How would you like to travel the world?...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Arch, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    well.. i might do this year. But... well im not ashamed to say (seeing as tho all my friends are tied up this year and that i will have no choice then to face it alone) that im a bit scared of it too.

    What i have found its that its all well and good talking about it.... iv done it myself... it sounds so easy...'yea i could go anywhere... it will be fun... im bound to meet people.... its an adventure'.... but thats just talk. Actually waking up the next day in the middle of asia completely on your own is another matter entirely. So when your a bit scared and massively homesick...What is the first thing you do?... where do you go?.... who do you talk to first?.... Its difficult to get my head around.

    I know after some time these things will be easier to deal with once you are use to it.... but its the initial burst of confindence that i find im lacking in at the moment.

    How about you guys... some of you have probaly done your fair share of travelling?....any advice?... or maybe its something you havent got around to doing yet?.... where would you go?
     
  2. Mesoam

    Mesoam TPF Noob!

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    peace corps...
     
  3. domromer

    domromer TPF Noob!

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    On a bicycle, Mexico and Central America.
     
  4. spiffybeth

    spiffybeth TPF Noob!

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    if it werent dangerous, id love to hitch hike across the US and Europe
     
  5. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    It's all in your attitude. Concentrate on the fun parts...seeing places/things you've read about, experiencing new foods and cultures, meeting tons of interesting fellow travellers. And photo ops beyond your wildest dreams. Don't focus on the fact you'll be away from your comfort zone.

    If you're nervous of travelling alone to foreign places, you might want to consider visiting places where there's a good chance many locals will speak English (this would include much of Europe, North America, South America, Australia etc at the very least).

    Do you know people in other countries, so you could start your travels there with a bit of a 'home base'?

    If you're going to travel for an extended period of time, you'll have to master the art of packing light and 'getting by' with just what's in your pack. Or buying/discarding as you go. (This is something that is always a struggle for me.) You'll have to do some research, and speak with people who have backpacked, to get their advice on gear.

    You will meet fellow travellers all along the way who will have great stories of places to visit, and much wisdom of what to avoid, what to take, what to see. Speaking with them is highly encouraged. And they will often ask you to join them/meet them along the way, which can be a lot of fun. Use common sense, though, and avoid dodgy situations.

    As to where to go, 'the world is your oyster'. Do you want to see wilderness, historical areas, cities, wildlife in its native environment, hike, kayak, camp, go on safari? When you have an idea of what you want, hit the bookstore (eg Lonely Planet guides and tons of other books), and of course the 'net. The thorn tree travel forum (part of the Lonely Planet website) was recommended to me several years ago as a good resource for comments from people who had visited the places I intended to visit (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa)

    You'll have a blast, and come back a changed person. Go for it, you'll never regret it.
     
  6. Kazoo

    Kazoo TPF Noob!

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    I could write about this for hours!

    First, figure out where you most want to go. Is there a festival you'd love to check out or some bit of a country you've been dying to see? Check out Rough Guides "First Time *Insert Continent Here*" series, made me feel more prepared.

    If you have loads of time and there's a few places you'd like to see, check out where the stopovers are on the round-the-world tickets, sometimes doing a return flight with stopovers works just as well.

    Want some easy travel to ease into it? Oz & New Zealand are great, you'd meet tons of people at the hostels who are in the same shoes, and there's a hugely established backpacker trail (they even pick you up from the station in Oz!). Spain is pretty easy too, people are gregarious, it's like a vacation from your vacation and there's tons to see.

    I was nervous but psyched my first time travelling, too shy to say boo. I've met some of my greatest friends backpacking. Yeah you can get homesick every now and then (took me 8 months and then I was only homesick for London where I'd been living rather than for Canada).

    Alot of patience is an asset (you'll learn it one way or another), and the lighter you can pack the happier you'll be. Wanderlust magazine is pretty good for inspiration, as is the Thorn Tree forum on Lonely Planet's site.

    Actually here's a great site from a good photographer who also decided to a big world tour.... http://www.momsaysimrunningaway.com/

    Is there any one continent that you find really fascinating, or one site you'd love to shoot?
     
  7. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys.

    you? :lol:.... na dont know many people that live abroad.... i did but way to much time has passed to be knocking on thier doors!


    Thanks for that link, it looks very interesting i'll read through that.

    This is a tough one for me... if i could go anywhere to shoot and to experience the lifestyle it would be mongolia, iceland and africa. However i do realise that these destinations are a bit too ambitious for a first timer and i dont think i would be comfortable with going to one of these first.

    So realisticly its between new zealand, asia (thailand, china etc) south america, north america, and canada areas....

    Being british, i have experience of europe from holidays etc so im not bothered about that... it also means i cannot speak any other language other than the queens english :lol:... thats a downside to being born a brit i suppose.

    One thought i have had is maybe trying a volunteer trip first... just to get me into the whole thing... then maybe travel after spending a few months there.
    Iv seen websites for people to go and help monitor sea turtle acitivity etc.. where you live and work in a destination for a fixed period and also have the chance to learn new skills. There are various others from working on organic farms to teaching english. So maybe that would be a good place to start for me.... i dunno. :confused:
     
  8. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    Daft as it might sound, try the Middle East - fascinating place with so many people from so many nations - I've been here for over 8 years now and can barely speak a work of Arabic; there's no need because so many people speak English. Try Oman, looks a great place to visit though I've not tried it yet - I'm also convinced that Qatar is the most relaxing place in the world.

    PS. I'd probably like to see Iran more than Oman - now there's a country!
     
  9. Viperjet

    Viperjet TPF Noob!

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    New Zealand sounds like a neat place.

    I would either backpack across the globe, or travel across it by small aircraft.
     
  10. Kazoo

    Kazoo TPF Noob!

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    Mongolia, Iceland and Africa eh? Now there are some adventurous spots, I don't think they're too ambitious at all. Just challenging. With Africa there's a huge diversity of travelling styles you can take - you can start on a safari to get your feet wet, and then strike out from there. There's a number of wildlife volunteer projects there too. Those first three would give you huge backpacker street cred ;).

    Anty had some perfect advice too - talking to other traveller's on the road will get you some of the best tips. Chris had a great point as well, if you dig architecture, the Middle East or places that've had its influence is an amazing way to go. And not speaking the language can sometimes be better than only being able to ask questions in the language... but have noooo idea what the answers mean :confused:. You can end up with some pretty interesting meals that way, lol.

    And being a Brit, you have a huge advantage - the pound goes far in places like Oz, NZ, Canada. If you can, budget for twice as much as planned, more money on the road is never a bad thing.

    And whatever you do, bring a roll of TP. In some places it's like gold.
     
  11. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    Don't rule out Iceland or Africa as first-trip destinations. I agree with Kazoo that starting with a safari would be entirely do-able. As would Iceland (you might want to start with Reykyavik, and do some side trips from there within Iceland). Don't know much about Mongolia.

    Tons to see and do in Aus and NZ (and North America, and South America).

    The idea of the volunteer travel is good too. One site is http://www.volunteertravel.com/ , and some friends have gone through another well-known organization whose name escapes me at the moment. I'll find it and get it to you.
     
  12. Kazoo

    Kazoo TPF Noob!

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    As far as what to do first - once you've booked your flight, then you want to set about booking your first night or two of accomodation. Hostels are great, cheap and the easiest way to meet other people. The best part of solo travel is that if someone annoys you, you can walk away from them knowing you're not stuck with them your whole trip :lol:.

    There are a ton of travel writers too who you can use for inspiration and they have a great sense of humour about all the weird stuff that happens on the road. Tim Cahill, Redmond O'Hanlon and Bill Bryson come to mind.

    I usually check out a grocery store and a music store to listen to cds for a bit if it's my first day or so and I haven't started hanging out with anyone yet. Dorm rooms make it easy to start talking to your roomates, just make sure you haven't gotten booked into a massive 8-16 bed one, bit of a pain for sleeping (and someone always messes about with a bloody plastic bag in the wee hours of the morning).

    I'm heading to east Africa later this year, which is why I bought my dSLR. The $11K dream safari really isn't an option, so I'm expecting a bit of chaos at bus stations and lots of waiting & bumpy roads. To give you an idea of what Monglia might be like, (and Africa for that matter), check out the Long Way Round & Long Way Down series.
     

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