Meet Agness and Cez — a couple of friends (really, they’re just friends!) from Poland who have been traveling the world together for a few years.
They travel the world on a bare-bones budget of $25 per day and feature their cheap travel tips on their website, eTramping. For them, budget travel isn’t just a necessity, but a choice. “For us traveling isn’t that addictive, unpredictable and fun when you feel financially secure,” they said.
These two aren’t just travelers; they’re tramps — which, they say, “is about being temporarily homeless with perspectives”.
How long have you two been “homeless” now and where have you been?
We have been “homeless” since 2011 and we made it to such amazing countries as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and China, where we are right now. We actually can’t believe it’s been over 3 years since we have been living a nomadic life. Time flies, especially when you travel constantly.
Do you always stick to your budget of $25 a day, even when you have well-paying jobs abroad? (That’s per person, right?)
Yes, it’s $25 a day per person. However, it 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 one day, we make sure we cut our costs the following day. There are some cities where surviving for less than $25 a day is extremely difficult. Definitely the hardest one was Oslo, which actually didn’t live up to my expectations. I still remember my shocked face when I was asked to pay over €5 for a small yogurt and a bun in one of the cheapest local stores!
What jobs have you two had along the way?
We are currently kindergarten teachers in China and it’s a kind of job where you need to jump a lot, draw a lot of pictures, sing songs and play a lot with kids. It’s a weird combination of fitness, drama and teaching where you feel like 10 years old again, but it’s a lot of fun as well. This job allows us to save up to $18,000 a year while still traveling around China and Asia. In the past, we were web designers (Cambodia) and social media consultants (Thailand).
Do you have proven strategies for finding jobs abroad?
Yes and it’s very easy, yet risky. We start looking for a job when we are already in the country. We ask locals for advice and make friends with expats who know everything. People always get back to us within a week or so with different job offers (mostly teaching and IT stuff).
Now that you’ve grown your blog, is your blog income enough to cover all your travel expenses?
We are “hardcore” budget travelers, so the income would sometimes be sufficient to travel. However, it’s very far from predictable. While during some months we can happily say that blog pays for the travels, nevertheless, this is not why we’re blogging, so we treat it like a bonus.
More of a steady income is coming from helping others with their websites and the book sales. Yeah, we’ve written an e-book titled Work, Live and Travel in China
to help those who are thinking about teaching in China.
You believe in traveling with little financial security. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re completely broke?
We actually know how it feels like when you run out of money and you are completely broke as we experienced that back in 2012 when we were in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Let’s face it — it wasn’t a pleasant feeling as we started to panic a little bit.
How did we handle that?
One day, we were sitting in a garden in our house in Siem Reap. Cez took a piece of paper and a pen to write down our strengths and weaknesses. He was good at WordPress blogs (installation and migration services); I could handle paper, writing and design. Together, we came up with a great idea of setting up our own local web design business.
We named our company the Siem Reap Web Design and started working our asses off to get some customers. As it turned out, there was a high demand for websites for locals to promote their services in Siem Reap, from tuk-tuk drivers to Angkor Wat guides. We left a few leaflets in local supermarkets and restaurants, started talking to locals and after a few days we had our first website orders! How smart was that, huh?
Many of your readers assume you and Cez are a couple, when in fact you’re just really, really good friends. How did you two begin to travel together?
Yes, it’s pretty funny but also frustrating as some people don’t believe we are just best friends (especially Asian people). I even wrote a blog post about 25 lessons I’ve learnt while traveling in Asia for 3 years where I mentioned my friendship (not a relationship) with Cez and some bloggers seemed to be startled when reading that.
We met at the bus stop in Wolverhampton, England where we both studied and it was over 6 years ago. It all started with a short conversation and we ended up traveling to Italy and France a few months later. We speak the same language and have the same sense of humour. Being far away from home made us stick together. We help each other and love each other like a family and traveling together is so much fun I can’t even describe. I’ve heard once that “friends that travel together, stay together” and I hope me and Cez can remain best friends for years.
About Agness and Cez
Agness is a Polish vagabond who wants more stamps in her passport whereas Cez is her best friend — a world traveler with a baggage of experiences and limitless energy to gather more. They both stand behind eTramping — a travel website where you can find plenty of budget travel tips on how to travel the world with $25 in your pocket. If you love to eat, travel and take pictures on the road, make sure you follow these two!