Meet Richard

hiking ijen volcano in indonesia during sunrise.
Sunrise at the Ijen Volcano – Indonesia

Hi, I’m Richard and I’ll show you how to find paradise for pennies! I’m a travel blogger & video producer who’s been exploring the world since 2013, visiting many countries across 5 continents along the way. I’m dedicated to helping travelers plan their adventures. I typically focus on travel in tropical destinations, but feature destinations all over the world!

My Story

The Early Days:

I grew up in Northern Canada (eh). In my teens I worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant, I had no idea what I wanted to take in university/college, so I picked the program that takes the shortest amount of time for the highest starting salary – Engineering. A few months into the program, like most young adults, I realized that it was a horrible decision. By age 19 I was already a college dropout.

My First Backpacking Trip:

my first backpacking trip to costa rica in 2013.
2013 – Costa Rica – My first backpacking trip

I arrived at the airport with what I thought was a well-packed backpack (It wasn’t). I had spent the last few weeks researching everything there is to know about Costa Rica, buying travel gear, and making itineraries. I didn’t have a smartphone at the time, so I saved all my notes & maps on my iPod Touch. Thinking about a time of having no data or google maps feels like it was in the 1900s.

After landing in Costa Rica, I was immediately hit with what I’d been craving: Authentic culture. No solid plan, no accommodations booked, I was truly a free agent. I spent the next month exploring the Northern coast, leaving no beach unturned, taking the local busses, eating the local food & meeting travelers from all over the world. That trip changed my outlook on life and gave me a new perspective. Within that same year I returned to Costa Rica twice more.

Video Production:

filming in the water.
Getting some unique angles at work

Throughout my life I was always involved with shooting video. I spent my youth making funny videos and my teens making snowboard videos with my friends. On my trips I brought my camera and made some travel highlight-reels and took lots of photos.

It was the summer of 2014 and I taught myself how to build a website and start a business. I pushed hard over the first year, doing anything it took to build my portfolio. I invested a lot of money into camera gear, and I was blindly confident that I’d make it back a thousand times over.

Over the next few years, it really started to explode. I had lots of clients, and I was making a solid income. I was contracted for video work all over Canada, the USA, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Not only was I able to travel, but I was getting paid for it.

Present Day:

visiting the grand mosque in abu dhabi.
Making the most of a layover in Abu Dhabi

I still actively run a video production company and it’s my primary source of income. I produce & edit now so I’m essentially free to travel the world!

I’ve travelled all over North America, Central America, South America, and Asia. Staying anywhere from hostels to 5-star resorts to sleeping on the beach! I have countless documents and spreadsheets from all of my trips, and I thought it would be a good idea to start sharing my knowledge and experiences to help other travelers.

Paradise for Pennies was started on the idea that I have spent the last 9 years using the internet to help make my trips easier, so it’s time to give back to the universe. On this website you’ll find endless information about hard-to-reach beaches, waterfalls, scenic locations & countries. I will do my best to not leave anything out!

riding a motorbike in the philippines.
Motorbiking in the Philippines

My Best Adventures

  • Being the only people at Maya Bay in Thailand
  • Hiking into the crater of the Ijen Volcano in Indonesia
  • Camping at the largest Mayan site in the world, Tikal in Guatemala
  • Hiking to 5000m/16,000ft elevation in Ecuador
  • Spearfishing in Belize
  • Sleeping on the beach in Nicaragua
  • Roasting marshmallows over an active volcano in Guatemala
  • Playing paintball at Pablo Escobars mansion in Colombia