Traveling Lives: Meet Jayson Concepcion
Software developer Jayson Concepcion and his wife, Melanie, are on an “epic adventure of love and travel” – seeing the world while prioritizing their family and even saving for retirement. They try to visit at least one new country each year, and in between, they spend time exploring their home country, the Philippines. He shares their tips and reviews on his blog, The Travel Debugger, and recently wrote about how he balances his responsibilities with his wanderlust: 5 Reasons to Marry a Guy Who Travels.
NAME: Jayson Concepcion
OCCUPATION: Software Developer
How have you made your life a “traveling life” and why?
I learned that in life, the most important thing is your family and the moments you share with them, not flashy material things. That is why we don’t spend on unnecessary things but focus on experiences – and one of them is traveling. Traveling the world became our passion, and it is one of our priorities alongside with family and investments (for future travels and retirement).
Why is travel important to you?
Traveling is very important to me because it makes me feel alive. It is the most fun thing to do in the world! It bonds friendships, strengthens love and teaches us more about ourselves.
How did you first get the travel bug?
When I was a kid, our parents often took us to nearby provinces, especially to my mother’s hometown in Laguna, Philippines. Together with our cousins, we spent our days swimming in streams, falls, lakes, rivers, beaches, and pool resorts. We ate, drank and bathed together in the rain. If we wanted to chill in a cool place, then we would head to the highlands like Baguio and Tagaytay. Life was simple back then.
As an adult, I got bitten by the travel bug when I joined my friend’s surfing trips in La Union and Baler. Then I worked in Vietnam (my first time out of the country) for 3 months as an expat – it was one of the amazing experiences I ever had. When I married to my wife, we flew to Hong Kong for our honeymoon – that was the final confirmation that I got bitten by the travel bug, and we haven’t stopped since.
What is your most significant travel memory and why?
It was September last year when we finally went to one of our dream destinations, South Korea! When my wife and I were still in college, she was a big fan of a Korean romantic comedy T.V. series, and I joined her in watching some of it. I was particularly amazed by how beautiful Korea is, so we made a promise that someday we would go to Korea together. It happened last year, and it was truly spectacular. We loved everything about Korea; the places, the people, the food, and of course, the wife loved the shopping part.
Another unforgettable one was my first trip out of the country to Vietnam. It was a shock to me at first, but once you get to know the Vietnamese people, you will be amazed by how truly beautiful Vietnam is – they are very friendly and hospitable. And, of course, who wouldn’t love Vietnamese cuisine?! Their food is healthy and delicious. Definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
What are some misconceptions friends & family have about your travels?
I don’t think my family and my true friends have misconceptions about our travels because they know me so well, and they know how we travel – i.e. always on a strict budget.
What advice do you have for others who want to incorporate more travel into their lives?
My advice is know your priorities in life. Think about what you really want, and what you are willing to sacrifice to get it. Travel because you love it, and it makes you a better person, not because you’re envious or someone just told you so. Look deep inside your heart and feel if there is a burning passion for it. Only you can tell this.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
It is truly amazing to have a traveling life, and you can balance it with your work and family. But also remember to put significant investments (business and passive income) for your retirement (the earlier the better) or when you get old. You still need that money to keep traveling the world when you are old, right?
Think deeply of what you really want. Life is too short to be spent on useless things that won’t have any value in the near future. Moments are far more precious and priceless.
Where are you headed next?
We just got back from a trip to Dumaguete, Siquijor and Apo Island (Philippines). In March, we have a confirmed flight to Boracay (Philippines).