“Having the security of a steady paycheck and a home base, I gave myself permission to prioritize travel and experiences over financial goals for a few months.”
I was a student on a fellowship, most of which had gone towards a plane ticket. I was used to thinking of myself, in America, as lower-income. But I had never experienced real material deprivation in the way of many of the people who fed and housed me.
Southeast Asia is so cheap. There was one day when we each had three meals, snacks, smoothies, and coffee, and we took a four-hour train ride, and we only spent $15. There’s nowhere else in the world where you can do that.