Frugal travel is one of my biggest passions in life. However, it wasn’t until I met my beautiful wife at 19 that I really started to enjoy traveling. As college students, we weren’t privy to loads of cash so we had to get creative with our travel. We did take an “all-inclusive” trip to Cancun together just six months after we started dating, but that will be the last time we take such a guarded trip.
We did a lot of roadtripping around the beautiful state of Michigan to fulfill our urge for adventure. When that wasn’t enough, we ventured out to Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, Asheville, Florida, Virginia and other places around the Midwest and on the east coast. One of our first big trips together was out to the west coast to visit family in LA. We flew to LA and roadtripped up to San Jose to see the Detroit Red Wings play. We also saw them play in LA and Anaheim.
On one of our road trips up north in Michigan, we decided to take bicycles with us to slow down and see the world from our saddles. We did an 8 mile loop around Mackinac Island and a 28 mile out and back to Tahquamenon Falls. We were hooked on bike touring. Since then, we have completed a 234 mile upper Michigan tour, a 1,000 mile cyclotour of Lake Michigan where we got engaged, a 1,850 mile tour from Seattle to San Diego on the Pacific Coast for our honeymoon, a 450 mile tour along the Natchez Trace, and a 3,200 mile tour across our country from Seattle to DC/Annapolis. Bike touring is an incredibly rewarding way to travel and a great way to see the world and travel on a budget.
After graduating from college, it was time to really step up our travel game. We signed up through CIEE to teach in Thailand. This was a great way to see the world and make a little money while doing it. We taught in the northern province of Nan in the small town of Thawangpha at Thawangphapittayakhom School. We taught for 4.5 months and made use of almost every weekend to travel around Thailand. We were able to save up enough money from teaching to backpack Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia for two months after teaching. I kept track of every dime we spent and that’s where I determined I had a knack for finding the cheap route around areas.
A few short weeks after returning back to the USA, I received a phone call from Dansville Schools while hiking the Manistee River Trail. They wanted me to be their new middle school physical education teacher. I now teach science, physical education and health in both the middle and high school. This gives a great opportunity to travel over winter, spring and summer breaks.
Three years later, I have finally decided to share how we travel to go along with my wife’s blog about the sights we see and the experience we have, Skye & Ethan Travel The World!
I can’t tell you how many of our best stories have come from trying to travel like the locals and truly immersing ourselves in the culture of wherever we are. It saves money and you end up having a more genuine experience… like getting 5 flat tires motorbiking up Doi Inthanon near Chiang Mai, Thailand and relying on the kindness of strangers to hitchhike and fix our bike.