Editor’s note: At some point in your life, you’ve probably thought of what it would be like to live and work in another country. Media representative turned illustrator
2011 – 2012
Type: 1-Bedroom Apartment in Rockwell
Rent: P35,000 monthly
Fresh out of college, I would not have been able to afford this apartment had it not been for my job, which paid for my apartment, car, and driver. It was very convenient for getting around to the various business meetings I had to conduct throughout the day—three to five meetings everyday—all around the metro. The traffic was still pretty horrible though. This was where I would come back again later.
Type: 1-Bedroom Apartment in the Sukhumvit Area
Rent: P50,000 monthly
This apartment was chosen because of its proximity to the business district and tourist area, as well as its relative tranquility. It was in a quiet area next to a few embassies. The traffic was just as bad as Manila, so I would sometimes hop on a
2012 - 2013
Type: 3-Bedroom Apartment, Shared
Rent: P8,000 monthly
I got lucky with this one. I was working as an English prof in a university north of the city. I had rented one unfurnished bedroom and shared with the owner who was only ever there once a month. This was my second apartment of the same
Limón, Costa Rica
I was in the midst of quitting a project similar to my first job and was just getting into the whole Workaway/Couchsurfing thing—great in Central and South America—when I decided to do a work-for-room exchange. For an hour or two of hostel reception assistance, you had a room, two meals a day, and access to the beaches nearby. Imagine Siargao before the paved roads. I was also starting to set up my freelance business at this point and was living on savings and spotty WiFi. The mode of transportation was by bicycle. There was no real concept of time. It was amazing!
Type: 2-Bedroom Apartment, Shared
Rent: P32,000 (IDR 8,500,000) monthly, split three ways
My freelance illustration was getting regular and I was currently working on a book that paid decently for a fresh freelancer, and at this point, I was living with my ex and our mutual friend. This was a family-type apartment complex, with a park and recreational facilities on the mezzanine. Given that it was shared, it was pretty economical since everything was within a fifteen to twenty-minute walking distance. I had to learn a bit of the language and realized how similar Tagalog was, and just how equally
2015 – 2016
Type: Studio with outdoor kitchen, shared garden
Rent: P7,000 monthly
At this point, I had to supplement my freelance illustrating job with
2016 – 2017
Type: Studio Apartment aka “Kos”
Rent: P9,500 (IDR 2,500,000) monthly
I’ve been visiting Bali on and off since 2014. I decided to stick around a little bit longer this time. As a single person, with “better beginner” surf skills, this was convenient because it was a five-minute scooter ride to the beach. The highway to the southern area of Bali was also easily within reach. It wasn’t as expensive as renting out a villa, and there were warungs (read:
2017 – 2018
Type: 3 Bedroom House, shared with boyfriend and dog
Rent: P113,000 (IDR 30,000,000) yearly
This was already our second home as a couple. We had previously been paying around P30,000 a month for a two-bedroom villa with a shared pool. So, imagine our relief when we found this sweet Balinese house. We chanced upon this on one of our random bike rides looking for new shortcuts in Canggu. Surrounded by locals and expats, it was also a great move for us and the dog we inadvertently ended up fostering. We had to set everything up and fix everything ourselves, but even that was still relatively cheap considering what we’ve both paid individually before. The neighborhood we found looked a lot like early Cavite.
Curious about her work? Check out Illustrations by Asia Noble here.