Agness Walwinder – Traveling the World on 25 Dollars a Day
Meet Agness, a 23-year-old Pole and University graduate in English and Spanish language who has been on the road (and on the cheap) since 2011. She is an expert on searching out the cheapest and best ways to stretch her travel dollar and is a co-creator behind etramping.com – a website chalked full of great tips on how to travel the world on 25 dollars a day. She writes excellent guides on specific cities citing the best finds and cheapest things to do on 25 dollars a day or less. I stumbled across etamping.com while researching things to do in Istanbul and found it very useful.
I recently sat down with Agness(via email) in an effort to get an insiders look at Traveling the World on 25 dollars a day.
We are two adventurous tramps, best friends – Agness and Cez, from Poland. We call ourselves tramps, because we live without a permanent home and for under 25 dollars a day since 2011. While travelling the world, we find the time to write about it, share the tricks to do it cheaply and even help other people do the same.
Can you explain the concept of “eTramping” and how you came up with the name?
eTramping.com is a travel blog mainly focusing on our adventures around the World where we are sharing the tips for budget travel (25 dollars a day or less). The main idea of the blog was to provide valuable information to its avid viewers about budget travelling which will definitely appeal to anyone who doesn’t have much financial resources to travel.
We first came cross the word “tramp” when watching an inspiring movie called Into the Wild, directed by Sean Penn. Long sotry short, it’s about a top law student and athlete Christopher McCandless, who after his graduation abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity, hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness and calls himself Alexander Supertramp.Ride an elephant in Sri Lanka – and activity done while spending under 25 dollars a day
When you travel to these cities do you yourself stay within this budget of 25 dollars a day or are you just pointing this out for other travelers?
There is a very simple recipe for cheap travels: walk instead of taxi, hostel instead of hotel, one room instead of two, street food instead of restaurant food and smile instead of being serious all the time. Travelling on the cheap doesn’t mean we don’t treat ourselves with some good food or spend a night in a posh hotel. It hardly happens, but it does. The most important for us is to keep the balance. If you spend more than 25 dollars a day one day, we make sure we cut our costs the following day. In this way, we can slowly travel all 7 continents without (hopefully) any debts.Cez enjoying a cheap view on the Chongqing-Lhasa train
What has been your greatest find for under 25 dollars a day along your journey?
We are actually lucky to be living in Asia as the food, accommodation and transportation are always affordable. So far, the cheapest country was Sri Lanka. I remember paying silly money (around $2 per person) for a nice dinner with drinks in one of local restaurants in Colombo and around $5 for a double room.
What cities or places have been the hardest to stay under 25 dollars a day in?
Definitely the hardest one was Oslo. I was shocked by the high prices Norway has welcomed me with. I remember my shocked face impression when paying over 5 euro for a small yogurt and a breakfast bun! I did couchsurfing to save some money on accommodation. In fact, high prices were the main reason why Oslo didn’t live up to my expectations.Cheap Travel in Vietnam for under 25 dollars a day
Part of your budget saving tricks are hitchhiking and couch surfing. Have you had any issues with either of theses methods along the way?
During my Europe backpacking trip in 2012, I had some bad couchsurfing experience which I openly talked about in one of my blog posts titled “Couchsurfing or Sexsurfing?” What’s the difference nowadays? I was hosted by male hosts who offered me sex for the hospitality. The post was very controversial, thus it quickly spread around the Internet. Within a few days, there were more than 150 different responses in which our readers shared their opinions/experience on this issue.
You have been etramping since 2011. Although your daily budget and tricks keep it cheap, how have you been supplementing your income along the way?
We work very hard on our travels. In each place we travel to, we try to find a job and save some money to travel further and longer. We are currently kindergarten teachers in China, having a lot of fun teaching English to Chinese students. This job allows us to save up to $18.000 a year still travelling around China and Asia. In the past, we were web designers in Cambodia and social media consultants in Thailand. Thanks to travelling we discovered our teaching and photography passions we could easily turn into our source of income. Cez is also a freelancer web designer and helps people build their own blogs.Cheap sightseeing in Cambodia
You recently released your first eBook “Add your Brick to the Great Wall” (Great title!) on how to explore China while earning a salary. Can you give us a brief run down on this?
Our e-book “Add your Brick to the Great Wall:” Experience-based Advice for China from Expats” sums up my two-year experience of teaching, living and travelling in the Land of Dragons where we prove that living in China and working as an English teacher, as us, might not only be a great cultural experience, unforgettable adventure and travel dreams come true, but also a great source of income. It gives you advice on:
- Why you might want to teach in China.
- What you need to know before you leave your home country.
- What the main benefits of living and working in China are.
- How to get ready for your first teaching and travel China experience.
- What to expect after arrival and throughout your stay.
Any parting words for someone that thinks traveling around the world is too expensive and out of reach?
Leave your comfort zone for a week or two, put your backpack on and visit places you have never been to. Stick to local areas and open your heart to locals. Travelling is not that expensive. You can always get a job while being on the road (like us) if you need some money and don’t spend too much on things you don’t need. Where there is a will, there is a way and if the plan A fails, stay cool the alphabet has another 25 letters!
Be sure to check out etrampings.com book – Add Your Brick to the Great Wall available on Amazon.com and through their website.
Best Moment while traveling
Meeting Cez in China after 6 months of travelling solo.
When in China, I was bitten by a spider. My whole neck and face were infected and it took me a long time to recover (about two months as far as I remember). I was pretty scared and looked like a monster.
Best Tourist Site
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Buckingham Palace, London.
Best thing you put in your face hole while traveling?
Traditional Chinese dumplings called baozi. They are steamed and filled with mince and veggies.
Sri Lankan rice and curry – way too spicy, yet tasteless.
Best quote from your trip
“Pack lite, live long and travel far”
Favorite Country – Tibet.
Best food – China
Friendliest country – Tibet.
Favorite Nationality to Travel with – Polish of course!
Best place to take a nap – Any beach.
Agness Walwinder is the co-founder of etramping.com and co-author of ‘Add Your Brick to the Great Wall.’ She is an expert on how to travel the world on 25 dollars a day. For more information check out her blog or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
All awesome pictures provided by Agness and Cez of etramping.com