll through the Gothic Quarter. The Gothic Quarter is one of the oldest districts in Barcelona and the city of Barcelona that exists today was actually built up around what we now call the Gothic Quarter. In this area of town you will find some of the Barcelona Cathedral, which is one of the most impressive in Barcelona in my opinion. That’s of course second to the Sagrada Familia , as well as a huge variety of live music, shops, and amazing Spanish cuisine. You can spend hours walking through this part of the city and the best part about it is that it’s completely free to do. If you’re into photography or just love admiring beautiful architecture this is definitely a place you need to visit, as the design and layout of this quarter will blow your mind.
Playa Barceloneta is one of Barcelona’s main attractions and thousands of people from all around the world visit it everyday. According to National Geographic, Playa Barceloneta receives more visitors yearly than any other beach in the world. I find it ironic because this beach is also man made! This beach was designed on the coast of Barcelona in the early 1990s because of the 1992 Olympic games that were going to be held in Barcelona. The government wanted the beach to attract lots of tourism and that’s indeed what the beach did! I’ve visited Playa Barceloneta during both the winter/ summer months and it is always a fun and fairly warm place to hangout. The water also is about the same temperature all year around which is nice so you’ll always catch surfers and people enjoying the beautiful water.
When visiting the beautiful city of Barcelona timing is everything! If you plan your trip wisely than you can save yourself a lot of money! The best time to visit Barcelona is at the beginning of each month if your looking to do as much as possible and if you’re on a budget, let me explain. On the first weekend of each month all of the museums and cathedrals are completely free to enter, which can save you hundreds! If you’ve done any Barcelona research in the past then I’m sure that you are well aware that there are over 20 different amazing museums that are worthy of visiting. Most of these museums can cost anywhere from 5-30 euro for entrance. Please be mindful that you still have to reserve the tickets online for the free entry upon checkout it will say balance due “0” if you book for the beginning of each month. Hope you enjoyed this tip and have fun in Barcelona!
A week and a half ago I flew into the beautiful city of Barcelona! It’s not my first time here, as you may remember I was here about a year ago, but for a short time only about 5 days and let’s just say it wasn’t the most productive week! 🤷🏻♂️ Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Europe because I really love the Spanish culture, the architecture, and of course the food! So of course I’m excited to be back! This week I took a bit easy and honestly didn’t get out much. Part of my daily routine since I arrived has consisted of doing homework, hanging at the hostel with friends, and simply doing nothing, which is sometimes good! I did manage to visit Parque Güell and the Arc de Triomf , both are absolutely stunning places you must visit! Be on the lookout for my Barcelona travel guide, which will be coming soon! To be honest I just wanted to write this post to get back into the swing of things! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I definitely want to start using this platform a lot more! I’m going to start making a weekly journal, as well as travel guides and tips! I also just started a new project that I’ve decided to name “The friend I just met”, my goal for this project is to show the world how much more in common we have with people from other walks of life than we do different! So everyday I’m going to be meeting a complete stranger from around the world and hopefully become friends!if your interested in checking this project out, visit the instagram page and show some support 🙂 Thefriendijustmet For now I’m going to cut this post short and share a couple pictures that I was able to snap while walking through these beautiful streets! Hope you enjoy!
Earlier this year I was blessed with the opportunity to spend 2 months in the beautiful country of Colombia. During my stay I visited Bogota, Medellin, and lots of cities along the Caribbean coast! I was even around during the world cup, which made my time in Colombia that much more fun! Here’s a couple photos I really enjoyed and I hope you enjoy them as well also!
These are some of my favorite pictures while in Peru. Some of them are edited and others are just as they were taken! Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy!
A couple of months ago I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Thailand, a country located in Southeast Asia. Before arriving to Thailand I had heard many things both positive and negative, as well as a recommendation of places to go visit and those to stay away from. If you asked most travelers what their favorite cities are in Thailand, it’ll more than likely be in the North or on a beautiful island somewhere, but for me Bangkok is definitely up there! After spending nearly two weeks in the city I’m going to give you my top 3 reasons why I love Bangkok and why you should spend time here and not just skip it!
Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world and there’s no reason to wonder why! Being a melting pot this big means one thing, amazing eats! The moment I arrived in Bangkok I was shocked on how much street food, restaurants, and markets were around. I almost felt like it was to good to be true! One of my favorite foods to snack on while in Bangkok was Pad Thai. Pad Thai is a dish with noodles, egg, vegetables and usually a choice of protein.
These amazing plates can be found all around Thailand and are roughly .75 cents (USD) per plate. On average most Thai street food will be around $1 USD or less on the street, but that same plate inside of a restaurant can be anywhere from $3-5 USD. Now just because your in Thailand that does not mean that you’ll have to be limited to Thai food, in fact I seen everything from Greek to Mexican while walking through the different areas of Bangkok. Competing with the local street food you have the infamous 7/11, typically every third establishment is a 7/11 in Bangkok. 😂 Only joking, but sometimes it can feel this way! 7/11’s in Thailand quickly became one of my favorite places to go and snack on something. As a backpacker or budget traveler you’ll more than likely find yourself stuffing your face with “toasties”, which are basically gilled ham and cheese sandwiches and other fun 7/11 foods you can only find in Asia. On any given street in Bangkok you can find some local restaurants that are very budget friendly and of course many that are catered for those who are looking to spend a bit more during their holiday. This amount of diversity is great and I really can appreciate about a city, especially because typically speaking if your in a lower economically classed city, you typically only have street food and small local stuff to choose from. Same goes with the more expensive places, usually means food is a lot more expensive also!
Most of the time when traveling, I tend to be pretty good with navigating myself around and getting to the places I need to be fairly easily, however every once in a while I come across one of those cities that is just so hectic and confusing, but not Bangkok and this why! If I said I new where I was at most of the time and not confused at all I’d be lying! Most of the time I spent in Bangkok I was confused and because of the language barrier it made it really difficult to talk to the locals and ask for help, but because of the fact that Bangkok is such a huge modern metropolitan city I was able to survive quite easily….. Let me explain! All around Bangkok you can find WiFi hotspots to get connected for FREE! These are located in the more touristic areas and parks, typically speaking all you need is an email address to get signed on! There are also many big named fast food restaurants in the are that also provide free internet. Taking advantage of free internet can allow you to download offline maps and check your location when ever you think your lost!
There are also many different ways to get around the city! You can get around via Taxi, which is usually not the cheapest. The second option you have is to take a Tuk-Tuk, which is basically a motorcycle with a rear carriage for passengers and lastly my recommendation to you, the ride-share app called Grab! Just like Uber, you’ll request a grab through your smart phone and it will pick you up and drop your off to the destination you entered. I really enjoyed this app because most of the times it was cheaper than both a taxi and a Tuk-Tuk . Also a lot more reliable and easier to use, don’t have to worry about the language barrier so much!
The idea of just “getting lost” to many might seem scary! In the city of Bangkok, however it is far from scary! Walking outside of the hostel and randomly getting lost in this enourmous city was one of my favorite things to do in Bangkok. The temples in Bangkok were some of my favorite! There was so many temples and each was unique in its own way! My favorite temple was the Wat Arun, ironically it is also Bangkok’s most iconic temple. What I love most about it is the fact that it is located on the Chao Phraya River, which is pretty much the gateway through Bangkok. This river runs through the middle of Bangkok and what make this so great is that you can hop onto a water taxi (boat) anywhere along side of the river to get to other sections of the city with ease. These boat rides give you a real authentic feel as these boats will be filled with only locals, its always interesting and I highly recommend taking one. Along the Chao Phraya river you can also find my next favorite place, Chinatown. Yes! Bangkok has a Chinatown! The Chinatown here is like no other, I’ve been to plenty in the United States and in other places in the world, but Bangkok’s Chinatown is by far the best! The food on the street is to die for! Of course, you can also find your large selection of insects to snack on, but for those that like to keep it normal the variety is quite nice also. The 3 hours I spent in this area, till this day was still the most hectic time I’ve had in any city in the world. So many people, so many stores, and just so much noise! Definitely a culture shock and something you have to experience for yourself!
Khao San Road is also one of my favorite streets in Bangkok for sure! This street literally has it all! During the day you can find crazy amounts of street food here and plenty of awesome shops to buy things such as jewelry, clothes, and other souvenirs. On this nice quarter mile long strip you will also find hundreds of tattoo shops and so many vendors trying to sell you suits, dresses, and other tailored goods.
What I love most about Khao San is the nightlife! At night you can find alcohol everywhere and people socially gathered everywhere. Mainly backpackers which makes it a very friendly crowd. There are a couple big dance clubs down this street and lot of little bars, as well as people making and selling their own drinks. I will however warn you that there are a lot of drugs on this road and I advise you stay away from them. I myself like to party also, but you should look into the laws and consequences before doing them here and see if its worth it or not to you. During my stay in Thailand I heard so many horror stories where people got sentenced to several years. I also met plenty of people that had to pay a bribe to the cops, but these were not cheap ($2-5,000 USD) , a lot more heftier than in other 3rd world countries. This is because they know how many years you could spend if charged. For the most part, if your smart and make smart choices I think this place is very safe and everybody just wants to have fun! The last activity I will be talking about is definitely not the last.
The Damnoen Saduak floating market is located about an hour outside of Bangkok and you can easily get there by taxi. (Roughly $10 both ways) The drive to the floating market might be throwing you off, but I must say that it is absolutely beautiful! Once you make it out of the city the scenery is nothing, but jungle and beautiful land.
Once your at the floating market for a small price they will allow you to hop onto a small boat and you will begin your ride along the small canals. Along the sides of the canals you will find beautiful shops/ storefronts selling beautiful handmade merchandise. You will also find a couple pull offs where they will have small restaurants and cool huts with art/ traditional clothing. These huts were the most fascinating to me, but the trip as a whole was just wonderful. Well this wraps up my small little Bangkok write up, feel free to message me or leave a comment with any questions you might have! Thank you!
After about a 5 1/2 hour long bus ride I finally arrived to Manchester! As soon as I stepped off the bus I realized how shitty I felt and decided to crash on a bench at the bus station for a couple more hours, but that didn’t work out as planned. After about 30 minutes I got woken up by a security guard and was asked to leave the bus station if I wasn’t planning on catching a bus. I grabbed my backpack and made my way out into this massive city. The first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful architecture and the cold ass weather! After walking down a couple streets I decided to head into a McDonalds to catch up on some sleep and charge my phone a bit. After getting a solid 2 hours in, I was ready to embrace all the Manchester has to offer. One of the amazing things about Manchester is the free admission into museums. So one of the first stops I made was to the National Football museum. I’m not too big of a fan, but let me tell you…… this museum is sick! I highly recommend checking this place out as well as the museum of Science and Industry, Imperial War museum, and the People’s History museum! There are so many more museums that I heard are amazing, but I just didn’t have enough time to see them all.
I continued to wander freely through the city and I stumbled across a food and drink festival that was being hosted at the Manchester Cathedral. I decided to hang there for a bit and grab a bite to eat. I spent the rest of the daytime exploring Chinatown and again stuffing my face.
I started getting extremely cold and the rain began to fall again so I decided to give Hostelworld a look and only two hostels showed up and both were asking for 40 GBP, which is fucking ridiculous so I didn’t do it. However I still made my way to the hostel because I figured that I would at least be able to meet some cool people and hide out for a bit. When I arrived to the hostel it was bone dry. The only person there was the girl at the desk! I was so glad that I didn’t make a reservation online! The young lady at the desk allowed me to hangout in the common room and even let me sleep for about 2 hrs! When I woke up she asked if I wanted to use a shower before I left and I Kindly excepted the offer. I ended up leaving my bag in the hostel and headed out to enjoy some of the nightlife. I don’t recall exactly where I went or what area I was in, but I believe it was the Northern Quarter. The first club I walked into was having a 90s hip hop night, so you know I was in there! After slamming about 5 jack and cokes and dancing my ass off with beautiful British women I decided to head outside to smoke a cigarette for a minute. While I was outside smoking I remember saying “Fuck its cold” out of nowhere this beautiful blonde girl turned around and said “Fuck mate, is that an American accent I just heard!” I laughed and said “Yes it is, where are you from?” She said ” That’s so fucking hot, I’m from Ireland, Dublin to be exact.” We hit off on the small talk, but I was cold and did not feel like waiting for her, so I walked my happy ass back inside and went straight back to dancing. A couple minutes later this Irish chick approaches me and asked if I would like to dance. I said sure and started killing it with her. We danced for a couple songs and then her friend came up and said that they were leaving to another club and that I should join them. So that’s what I did, I hopped into an Uber and I was on my way with them. As soon as we walked in I heard some old 50 Cent, so instantly I was turnt. 😂😂😂😂 I grabbed this Irish girl and we started to dance. While we are dancing, I was singing the lyrics to the song 21 Questions by 50 Cent and this chick lost it😂😂😂 She grabbed my face and just started making out with me before grabbing my hand and saying “feel how wet your making me, I’ve never had myself some Yank before”. I denied her offer and just started laughing. We danced for about 5 more minutes and out of nowhere goes “Alright we have to get the fuck out of here, I’m taking you to my room!” I said “Sweet I’m down, but what about your friend?” She said ” Fuck her she’s a grown woman and before you know it we arrived at her hotel. She asked me if I had any condoms and handed me 10 quid to cross the street and buy more 😳 When I came back we went up to her hotel room and went straight to business, after a couple minutes her friend walked in and instantly goes “Your fucking the American guy, I wanted the American guy!” 😭😭😭 My dumbass turned around and said ” You both can have me”. I had no idea what to expect when that came out, but her friend didn’t hesitate, she took off her clothes and joined. lol I couldn’t grasp all that was going on between being drunk and looking at these two blonde haired, blue eyed babes. I couldn’t believe this was actually going down. When we finished I told them that I was heading to the store to buy some water and asked if they wanted anything. The girls insisted that they come with me, but I told them to just stay in the warm room and that I would be back in no time. I checked my phone and noticed that it was 4:30 am and I had to make it back to London before my 7 pm flight. As much as I wanted to go back to that room, I knew that I would never see those girls again and I’d probably miss my flight, which I couldn’t afford to do again. So I ditched them and hopped into an Uber. I arrived back to the hostel and grabbed my bag. I made my way to the bus stop and all I could think about was what the hell just happened and how wild that night got so quickly. I arrived back to the bus station and luckily was able to hop on a bus that was leaving at 6 am back to London. When I arrived back to London I hopped I took the tube to Camden market where I knew a guy who sells pot. I bought a bag from him and smoked it before heading to the airport! That is how I saved on accommodation during my time in Manchester!