MetaHow to Travel as a Young Man (Part One) (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams

A while ago I made a post about how to deal with with depression, apathy, and feelings of emptiness. One of the pieces of advice which seemed to resonate with a lot of guys was to travel. I got PMed with a lot of questions about the practical side of this, so here goes.

Some of you more experienced men will probably see a lot of this as common sense, but this post is mainly aimed towards very young and inexperienced guys who have it in their head to do some travelling but have no idea where to get started.

Yes, I am aware that international travel is a luxury, but I think the “luxury” aspect is way overblown. There are ways that you can get paid to do it. It is WAY the fuck cheaper and easier to take a month in Cambodia than it is to have a LTR, get married, or have a kid, and yet no one accuses those people of wasting time and money (except for us, haha). And, put simply, if you aren’t already doing something more important and meaningful with your life at this moment (can’t tell you what that might be, but you know it if you have it), then you should absolutely drop what you are doing and get out of the country for a few years.

I’d go so far to say that if you aren’t working towards an elite career, and you don’t have a wife and kids, there are few excuses not to be travelling, particularly as a young red-pilled man.

I’m fairly biased, because at about twenty two years of age, staring down the barrel of a massive recession, recently torn to shreds by my fiancée meeting and fucking a line cook at her job a month before our wedding, and facing a massive emptiness in my life: I dropped my last savings on a ticket and a small certification that allowed me to spend the next decade travelling and getting essentially paid to do so.

In short, travel fucking saved my life. So, I’m going to go into a little detail about what I learned from that experience and how I would advise young men with wanderlust and few obligations to proceed. If you are an older, veteran traveler, please chime in with your own experiences/tips/suggestion. I’m particularly interested in hearing from guys who used the military/armed services to see the world (because I have 0 experience with that form of travel).

Working abroad as an English Teacher

If you speak English and have a college degree, one of your best options for getting out there into the world, and collecting a paycheck while you do it, is by teaching English, or “ESL”.

Now, in a lot of places, you can do this by just by showing up and having a pulse (Think Vietnam and other “Wild West” type countries). But if you are like me you like to have a slightly better game plan. So, what is the first step to spending a few years teaching English in a foreign country?

Details about the CELTA

The CELTA is the “Cambridge English Language Teaching of Adults” certification. It is based around a month long class that is held all over the world. When I did mine I went to Prague, lived in a communist era block apartment for two months, and studied my ass off. The certificate costs about 1000 pounds.

It is a super intense experience, and a great way to pop your cherry and get ready to teach as well. You are thrown in with other travelers from all over the world, and spend about 12 hours a day teaching locals and being critiqued while you do so. At the end of it you have a certificate that can get you a job pretty much instantly across the world (with the exception of Western Europe, if you are American). Honestly, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

European Jobs

If you are American, the chances of landing a decent ESL job in Europe is pretty slim. It might be possible, if you are on the ground with your CELTA in your hand really hitting the pavement, but the issue is that most places would rather hire a British citizen. It’s just easier, though I’m not sure how Brexit might effect that.

Honestly, you don’t want to live in Europe anyway as a low-paid English Teacher, as you will be super poor and struggle to enjoy yourself. Much better to get a job in Asia, save your money while living like a king, and then spend a few weeks in Paris next summer. Which brings me to my real suggestion.

Asian Jobs

Without a doubt, my recommendation is that you take a job in Asia: China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan. If you want to be a little more adventurous (and a little more poor) you can also try one of the Southeast Asian counties.

Personally, I worked in Korea for about five years and it was simply phenomenal. I started at a shitty cram school (they still paid for my ticket and about 2k a month US) and by the time I left I was basically the equivalent of a college professor, working 20 hours a week, with 7 weeks’ paid vacation a year to jet off to Phuket or whatever, full health insurance, a fully furnished apartment on campus (for free), and a whole lot of other benefits.

The women are sexy, the food is healthy and delicious, and the countryside is magically beautiful. Yeah, I had no interest in spending my whole life there, but it an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Plus they don’t play that American PC bullshit, which is a nice bit of lagniappe.

Dave’s ESL Cafe

So how do you get started? I found my first job here: http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/

Honestly if you have a college degree, the Celta, and a clean criminal record, you’ll have a pretty easy time of it. If you want more details about this PM me.

Just Going

Teaching English isn’t going to be for everyone, honestly. It is simply the avenue that allowed me to travel and thus the method I know most about. But let’s say you aren’t down for all that, but you still want to just hop on a plane and go somewhere for a little while, no strings attached, but you feel yourself hesitating. Let’s talk about practical stuff. Where to begin? My point is not to tell you a bunch of super obvious stuff, but I think just reading and thinking about this will help a lot of guys to sort of fill in the blanks in their travel fantasy, and that is my goal here.

Getting the time off from work?

This is tricky, and it is probably the biggest obstacle to travel. You can do the normal google research on how to go about this. Decent article: http://work.chron.com/negotiate-time-off-work-longterm-travel-2935.html.

But as I don’t know your situation, it is hard to give real specific tips.

My main advice is that if you are planning to do a serious trip you need to plan way ahead, scrimp and live Spartan for a while, go into monk mode, work overtime while you save and build yourself up. These days a lot of people jump around from job to job, company to company. So far as I know a gap in your work history of a few months is not a huge deal to employers. From what I’ve heard a lot of travelers even play up “how much they learned during their travel experiences” on their resumes to great effect.

I’m going to post images below of some ticket prices. I know you can use google, but I really want you to just realize how attainable this stuff is, if you’ve never given it a lot of thought before.

Cost of tickets to Prague:


Cost of Ticket to Tokyo:


Notice these tickets are in the “off season”, that is NOT SUMMER. This seems to hold true for the northern hemisphere – tickets are cheaper in fall and winter.

Multi City Jaunts:

One way to get much more epic trips at lower prices is by booking short flights that stop in interesting places along the way and then staying in cheap communal-room hostels. This really works out if you have more time than you have money.

Say I’m trying to get from Sydney to Beijing. Well, a direct flight is going to be a lot more expensive than If I fly to Bangkok, stay a few days in a 10$ a night backpacker hostel, and then catch a flight to Beijing. This is usually true. Not always.

By playing around with the algorithm, I was able to go from Seoul, to Beijing, to New Zealand, to Fiji, to LA for ALMOST the same price as a direct flight from Seoul to LA. This won’t always be the case, but if you have flexibility on dates and you toy with the algorithms a lot sometimes you can work it out and get a real adventure booked.

Using http://www.bootsnall.com/ you can easily arrange multicity trips. I’ve used them a lot in the past and they are awesome for helping out with visas and things like that.


So you’ve got your ticket and now it is time to start getting ready for your big trip. What do you need to prep? That’s going to be in part two, coming soon.

Thanks again RP. Good to be back.

[–]MEpicLevelCheater[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (5 children)

We appreciate your travel guide. However, only endorsed contributors are allowed to plug their own websites, blogs, books, etc.

Edit your post and remove the links to your personal site and book, and we will reinstate it.

[–]nycxjz 49 points50 points  (12 children)

Good post I am currently doing the same thing. I’ll be done with my CELTA in a week. I’ll probably be going to South Korea as well

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 13 points14 points  (9 children)

Right on man. Most people go to Seoul, but I personally loved my smaller sized city. Korea has so much character once you get out of the Seoul cookie-cutter craziness. Good luck.

[–]Mr_Zarika 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Busan is great, in the south.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I personally loved my smaller sized city

Where did you stay? Busan? Daegu?

[–]nycxjz 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Where would you recommend going? And why?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 7 points8 points  (5 children)

One of the six or so smaller cities. Busan Daegu Daejeon Gwangju Ulsan etc.

The reason being that these cities still feel Korean. Seoul is more like just another big asian capital.

[–]CoolyRanks 2 points3 points  (1 child)

To each their own, but Seoul is the most popular choice for a reason, there's nothing wrong with being a large Asian capital. Recommending to live in Ulsan over Seoul is borderline irresponsible.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's a personal choice. If you want to engage with the culture and feel what it is really like to be a stranger in a strange land, a small town is much better. And anyway, the KTX goes to Ulsan doesn't it? You are talking 2 hours to Seoul station.

[–]nycxjz 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I appreciate the tip. I am interested in getting a real taste of Korea so I will likely take your advice. However what’s your take on picking up women/dating in the smaller cities? Is it much more difficult? This is also important to me.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yes, it is more difficult. You'll want to learn the language as best you can. Most expats don't and you can really set yourself apart. If all else fails though, almost wherever you are there is an express train to Seoul for weekend hound dogging. You won't be lonely if you put in the effort.

[–]ymca_lemur 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Where did you get your CELTA?

[–]Herdsengineers 19 points20 points  (2 children)

my SO taught ESL for 2+ years in south korea. the experience basically RP'd her. good for me, i get to reap the rewards!

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Its crazy how what we call "red-pill" is just "common sense" in so many places in the world. America has gone so soft. Enjoy the benefits mate!

[–]MaxDMJ 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Yes! Gimme more of this specific advice, no more of the "Lift 4 da bitches" mantra that's been floating around. This place needs more workout sets and healthy recipes, it needs tips on public and interpersonal speaking, and this post represents exactly that type of rhetoric.

[–]Walt- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Trp needs tips on... Public speaking? You like to be spoonfed don't you?

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (3 children)

I've been on this topic ever since I started doing some vacations to Central America. I have a tech sales job and make good money...both of which are my opportunity costs of traveling. I'd be giving up a job and dipping into savings, in addition to forfeiting a few months earning as well. It gets hard as you approach your 30s, and at 29, sometimes I feel like it's now or never...

But, I usually digress from this notion due in large part to my belief in that my chief responsibility is survival, within which earning an income is essential to.

Traveling would make me a better man through new experiences. However, working hard and having a savings is what even affords me the time to entertain such ideas. It's hard not to be torn sometimes.

[–]trpraducu 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You can spend very little in some parts of the world; do your research and pick some cheap hipster locations, cheap hipster hostels where you can meet low maintenance, open-minded young women.

[–]Staunch_Moderate 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Where in Central America have you been? Central/South America is my top choice for traveling right now and if i were to consider teaching that’s definitely where I would go

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Still working my way towards South America...

[–]DarkMix 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Crazy you put this up recently. I'm a 21 year old recently red pilled guy with absolutely no obligations or anything holding me back in my hometown... Other than college. I have a year and a half left until I receive my English Lit degree which won't land me jack shit career wise, nothing I am interested in doing right now anyways. I was doing research and it seems the International TEFL Academy certifies and you can get a job fairly easy all over Europe as a native speaker and a certification.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I also majored in English Lit! Go do it young man. See the world while you're young. Drink strange liquor and dance with alien women.

[–]yes_thisismyusername 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Shit I’m majoring in English Lit too. Hoping to teach abroad after I finish this year, live frugally and dump everything in cryptocurrency

[–]1Entropy-7 7 points8 points  (4 children)

If you are under 30 then you probably qualify for SWAP (Student Work Abroad Program) but it depends on your citizenship and target country. I'm not sure about Americans but Canadians can get something like 13 months in Australia (where I spent a summer (their winter), but also Hong Kong and perhaps 2 years travelling and working in the UK. The program helps you with your visa, they arrange for an orientation, and have access to resources to help you find work. You only need a couple thousand dollars in addition to your airfare as the assumption is you will be moving around and temping, or finding a basecamp and setting off from there.

I returned to Australia a few years later but had saved up $8000 to fund a non-working vacation. That was a long time ago and inflation may have doubled prices and therefore your required stash but I stayed in $10 a night backpackers' and got a $500 Greyhound ticket that took me up the east coast, across to Darwin, down the middle to Adelaide and then back to Sydney viaelbourne an Canberra. The big ticket item was scuba diving and I got my PADI in Aerlie Beach, my advanced in Cairns and did a total of 26 dives. Additionally, I spent 4 days in Hawaii, a week in Fiji and 10 days in New Zealand on my way to Australia.

After returning from Australia I joined a company with two friends where we retailed and then later distributed, designed and manufactured board games. I travelled fairly extensively around Canada and the USA to conventions, trade shows and distributor open houses. We sent my partner (who was the alpha-ish deal maker) to Brazil and Europe. This went on for a total of 5 years. Admittedly, we didn't make a lot of money but we had a shitload if fun.

Now I live in China and teach ESL and do some business development work, but I am thinking of going back to teaching economic and accounting, which tend to pay more than straight ESL.

At one point I looked into teaching English in Korea and Japan and there seemed to be a tradeoff between salary and cost of living. Roughly speaking, you might get $1500 a month in China, but $2500-3000 in Korea and perhaps $3500+ in Japan but the research I did indicated that doing just about anything is way more expensive in the latter than the former. If your contract includes an apartment and you go into soy boy monk mode then I suppose you could bank a lit more money in Japan. The other thing to consider is that the IRS (USA) imposes taxes based on citizenship while CRA (Canada) bases it on residence.

OP is spot on about CELTA in that it is basically the gold standard TESL course (OK, maybe silver standard as there are two year TESL programs as well as 4 year degrees - CELTA is 120 hours or about a month full time, 12 weeks part time).

Years ago I did a 60 hour course through Oxford Seminars and now it is basically obsolete. Two years ago I was offered ¥20k a month by Wall Street English - the largest private ESL provider in China, recently acquired by Pearson, a huge multinational educational group - a salary of about $38k USD a year but there were two catches. One was that I would have had to use my signing bonus to do my CELTA, and two was that I would have had to pay my own living expenses (rent, food and transportation) which, in Beijing, is pretty expensive.

Beijing and other areas are cracking down and so the government requires a 120 hour course and two years of teaching experience.

In China, there are a few basic options:

1 public system

2 private grade schools

3 private training centres

4 private universities

The public system (k-12 plus some universities) tends to pay the least but the work load isn't heavy and they usually give you a small apartment, free internet, and fee access to the cafeteria.

Private grade schools (k-12) tend to pay more, sometimes significantly so, and have more opportunities to teach non-ESL subjects (which themselves pay more) such as history, psychology, economics, math and science. You still need your CELTA as the students are ESL but you are teaching a substantive course in English rather than teaching English per se. The workload might be a bit higher than in public schools, but not by much. Most will also provide room and board.

Private training centres pay better than most schools but usually not top dollar. They probably won't give you room and board or a housing allowance. You mostly work a 40 hour week but with a fucked up schedule as most of the clients are working or in regular school during weekdays. It's hit or miss in that there are many that are very professional as well as many shady operations.

Private universities generally pay the best but they also demand the highest qualifications. Kaplan (known for their test preparation courses) have a facility in Shanghai where they do the freshman and sophomore years of a BComm, and then the students transfer to a US university for their junior and senior years. IIRC, they pay over $40k US a year. The best gig is teaching the sophmores but they want an MBA, TESL certification, and several years of teaching experience.

I mentioned non-ESL positions. You can check out:



There is one position for an engineering design teacher offering up to ¥35k ($66k USD) and a physics teacher position offering up to ¥40k ($75k USD).

I make significantly less than that in terms of salary. I didn't look into the specific terms of those contracts but I get free room and board and have no transportation expenses (my commute is a 2 minute walk to the other side of the building). Because of perks and taxes I would have to make $60k a year in Canada to have the same disposable income and perhaps $80k+ given that most things here are a lot less expensive.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Great info here man, thanks. I wish this sub was around when I was 20.

[–]Chaddeus_Rex 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Oh damn that sounds awesome. What is that program for Canadians you are talking about? I wasn't able to find it via google.

[–]1Entropy-7 0 points1 point  (1 child)


You might find other countries with working holiday visas for Canadians here:


Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rico, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, et al.

[–]fitmedcook 1 points1 points [recovered]

It's also a lot easier to travel than most people think. Overall I dont tihnk Id be the same person if I just didnt go ahead and try it. Right after high school I just went to Asia for a month alone. Was stupidly easy and alot of fun. Was forced to be social, was forced into uncomfortable situations I had to deal with and learned to say no firmly to people trying to rip you off and say yes to possible adventures and friendships.

I've been hooked ever since and try to travel whenever I can. Most recently India which I wouldn't recommend as a first destination unless you like being thrown into the deep end.

If you're a young guy definitely go for Southeast Asia first. Cheap, very different to the western world but not lacking the comfort and ease of travel. Also a great place to learn all kinds of social interaction including with girls you may have sex with but that was honestly such a tiny part of travelling, its more of a side-benefit.

If you're very flexible with travel dates (which you should be if you're on a budget), look for flights in a whole month on skyscanner.

One thing I personally would be careful with is becoming "a traveller", meaning trying to only travel and completely neglect career and education. Obviously you don't want to be a wageslave never going anywhere in life but becoming a 30 year old with no real job experience and no qualifications is not the right path either for most people.

[–]lopsidedlucky 6 points7 points  (1 child)

The best part about traveling alone is what you'll learn about yourself. No one you give a shit about to judge you, not even yourself. You can take a break from being whatever you thought you were and enjoy learning about yourself.

Handling bizarre situations with a different frame, the kind of bizarre your non-traveling friends would never understand.

Making friends and joining tribes with other guys looking for the same freedom and dirty bitches as you.

Traveling solo is some of the most freeing shit you can ever do in your life! Next to flying. Do that shit too.

Southeast asia is the spot. Cheap, plenty of women, plenty of parties and western expats to chill with.

One caveat, when you're out solo and partying you always have to stay aware and watch your 6. Never get to fucked up. It's easy to do.

[–]Psycholephant 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Currently in Southeast Asia. This is so true. Young guys, save your money. About 10k is really all you need to backpack comfortably for a few months around Southeast Asia.

[–]Jyontaitaa 9 points10 points  (0 children)

As a man who has done the overseas travel thing I think you have written a very nice piece for this sub forum.

I know people like to focus on the sexual strategy side of things a lot here, but this piece is very sound, still in line with side bar principles and mostly importantly it’s encouraging people to do a positive thing that help them grow as people.

My only comment, which touched upon, would be about the type of work. I think English teaching in the east has become an increasingly frowned upon role and there is really little opportunity for career development. Those who have tried to stay long term (5 years or more) find that they limited by the ubiquity of new arrivals willing to do the job for a lot less.

I would propose a working holiday visa can match you with seasonal work for foreigners. It’s a good way to the see the world for 6 months to a year and be able to explain yourself when you return to the corporate world.


-Go to Australia and pick fruit for a few months and work in a coffee shop the rest. -Many people go to japan or Korea to work at ski fields. - go wwoof in a huge number of countries.

If you want a more sustainable career type job in Asia I’m going to have to suggest you throw yourself into studying IT and get a year or two of experience in your home countries. A lot of the IT jobs you can find in Asia will be in English language environments.

[–]Adam1394 13 points14 points  (24 children)

Just don't go to (live) Eastern Europe, unless you enjoy living for $700-900/month.

[–]Pilliam66 9 points10 points  (16 children)

The pay is low but so are living costs so it really makes no difference

[–]Adam1394 9 points10 points  (7 children)

Earn $800, spend $600-$700 on living.

And I'm talking Poland/Czechia not the middle of the nowhere Ukraine.

[–]destraht 5 points6 points  (6 children)

You could do the most pathetically crappy Wordpress stuff and make more than that.

[–]Nootrophic 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Please define the most crappy Wordpress stuff? Any example? I'm asking for a friend.

[–]destraht 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Wordpress runs a huge amount of the web. Its a tangled mess of code but there are many wizards (helpers) and you don't need to know much to muddle your way through things. You just need to search for "learn wordpress" and get started. Its not glorious work but it could lead to a career if you put your time in and I think that that direction is better than English gigs any day, unless you setup a small tutoring school.

[–]Nootrophic 0 points1 point  (2 children)

But do you mean writing a blog or getting paid to help bloggers as "wordpress technician"?

[–]destraht 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Getting paid by lay clients to be a "database", "programmer" or "website" guy.

[–]Nootrophic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Didnt know it was a thing. Interesting. Thanks

[–]csehszlovakze 1 points1 points [recovered]

It might seem like a good idea, but trust me, it isn't. The eastern half of the EU suffers from worker shortage so much we actually need some immigration which mostly consists of Ukrainians and Serbs.

[–]Pilliam66 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Ok but for a visitor, worker shortage isn't a bad thing

[–]csehszlovakze 1 points1 points [recovered]

For a visitor, indeed not. On the other hand, OP was talking about travel+work. To summarize: coming to visit is a great idea, our history is rich and there're many sights to see. If you want to pay for sex, you can do it legally here (lots of Anglospherians come here for just that) but know the risks. Working here as a teacher, on the other hand, would be quite a stupid idea because their pay is total shit. Multinationals or IT might be ok, but trades are a definite no-no for a foreigner because most blue collar workers don't even speak English and worker shortage isn't as pronounced in those fields (thanks to the immigrants I mentioned previously).

[–]Pilliam66 2 points3 points  (4 children)

He's not saying move there permanently to work as a teacher, he's saying go there for a bit and teach English to earn money on the side.

[–]csehszlovakze 1 points1 points [recovered]

I know. Permanently moving here would be an even worse idea and I won't even start stating the reasons (that'd be off topic).

[–]Pilliam66 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I just don't see how anything you said is relevant for a temporary holiday

[–]csehszlovakze 1 points1 points [recovered]

It's quite simple really. Shitty pay equals locals emigrating to the west and outsiders immigrating here. How does that concern anyone in OP's situation? You'll barely make ends meet so going this route while poor will result in a miserable experience (unless you're already used to shitty conditions).

[–]Pilliam66 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can still top it up with a small amount of your own money though. Which will go a long way. And it's not hard to live in shit conditions for a short time anyway. It's part of the experience

[–]Oldsummonersfella 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Agree. Some places in eastern Europe pay even less than that

Source: I am from Eastern Europe

[–]nowhere_man__ -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Who wouldn't enjoy that? Sounds amazing.

[–]Chaddeus_Rex 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Go Moscow, have IT degree and speak English/Russian. You will be picked up by a Western company and paid US wages. But you will be living in Russia, with Russian prices. You'll be living like a king.

[–]Adam1394 0 points1 point  (2 children)

They don't outsource things to pay US wages.

[–]Chaddeus_Rex 0 points1 point  (1 child)

They don't outsource, but they pay US wages nonetheless. Go look at how much a Microsoft employee in Moscow makes...for Russia, these people live like kings.

[–]Adam1394 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I work work Microsoft related company. Trust me, it's not what you think it is.

[–]destraht 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm an experienced fullstack web developer I've been getting a stipend of about $1000/month for a while now so that I can build up our California based company. I call it a stipend because its a pretty pathetic number if I was to consider it pay. If I was not looking so far to the future and getting maximum value for my money now then I could price myself very competitively between the higher end Ukrainian labor (compared to Indians) and a domestic dev. I could live fucking nice with that money and even be eying real estate. Even then I've found a sweet spot here abouts where I can get in for $10k since its priced like WW2 just rolled through (not Ukraine). Blood in the streets but even better because there is no blood. I love it and I'm eating gourmet 4 star food now :).

Personally I've long since grown tired of the English teaching expats. They are fine I guess but I'd rather be around businessmen, students, wait staff, etc. Teaching English is the vehicle that most people use when they want to remain out in the world for a very long time, but damn [YAWN].

[–]Isbjornsolo 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Travel light, with a few changes of clothes. You don't need much more than that unless you're going somewhere with huge climate changes or for a long time. Currency can be done on a specialist currency card, so you don't get hammered by your bank for overseas charges. Which can rack up on longer trips.

Also in Europe use budget airlines or the coaches/buses. Depending on how far in advance you can/want to book. I always found trains to be an awfully expensive way to get around. Unless you're under 26 & European where you can qualify for special tickets. Google "Interrailing".

Hostels are always a great shout, young people up for exploring and enjoying the easy life. Couch surfing is also a viable option if you're willing to do offer that facility in the future.

Also OP, plugging your book/blog might get this post flagged for self promotion etc.

[–]LeaksLikeYourMom 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Buses are great, you can get tickets for $5 consistently (in Europe at least)

[–]lopsidedlucky 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Huge tip on currency. Just bring the local currency with you or cash to convert. Bank fee's can get into the hundreds with just a few atm withdrawls.

[–]ag101 1 points1 points [recovered]

I wish I saw a post like this before dropping a ton of money on a mortgage.

I went through most of my savings, and now bills are high enough that I can't take more than a month or two off work to travel. Whereas before, I had about 2-3 years worth of expenses saved up and could literally say "fuck it" and leave for wherever I wanted.

[–]lopsidedlucky 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I have to ask you. What does that feel like to go from having "fuck you" money to walk away from a job for a couple of years and then go to being locked in a mortgage.

I ask because I've almost always maintained the resources to walk from work. Besides investments and actual mortgage for a house to live in is a far cry.

[–]ag101 1 points1 points [recovered]


It's really between choosing to invest in something that will potentially increase in value and may pay dividends in the future, or setting yourself back a couple of years and having a once in a lifetime experience. I took the option to build up my credit, and increase my equity to try and set myself up for a better future into my 30s and 40s.

Personally, I have a great career at home, so going abroad to work for a long period of time wasn't really a realistic option. But I had considered taking a bit of time off to just travel.

Of course I can't suggest what you should do. But tying yourself to a city you don't really enjoy and setting yourself up for years of recurring payments is a tough pill to swallow.

[–]lopsidedlucky 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Appreciate your answer. I'm in similar situation. I've done the living abroad and travel and love it. Idea of settling long term is tough, especially in the west were things are getting worse. Congrats on taking the leap.

[–]MyStepdadHitsMe 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Nice read. In 4 weeks I ship off to Cape Town. I’ll be working remotely for an entire year, traveling through Europe, Asia, and S America. We will see.

[–]lopsidedlucky 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Congrats for making that happen. Remember to drop us some field reports.

[–]MyStepdadHitsMe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks. I only browse this sub, but if I feel like I have a positive contribution to make, I will. A lot of wisdom here.

[–]ay013523 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thanks so much for this post

[–]smurfblue 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Interesting. I’m currently heading into my second year in China as an American.

I will add that if you can network well and get into the right groups of people while you’re out and about teaching, you may be able to jump to a different career path entirely - i now do modeling and photography freelance that bumps my wage up by another couple thousand dollars depending on the month.

ESL Is a great way to get out and travel, however it is not for everybody. Make sure that’s what you want to do before you go and do it

[–]K04free 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I'm 23, and have to over 20 countries all on my own dime. My biggest issue when I was in school was money. There ways of getting flights for cheap that everyone should be aware of.

  1. Churning, no your credit won't go down
  2. ITA Flight matrix
  3. Booking two one way vs roundtrip
  4. Hostelworld (hopefully you already know this)
  5. International flight is cheapest 3 months to 3 weeks before departure.

[–]lopsidedlucky 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sounds like you have a lot of experience to share man. You should do a post on tips. You're only 23 and you've hit more countries than most people twice your age man.

[–]Baal-Hadad 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Just came back from 2 weeks of fucking beautiful girls that now how to treat a man in Cambodia and Thailand. I seriously do not know how I'm going to go back to my plates here.

On amazing Thai nurse girl I met adored me basically as soon as we met. I got a bad burn and my skin was peeling so she insisted on taking the time to gently exfoliate my skin. This is literally the 2nd day we spent together.

The west fucking sucks balls.

[–]lopsidedlucky 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Bro you're no alone. Came back from south asia last year, I had to take 3 more days off before going to work to acclimate to western life before corprateland.

Western women are joke compared to overseas. Good thing about a trip like that is it give you a huge boost in idgaf towards western women shit tests and all.

[–]Hendy11 4 points5 points  (6 children)

How much did you make at your university? I know a bunch of profs In seoul who work 4 days a week and get 5 months off a year. Just never wanted to ask them how much they got paid.

I just finished a year in korea at a hogwon. It was pretty legit but private school workers rights just don’t exist. I would say do it( do it when young for sure, I ducked up and waited until I was too old so I feel I need to come Home) but just know the time off is limited and Koreans are not Filipinas aka they won’t just love you for being western.

However if you do 2 years from age 22-24 you should able to come home with about 15-18k saved up and a cool story to always remember your years abroad.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I did pretty well, but the main thing were the benefits that allowed me to save.

So, my paycheck was only about 2,200 a month. However.

I had a free, fully furnished 2br apartment on campus. Meaning I could walk to work. Public transportation is also insane in East asia, meaning you don't need a car.

Full medical, full dental.

The cost of a plane ticket to the states fully paid each year.

seven weeks of PAID vacation a year.

And my base salary only covered 20 hours of class a week, so I could just just double up on the hours and make 4.4k if I wanted.

There is also a massive pension which your employer pays into your SS account every month, and when you leave you can cash out of it. For me that was an extra 10k as I was getting on the plane.

It is HARD to spend 2k a month where I was living. The nicest restaurant in town was about 15 bucks for a full course meal. Bottles of soju are a dollar. Going out on the town is CHEAP.

So, after five years, I went from having no savings to about 40k in the bank when I returned. Not rich, but for a single man plenty of money to play with.

[–]Hendy11 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Btw 40k in the bank and no debt is richer than 99% of people your age

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Yup, and I turned around and invested it in real estate and haven't worked a day since (I mean, not at a nine to five, I still work my ass off, but it is for ME, not someone else). True story for another post maybe.

[–]Hendy11 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dm me please. Would love to hear it. I might do one more year and really save to do that.

[–]Hendy11 0 points1 point  (0 children)

yup same here. Now I only did one year, and worked a lot (hogwon's suck fucking shit) But I will come home with around 10k (give or take) wish like hell I did it in my early 20's instead of late 20's. But no going back in time. I found Korean women to be amazingly hot, but I definitely didn't have the look like some guys who could pull 8's and 9's every other weekend.

Still am glad I did it. But unless you get lucky, it isn't really the party job it used to be (unless you get a late shift job and don't mind working until like 10)

I might blow all my money and just travel for the next 6 months. But that isn't too smart I think.

I sort of think the smart move is to do a quick job in Thailand right out of college. Travel like crazy because of the cheap flights there and the more laid back working conditions. After 6 months go to Korea and make some money. 2 years later come home at like 25 with like 20k in the bank and the confidence and stories gained from living as an expat of a few years.

[–]tonikroosofficial 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I'm saving up 50k just to travel a year and do some neat things. Thinking of buying a RTW ticket.

[–]EverythingIsFractal 1 point2 points  (0 children)

50k is enough to travel for many years and have some amazing experiences with money to spare.

[–]w_i_r_e_d 1 points1 points [recovered]

Can confirm Asia is the place to be right now. Taiwan is an untapped market full of beautiful, young girls. Cost of living is cheap and you can travel to other countries around like China,Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand at great rates.

Just this weekend I hooked up with a famous news anchor quite easily.

[–]lopsidedlucky 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've found taiwanese women to be some of my favorite. Enjoy that man.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you are even considering travel, read/listen to Roosh. You don't have to like/agree with everything he says, but he is the expert in travel.

[–]Wintershrike 1 points1 points [recovered]

Agreed. 27 and I've just taken off to NZ solo for a year. You can always make money. You cannot recover time. As an alternative to Esl, if any of the you do construction you can get 12m work visa doing that here easily.

[–]lopsidedlucky 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hell yes. Although you're wrong, you can't always make money. You need to make sure you have either the money before you get old or the skills necessary in the future when you're older to make money.

[–]Leeding 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Great post, thanks! I have a couple of questions:

  1. Is the CELTA qualification essential do you think? I see a lot of job adverts only asking for a TEFL qualification and I know there are online courses that are way cheaper than attending a course in person.

  2. What attracted you to Korea, over say both China and Japan?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hey man

I don't think CELTA is the be all end all, but you'll want to look at job listings and see what they require.

Korea has the potential to save the most money. You get paid less in China, but life is cheaper, more in Japan but life is more expensive.

Korea is thought to fall right in the middle of the two extremes.

[–]XXXMersenne 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Get the app LuckyTrip. Last October I went to Barcelona for 4 days at the dank price of £96 GBP. What it does is it gives you "Somewhere to go, Somewhere to stay & Something to do" for a cheap cost calculated by an algorithm that finds cheap individual flights, hotels & activities.


There are tons of adjustable settings on there too like the date/months you'd prefer to go (over their "Lucky dates" - which are best for price/value) and the minimum nights you like to stay; my favourite being 3 nights min, then to get a trip that starts on a Thursday, with returns on either the Sunday or Monday daytimes.


Pro tip: When the (cheaper) option to stay at a hostel comes up, take it. I had more fun at the Black swan hostel that if I'd been at even a 5-star hotel. There were tons of other young people, you could put your name down for some awesome dinner every night and the staff there took everyone out every night with free entry to hot, hot clubs - and trust me, gaming Spanish chicks vs. Trad western is like a fresh mixed-fruit buffet vs. a greasy bag of chips. Mostly.


Anyway check it out if you'd like but unfortunately it's only available on iOS for now. Peace.

[–]yomo86 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I lived some time in Japan, not as an English teacher but as an off-counsel. Asian countries hold a non-pc bullshit attitude. While this is a plus in most areas our English teachers had to be white. Yes, they won't mention it but this racism is blatant. And white as in WASP white. The teachers got paid solely because of their color of their skin and their fluency in the English language. It is the same racism like here in the US when you expect an Asian dude preparing your Sushi.

Don't assume you will be treated like a king. You are merely a traveler. Pussy is not going to come magically flying at you just because of that, it is a nice opener though.

Educate yourself if public alcohol consumption or even public intoxication is allowed. This goes without saying but no crimes not even jaywalking. Asian countries are quite known for zealous prosecution especially prosecuting people who are guests.

While the thrill of doing your own thing please have a backup of all your basic data such as copies of your passport, working permit/visa, credit card number and the addresses of the nearest embassy.

Have at least $ 1200 means of safe deposits aka pre-paid credit cards, US-cash, traveller cheques for transportation back to the homeland. We had more than one intern knocking on our door asking for money because some unfortunate incident took place and he/she had to get home. Uncle Sam does not really care about you and you will be footed the bill if a 1st class flight, military or diplomatic aircraft has to bring you back home due to visa expiration.

[–]JustDoMeee 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Anyone have any experience working on cruise ships and any ideas how I can get in?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've heard cooking school is a good way, but no personal experience

[–]1BobMargarita 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When you travel, don't feel like you have to be a tourist, going to see all the sights and the historical cities. Doing that is fun for a bit, but it gets super dull after a little while. It's much more fulfilling to have a real life there and to learn new skills.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Great post. Will come in handy as I plan to go on a trip once I graduate later this year.

[–]weedwizerd 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Do you need to have a college degree to join the CELTA program?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

hmm... I'm not so sure. I wouldn't think so. But it is tough to get jobs without some kind of a degree. Have you looked into online learning.

[–]bazingabrickfists 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Ive often wondered about doing this but dont have a degree. Is it still easy enough to get a job in a desirable location without one?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You might get a job at an after school academy in SE asia, but if you really want to have a decent wage a degree helps alot. Have you looked into online degrees?

[–]bazingabrickfists 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Online degrees? No not really. I have technical schooling but no degree.

[–]Sbdaq 0 points1 point  (0 children)

22yo here as well. Took a quarter off school to go travel for 3 months. Plan to travel a lot more in the future. Nepal was my favorite. Great hostel with other young people 2.50 a night. Save a bit of money and you can go for a while. Play guitar on the street and do some odd jobs / work for hostels and you can go forever. Talk about freedom

[–]suckymeh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I recently got my nursing degree. Planning to get 2 years experience and then pimp myself out to travel nursing contracts. They typically come in 3 month contacts.

In theory I can make a year's pay in 9 months. Then spend the other 3 months living in cheaper countries for$1000month or so, vs $2k in the US. The money saved should cover travel expenses. Thus, I see it as taking a free vacation.

Hope to get started in a year or so, wish me luck!

[–]gmangini 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I want to travel as well. My budget is tight, and so I'm thinking of going on a road trip to a neighboring state alone. Any tips for a solo traveler staying in the states?

[–]ograda12 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Could this be a way of life?

Plan A,finish CELTA and work as an english teacher in Asia.

[–]fullsarj 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It gets old eventually. Source: last five years. Ready to go home.

[–]TheWambat 1 points1 points [recovered]

Why do you recommend the CELTA vs a much cheaper online TEFL certification? Is the benefit worth the 5-10x cost increase?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Celta is held in much higher regard. Not sure how the numbers would work out, but as I understand it the Celta is considered the gold standard. If you are trying to bootstrap your way into a first job and have limited time and rescources, tefl may suit you better. I've been out of the game for about five years, so my advice is to do your own research before making a solid decision.

[–]lifestuff69 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Scott's Cheap Flights is also a fantastic resource.

[–]setsuna0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Any advice for a 23 year old without any college education? I live in America but really would like to travel

[–]Gozsayin 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What if I only know English and really bad Spainish

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You only need to know your L1 (native language)

ESL teachers are not expected to know the local language, though I recommend learning it once you've established yourself there.

[–]Gozsayin 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Hi so I'm 22 and recently out of college no English major. I really want to start traveling soon and this sounds like a great way to do it. I'm super interested.but I'm only really good at English and I do have 3 years of Spanish but I don't know if they will help me in Asian countries. Is it still a good idea for me to try to sign up.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You don't need to know any other languages than English. An English Degree is definitely enough to get you started. Good luck.

[–]ExistentialDump 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This post deeply inspired me to pursue my TEFL. My course begins in two weeks. Thank you

[–]Kuroshiji 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Really good post for an 18 yo. I am planning on moving to japan and dont plan on going to uni however i am confused. I could think long term and perhaps working like 10 yrs would earn a better salary then not having a qualification and working for shit pay and unstable job. I could follow my dream and make music while im young while travelling and working without a degree. I know at trp we tend to go against the mainstream but realistically, unbiasedly i need some opinions on this.

[–]progggrammerr99 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You need a degree to teach English in japan

[–]mnothr 0 points1 point  (4 children)

problem for me is i dont wanna go alone, but im sure as hell not gonna pay for someone else to come with me(unless pussy but even then she better got at least some cash)

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

[–]lopsidedlucky 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Bro, all the reasons you don't want to go alone, are exactly the reason why you should go. You will be tested in ways you absolutely can not fathom. It will give you life lessons and experience that others can't conceive.

If you're really worried, go to a country where some there speak your language. Stay in hostels frequented by westerners and make friends. It easy, it's like being at camp and everyone wants to make friends, and fuck.

Going alone can be daunting but, quickly you'll have a moment where you realize that you are beholden to no one, to no man, to no work, to no woman, and you'll use that boldness to pee in a dark alley trying not to get arrested while drunk.

[–]Zitrone77 -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

Daves’s ESL Cafe is pretty much dead, so bad recommendation.

You can go and get jobs in EFL teaching, but you will make NO money. I strongly suggest business English. Japan is a horrible place to work for an English teacher. They will abuse you. I highly suggest doing ESL in Australia (although that changed with the fall of GEOS) or Canada.

Celta is good, but I never did it. I got my degree in TESOL (M.A.), and was able to put that to a lot more use and make more money at Unis. I’ve been doing this for over 12 years.

This advice you posted is so lame. You are basically telling people to visit your blog and what you did for a few months. Get some real experience, kid.

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

There's always one.

I made plenty EFL teaching, so you're wrong there. Also know a lot of people killing it in Japan, so...wrong there again.

Glad you are sharing your experiences, but your attitude is shitty.

[–]lopsidedlucky 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sounds like you've got more to add. People are listening, if you have a better track then respond here or make a post. Seriously, there are a lot of guys looking to do this. Spread your experience man.

[–]suckymeh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My friend lived and taught in Japan for 3 years. Now married to a Japanese woman and came back to the US with her. Don't think he'd stay so long if it was terrible.

[–]TheMatthis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hey man, thanks for sharing. Unfortunately one of my friends also had a bad experience with Daves's esl cafe, so I can confirm your point. Since I plan to go to teach in china next year do you know if job agent websites. Due to your name I assume you are German as well. Can you recommend agood job sites for german people? I found https://www.unterrichten-in-china.de/ to be the best because its free but there seem to be not a lot of reviews and I dont want to go through the same trouble as my friend

[–]adirp 1 points1 points [recovered]

Could you teach, say, math in English?

[–]Endorsed Contributorthelandofdreams[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

People do teach other subjects but it usually requires both knowing someone and having a masters in your field at least.