Where are my experienced HE travelers?

BriGuy (@iambrian) 8 years, 10 months ago

In need of some advice.
I’m 19 and I don’t want to jump right into college, but I definitely want to go when I’m ready. I truly feel like I should do some major traveling before enrolling. Beginning with the U.S. then off to explore Europe and Asia, maybe swing down to South America. I want to spend at least 1-3 years traveling before I go to school.

My questions for you. Cheap ways to cross the oceans. Cargo ships? Catching a ride on personal boats? Certainly not planes right? Once in said locations travel by walking, rail, and bus are my best bet right? Good places to sleep safely? How about food? Shall I need to earn income on the road, what do you suggest? Other advice?

I want to see the world while I’m young, on a very limited supply of money. Then again when I’m older. Or maybe I’ll never stop :] I know there are plenty of blogs on this, and I look at them a lot, but I want to see what my fellow Hethans have to say. Feel free to share some travel stories as well!

January 21, 2013 at 12:29 am
Alex (141)M (@alexishungry) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, I would love to do what you’re planning. I have no idea how you’ll have enough money for that though. Travel isn’t cheap. You’d have to save a LOT beforehand if you’re really thinking 1-3 years, or find some way to make money during your travels.

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PsYcheDeLiC (50) (@xavv) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian,

if it was as easy as you make it sound everyone would do it.

Most likely going to die.

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Haven (27) (@mycomfyuterus) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, Awesome!

I spent four years wandering around Pakistan. I did it while teaching English out of my living room and raising a family. I went up north to the mountains on horseback with my six-month-old daughter in my arms. I went down south into the Thar desert and stood in awe at the vastness of the sky. I travelled on the cheapest trains and buses and horse-drawn carriages. Awesome.

People will tell you it’s hard. Lies. It’s as hard as you allow it to be.

Here’s some advice for you:
1) Don’t listen to anyone who shits on your ideas. Seriously. I camped at the base of the 9th-highst mountain in the world, falling asleep to the sound of a groaning glacier with my wife, toddler and baby. It took us three days on horseback through rocky trails that skirted around mountains. And it was awesome. You can do anything. I did.
2) Get a buddy. Loneliness is a surprisingly powerful factor while traveling.
3) Be the best human you know. Love and kindness are the best security. While all my American friends in Pakistan were going around with armed guards and getting death threats, I was going around with smiles and never once had a security problem. World travel is not a time to preach your worldview and culture. It’s a time to learn from the world.
4) Don’t let your plans get too set or long. Maybe you’ll want to quit after a year. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe you’ll fall in love and decide to spend your life in Myanmar. Nothing wrong with that, either.
5) Getting there is pricey, staying there is cheap. I’ve looked into the boat thing. I did not find it a good option. Too much time wasted staring at the sea when I could be in chai shops laughing with Sindhi mystics.
6) Get a certificate in ESL. With that you’ll be able to open little teaching centres out of wherever you find yourself to make some extra money. I charged 1000Rs a month (about $50 at the time) to teach english in a tiny town at the edge of the Thar desert. With a dozen students I was making $600. More than enough for a single guy to live on.
7) Listen to everyone. Be ruled by no one. People will call it stupid. People will tell you it’s too hard. Listen. Nod politely. And when they’re gone, think it over, and toss it out if it offends your soul or your sense of fun.
8) It’s pretty much as easy as you make it sound. But it’s hard in areas you won’t expect. And those things will be different for you than they were for me. I had an identify crisis near the end of my trip that has now grown up and completely changed my life. Your worldview may turn upside-down and you might find yourself hating things you love right now and loving things you hate. That’s fine. Be honest and true with yourself and you’ll generally always head in the right direction.
9) Do it. Loads of people talk about doing what you want to do. Then naysayers butt in and tell them they can’t or that it’s too hard or that it’s dangerous. Sure it can get hard. Sure it’s dangerous. But it’s also hard to get a job and go to work 40 hours a week. It’s dangerous to drive down the 401. You’ll never escape the hard things or the dangerous things. You might as well have it hard and dangerous overseas. At least you’ll learn something about yourself and the world and come home with awesome stories.

I’m so excited for you. I want to hear about how your plans move forward. Go to India, especially Rajasthan. And if you end up in Pakistan, let me know. You can stay with my in-laws in rural Sindh. My brother-in-law will give you a grand old tour.

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Mike (30) (@somelatvian) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian,

Hi there!

I’m about to do the same thing, came quite close to enrolling in an Amsterdam University, but then decided to go travelling after all.
I’ve already done a bit of solo travelling, but nothing as grand as over a year! It’ll be so much fun!
I really do think that it’s important to keep in mind that everything that will happen will be a result of your decisions, so even when things won’t go as you planned them to, just relax and ride the flow! Smile! Does wonders!

I also have a limited budget, but luckily the last two years out of high school I’ve spent bartending and waitering, so when the money will begin to run out, might use those skills, what do you think guys?

I’ve heard about boat-hopping, does anybody have experience with that?
Be wary of cruise ships, apparently it’s a nightmare to work on those..

Caaaaan’t waaaaaaaaaiit!

Wonderful day to you all!

Mike

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Joel (40) (@jp907) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@mycomfyuterus, what this guy said.

Everyone you talk to will be ardently on one side or the other here. Some people will throw logistics, cost and ignorant reason in your way. Others will tell you they wish they had done what you’re about to do, and they seriously regret not having the courage to sack up and follow their hearts. So take it from a couple people who’ve done a bit of traveling, and know it will be well worth it once you get going.

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Sly (2) (@lylescott) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, so last year i was thinking the same the you were, i started off in america and worked in a summer camp for two months which i highly recommend as it gives you a little bit of money and you get to meet some really amazing people. there are agencies to go through such as ‘camp leaders’ or ‘camp america’.
afterwards you could go fruit picking pretty much anywhere in the northern hemisphere if its summer to keep the cash coming in and often you can stay at the place you pick fruit and its covered in your wages. just research visa requirements because you really dont want to get deported.
I would recommend staying in hostels or if your a little more adventurous or broke (to me it was the same thing) you could go couch surfing http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=46479.
If your changing continents flights are the way to go imo, you can get some pretty cheap flights if you look hard enough. and travelling in countries is always different and public transport is normally pretty cheap anywhere.
if you’re low on cash you’re not going to do well on food to be honest. unless you’re in a poorer country.
just keep in mind not everyone in the world has the best intentions and a lot of people will try to rip you out of whatever money you have. but you will meet people that will try to help you in any way they can.

hope this helps

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Sly (2) (@lylescott) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

oh and always, always, ALWAYS keep some back up money in a bank account at home, you never know what might happen and its good to have that pillow to land on if you get in a bit of trouble.

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danni (5) (@dani) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, keep a journal! :)

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charkna (1) (@charkna) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian First of all I wish I would have had the balls to do what you want to do. If I had more time before I went to college (which I just graduated from in December) it would have greatly aided my focus for school and future direction. Secondly, I must recommend couch surfing which i did in Europe, which is an amazing way to find a place to rest your head at night and make new friends. Coming from someone who literally just moved to Australia on a whim, I have found that I have learned more about myself and the goals I wish to achieve solely through my global travel experiences than any other thing I’ve done in life.

So go make an adventure. You’ll grow more as a person then you could ever imagine.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, Follow the “Backpacker” road signs, backpackers have blazed trails all around the world and they have done it dirt cheap. If you look like a backpacker then everywhere you go they will assume you are trying to get by cheaply, they have setups to accomodate this.

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Stoney Baloney (614) (@adamm0ss) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Do it! And if you need funds, you most likely have shit you could sell: ipod, instruments, computer, furniture, clothing, etc.. that you no longer need. Pay off your debts, don’t acquire new ones, and you’ll see enough money to go anywhere. MOST of the people that say they can’t afford it, can, they just choose to spend their money on cellphone payments, car payments, rent.. When you have all those financial obligations, traveling freely is much harder. You trade your future time, for useless material items. Most, not all. Especially here in the US where you can work at McDonald’s for a month and save plenty to travel. Everyone is full of excuses.

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Beni (110)C (@beniandtheuniverse) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

http://www.wwoof.org/ World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
“WWOOF is an exchange – In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.”

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Beni (110)C (@beniandtheuniverse) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

If farming isn’t your thing! http://www.workaway.info/

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Frosty (45) (@iflipvans) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, I don’t want to put you down, but do a lot of research before going anywhere.

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Stoney Baloney (614) (@adamm0ss) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iflipvans, Whats there to research that can’t wait until you go? If you don’t mind me asking.

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Frosty (45) (@iflipvans) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@adamm0ss, I’m 19. I have been to the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Roatan in Honduras, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Poland, and the U.S states along the east coast.

I am now going to a community college. I have a GED because I was kicked out of highschool. I started travelling when I was 15. My dad brought me on a cruise ship. Seeing the different cultures of the world is amazing. Living there is a whole different story.

My friend Jon lived in Spain for a month after he went on a trip with his spanish class to study abroad. He met people who liked him and let him crash in an apartment. He is portuguese and already knew spanish and other cultures of the world so he was very used to adapting.

Going to the Bahamas for my second time I found out, beforehand, that there is a place that has one of the highest street muggings in the world. I knew to stay away from there. At first I was asking about going there to hang out and take pictures…..

Do what you do. I’m making the mistake paying for college… I’m gonna be broke very soon unless I drop out and find an Adoption Grant that will let me go for free.

If your planning on going ANYWHERE, research every aspect of that country. Look at news reports, history, and trends. That way you won’t offend, get mugged, and you’ll be able to adapt that much quicker, also learn the native toungue before and during the trip.

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Stoney Baloney (614) (@adamm0ss) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iflipvans, I hope you don’t take offense to this, and I could be wrong this is just my opinion, but that sounds like a paranoid way to travel. Every country is going to have problems and “bad neighborhoods”. Some bias news report is not going to be worth a damn. Ask the people when you get there where NOT to go, and don’t be ignorant when you get there. I’ve done my fair share of traveling, and living abroad, and that route works well for me. Call me lucky but I haven’t been rapped or mugged yet!

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Frosty (45) (@iflipvans) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Nice. @adamm0ss, I say this because I’ve been robbed twice and my dad almost once when I was with him.

Eh, It was only 30 bucks in total so I don’t even care ha. My dad was sitting down one time when were were on a nature hike with a bunch of people through a jungle in Roatan, Honduras. I was picking up different colored rocks. At one point we stopped to hang out with monkeys. Apparently the monkey tamer taught them how to steal. My dad was sitting down and a lady stopped one of them from taking his wallet with around 800 in it.

You can do what you want, i think researching a country before you go is a good idea in any way. You don’t have to do too much, just trust yourself and not many others when you go.

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Stoney Baloney (614) (@adamm0ss) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

“Apparently the monkey tamer taught them how to steal. My dad was sitting down and a lady stopped one of them from taking his wallet with around 800 in it.”

Now this would almost be worth getting robbed just for the experience. hahaa

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BriGuy (106) (@iambrian) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@mycomfyuterus, That was very inspiring, thank-you! Why do you recommend Rajasthan? I Very much want to go to India.

@beniandtheuniverse, Thanks! have you ever used one of those sites? I knew about the farming, but the workaway seems really cool too.

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Elise (10) (@heynowcosmicchild) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, hey! I’ve been planning on doing the same as you. I was planning to travel the US by Bicycle for awhile then head overseas as well. Sites like couchsurfing and travbuddy have been pretty useful to me so far, and that workaway website that someone on here linked looks pretty awesome as well.
Do you have any skills that you could trade for money? I’m a hairstylist so I’m figuring I can rely on that and trade haircuts for donations$$ while I’m travelling. Also, I’ve heard of alot of people making money writing travel blogs/articles while they travel. You should definitely look into that if you haven’t already.

When do you plan on beginning your travels? I’m down to go at the trip alone but i’d be great to have a travel buddy as well. :)

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Beni (110)C (@beniandtheuniverse) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, Nope! They’re recent discoveries for me. Very inspiring!! I recently volunteered in Costa Rica and experienced the housing and being fed and having a purpose while you travel feels incredible. Definitely consider it!

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Stoney Baloney (614) (@adamm0ss) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

matadornetwork.com/change/10-volunteer-opportunities-for-free-travel/ Stumbled across that today.. Check it!

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Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Here’s a GREAT site to explore and you can probably email him with questions: http://www.wanderingearl.com/

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Haven (27) (@mycomfyuterus) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@iambrian, The part of Pakistani I spent most of my time in was a tribal area in the south and most of the tribes there were originally from Rajasthan. The Rajasthani are just awesome, colourful people and since Pakistan is kinda all fucked up these days, Rajasthan might be a better way to get to know them than Sindh. :)

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