Almost every millennial engineer would love to give a lot of time into travelling and exploring different destinations around the world. Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that hinder them from travelling the globe: lack of time, funds, and sometimes the lack of companions.
However, this engineer couple from the Philippines have proven that if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to “engineer” your way out of all these hindrances and wander to probably anywhere in the world.
Taj Mahal. Source: Clover Wanders
Clarizza Panganiban (Clar) is a graduate of BS Industrial Engineering from Saint Louis University in the Philippines, while Rodney Arreola (Rodz) is a graduate of BS Electronics Engineering from the same university.
This full-time business couple and part-time backpacker duo, have been together for 6 years and travelling different countries for 4. As of March 2017, they have travelled to a total of 17 countries—and still counting! They started out by travelling across their home country, the Philippines. They then ventured out to various countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, and Nepal.
Through an email interview, we were able to get in touch with the couple as they share their experiences throughout their breathtaking adventures, as well as share some tips on how you can travel without having to spend top-dollar.
Narrate to us your travels story
Rodz: Although Clar had always dreamed of travelling ever since she was a kid, travelling together actually just started as a short vacation from our monotonous lives. We just wanted to get away from the routine and indulge ourselves in new experiences. But then it suddenly became a part of our lives and little did we notice that it’s already become a practice to book flights and plan trips.
It was hard to fund our travels at first and we both involved ourselves in random money-making jobs like buy-and-sell of clothes and shoes and making costumes for other people using skills and knowledge we have acquired from our Cosplay hobby. Eventually, we were able to find ourselves the right source of income that would enable us to travel and at the same time save up for our future. It was a matter of maximizing our resources and choosing the right business.
Myanmar. Source: Clover Wanders
Clar: Our first travels were honestly full of misadventures. We experienced missing our expensive Ferry ride, getting scammed, paying more than we should have, getting lost in the middle of nowhere and even not having enough money for a trip! All of these taught us a lot of things that we’ve been applying to our succeeding travels.
Travelling is not really expensive. It’s the way you travel that makes it so. We find fun in simple things and like to experience the local life and this is what makes travelling cheaper for us. We stay in 5-dollar rooms, eat half-dollar meals and even ride in crowded 10-cent buses! It may sound absurd at first but these make our travels more memorable and fulfilling as it gets us closer to learning how locals live. It’s true that we splurge more from time to time but that’s up to you really – you can always spend more or less if it’s what makes you happy.
Maldives. Source: Clover Wanders
Aside from being awesome backpackers what else do you guys do?
Besides travelling together, we both like to craft costumes, watch Animes and Korean dramas and Cosplay from time to time. Rodz would usually play video games, experiment with electronics and tools for making costumes, disturb his pet cat, and cook random stuff. Clar on the other hand would usually be busy shopping (for her business!), planning trips or attempting to write a blog about her adventures.
Cosplay. Source: Mr. Josef Lopez
Are you able to apply your engineering skills when you travel?
Rodz: Yes, A lot! Clar specifically always uses her Planning skills as an IE in looking for better and more efficient ways to travel, scheduling flights and itineraries for short or long-term trips or just as simple as choosing the best possible option for everything. She firmly believes that even in situations with limited options, there is still always a better way of doing things.
Clar: Although it may look like just your normal everyday problems, Engineering is a very broad world of studies! We use engineering know-how in answering simple questions like: How do we go from POINT A to POINT B the most efficient way?
Travelling give you a lots of problems to solve in every trip. It’s similar to how engineering works, everyone has a different solution but arrive at the same answer.
Laos. Source: Clover Wanders
Give our millennial engineers some tips when travelling (especially for those on a budget)
Plan ahead of time, set goals and prepare at least two or three options for your travel plans. Although not always, we think that the key to budget travelling is proper planning. If you know where and when you want to go, everything else will follow: the booking of flight tickets, choosing of accommodations and planning your itineraries. It’s also good to be flexible and to prepare Plan Bs and Cs so that if Plan A does not work, you will still have two more options left.
South Korea. Source: Clover Wanders
What advice can you give to the millennial engineers who want to travel but are unable to do so because of various reasons: (funds and work)
We live by the famous Filipino quote “Kung gusto, laging may paraan. Kung ayaw, laging may dahilan.” (If you really want it, there’s always a way and if you don’t, there’s always a reason) and we firmly believe there’s nothing else hindering you to Travel but yourself.
If you think you cannot afford it, think again. How much do you earn? Where does your money go? Maybe it’s time to lessen eating at restaurants, drinking expensive coffees or buying things you don’t really need and start saving up. It’s not how much money you have, it’s how you use it.
If you think you don’t have the time for it, think again! What do you do during your Vacation leaves and Non-working Holidays?
We understand that since we do business and own our schedules, we don’t really experience problems like this. But what we’re sure of is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of amazing Travelers who work 8-5 minimum-wage jobs and are still able to travel a lot!
Japan. Source: Clover Wanders