Japan: 2.5 weeks for $3,690.

Sunset view from Miyajima, an island just off of Hiroshima.

This past spring, I crossed off a travel site on my bucket list: Japan. That place where cherry blossoms bloom in April (now March – thanks climate change). Where almost all toilets can clean your butt (seriously). And where it seems that if you love something, guaranteed there is a store dedicated to that thing: Kit Kats? Not a problem, here’s a store. Pokemon? Here’s a store. Capsule toys? Here’s a store.

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The Power of Generosity

The free dinner that changed my life.

This post was originally written on October 19th, 2017.

It’s Thursday night and I’m on vacation with my girlfriend. Around now I would start prepping my weekly Monday post on this recent trip through Newport, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and Boston, Massachusetts.

I had it all figured our you see: I was going to write about what we did, the route we took, how much it cost me personally, and the frugal hacks I enacted along the way. It’s something I’ve done with pretty much all other travel posts.

But instead of focusing on the cents and the dollars, I’m going to talk about two people who made our vacation truly special. It all starts with a receipt:

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Iceland: 9 days for $2,152.

A place where you can pretend you’re Matthew McConaughey.

Chilling at the top of a volcano in Vestmannaeyjar.

Last summer, I was looking desperately for something to do for vacation. Up to that point, I was an under-traveled 27 year old who had never left North America in his life.

Things in life were also trending up: I had a full-time job finally, a travel partner in my girlfriend, and some savings dedicated towards travel. Iceland also made sense as a first “big” trip. It was an English-speaking nation, had a good safety record of travelers, and offered cheap flights. Plus I had two colleagues who went and came back alive with rave reviews.

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