Jorge Sanchez is officially the second most travelled person in the world. He has been around the world seven times and judging by the map on his website, has been just about everywhere in the world. Now in his sixties, he started travelling when he was just thirteen years old.
Yet he doesn’t come from a rich background, he has no career, little formal education even but he sees travelling as its own educational opportunity. He estimates that his travelling has cost him no more than US$2,000 per year.
He has been able to spend most of his life travelling because he takes low-paid jobs to finance the next leg of his trip, he rarely travels by plane and he uses his own ingenuity to make friends with locals. He stresses most strongly that there is a great difference between a tourist and a traveller.
Many people travel, he says, just to ‘tick the box’ yet Jorge doesn’t consider that he’s really visited a place unless he’s stayed there for a minimum of one night and lived like a local.
Here are just a few of his extreme budgeting travel tips:
- Jorge only travels by air when there’s absolutely no alternative. When he does he takes charter flights or cheap overnighters out of season
- He never eats in restaurants. He prefers to buy his food from local markets
- Jorge enjoys getting to know local people. Sometimes, this means that they invite him to stay or to eat with them
- He never sleeps in hotels. He uses $5 per night hostels but has also slept in the open air, in monasteries, hospital waiting rooms and in railway or bus stations
- He has also slept in a jail, in a phone booth, in a morgue and even up a tree! He has also lept in synagogues, temples and other places of worship
- Jorge travels on foot or uses local buses, trains and ferryboats. Sometimes he hitchhikes
- He doesn’t drink alcohol thus saving money
- To shower, he uses the facilities in bus or railways stations
- He reminds us that when we are spending money on travel we have to deduct the money we would be spending at home. On the infrequent occasions Jorge is at home (Barcelona) he says that he lives frugally (on about €10 per day) so he can save for future travels. He says that travelling in low cost countries can be cheaper than staying at home
Jorge’s way isn’t for everyone of course but he sees travel as being the best thing that a human being can do with their life. He is married (for the second time) and at time of writing he has a one year old son. Jorge is eagerly looking forward to his son being a few years older so that the family can travel together and so that his son will be educated into the ways of the world.
“You cannot learn to swim by reading a book; you need to throw yourself into the sea or into a swimming pool for that. The same happens if you want to practice yoga; reading books about yoga is useless to achieve a real yoga experience. If you want to know the world you must travel the world.”
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.