If you feel wanderlust, there is no need to resist the urge by worrying about finances. Traveling to Southeast Asia is a once in a lifetime experience and should be included in the “top places to visit” list. It consists of eleven countries, from India to China. Whether you go to the mainland or an island zone, you are going to the land of seas, legends, nature, rich traditions and a lovely tropical climate.
The greatest feature of Southeast Asia is the cultural diversity and its ability to adapt. Influenced by Indian and Chinese culture, a lot of sights and significant art pieces decorate the countries in this region. However, these are not the only preserved impacts of the cultural mix. Islam and Christianity both play a big role in Indonesia, and the Philippines are the only Christian nation in Asia. This unusual national combination brought along a wide variety of delicious meals. The list of delicacies includes Thai rice, Vietnamese noodles and grilled, roasted bananas in Cambodia, as well as some less tempting options suitable for adventurers – fried spiders and edible locusts, silkworms and grasshoppers.
Another great addition is a large number of languages coexisting on this territory. Due to immigration, trade and historical colonization, a variety of languages has been influenced by cultural pressures. There are 17 official languages throughout countries in the region, including the official English language in Singapore, Philippines, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
Common Misconceptions about Southeast Asia
Many misconceptions exist among people who know little about Southeast Asia. The common mistaken beliefs are:
- Traveling through Southeast Asia is not safe
No matter where you travel, there is always a risk of possible danger. A journey to Southeast Asia is no different than any other trip you took. As always, keep your belongings near and don’t judge the culture until you’ve had the opportunity to explore it and see firsthand how generous and helpful the people can be.
- The trip is challenging
The history of Southeast Asia shows a strong, ever-growing tourist industry. When it comes to languages, one can get around speaking English or any other widespread world language, since there is always someone available for support. If necessary, numerous hostels and guesthouses will arrange transportation for you, but for a higher price. The cost-effective solution is to make arrangements for self and use public transport for sightseeing.
- It includes a lot of planning
Although some people need to prepare for the voyage, it is acceptable to be adventurous and see where the road will take you. Discovering all of Southeast Asia treasures is best done spontaneously.
- The trip is expensive
This statement is not true. Daily costs of Southeast Asia could go up to $16, the lowest price range if you stick to your budget. Don’t forget; you can find a job at any time to add more money to your travel budget.
- Unattractive accommodation
If you are worried about dirty and seemingly poor hostels, this is one of the misconceptions people have of Southeast Asian countries. There are plenty of very modern, beautifully decorated hotels where one can meet travelers from all around the globe. However, since the rooms can be found for $5, you don’t need to stay in a hostel if you want to avoid that option.
- Bringing a lot of baggage
Southeast Asia is not undeveloped, despite what some people may think. They have it all; including a tropical climate, which means you’ll need to bring light clothes that don’t overcrowd the suitcase.
Don’t Kill the Travel Bug – Find a Job
There are a lot of possibilities for making money on the go, especially if you are going away to one of the many developed countries of Southeast Asia. Some of the easiest solutions are:
If you know your way around a camera, take some photos of your travels and try to sell them. Try using photo editing services for a better picture quality that can bring more money to the table. You can open up a lot of profiles on sites that offer to sell your work for a low fee. Explore the land of incredible myths and horrors while capturing it all in beautiful photos.
No matter the language you speak, take advantage of your knowledge. Teaching the English language is one of the most common jobs for a foreigner so that it would be a great addition to cash in your knowledge of other languages.
- Work as a Translator
Apart from working as a translator online, you can profit from advertising your skills in local hotels and shops. For an online job, try your luck on Upwork and Freelancer.
- Travel Blog
This is not quite as easy and demands a lot of time and previous experience. You need to be well-informed, inspired and established on social media, as there are many travel websites that do a great job of engaging readers, and breaking into the niche can be a bit difficult. Start your travel blog by getting your own domain name and hosting site.
- Work in Bars & Cafes
Ask around for establishments that hire travelers. The only necessities you’ll need are some bartending experience and the ability to speak English. Also, if you know any type of dance, a lot of restaurants and bars pay people to give dance lessons, since it brings them plenty of extra business.
- Seasonable Jobs
If you can handle getting your hands dirty and can withstand a bit of physical labor, you can pick fruits during the harvest season. Also, becoming a good season worker means moving on to the next crop and getting hired for more harvesting labor.
Give music lessons or become a DJ in a local club. All you need are few prepared and portable mixes to tune in and make a memorable party. This is a fun and decent paying job that allows you to make new connections.
This type of work rarely has the protection of a work permit, but it is because of the short-term nature of the contract. However, one can make a living out of being an actor or an extra for a short period.
- Au pair
If you love taking care of children, this is the job for you. You will get a room and a weekly paycheck to spend on your free weekends. It is safe, fun and cost-effective.
Teaching yoga or another form of exercise in a public park or a bar is another profitable solution.
Advantages of going in the low season
The lowest season is from June to October, as the monsoon rains are common during this period. Although people avoid the storms, this is the most enjoyable season of them all. The reason is there are not many people around, only the locals and their traditions, which makes the places less crowded. Many colorful celebrations and cultural events provide opportunities for a memorable experience.
Also, the prices are lower, so it is the cheapest time of the year. The weather is not as bad as it may appear to be. On the contrary, though it is wet, there are sunny periods to enjoy and empty spaces to fill in when going on guiding tours.
Consider going away on a trip to Southeast Asia. It is an affordable and worthwhile experience that can bring you some extra money along the way. There are a lot of ways to profit from your gifts and education. If you are a free spirit, you can even juggle on a street corner and charm people to get a few coins into your hat.
It is possible to work and travel; the only important thing is a desire to spread your wings and try. If by any chance you decide to stay and make it a permanent location, you can try finding a job suitable for your skills on various job websites of Southeast Asia.