Introducing the Itinerant Egghead

Century duck eggs (皮蛋) at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.
Century duck eggs (皮蛋) at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne. Photo by YJ.

Hello, thrifty world travelers! I’m YJ and I’m an itinerant egghead: itinerant because I have an insatiable passion for travel, egghead because I’m a doctoral student trying to make a dent in the bubble of knowledge.

The Itinerant Egghead is a blog about how I make travel a big part of my life without breaking the bank. Wandering the globe is important to me, but so are career building, staying out of debt, and saving for other life goals.

Figuring out how to do all of that with limited time and resources is a matter of managing priorities. I’ll be sharing tips and strategies for making ends meet on a tight graduate student stipend/salary, as well as stories and pictures from my adventures across the US and around the world.

My general philosophy about travel and personal finance is that it’s all about your priorities and the best value option, given those priorities. I choose to spend more on certain parts of my life (e.g. travel) and less on others (e.g. transportation around the city when I’m at home). When I travel, I make similar priority judgments: high quality local cuisine and a well-located place to sleep are high priorities, while souvenir shopping and going to typical tourist attractions are lower priorities.

I’m all about making occasional travel a sustainable lifestyle choice that fits with your life circumstances today. Not everyone can afford to or wants to be a perpetual nomad, hopping from country to country and hostel to hostel. Likewise, not everyone can afford to or wants to live the luxury travel life, sipping champagne and showering in first class. For me, right now, the ideal is somewhere in the middle.

Some topics I plan to cover soon include:

  • General personal finance
    • How to manage your priorities and start saving
    • How to save money and drink better coffee
  • Travel
    • How to use the money you save on coffee to fly to Asia in business class
    • How to find good value in hotels, hostels, sharing economy room rentals, and couchsurfing
  • Grad student finances
    • How to find (and fund!) travel opportunities as a student
    • How to deal with insufficient summer funding

If you have some more suggestions, please let me know in the comments!