the math of traveling


There would be times that we fall silent… Numb that our mouths, in this case our fingers, stretch frozen on the bed of keyboard letters.

On the road blogging is something we are avoiding, because of several reasons:

One, we couldn’t focus. We actually suspected that we suffered an unfulfilled stage in our childhood that gave us an adult case of attention deficit disorder. Our head would root to a direction where a strong scent of fun is originating at any given time. Our eyes would gravitate and fixate unconditionally to anything that sparkle (eg. mug of ice cold beer) regardless of how sinfully hot the creature whom we are talking to / flirting with at that moment.

Two, we are old school travelers. Technology for us is the “normal” way of life and that we developed a dependence to it. We snack on microchips in a daily basis while we are on our corporate slave alter ego. Escaping away with your blackberry or an email access within reach is like leaving breadcrumbs through the woods that will allow the green-eyed-four-headed-fire-breathing-blood-sucking monster (aka. The ehem boss) to stalk you while you prance around and get deliciously lost in the middle of nowhere.

Three, we are volatile bloggers. We honestly think that there are desperate times that we are in dire need of a shot of epinephrine to keep our blood pumping, our neurons blasting and creativity flowing so that our fingers would start running across the keyboard. But when we are really hyped up, we can write articles after articles with a full force swagger.

Maybe, one of the reason that attenuates us to being a humdrum and inspired is the fact that we dwell in the absolute rule of TIME and MONEY.

And I came up with a formula based on the simple rule of inverse proportionality:

Y = k/X


Basically, the concept of inverse proportion means that as the absolute value or magnitude of one variable gets bigger, the absolute value or magnitude of another gets smaller, such that their product (the constant of proportionality) is always the same. The two variables varying inversely on the Cartesian coordinate plane is a hyperbola. The product of the X and Y values of each point on the curve will equal the constant of proportionality (k). Since neither X nor Y can equal zero (and k is non-zero), the graph will never cross either axis.

OK, let’s paraphrase the inhumane explanation above:

The more you have the luxury of TIME (Y) to go on the road, the lesser you will have the MONEY (X) to sustain a travel, inversely, when you start having MONEY (X) in your bank, TIME (Y) is being compromised in the process, because you have to WORK (k) for it. That means the stinger in this formula is the CONSTANT value of k, your work, your day job, the one that pays the bill. So is it possible to remove that element from the equation?

YES YOU CAN! If you are willing to live outside the norm of the Cartesian coordinate plane and float there as an invalid value. But for as long as you need that paycheck to sustain both your living and your travels, then suck it up and keep the k intact. So far the only successful non-hyperbola that I know is Oprah and Jinky Pacquiao.

The point of this article is simple… other than “It’s a Saturday and I should get out of my computer now and get a f***ing life!“–Next week, Monette and I will be closing the “summer 2011” season around the Philippines, we booked those late deals online and scored some good tickets to go around, we will go separately in most legs of the trip. For me to reinstate the reason of my constant k and for Monette to locate the coordinates of her hyperbola.

In the mean time, here’s a visual representation of the equation  a = [(Y>X)k]/k ; whereas a is Bangkok.

ADDENDUM: I got an additional realization… In a hyperbola, variables are not crossing in a single point of axis. In the theory that I proposed, WORK should remain a the constant value to maintain a balance of TIME and MONEY, Time or money alone will never exist without the other variable, otherwise the coordinates will just fall outside of the graph and is merely a null value, in layman’s term–INCORRECT

A practical explanation can be illustrated in a paradigmatic quadrant:

Constant value  of WORK
Increased TIME
(inversely proportional to)
Decrease MONEY
= Backpackers

Constant value  of WORK
Decrease TIME
(inversely proportional to)
Increased MONEY
= Luxury Travelers

Nullified value of WORK
Increased TIME
(directly proportional to)
Increased MONEY
=  A PARIS HILTON (lucky bitch)

Nullified value of WORK
Decrease TIME
(directly proportional to)
Decrease MONEY
= BUM, HERMIT, DRIFT WOOD, SEAWEED MODE  (refer to the video above)

Therefore the equation is true. And I better move my butt out of my computer desk, my keyboard is already covered with blood!

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  • Lee

    July 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Was about to feel blood pouring out of my left nostril, which is my body’s normal reaction to equations, but then I get the point of the x and y.

    to be free of the bondage of technology in a foreign place must be very liberating.

  • Angel

    July 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Hahaha! Love the post Ron! The equation reminds me of my hs and college geeky days, but such a witty you to relate that inverse proportionality equation to traveling. The equation may not apply to all but then majority wins, so we can say that the equation is true! hahaha!

  • Renz Bulseco

    July 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I am not a Math major (Bio major po ako) but I really enjoyed this post! True enough, traveling is really expensive and we have to save a lot for it. Saving money takes time, unless if you won the mega-lotto jackpot. But hey, traveling is a great investment, diba! 😀


  • Angel

    July 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Patulog na ako pero nag open pa ako uli ng pc to comment because I am wondering how you ended up in your field when it seems that you are good in math and logic. You can be a good engineer, accountant, physicist, IT professional or, hmmm, math teacher? ;P

  • flip'n travels

    July 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Lee… epistaxis ba?! hahahaha thanks pre!

    Angel… hahaha, wow nakaka laki naman ng ulo yan. hahaha i hated math as a kid, my high school teachers are all pushing me to take up math related courses, i ignored them. oh well, may practical math din naman sa work ko ngayon, dose computation, anthropometry and computaion of overtime pay. hahahaha

    Renz… tama. and come to think of it. the constant k is composed of two factors that when added up will equate a zero value. which makes sense since maintaining a work leaves you with two options: free time X monetary earning which can be considered a real life factorials multiplier and they are always in inverse direction to maintain a constant zero value. If the constant k isn’t there then in real life that’s either you are exceptionally rich or free nomad that is dirt poor, that’s where Exponential and logarithmic proportionality comes in. Thanks for spending time reading my nonsense. hahahaha

  • supertikoy

    July 10, 2011 at 12:56 am

    awts! naisip mo pa yun! good job…pero yup, i agree with your formula. seems most of the time ganyan ang nangyayari if your in a higher position sa corporate ladder you have high income but limited time to travel, pero kung nasa baba ka naman baliktad din…

  • Marky

    July 10, 2011 at 4:35 am

    That’s why I don’t give a damn if the corporate ladder is missing in our company, as long as the boss is okay with VL advice on short notice and our non-existing HR person do not track total VL’s and SL’s for the year,
    It’s alright with me…

  • Idelish (Jeremy & Shirlene)

    July 10, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Love the post! If only Y and X were NOT inversely proportional and k can be eliminated – that’d be the life! Also, great job on the video! Cracked me up!!

  • jamie - cloud people adventures

    July 10, 2011 at 6:34 am

    ha, great post! i feel pretty nerdy that the mathematical references were easily processed. i especially love the paris hilton equation.

  • renevic

    July 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    i really love math. thanks for the post, enjoyed it while reading =) money+time+passion=real adventure.
    me+gf=sweet adventure.
    me+PTB=complete adventure.

    yes! cheers! 🙂 nice vid, bored.

  • nina

    July 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Please don’t hate me when I say I completely skipped the math part lol

    Blogging on the road is not something I’d wish to my worst enemy. It’s just… wrong.

  • Grace

    July 11, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Ha! I happen to be a self-proclaimed geek so this was really an entertaining post to read.

  • Ed

    July 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

    whatever happened to my math skills?
    haha, awesome video (sa video na lang talaga magkocomment. hehe) ron! never fails to amuse me.

    btw, just curious about the photo (sa photo din magkocomment. hehe.) is that edited? looks like you have the same background, but different… just wondering. 😀

  • chyng

    July 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

    when I finally met Monette, i started thinking: keri nya tlga yung ganyang backpack? 1 hell of a superwoman!!

    see you very soon!

  • Dylan

    July 11, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Nosebleed ako sa mga equations mo, but with the layman’s terms it make sense. You’ve got great logic there. 🙂

    I’m in the process of building my wealth now, thus less time for travel.
    I’ve also noticed that with my constant travel last year, money in the bank was depleting.

    If you will find a surefire way to build wealth while on the road, shoot me a message! hahaha

  • adventureswithben

    July 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Loved the video, and agree totally with the math. But if you take the derivate of the inverse variable of time, multiplied by the prime integer of the square root of the variable of work times the cosine…

  • Jeremy Branham

    July 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Finally a mathematical formula that explains why I am always busy and tired! 🙂

  • robin

    July 12, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I understood approximately none of this – I’m going in for a second try…

  • tinathefrustratedtraveler

    July 17, 2011 at 2:39 am

    hahaha! love the equation! brilliant mind! So from luxury traveller, I can now qualify to backpacker! Nice 😀

  • Lisa

    July 20, 2011 at 12:17 am

    You almost lost me at the beginning, I suck at math. But it was a funny post. I loved the break down of backpacker, luxury traveler, Paris Hilton etc… great!

  • Aleah |

    July 20, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Nag nosebleed ako. My mind stopped working when I read “formula” LOL I bet you had a really good time writing this post, didn’t you? Nakakatuwa hehehe

  • pinaytraveljunkie

    July 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Ahem, so… what’s Monette’s take on the math thingy? Coz I totally spaced out.

  • Richard Lawson

    July 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Brilliant delineation! I assume that overall shining feedback. I almost love the paris hilton equation. Thanks!

  • flip'n travels

    July 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    @gay.. ano pa edi nose bleed
    @leah.. thanks, geek lang!
    @lisa.. paris hilton is an epic example. LOL Thanks
    @tina.. i am actually a frustrated math teacher, next topic would be the delineation of fractal border of backpacker LOL. thanks
    @robin.. hahahaha, i can give a special tutorial. thanks
    @Jeremy.. that’s true, we thought we’re the only one who feel exhausted.
    @ben.. don’t get me started in this. LOL!
    @Dylan.. we are also on the same boat with you on the lookout for a self sustaining business on the road. will let you know kung meron hehe!
    @Chyng.. she is a super woman! see u again soonest
    @ed.. thanks.. hehe the photo was edited, ganyan yata talaga pag dalawa lang kami sa trip most of our photos are composted together, pansin mo? hehehe
    @grace… haha geeks UNITE!
    @Nina.. hahaha loka ka! blogging on the road is like giving birth, hagggardo versosa, nakaka-moisture!
    @renevic… i love your equation… sige gawan natin ng detailed formula yan.
    @Jamie.. I knew it, we were on the same class!!! LOL!
    @Jeremy & Shirlene.. true, i wish it is that easy!
    @Marky.. screw corporate ladder! kissing ass is not my talent!
    @super-tikoy… yeah, ganun yata talaga! man the corporate concept is getting old. pftr!

  • ido

    July 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’m a great lover of equations. Done correctly, they can save your life, or more important, save your money so you can travel more.
    add this to the formula to allow traveling for free and as a result working as little as possible for your travel funds:
    step A – travel to a country were it pays better for doing fun easy things (You will be surprised, but In China you can make a good living “teaching” English, or actually chatting in English to rich Koreans, and live very very (did I say Very??!) cheap).

    Step B – Couch-surf. Do not pay for your stay.

    so, adding those to the equation should change it a bit (well, couch surfing should do the trick by itself, cause you can only teach English for a bit before you start day dreaming about how to make your students know the darn language already :))

    No more mathematics for me today.
    I’m off to work 🙂

  • June Osida Benitez

    August 6, 2011 at 6:17 am

    the view from the first picture is just beautiful..was that a rock formation? or a mountain?

  • flip'n travels

    August 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    hahaha, thanks for the tip ido!

  • happysole

    October 16, 2011 at 1:09 am

    my mind refused to comprehend the formula, but i agree with your paradigmatic quadrant.. hehehe funny but true. 🙂

  • Jherson Jaya

    April 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Nice post sir!!! I miss my Macroeconomics!!!

  • Jherson

    April 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Nice post!!! I miss my Econ subject!!! lol

  • Sonyboy Fugaban

    September 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I hate Math but as long as a particular formula or value is explained the way you do, I will surely fall in love with it.

    Kudos, Sir Ron, for your ability to dance with words gracefully.

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