First, I’d like to apologize, it has been way too long since my last post. I was having end of semester exams which as most of you have probably experienced, drain the life out of you.
Travel has been a recurring theme for the Wondercores this month, with Mbithe in Japan. Gillian, Mbithe and I love the idea of travelling around the world and we hope that we get the opportunity to see many different cities and cultures during our lifetime.
Japan often seems like a lofty travel destination goal, for obvious reasons, but any goal is attainable if the will and commitment is present. Prioritizing is the key.
These past two weeks I met Ryoji san, a 22 year old Japanese student who has been to around 17 countries in the last 8 months. This to me was both inspiring and challenging. For him, his dream to see the world was not deterred by present school commitments or financial hurdles. He put his vision and desire to see the world at the top of his list such that anything he did was aimed at the eventual achievement of this goal. He took a gap year from school and worked various shifts to raise the money. His achievement challenged me to take my dream to travel seriously and to prioritize travelling if it is really something I want to do.
So from my conversations with Ryoji San and compilation from other travelers ,here is a list of affordable ways to travel (to Japan or to any country in the world.)
1. Go Study
Travelling as a student is one of the cheaper and less hectic way to travel to another country. The interviews with the MEXT scholarship recipients here and here could offer more insight on how studying in Japan is like and how to make it there.
2. Travel off season
If you want to have cheaper flights and other travelling benefits, it is advisable to travel during months when there are not many tourists visiting . For Japan it depends on the city you wish to visit but late May or late September are fairly cheaper.
3. Book your flight well in advance
If your visa application process allows it, booking your ticket at least 3 months in advance could take a considerable amount off your budget.
4. Prioritize Travel in your savings plan
Put some money aside every so often specifically for travel. You could even get a fixed savings account to ensure you do not spend that money.
5. Airbnb/Couchsurfing and other alternative accommodation sites
Accommodation takes up a huge chunk of your travel budget so finding cheap or free accommodation is important. Couchsurfing allows you to find hosts in different countries who will give you free or cheaper accommodation. This way you get to experience the local way of life of the country you visit.I met Ryoji San through Couchsurfing. Airbnb does the same. It is important though to go through the safety guidelines provided by the website and take due caution before staying with a complete stranger.
6. Work Hard
It goes without saying that travelling the world is not an easy fete to achieve. You need to put in the hard work. Get a part time job, start a business or find a way to supplement your income which can be dedicated to your travels.
Thanks for reading this really long post, I look forward to sharing my travel tales with you as well as hearing your adventures. Here are some travelers you could follow and be inspired by: