Many people have asked me how I could just leave my job and seemingly travel perpetually. How can I afford it? How do you find places to stay for free all the time? How do you find places to volunteer? All questions I’ve received by email, and now I’m sharing the secrets in a series of posts about how The Happy Nomad Tour Rolls and what things are like behind the scenes.
In the worst case, I go to an internet café and use their computer. This resulted in a wonderful story in El Salvador, kind of being adopted by the family who owns the cafe.
In a better worst case, I use my own computer in a cafe (not internet, but one that sells coffee). Sometimes you can find real cafes or restaurants with wifi. If you were going to eat there anyway, then the internet is a bonus.
I love coffee so I’d rather spend $1-$2 for a coffee and spend a couple of hours online than an uncomfortable and loud internet cafe for the same price. This is obviously a function of where you are and how affluent the place is. Cafe culture is definitely a city thing.
Sometimes local libraries have internet access for free, similarly museums like in Cartago, Costa Rica. It really just depends on where you are, the level of development of the place, etc. But I’ve always managed to find a solution thus far – though they haven’t often been ideal.
I don’t have a smartphone, but if I’m looking to take a rest while sightseeing at a place with wifi, I walk around with my Amazon Kindle in-hand and scan for wireless signals outside cafes and restaurants to see if they have wifi. It’s helped me find places I didn’t expect to have wifi.
In the most remote places I’ve been, Yauya, Peru being a good example, I was still able to be connected. In very remote places they use some kind of antenna system to transmit data over long distances between villages. It’s slow, like dial-up slow, but it’s a connection. Pretty amazing.
If you have any more questions, put it in the comments below and I’ll either answer your question there or write a new post covering it.