In ‘Today’s Traveler’ I’ll introduce you to a world traveler and travel blogger. Get to know them, learn what makes them tick and why they love to travel. I had a chance to talk with Jamie Davila, ‘The Breakaway Backpacker.’ Jaime’s in his mid 20′s and from Houston, Texas. He decided to breakaway from everything and backpack the world. He quit his job sold just about all his belongings and as of March 1, 2011 left everything behind and started a two year journey around the world. In his blog he wants to show everyone that it is possible to breakaway!
1. What was the moment when you decided it was time to “Breakaway?”
It was about 3-5 months after I got my first & only DWI. When I got it I thought I needed to go back to school, start saving for a house and well live the American dream. As I was doing that, I realized doing that was not making me happy. So that’s when I found out I knew I needed to “BREAKAWAY” from everything and actually live the life I want to live. That is to travel and see the world!
2. Every month you post your daily budget. How do you stick to your budget, have there been times when you’ve needed to go over?
I do post my daily budget for every month. The trick to a budget is to worry about it, but really not worry about it. I have my days where I know I go over, but it was to enjoy a nice dinner or lunch with friends. When I do that I know the next day or two I will need to make sure I try and spend less. You just want to make sure it averages out in the end. Another example is I know right now I am in Europe and that is very expensive but I know as soon as I leave here the rest of the countries I will be visiting are going to be half as cheap if not way cheaper and then everything will average out. I hope that made sense? You want to make sure you enjoy yourself because if you are not what’s the point?
3. I’m sure you’ve had many memorable experiences while traveling, is there one experience you’ve had that you can say has been “life changing?”
Oh wow, I have had so many where I just can’t believe my life… but to say life changing I would have to say was when I visited the Sahara Desert in Morocco. A few days before going I was exhausted, I was tired of traveling I was actually about to book a flight home. I wrote all about it here. I decided to at least do the Sahara and then see how I felt. It changed me in so many ways. It made me realize that travel has it’s ups and downs and I am doing the right thing. I ended up writing an open letter to the Sahara Desert, because I was so moved.
4. Have there been times on your trip where you thought you could do this for another 2 years?
When you travel long term you have your ups and downs, but you also start realizing how you want to travel. I think after these two years are up I am going to actually go back home (Houston) settle down for a year or two while I save for my next RTW adventure. I know I don’t want to be on the road the rest of my life. I want to enjoy long RTW trips through out my life. I have realized that I miss my family and friends too much to be gone forever and believe I could balance it all.
5. What does the word “travel” mean to you?
I will keep it simple, because I hate when people like to make it a bigger deal than it really is. Travel to me is anyone who is going to a place that is not home to either visit others or learn about another culture or place.
6. After traveling for almost 1 year and still having 1 year planned to go, what countries/cities are you excited to visit and which ones would you love to go back to?
I purposely put Egypt & India in the middle of my trip because those are the two countries I have been looking forward to visit the most on my trip. I should be arriving in Egypt in mid January and am very excited about that. Will be spending about 2 months there before heading off to India and spending about 2 months there as well. As for what country I would love to go back to, hands down I would have to say Nicaragua and Mexico. They both surprised me in so many ways. I loved the people, the culture, the nature, the food and everything about them.
7. Do you have a favorite food, book, movie or Ipod playlist you can’t live without while traveling?
Funny you ask that; I don’t travel with an Ipod at all. That allows me to enjoy the place I’m at even more. I do though listen to music while I am on my laptop and well most of the time it is always Kelly Clarkson… I am obsessed with her and everyone knows it. As for food I don’t travel with any either, but I have to admit the thing I miss the most is HOT SAUCE. I am excited to get to India because I know they love SPICY food too. Well books I don’t read that much so don’t travel with any.
8. If you could travel with one person, from the past or present, who would it be?
As much as I would love to travel with Kelly Clarkson she does not beat my mother. Ahhh I would love for my mother to travel with me. I know she would love to see the world as well, but just would never do it. I have told her to join me a million times, but she won’t.
9. Is there one important thing you’ve learned on the road? (About yourself, a culture, food, photography)
I will say a bit about all 4 you mentioned!
About Myself: I have learned that I can be patient and that not everything will go my way and that I will survive and be okay in the end. I have also learned that I can spend a day in the park and do nothing and feel like I did so much. After traveling alone for so long you master the “art of doing nothing”.
About Culture: I have learned we are all basically the same. We are human. I know that sounds so cheesy, but it’s the truth. I have now seen many cultures, and religions and the fact is in the end we all want to be happy.
About Food: I have learned that I really do love spicy food. I think about it all the time I am eating. I always want to use hot sauce. I have learned that in reality not many countries use hot sauce.
About Photography: I have learned that the longer you travel the better your photos will come out. I can see a drastic change in the photos I first took on the trip to the ones I am taking now. I am no photographer, but with practice you will get better.
10. Any travel tips/advice for people thinking of breaking away?
Do it… You won’t regret it!
Visit Jamie’s site: Breakaway Backpacker
Like him on Facebook
Follow him on Twitter @BAbackpacker