By Eric - 1:07 AM

James Betia is the author of the blog Journeying James. It was him who influenced me to join Couch Surfing online community site for backpackers, and among of the backpackers who inspired me to travel more in a budgeted and less expenses and why traveling light is right ( I used to bring my whole closet in the trip, as if I could use them all, after all my back aches).

One of the blog sites that I've added to my lists of my must read. I check his blog and follow his twitter everynow and then just to get the recent & a birds eye view about backpacking in the Philippines.
He's not just an ordinary blogger but mind you one of his entries was posted in Mabuhay magazine(the official magazine of Philippine Airlines),isn't that amazing?

Well, here is my brief interview with James about his passion in backpacking.

1. what's the farthest place you have ever traveled?

-I've been abroad twice only, I've been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia. So I guess Cambodia.

2. Name the top 5 places both local & abroad that you like?
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Coron, Palawan
Guimaras Island

Angkor Wat Complex
Downtown Ho Chi Minh City
Esplanade, Singapore
KLCC and Twin Towers, Malaysia
Train ride from Saigon to Hanoi

3. If there's one tourist place in the country that you could recommend to a lone traveler where'd it be and why?

Hands down Palawan. The crystal clear beaches, the underground river, the stunning karst, lagoons, diverse flora and fauna and the chillax life- its like paradise on earth.

4. How long will you backpack?

Until I die or until I visited all countries of the world.

5. If you could treat yourself in style by traveling what country do you wish to visit and why?

I want to travel in style to Europe and NYC! I wanna be like the models in London Milan, Paris, Rome and New York City.
Better yet, I wanna visit all the New 7 Wonders of the World.

6. Backpacking isn't much a lucrative to every Pinoy, how would you encourage everyone and promote backpacking?

I'm planning of doing the cheapest 100-day backpacking in the Phils (maybe P500/day or lower budget), then blog about this and hopefully write a book about it.

7. What Not to bring (on) backpacking?

-Judgemental heart. Also, if you think you will need it, you actually won't.

As James said, he won't stop traveling till he reaches the four corners of the world...hmmm sounds like we have the same passion for that. I guess every backpackers wishes that.
You can also read his other blog at: (running stories of journeyingjames

This is an excerpts from the interview of Flipnomad to James:

How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“I have been travelling a lot since 2003 but it was year 2008, when I was in Kabayan, Benguet when I met a Vietnamese backpacker. We had a simple talk about what we do in life etc. After the chat, I was so ashamed of myself that he has been almost everywhere in the Philippines for only 2 months and I’m stuck in Manila and Luzon. I said to myself, I don’t want to be a foreigner in my own country. After that, I did my first backpacking trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“I just crossed the border from Singapore to Malaysia and was about to go to Thailand. When a man pretending to be police told me that I have drugs in my backpack in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Turns out he is a holdaper. He got my travel money, borrowed camera and worst, my passport. I was stuck in Malaysia for a week without money and any friend. Detailed story can be accessed here.
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“My recent 14-day Solo Backpacking trip to West Visayas where I challenged myself to spend only Php250/day (all-in food, transpo and accommodation).”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“The wonders of God’s creation both the nature and the people are amazing. Take care of nature and she will take care of you. Respect the people and they will really love you.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“Challenges and an unending lust to explore new territories. Curiosity and the love for learning.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“A lot: Les Stroud of SurvivorMan, Janet Hsieh and Bobby Chin of TLC and Bear Grylls of Man Vs. Wild. Lastly, Keira Knightley of Pirates of the Carribean would be a great companion for Round-the-World Cruise.haha”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“Easy! Palawan. I live there for almost a year just because I love the island.”
What do you think about yourself?
“Self-proclaimed backpacker. I appreciate God’s love through the beauty of his creation- human kind and nature.”

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