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Regardless of which society you are born into, the gist for the majority of the world is that your life will follow a certain mold. There’s this traditional storyline that we’re meant to follow: graduate high school, move out, go to college and/or find a job, get married and have kids all before 25, and this has certainly been the way it’s worked for previous generations.

But that life-path is far from realistic anymore, and one of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself. Because if you settle for the mediocre, allow a life-path to be chosen for you, and think that waiting until you’re retired is the best time to travel the world, you’ve missed out on life and let it fly right by you.

Because one of the other greatest regrets in life is having missed out on all of the things you wanted to do. Why you should travel when you’re young.

This week’s inspiring traveler interview is with Megan Indoe and Scott Herder who believe that you should travel until you retire, and have been traveling South East Asia since 2013 living that very dream.

You can hover over these (or any image) to quickly pin it!

What do you love the most about travelling?

We love the constant change and seeing new places. Both of us are fascinated with trying to see as much of the world as we can before we die.

One thing we love and hate about travel is once you start you get hooked. Our travel bucket list is getting overwhelmingly long.

What inspired you to start travelling?

Both of us had a few months of travel under our belts from our time in college. After college we were so focused on building our careers and quickly realizing we both had a serious case of wanderlust and were not happy with our one-week vacations per year back at home. Should I travel when I retire?

We wanted to figure out a way that we could afford to take trips and realizing we needed to just make travelling a priority. We ended up quitting our jobs, moving to South Korea to teach English, saving money while travelling in Korea, and being a short flight away from other beautiful places all over Asia.

Now we are hooked and trying to figure out a way to do this on every continent.

Most people say you should travel when you retire, though you have other thoughts. What do you believe instead?

When we both said we wanted to travel it scared us to think we would have to wait for our retirement. We truly believe you should travel (if you want) until you retire. What age is best to start traveling the world?

Why should you have to wait your entire life for a few years of enjoyment when you’re old? If you have a goal, like seeing the world, you should try to achieve that goal sooner than later, otherwise you may never do it.

There are always excuses on why you can’t do something. We asked ourselves when we are 55 are we going to regret travelling while we were young or regret waiting to travel until we are old? The answer was clear to us.

You’ve spent a lot of time in South East Asia; tell us about some of your travels to date.

Some of our favorite memories include volunteering at the Elephant Valley Project in Sen Monorom, Cambodia, foolishly deciding to run the half marathon through Angkor Wat, and deciding to work in exchange for food and a bed on the tiny island of Koh Ta Kiev off the coast of Cambodia.

We also took to motorbiking the Bolaven Plateau in Laos, and doing a homestay with a Black Hmong family in Sapa, Vietnam which were incredibly memorable too. How to travel the world when you’re young with no money. 

Why is South East Asia perfect for the budget traveller?

South East Asia is perfect for the budget traveller because you don’t NEED to spend a lot of money to have a great time. You absolutely can spend more money if you want, but there’s so much competition for the budget traveller.

In most places the competition for the budget backpacker drives quality a bit higher and prices a bit lower (except for Bangkok’s infamous Khoasan Road).

Even though you are on a tight budget you still can be comfortable, have delicious food, and see all the amazing places S.E Asia has to offer.

What are some tips and advice for travelling on under $30 per day?

We think the easiest way to stay on a tight budget like $30 a day is to enjoy slow travel, if you can. When you pay for your tourist visa you get one month in that country. We used all 30 days plus some in each country and took time to smell the roses. How to travel on less than $30 per day?

What costs the most is convenience. If you only have one month to travel then don’t try to see 4 countries in that one month. You will spend most of your time travelling to each destination and paying to see these countries from a bus or train. What are the cheapest countries for travel?

You will also have to pay for a visa in each country. All of these expenses add up and at the end of the day you will wish you had more time to enjoy each place.

We recommend slow travel not only to enjoy each place more, but you can also get bargaining power in hotels or renting motorbikes if you stay multiple nights. You also have the opportunity to explore the city and find the most affordable and delicious places to eat and drink. How to travel Asia cheap.

What should travelers not miss when travelling through SE Asia?

Bali: We only had a short trip here, but one thing people should try to see outside of Ubud would be trekking. We did the Mt. Batur volcano hike early in the morning and it was a beautiful experience.

Korea: We really enjoy the sightseeing around Seoul and we haven’t had a chance to see Jeju yet, but one must see place would be our favorite mountains in Seoraksan National Park. Is South East Asia travel cheap?

The mountains are jagged and the park is amazing, you can spend a day or a few days exploring the mountains. A bonus would be you are nearby Naksan Beach, which happened to be our favorite beach in Korea!

Laos: We loved the Bolaven Plateau aka waterfall wonderland. Rent a motorbike and drive from village to village while stopping to see waterfalls, mountains, and even coffee plantations. If you’re short on time then head straight to Tad Lo and Paksong. Cheapest places in South East Asia. 

Thailand: We loved the islands. Our favorite would have to be Koh Chang. The island is big enough to have something for everyone.

There are beaches that are remote, or have 5 star resorts, beaches for families, and for those who like to party, beaches for people who want to avoid both the families and the party, and also hikes, waterfalls, and tons of delicious food. If you only have time for one island then this one has it all.

Vietnam: One of our favorite experiences during all of our travels would have to be our homestay in Sapa with a Black Hmong family. Sapa itself is a fun town to visit, but once you get to trek to a remote village you will get to see and experience some of the most beautiful scenery of mountains and rice paddies.

You also get to live like the locals for a few days which was also a unique experience and feel like a part of their family.

Cambodia: We think this is a no brainer, but don’t miss Angkor Wat.

We had met a handful of people while travelling who went to Cambodia, even Siem Reap, and skipped Angkor Wat because they weren’t “temple” people. These are not ordinary temples and are one of the seven wonders of the world! Where should I go in South East Asia that is cheap?

Budget aside, why should travellers consider South East Asia above other parts of the world?

South East Asia has beautiful places and so much natural beauty. We found ourselves impressed by the gorgeous mountains, the impressive waterfalls, and the many caves. What is there to so in South East Asia?

No matter where you went you seemed to be close to one of those three, if not more. Should I get married before traveling the world?

How has South East Asia changed you as a person?

Leaving home, experiencing new cultures, and having constant change outside of your comfort zone changes you. There’s no need to rush or get worked up about little things.

You start to realize most of your problems are first world problems and are really very trivial. You get to see how other people live around the world and you see they live with much less.

Traveling through South East Asia is an eye opener which makes you appreciate life from a new perspective.

What advice do you have for others who want to do what you do?

If you want to travel you need to make it a goal and a priority. We like the phrase “buy moments, not things.”

Start by being better at budgeting your money. Stop buying things you don’t need like manicures, Starbucks, and new clothes. Over time you will develop new habits and have money to travel.

You recently published an article titled “9 types of travellers you want to roundhouse kick” – give us some advice on what a traveller should NOT do?

Travellers shouldn’t disrespect the locals and treat them like idiots just because they can get away with it or are frustrated with the language barrier and different cultural norms.

You will encounter frustrating moments, language barriers, and times when things just don’t work out the way you planned. Just expect it and try to work with what you have, don’t let it ruin your trip and don’t expect everyone in the world to be able to adapt to your culture and your needs.

What is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started travelling?

No matter how hard you try or how much time you spend in a place you will never see it all. We quickly realized this month one of our journey. Even after spending two whole months travelling a small country there are still places we regret we didn’t get to see or activities we didn’t get to do.

There will always be a desire to return to places we love, even to do the same thing over again, but you find out quickly you simply don’t have enough time to see it all!

One thing which you don’t like about travelling?

Missing our friends and family back at home. While we are making lasting memories travelling to new places, we are also missing a lot of moments with the people we care about back at home.

We miss our family, our friends, and pets all the time. We are so lucky to have the technology today to be able to video chat and see their faces and hear their voices from time to time.

Biggest cultural shock you have experienced while travelling?

This one sounds funny but it has to be the toilets and bathrooms in other countries. From squatter toilets with nothing to wipe with and showers where you have to pour buckets of river water over your head.

Tie these bathrooms up with stomach problems and you’re in for an interesting shock.

Three things you can’t travel without?

We actually travel with very little, but since we are trying to blog from on the road our camera, computers, and audio books!

Which destinations are at the top of your bucket list?

These would have to be places that are said to be gone or dramatically different in the future like the Maldives or Venice sinking and places that are extremely affected from global warming!

Most practical piece of advice for those planning travel?

Don’t go to new places and do the same thing you would do at home, try something new whether it’s food or an activity! Expand yourself.

Why should people travel?

People should try travelling to a foreign country at least once, or at least we think so! It can make you appreciate home and/or make you appreciate somewhere else.

See things from a different perspective, learn something new, do something out of the ordinary from home, and see something spectacular.

But we must warn you, once you start you may never want to stop!


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Scott and Megan are a travel writing and photography duo. They both quit their corporate jobs to pursue a life of travel together. The two funded their first year of travel together by teaching English in South Korea and plan to do repeat the same until they can find alternative ways to finance their dream lifestyle.

You can check out their adventures and videos on their blog, Follow their latest photos and videos on Instagram.

You can also catch Scott and Megan’s adventures on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


  1. Oh Southeast Asia! Every time I read about people loving it, makes me want to go there that much more. One of these days, I think we’ll have to take the time to do a slow travel trip there!

    I’ve also heard a lot about motorbikes there…if you’ve never driven a motorcycle or scooter, is it hard to learn?

    • SE Asia is great because its affordable and there are so many amazing places to see! You can easily learn to ride a motorbike, alot of places offer automatic bikes and scooters that may be better for beginners if you’re not used to manual. The hardest part would be learning to drive like the locals. Foreigners get in accidents because they don’t know how to drive with the locals. I was lucky and rode passenger behind Scott, but he learned how to drive in SE Asia!

  2. They are an inspiration and have given some very sound and clear advices which i would love to follow.
    Expand Yourself!!! Loved this.

    But, i want to travel till the end of my life and in fact would love to die at my fav place on earth.

    • Thanks Himanshu! We want to travel until the end of our lives too :)

  3. I really must belong to the ‘previous generation’ but can assure you that assumption that “you’ve missed out on life and let it fly right by you'” is totally incorrect. In fact, while living this traditional life, we have in fact been able to work, have families, travel and do lots of different things. “a few years of enjoyment” …oh please.

    • Hi Paula, thanks for your comment! Your balance of work, travel, and family sounds more like what we wanted when we were living back home, but unfortunately we had to fight to get our one week of vacation at our old jobs and hated being stuck behind a desk. Our passion was to travel, and we realized we weren’t going to get to do enough of it at our current jobs so we decided to make a big move to make it happen. What we did may not be for everyone, but we are inspired by those who can make it work like you with a family as we hope to have a family and travel in the future as well.

  4. Very inspirational, indeed, and I love SE Asia! I gasped when you mentioned the people who skipped Angkor! I do think, though, that everyone needs to do what’s right for them. Whether it’s traveling or doing something else, there is no need to follow the norm and live a life you think is expected of you. No regrets and having years of happiness is about making intentional choices to live the life you want.

    • Thanks for your comment Jackie! I know, we were shocked when people skipped Angkor too!!! You said it perfectly, people deserve to live the life they want whatever it may be! Thanks again! :)

  5. I totally agree. Why wait until you retire to do the things you love, especially travel. I also agree with Megan and Scott about slow travel. I think you really get to know a country that way and you can actually save money.

    • Thanks! My grandparents weren’t able to travel until they retired and they always told me I should see more of the world while I’m young! We really try to live by those words. We love slow travel! Unfortunately it can be tough for some people to be able to enjoy slow travel if they only have a small vacation window every year. There needs to be more jobs out there that let people have longer vacations! :D

  6. Inspiring interview, and the comment that jumped off the page at me was, “You start to realize most of your problems are first world problems and are really very trivial.” Such a true statement, and I think having this perspective is one of the things that separates travelers from those who have never left their home town.

    • Thanks Rhonda! There are times I catch myself getting worked up about silly things, but getting to see how other people live around the world, especially those with much less and still live happy lives it made us realize how much we take for granted and we really shouldn’t sweat the small stuff! Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  7. Everyone always says how inexpensive and beautiful South East Asia is. I am looking forward to making my way there.

    • There really is tons of beauty in SE Asia, it also has something for everyone! Whether you like relaxing in a quiet town overlooking mountains, sun bathing on a beautiful beach, or enjoying a great party. SE Asia’s got it all! Have fun on your trip!

  8. “Why should you have to wait your entire life for a few years of enjoyment when you’re old?” – I totally I agree! your adventures are really inspiring. Traveling is something that we should never miss to do.

    • Thanks Karla! I’ve had family members and family friends who say the same thing, they always say we wish we traveled more when we were young. Those words inspired us to just make it happen!

  9. I couldn’t agree more. It seems counter intuitive that we spend our healthy years saving to do the things we love when we may no longer be able to. I always thought this was nonsense yet unfortunately it is how we are organized. After almost a decade of traveling for work but having very limited time I realized it was not making sense to save all the money to spend later on, when? I think it is better to live in the moment, when we are young. So I try to do all the things I may not want to do in 30 years today. These two have found a way and are very lucky, kudos to them! Thanks for bringing ever so inspiring interviews Megan

    • Thanks for your kind words Mar!

  10. I totally second your post. Never been to SE Asia, but I fell in love in travel while wandering around Eastern Europe by myself. Today I live in the Caucasus working as a freelancer and I would never ever exchange it for a traditional nine to fine job in a more developed country. There is more than one way to live a full life.

    • Wow, that’s incredible! We need to make our way to Europe soon :) Congrats and thanks for the kind words!

  11. I find it amazing how Western people love South East Asia, while Eastern people love Europe and North America. :)

    • Hi Allan! We actually love Europe too, but its been at least 8 years since we have been. Alot of people flock to SE Asia because of how affordable it is. We hope to go to Europe in the next few years to do the same slow travel!

  12. Hi Scott and Megan! Have you been to the Philippines?

    • not yet! We are dying to see the beaches there though! Maybe after our teaching contract this year we can hop on over there before going back to the States to see our families!

  13. It is really nice and wise post. A lot of important information. “Most people say you should travel when you retire, though you have other thoughts. What do you believe instead?” I believe that we should follow our feelings. I want to travel now and I want to travel later. But the way of travelling may change. Now I am able to climb high mountains, dive etc, later maybe I would love to drink pina colada on the beach and snorkel with colorful fishes ;)

    • I agree Oliwia! Now we are able to climb mountains and do more adventurous or extreme activities. If I still want to do those things when I am old, that’s awesome, I have years of experience! At least I will never look back and say I wish I would have traveled more!

  14. Great interview! And it is so true—my bucket list is growing at an alarming rate :) Between wanting to see new places and taking time to revisit places I’ve started to explore to go a bit deeper….there are too many choices :)

    • Thanks Elena! My bucketlist grows every day. I follow so many amazing travel blogs and they all inspire me from all over the world. Then I also have a list of places I want to return to, and that’s an alarmingly large list as well!

  15. I fully believe in traveling before you retire. It seems like most people work and save all their lives just so they can do it when they retire….but if you have the opportunity beforehand then why not? Besides, no one is promised tomorrow.

    I would love to get over to SE Asia again. I spent a week in Vietnam visiting family before, but since we travel by sailboat we find ourselves waterlocked as well as having to follow weather & seasons. Destinations can be a little harder to choose from. :(

    • Thanks Jessica! Wow, that is so awesome that your family sails, I really want to experience that one day! It’s a whole different type of travel! Vietnam is a country that can’t be seen completely in a week, or even a month! We stayed for a month and half and still only got to see a few places in the North… (to be fair we were in Hanoi most of the time job hunting) but we need to go back and see the rest!

  16. This is a really wonderful article. It truly captures my love of SE Asia and reminds me of why I love that part of the world so much. As I sit here on a grey Saturday morning in England I am looking outside and dreaming of travelling once again. Articles like this really make you stop and think about things. Food for thought. Thank you.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview Elliot. And I hope you have the chance to return to South East Asia soon. It’ll always be there for you when you’re ready to take off again :)

      Happy travels! PS I hope the weather in England clears up for you soon! I was there for a year so I hear you on those grey weekend mornings!

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