Mid-year status update for Earth Vagabonds

Time for a mid-year status update for Earth Vagabonds: me, Tedly, and his mom Diane.

How are we doing?

We are doing great. I have my breast-cancer prevention drug. We all help with the Ati projects. Tedly goes to ‘work’ with the Ati on the mountain nearly every day. Mom Diane walks a lot, and has had her phone repaired! Yes! After more than three weeks, Mom Diane was finally able to connect with a technician at repair shop in Caticlan, the nearest ‘big’ town. Her phone needed a new part after it got wet in a downpour.

As we’ve reported, we enjoy this area – immensely. It’s rural: hardly any cars, no ‘tourists’, lots of fresh air and open spaces. The sea and beach for me, the hiking trails for mom Diane, the Ati mountains for Tedly. Every night, except for one “date night,” we all eat dinner together in our two-bedroom apartment rental at the awesome Hangout Beach Resort. In a way, it’s like a fantasy reality. Fresh food, sunshine, kind locals.

We have been in Malay, Aklan, Panay, Philippines, for more than three months. Mom Diane has been with us more than six months. We are not yet planning to leave.

Our future plans

While not making active plans to leave, I am watching for news about Malaysia, where we paid for an apartment rental early October through early January. We had actually pre-paid before the international lockdowns, and had planned to stay there this summer. However, we were able to reschedule our visit to when we thought Malaysia might open to visitors.

Getting there also is still problematic, as commercial flights are still sometimes canceled. There’s this whole ‘quarantine at your expense’ thing going on, too, which is a considerable factor for budget travelers like us.

We also need to get to Boracay soon to renew our visas, which have expired. The Philippine government is waiving fees for travelers who stayed, like us, but we still owe the cost of being here. I’m still not sure when our deadline to ‘get legal’ is — but I will find out for certain in the next day or two.

I no longer have plans to visit the U.S.A. in 2020. I wanted to surprise my sister in the second half of the year for an extended stay, and see my parents, but God/the Universe had other plans. We will now consider a trip ‘home’ sometime in 2021.

Mom Diane is free to stay as she pleases.

Your future travel plans

Our Facebook group has grown to nearly 5,000 members. Not just anyone can get in — people must answer three questions and have an account for longer than a few months or a year.

There is a hardcore group of real travelers in our group — people who take the time to really get to see a place. People who love to travel for extended time periods, not just the week-long vacation like the casual tourist who whisks through a foreign city on organized “tours” and cruises, and only sees the superficial.

If you are interested in authentic, real, slow travel, on a budget — join our group. Someone there might be able to help you plan a trip (not a tour), or answer a question only a traveler would know how to answer. Use the group as a resource. There are thousands of locations discussed. Use the search function to start your research. The pandemic surely cannot last forever. Keep your travel dreams alive!

We are hopeful authentic budget travel can continue post-pandemic days, even if it’s the “end of tourism”, as is debated about a lot these days.

Thanks for reading, “Mid-year status update for Earth Vagabonds.”

What to read next that has nothing to do with the pandemic:

Earth Vagabonds advocate for travel once borders reopen. We admire the way Rick Steves explains why travel is so important in his special video, “Travel as a Political Act.”

Mid-year status update for Earth Vagabonds

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