Hello and welcome to Frugal Wander. If you have just found this new corner of the web then there may be a few things you are wondering, or to know if this is somewhere you might want to visit again. So here are a few points which hopefully might cover some of it.

 

Who am I?
I’m someone who loves to travel and see the world. I’ve not been to loads of places, but the places I have been had a profound impact on me and have helped shape who I am, what I like and what I’m looking for. I have been fortunate both in opportunities and the mindset to enjoy adventure, such as being born in the UK, growing up in Oman, travelling around Mexico for three months, remote working in Malaysia, proposing in Japan and getting married in Bali.

 

Why am I here? 
A variety of reasons led me to begin this. I’m new to the online world of blogging and even deliberated on it a few times in past years, but I started brainstorming reasons recently and decided there were enough of them to merit beginning, some of which are below (and in no particular order).

 

  • Keeping in touch – If you live on the other side of the planet from your relatives, some of them do wonder where you’re going and what you’re up to. We don’t telephone as much as we should do either. This is a way some of our family can see what’s going on in our lives (some of them are interested…).
  • Forgetfulness – Good memory or bad memory? While I remember a lot of things from a long time ago, especially my time growing up abroad or my adventures travelling, my shorter term memory is pretty bad, and getting worse it seems. Many times over the past few years I have tried to start writing again but only wound up writing for about a day or two before forgetting and/ or stopping. As I get older I hope I might be able to look back on the things I’ve been doing to jog my memory.
  • journals-frugal-wander
    Two piles of handwritten journals covering about ten years.
    Modernise – Still keeping hand-written journals? I have kept hand written journals in the past, including on my travels to record my adventures. But these took a long time to write and now I can’t even find them. If I did find them, maybe I could write up a thing or two from them here. Even if I don’t, I still have the photos and could recall a lot of the trips. EDIT – they turned up in my parents’ house (see photo).
  • Enjoyment Did you enjoy or hate writing essays for homework when you were young? I was one of the few kids in my class who actually liked doing essay homework, and I often wonder if that helped set me up to enjoy writing today. I’ve always enjoyed it, so it makes sense from this perspective too. I ended up becoming confident at writing letters of all sorts, and often wrote emails, forum messages, text messages and so on way longer than they needed to be. I hope this will improve with practise.
  • Creativity –As a creative person, writing is yet another way to express oneself besides other creative endeavours, such as art, music and singing for example. Even more creative than ‘just writing’ would be creative writing and fiction, my particular preference being science-fiction. I’m definitely not writing books, though having tried even just a paragraph or two in the past made me start to appreciate even more just how involved it is and gave me greater respect for those who do write fiction. 
  • lifestyle-early-rise-frugal-wander
    Going for an early morning walk at sunrise on 1st January 2020.
    Habits – Following on from above, I am getting in the habit of writing something every morning, even if only a little or for a few minutes. The morning is an amazing time of day to do something creative. The mind and body is fresh, everything is quiet and you can set the day onto a positive trajectory before you’re even out the front door. I have always said ‘I’m getting up early because I want to, not because I have to (go to work). I’ll go to work when I’m ready to go.’
  • Giving back –I’ve written mostly to and for myself for some years, but why not share it instead? I’ve found pleasure in reading various articles on various topics over the years, some of which inspired me, got me thinking or motivated me to do some task or another (including starting here). If I could motivate somebody else out there to do something positive or that they enjoy, and pass on some tips along the way then that’s a good thing. It doesn’t matter if there are a bazillion other people writing already as I’m not competing nor chasing numbers.

 

Who are you?
Birds of a feather flock together is a phrase I remember from when I was a kid. The truth is, I don’t know who you are and maybe I never will. Although if you are here, especially if not by accident or via one of the many proverbial rabbit holes that is the internet, then chances are, you are somebody who likes reading about or experiencing travel, being frugal(ish) or you may be creative.

 

Any goals?
Travel more, see more of the world, and be able to work whilst on the journey. If I can inspire more people to visit new places and even consider working abroad as well then I would be even happier. You learn a lot through experiencing other cultures and  I have been very fortunate in my life so far, I value what I have seen and experienced and would like to encourage others to do the same.

 

Why ‘Frugal Wander’?
This name is just a combination of two words I like and feel apply to our journey through life. Being frugal is just being mindful and aware of what you’re spending and minismising waste. It’s certainly not about starving yourself of enjoyment (or food), but instead aiming to optimise what you can. In this way you can use more of your time and/ or income to what is more important to you. Disclaimer: not everything we do is frugal- we all make choices and some of ours have been sub-optimal to say the least.

Wander is a wonderful and meaningful word. To many people it has a negative connotation meaning aimless or without direction, but that is not how you have to see it, and in fact that in itself is a positive thing to others including ourselves. In this case wander refers to the adventure of life which has many ups and downs, many turns and surprises and can be unpredictable which is what makes much of life fun. When travelling I thoroughly enjoyed wandering off the beaten track, going where there weren’t others and having some peaceful reflective moments. By allowing yourself to wander, either physically or mentally, you can promote creativity,  self awareness and deepen just a little bit at a time your knowledge of the world around you.

Finally, I wanted a meaningful tagline. I jotted down a few options and settled on ‘Mindful life, travel & food adventures’ because that is our way of living and we enjoy doing so with thought and consideration

 

Side note: Frugal is a word I first heard applied to me nearly ten years ago after one particular travelling experience, and after returning home I decided to live as sparingly as possible for a few months to recover some unplanned expenses of the trip. This included not almost no going out with friends, simpler less expensive lunches (lots of sandwiches) and next to zero random purchases such as clothes, movies and unnecessary snacks. These few changes allowed me to save a decent chunk of income and restore my account to its original place. Unfortunately that was the end of concentrated frugality for the following years (I was living on my own in London after all), but the last few years have seen a return to a more mindful way of living and spending. As a married couple with longer term plans, we are now back in a relatively modest frugal lifestyle with all the benefits it brings.