Ayngelina left everything she knew behind and took a chance on her dream of traveling the world. She writes about her journeys on her travel blog BaconIsMagic.ca. We asked her some questions about everything from her blog’s unique name to how she made her dreams come true.
Jazz Hostels: Bacon is Magic is a very unique name for a travel blog. How did you come up with it?
Ayngelina: Before traveling many people knew of my love for pork products. I cook quite a bit and they would laugh that my vegetarian minestrone had sausage in it or that my roasted tomato sauce secret was pancetta. Other than the cultures that don’t eat pork for religious reasons almost all others feature pork prominently in their cuisine.
In that sense many of us were united by a love of pork, because we know it makes everything taste better – bacon is magic.
Jazz Hostels: You write about the fears you felt in taking a year off to travel – the fear of leaving a stable job, a relationship, your life as you knew it. How did you overcome that fear and move forward to live your dream?
Ayngelina: At 33 I still don’t know if I want to have children but I know if I do that time is running out and this would be my last time to take a trip like this. I have met so many other women in the same position yet no one talks about it. Since I started traveling I’ve realized this is a very common anxiety for my generation and many women aren’t sure if they’re ready to move onto the next stage of their lives.
Jazz Hostels: How did you plan your trip? Did you have it mapped out or was your plan to start in one place and see where your travels took you?
Ayngelina: I had already lived in the Philippines and traveled around South East Asia and Europe was unaffordable so I looked at where I hadn’t been, I initially thought I could really travel around the world in a year but after reading other blogs I realized that there was no way I could hit Central America, South America, Africa and then Mongolia.
Like many people we think we can be travel machines and tick off countries in lightning speed but the reality is that we tire and realize slower travel is better.
Jazz Hostels: You saved a long time for your trip. How did you stay motivated and focused to reach your savings goal?
Ayngelina: I use online banking and opened a savings account, on pay days I moved the money directly to savings before I spent it. I also set some rules such as only going out to dinner once a week, no easy feat in Toronto. When I declined offers, and it was tough, what cheered me up was that I moved what I thought I would spend to the savings account. You would be surprised at how quickly that added up.
Jazz Hostels: It can be a challenge to keep track of and stay within a budget when traveling. Do you have a system to keep track of your daily budget on the road?
Ayngelina: I keep a journal and on the left hand side of each day I write down expenses. For a few weeks I didn’t bother and I was consistently over spending so I have to be diligent about it. My budget is $30 a day but if I go over 1-2 days I just make it up on other days. I don’t want to miss out on things and I can always decide just to eat street food or cook for a few days to settle the balance.
Jazz Hostels: What advice can you give people who want to take off for six months or a year to travel but are afraid to make that leap?
Ayngelina: You only live your life once and you can either look back with regret or leap into the unknown.