Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

My Plan to Travel the World (with 20 Dollars a Day)


You’ve saved umpteen thousand dollars, have no debt, and the contract with your current employer ends in July. From here, you can either A) accept a position in a new job and continue saving money or B) use that money to travel the world indefinitely. Well folks, if I were you, I’d choose option B. And by “if I were you,” I mean I am you. was started in 2013. After a couple months of publishing blog posts, I started filming videos and uploading them to my YouTube channel. Most videos were about street food, a few videos were about travel.

Anyway, I’ve been working in Asia for the last three years in various teaching jobs and I’ve almost saved enough money to go full-time doing video production, at least for a few months. Actually, my friend and teammate on the Shanghai Warriors football team offered me a sales job that would keep me in Shanghai for another year, but I decided that traveling and doing some creative work would probably be more rewarding, and thrilling.

Kevin Cook

Handstandin’ in Hong Kong

During these extended travels, I want to stay involved with YouTube and bring value to people who enjoy watching my videos, but I wanna take a different approach than what I’ve done in the past. I’m thinking that the new YouTube videos and blog focus would have this premise:

Travel the world for 20 dollars a day

I know what you’re thinking: “How to travel for x dollars” is the same story you’ve seen a million times in every travel blog ever made. Frankly, I’ve read more “how-to-travel-for-x-dollars-in-x-place” articles than I’m willing to admit, and the advice is always the same: “Stay in cheap hostels, couch-surf, eat local food, find a travel buddy to split costs, etc.”

But I will be offering something different…

Rather than making how-to blog posts which tell you the money-saving travel secrets you’ve already read in other travel blogs, this blog will show you what you can realistically expect to buy in a single day with 20 dollars in places all over the world, and I will share the experience with you through video.

The videos could show you what a typical hostel looks like, plus breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any adventure in between. And it all must be under 20 dollars/day.

Each video would focus on a particular city or region. And if 20 dollars isn’t enough in some regions, I could easily use to stay at strangers’ houses for free. Plus, I could document that experience if the couchsurfing host is cool.

Some ideas for videos and blog posts of what you can expect in the future:

What 20 dollars can buy you in (insert city name here)

The real cost of living on the beach in (insert beach name here)

What a 5-dollar hostel looks like in (insert city name here)

What a 2-dollar meal looks like in (insert city name here)

So there’s a basic idea of the direction I want to head with the blog soon. Now my question for you is: Which cities and regions would you like to see? Any suggestions or critiques of this idea? All comments are welcome.

Travel the world

This place is real. Koh Lanta, Thailand

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. Welcome to Mumbai (India) “Monkey Abroad”

  2. Wow!! This is great news! I’m so excited for you and will be looking out for all the new videos 😀
    No real suggestions for destinations from me, but since you always seem to be up for an adventure, I have a feeling I will be learning lots and discovering what these countries are really like, rather than just what tourists are always shown.

    Once again you’re making a really brave decision and it’s the reason why the Monkey Abroad story is such an interesting one to follow. Best of luck! 🙂

  3. Such an awesome Idea! I would love to see you visit some smaller places (in China or Japan maybe), this will also cost you less I think. As the prices go up in the big cities.

    Will you also travel to Europe in the future? (Amsterdam is also great haha!)

    • I will try my best to make it to Europe (hopefully I can manage my money well enough in the early months of this trip). Thanks so much for your kind words and support!

  4. Good luck to your endeavors and experience life to the fullest of what it can be!!

  5. Best of luck, Kevin. We’ll miss you here in China!

  6. Kevin, Good luck! looking forward to your future posts! and thanks

  7. I’ve been living and traveling in Asia for the last 7 years, but I’ve never been south of Mexico. I would love to see these kind of videos of central and South America.

  8. I am gonna graduate in this summer and worry about the cost of my travel to Gansu Province. You vedio gave me some useful tips and I am gonna plan my travel with them.I think I can control the cost under 100 RMB a day.

  9. Hi Kevin, for your quesion A or B, I will choose C , keep living with a stable job and travel twice a year. Am I a typical Chinese????????? hah hah…..

  10. Hi Kevin,

    I would like to know how did you make your fifteen thousand dollars last until now with no income coming in and want to travel indefinitely?

    Please enlighten me!


    • Isaac,

      I have worked full time for the last 3 years in China. I have very little living expenses and it is quite easy to save money living here, so, in July I will have the money saved up and that is when the real traveling will begin. I will avoid planes and stay in cheap hostels and couch surf to make the money last.


  11. Hey Kevin,

    I love your video! Thats how i managed to find out your blog.

    Sorry let me rephrase my questions.

    How did you managed to last the fifteen dollars until now? Even with cheap hostels, your savings will be dwindled after a few years?

    Maybe your blog will earn you some income?

    You are not gonna live just 20 dollars everyday right… Especially with a chinese girlfriend… 😉


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