LOVED WHAT I JUST READ !!!!
Totally WILD !!
You know what, maybe...just MAYBE, I'll take your lead and start saving up!
Well,nice 'knowing' you !
Some things change, some things stay the same.
My wife and I traveled around the world in 1987. Our main focus was Australia and Asia, so our trip was a bit different than yours. But the hassles, the bliss, the longing, the itching to move on, the pleasant inertia that keeps you from going, etc., etc., all sound exquisitely familiar. But reading about it all on the Web is completely unbelievable.
In 1987, I traveled with a crude laptop and an even cruder modem. Occasionally I was able to file stories for the newspapers and magazines I was freelancing for. Eventually, I sent the computer home 'cause it was more hassle than it was worth. After that, communication consisted of snail mail (the delivery of our letters gave new meaning to the term) and the occasional phone call, which usually sounded like we were communicating across interplanetary distances. Now, it's eight years later, I'm sitting here at lunchtime surfing around and I'm following your trip virtually. Unbelievable. Not your trip, mind you. As I said, it all sounds familiar. But the fact that you're able to share it electronically with pictures to thousands of complete strangers like myself. I'm not sure how I feel about that....
One critical comment: you should have left time for trekking in Nepal and a much more in-depth exploration of India. You were right, India is overwhelming. That's what makes it the most incredible, the most rewarding, the most frustrating, the most exhausting, the most informative, the most blissful (need I say more?) country to travel through in Asia. You can't wait to leave. You can't wait to go back.
Some day I will.
nice to see that so many people like to talk about travelling. But actually there's not a lot to say. You just gotta do it.
You've done a great job with your site here. I also went on a similar journey for one year and it's interesting to see what others who have done the same kind of thing think. It's like comparing notes. If you're interested I've also got my journal up on the web.
http://www.best.com/~bradley/ [ Note: This URL seems to be dead now. ]
Wonderful journal, it brought back so many memories of my first two trips RTW. I'm sorry you didn't like Fiji and Malaysia more, they're two of my top ten favorites. Next time you might want to check the LA Times Sunday edition, or Internet for cheaper RTW tickets, I think your travel agent ripped you off at over $3000. I had many similar experiences, like the Hideaway in Fiji, running into the same people by surprise. One couple I met on the Malaysia-Thai border surprised me at the Pushkar camel fair in India a few months later. Another time, I met someone in Mongolia, and ran into her again in Kathmandu. It really is a small world! I hope you get to Africa. I was there in 1992-all over the country. West Africa was especially exciting, also I liked Zimbabwe, Namibia, SA, Malawi and the Indian ocean islands.
Contact me if you need more info. Keep travelling!
The two of you sound so much like my husband and I it's weird.
Very envious of your trip. We have gone to mexico 2x's and try to camp alot throughout the states. Europe is planned like you did it when my husband graduates with his PhD. (2 more years) I really enjoyed your stories and pictures and hope that you never lose your love for each other, or your love for life.
I think most people just let life happen to them instead of going out and living life! (does that make sense? hope you get it, think you both would) anyway good luck and good cheer on your future travels.
Truely doodlly do,
Well, what can I say - I log into my account about 4 hours ago, figuring I'd just check my e-mail, and here I am, past 2 a.m. on a Friday! I just finished your last section, and I'm damn impressed! I have recently backpacked through Europe (2 months in 1994, 1 month in 1995), and I must tell you, your tales of Athens (I too stayed in Festos, and ate many times at To Geroni (the best restaurant in Europe)), IYH in Salzberg (possibly one of the funnest hostels in Europe), Prague (my friends and I found a place called 'Malostrana' on the other side of the river where 1/2 beers were 80 cents!) and other places bring back some of the best memories of my life.
I think it's funny that you say you may have changed significantly due to this trip - I remember when I returned from my first trip to Europe in 94, _everyone_ I knew told me that they thought I had changed, although I didn't believe it then. To me, the trips to Europe have been so rewarding, I can't help but recommend them to everyone I know (but everyone seems so hesitant to do it!)
Anyways, I throughly enjoyed your account of your trip. A friend of mine is actually doing something similar, although much shorter (5 months). He started in Europe (where I travelled with him for a month), and is going through Vietnam, Bangkok, Tibet, and Australasia on his way back to the states sometime next month.
Funny, I also work in information systems (computers, whatever). I used to work for Andersen Consulting, but currently work as an independent consultant. I'd have to say that a major reason for my quitting to become an indi is the travel through Europe, and my current desire to do _much_ more travelling.
I too am planning on travelling to New Zealand and Australia for next 9/96-12/96 (when my current contract ends), but your account of S.E. Asia has convinced me that I need to adjust my plans to expand my trip to include more of it (I'm already planning to expand my trip to include Indonesia).
Well, I best be getting some sleep. Hope you get this e-mail, and I'd love to hear if you guys have had a chance to return to some of those lost places - and how you enjoyed them. Take care.
I read your entire story three days ago, and it thrilled me!
This is exactly the kind of stuff I`ve been searching for for months, and when I find it it`s not just a story about two weeks in Spain, but nine months around the world! Truly amazing!
I`ve been travelling quite a lot myself, particulary in India (about 7 months), but also in SE Asia and Europe. Therefore the most interesting parts of your story to me, was when you came to the hotels I had been to (or rather were going to visit). I really spent three hours on the Net going back in time! Who needs Virtual Reality?!
I also have a dream of writing a book about my travels, but I realise that I have to see a bit more first, or at least get some distance to the experiences (I`m not absolutely sure about what I mean by this...) In the meantime, before I take over for Paul Theroux, it might be a good idea to get my journals on the net "in your spirit" so to say. I don`t know. I think it might be a bit to much "stripping" to give away the word by word version, but...
OK, once more thank you! I hope your travels soon will lead to new decriptions of hard, Chinese beds and the likes. And why not visit Norway the next time you go to Sweden? It would be interesting to hear your view about the country and the people.
best wishes from Norway
My last few days have been spent really enjoying your journal/diary and I have been feeling a little bit of jealousness of your journey. It sounds like you had a very good time traveling and it really doesn't sound too out of the ordinary. What I mean is that when a person is on a tight budget they are drawn into that type of a life style which is just about the only kind of life one can lead on the road. Most of us always dream of doing a major journey of some kind and we may fail in realizing that portion of it. All in all you must have met some very fine folks and traveled into a very interesting ways of life.
Back in September of 1992 I took a 54 day trip to Spain, Gilbraltar, Portugal and Germany and some of your fears about going to Spain, and Portugal were not justified. As world travelers you might have used your past experience of the trip to visit areas that didn't have the Worlds fair, Columbus 500, and the Olympics.
I know because I particapted in the Columbus 500/sailing events and this was just a group of about 500 sailers particpating. Also I traveled on the South western part of Spain along the western coast on up to Lisbon with absolutley no problems whatsoever in finding reasonable places to stay. $22.00 a night, 5 nights free on a sailboat, and 20 nights at friends in Germany. Anyway good luck in making it back to your dream destinations and thanks for reviving some good memories an dreams of future trips...
I just found your site and can't wait to read it. I have just skimmed a few months and it sounds like a great adventure. I'm also embarking on a RTW trip. I just started and will be gone for 3-5 years. I have worked and saved for 6 years to do this. I am interested in how much gear you brought along. I guess you kept a journal and put it online when you returned. A friend of mine suggested I create a home page so people can keep up with my daily activities. I think that is too much work. I am keeping a journal and maybe when I return I will follow in your footsteps. Its good to see other Americans taking extended journeys. Usually its Australians and Europeans that do all the traveling.
I have dreamed for years about doing what you did. I worked a year in Melbourne, VIC and enjoyed visiting much of Aus. Worked a year in Saudia Arabia and vacationed in the Greek Isles. Air fare was just a much from there to Greece as it is from Calif to Greece. I did nine weeks in Europe on the cheap with a Eurail pass and loved it and want to do it again. Thanks for sharing your trip. I really enjoyed it.
Quite the adventure you took part in ....i.e. the travel was one thing but the do diligence to logging it and sharing your story makes it more of a fe'e't (in honor of your miles put in).
A couple things:
First...I will be doing a similar magic act as your self starting in April of '96. I will quit my job, take whatever cash I've got (hopefully 10k by then; but if not I'll work on the way), and travel around the world. Like yourself, I have asked myself why in the 'world' do I want to take this journey. I beleive it's because I want to better understand the people in it and learn what makes them tick. Then, when I return I want to use my experiences to, not only think about, but to actually help make the world a better place to live. It will be done through my own ecologically based business helping to instill a new sense of awareness and understanding in people.
Vic Desotelle Just finished reading your incredible tale of adventure... made it almost like I was there, but not quite.. :-) That's why I intend to undertake a RTW trip sometime next year, along a similar route as yours, although I intend to cover South America and Africa as well. I've already done some traveling in Europe and China, so some of your comments struck home (cold showers!). Thank you for sharing your travel insights and experiences with the net community.
Makes me want to go to the bank, cash in my savings bonds, pack my bags and hit the road. I have to take a 4 year detour to college first which just might put a strain on the finances :). I've been on 3 week excursions to Egypt, Western Europe, and Australia (some of them too young to remember well), and I have always dreamed of doing what you've done. Looking forward to more journals.. (you mentioned Africa?)... Heck, maybe I'll post one of my own! Thanks for sharing your adventures
Just to drop you a word on your journal. Great reading! Maybe a bit too general in places and too specific in others. I guess it depended on how you liked the place. I too have traveled a lot but for different reasons. I am in the US Navy and have had the furtune to visit a few lands. Favorites...Israel, Italy, and Costa Rica. I am sorry, but not surprised, you did not considered Sicily in your trip. Most Americans avoid the island, mainly because of what they have heard previously. Don't miss it the next time, you won't regret it. Avoid the big cities and you'll love it. Also consider Turkey...I know all about Midnight Express...nothing like it.
Istambul is magnificent although a bit intimidating but for a seasoned traveler it does not compare to India. The south coast of Turkey is beautiful. Israel is spellbinding! You are constantly walking in history. Massada and the Dead Sea are unforgetable. Meggido is eery. One hint - always use the Palestenian buses and avoid the Israeli ones. They take you to the same places and never get bombed! Also, take lots of peanut butter if you go. The food is little and not too fulfilling (also, there are no fast food restaurants).
A last comment...when in Venice, did you see any of the locals paying the tolls in the water taxis? If you think hard you won't remember seing anyone because they don't! The secret in most Italian cities is that the locals don't pay for buses or water taxis (including Rome, Florence, and Genoa). So, if you act like you live there, which you kind of do, you don't have to pay for local transportation. The same can be said of the city trains in southern France. I have always dreamt of visiting Africa but have not have the oportunity to do so. Reading your journal made me feel like I was also there with you guys. Don't forget to write about your visit to Africa if you go.
Last, but not least, I understand what you went through upon returning back to America. Everytime I returned home from a long trip overseas I felt somehow empty. Somewhat sad, although I was supposed to be happy to be back with my friends and family. This complex soup of emotions take a toll on you initially but, as any frequent traveler can tell you, we experienced travelers can rebound amazingly quickly, always eager for our next trip. By the way...home is where your bakpack is! Buen viaje...
(name withheld by request)
I've been reading your journal Web page by Web page over the past week or so, during my lunch break at work. I found it off the Cool Site of the Day, I think, or something similar. Thanks for putting this out on the Web! I'm on the beginning of Greece right now. The pictures are a nice touch (I'm on a graphical browser at work), but really I've just been reading the journal. Travelogues have always interested me.
A friend and I took a month-long trip the summer after we graduated, hitting 11 countries in Europe. Talk about whirlwind. Even though I've only read through your Asia stuff so far it's remarkable how similar the experiences are. Meeting up with new Euro- (or in your case Asia-) friends, the worries about money and budgets despite a lack of really planning it out, the little day-to-day things that often seem to overshadow the 'big' draws of the country. I look forward to seeing your sections on Europe to see how you found it.
Anyway, thanks for putting up this Web site. It's one of the best I've found on the net so far.
Wondermous, Wondermous, Wondermous! I've travelled a lot -- certainly not so far and wide as you folks have -- and find your accounts amusing, inspiring, accurate to what I've experienced ... and leaving me hungering for more personal travel.
Except for my parents and my three siblings, our entire family exists out of the U.S. Amazingly, my sister has never made it outside of our borders, excepting some trips to Mexico. I've told her for years that I am going to "force" her to go with me through Asia, Australia and/or Europe - you've given me yet another way to convince her to go see all the wonders.
Thanks for taking the time and effort to put together such a marvelous site.
Paul C. Velasco
Whew! What a read! I just finished going through your travelogue..sounds really great. I travelled much the same route last year, through SE Asia, India, Middle East and Eastern Europe. I always love hearing about other peoples' travels, and it's all the more intriguing when they are places that I know myself. Your writing style didn't digress all that much..I found it to be very informative. If you're interested, there's a great book out by Michael Crichton called "Travels"; which is an account of his life experiences. Fascinating stuff.....Keep the wanderlust spirit!
Jeff Brown Fredericton, NB CANADA
I enjoyed reading your journal. Over the last few years, I have written similar descriptions of my vacations for a friend at work who never seems to find the time to travel. It started off with a relatively easy description of a 1-week camping trip in Northern Wisconsin, and over the years has grown to include trips to Arizona, Wyoming, Michigan, Ireland and England. It's hard work, isn't it?
I never had the discipline to write in a journal each day. So for the early attempts, I would try to write the vacation notes as quickly as possible upon my return (while the memories were still fresh.) But time constraints sometimes prevented me from writing the travel notes immediately after the trip was finished, and it became tougher to recall all the small details. I began taking a few notes during the trips, but that was not always convenient. So for the trip to Ireland/England last year, my girlfriend gave me a small tape recorder. I simply spoke into it whenever it seemed appropriate, and was then able to piece together my travelogue at a more leisurely pace when I returned. You might want to consider a micro-cassette recorder for your next vacation...it has helped me a lot.
At first, I was surprised at your description of Adelaide. I was there in March of this year, and it seemed like the most perfect place on earth to me. But then I read the portions of your journal where you described how nice it was to stay with friends/acquaintances in their homes rather than in hostels or hotels. It finally dawned on me that part of the reason I loved Adelaide so much was that we were staying with friends in a real house in a real neighborhood. Having a home base like that can really make things much more pleasant. And there is a lot to be said for seeing a friendly face or two when you get home after a full day of hiking or sightseeing.
Our trip to Australia took us to Adelaide, Tasmania, back to Adelaide and finally to Sydney, from March 8-25. Compared to your journey, ours was just an extended weekend. I congratulate you and Kathy for having the adventurous spirit necessary to quit your jobs and leave your "regular" lives behind to take your trip. Thanks for sharing your experiences with me and everyone else on the net. Happy traveling.
I printed this out at work (naughty me!) and read it on several train journeys (just thought that I would set the scene) So I began to read your journal while whizzing through the British countryside on one of those rare days when the sun is shining and the fields look especially green. I read your first few pages with a little bit of jealously knowing that you had the means, the time and the enthusiasm to do it. I don't know if my spending habits will ever allow me to do such an amazing thing, we'll have to see. One thing I did realise , however, is that there is a lot out there to see, and as much as we want to there will always be places which we will never get to experience. I realised this just being on atrain for two hours. Ther have been at least five places I have never been too and yet are so easily within my reach. Perhaps it's me having a lack of time, money and enthusiasm or perhaps it's you having an excess!! Both you and I know that there is a lot more out there to see than either of us could ever wish to cover. But I think that you had a really good stab at it and I admire you for having the courage to give up so much, although in exchnage for so much more. I am a student, on my placement which means I have a little money to spend but am always keeping an eye on what goes in and out. I don't think that being in a strange country would help my spending habits and your worries about money only re-emphasise what I already knew. I'll leave travelling seriously until I have the money to fund it. After your mixture of aprehensiveness and anguish over returning I think that I would always travel with a return date, this again would help with money management but give me a light at the end of the tunnel if things ever got really bad. Finally, thanks for the insight into places which I have never been, pictures of things I have never seen and the tips which you never know someday I might just need! Thanks again,
I travelled two months 1992/93 throughout Europe and I love to hear other experiences. I am currently saving for an excursion to Israel and South Africa, fall 1995. I am in desperate need for an exotic, undetermined, un-planned excursion. I have the most fun for the least amount of money. I still have three months to read, looking forward to completing the journal. Thank you for supplying great reading material and validation for my travelling wishes.
Its always interesting to get someone elses opinions and views on places that I have been as well as some that I would like to go. While I often didn't see things (and places) the same way, I enjoyed reading your account. As the trip progressed, not only did you seem to accept things more for what they were, but I enjoyed the writing more. Its interesting to go to a place like Paris, for example, several times. The first time feeling like a tourist,and each time thereafter feeling more and more at home, until the way of life there becomes comfortable and familiar, and you can spend time just hanging out with friends, without feeling as though your missing "an experience". Here's wishing you (and me!) many more travels in the future.
I can't believe I finished it! I read your whole journal over this past weekend and I'm exhausted! I almost feel as if I took the trip. I really liked your insights and honesty about many of the countries you visited - also about how truly awful many Americans act overseas. I remember coming back from England and thinking how loud Americans seemed to sound. I had gotten so used to the nice lilt of English and Scottish voices (Brooklyn accents REALLY seemed awful!) Well, I'm going to Spain and Portugal for my honeymoon this June; I'll drop you another comment to let you know good cities to visit on your next trip.
I've only just started reading your travelogue but I'm looking forward to the entire thing. I hope to take a world trip in approximately a year's time. My hope is to go for as long as you did.
I jumped to the end of your story to read your returning to Dallas. After spending 3 months in Europe, I think I felt the same way when I returned to Canada. Somewhat displaced. Everything was familiar but foreign. Sometimes you wonder where "home" really is? When you're travelling, home is where you rented a bunk and plunked down your backpack. Life is so much more simple when travelling: 1. food, 2. shelter, 3. transportation.
Thanks for sharing your story. I shall learn from yours what to do and what not to do.
Question is: Would you do it again?
P.S. I already know the answer to that one! :-)
Troy D. Spetz
I thought that was a great idea. Thanks for creating this, I could visit a couple of countries in my lunch break. I have personally done quite a bit of travelling in Europe and the U.S. And I lived in Germany for the first 20 years of my life. Now I am living in Philadelphia. This kind of trip definetely changes you. You have gotten the travel bug and that stays with you. Your plan to visit Africa, etc...! I have a friend who travelled for 20 months backpacking and hitchhiking through Asia, and he cannot imagine settling down forever, and never leaving home again. Did you change your attitude about some of the countries you visited? I read, that you realized that the American way is not the only way. Sometimes I envy people who have never done any significant travelling outside their country. I think they live differently. They don't have this longing to get out and see something new. They think their little world is the greatest place on earth. They seem more content, somehow. I envy them, sometimes. But then, their lives are also somewhat smaller...
I very much enjoyed reading your journal. I spent a year (1990-1991) studying in Edinburgh, Scotland and traveled around Europe and the U.K. a couple times. I mostly read through the sections of your journal about places that I had visited and compared your impressions with mine. A number of them were remarkably similar, except for Scotland, but then you were there for a couple days and I lived there for nine months. I especially agree with your comments about the perceptions of Americans abroad. Many people criticized us for being ignorant of the rest of the world, yet they themselves are ignorant of what life is really like in the U.S., or anywhere outside Europe for that matter. On the other hand, it is amazing how obnoxious and ignorant Americans can be when visiting other countries. I can empathize with your feelings upon your return to this country. I had a hard time returning after my year abroad. I had gotten used to a different way of life and a greater sense of freedom in my time away, and I felt especially constrained when I returned to the U.S. and had to do the same old things as when I left, and talking to people who had not seen what I had experienced and therefore did not understand how I felt. Anyway, I always look back at that time as a very significant period in my life and reading your journal reminded me of some of those good memories.
You are lucky to have had such an experience. Not many people can actually pack up for a year and travel around the world. I think it actually took a lot of courage to quit your jobs and do that. I'm not sure I'd like to live that way for a year either. I am used to sleeping in a nice bed and having decent plumbing. Don't get me wrong though. I enjoy camping hunting and fishing and many other outdoor activities but living from place to place would be tough. I think that it is neat that you and Kathey had such an experience. Maybe some day if I ever win the lottery (yeah RIGHT!!!) I would have the courage and money to do just as you did. [Money because I think I'd rather stay in a decent hotel every night :)]
I found your page on the cool site of the day page and it IS pretty cool! When you take your next trip, be sure to do another page. I also think that you should put that book together. I'm sure people that don't have access to a computer or the Web would find your story interesting as well. Thanks for your time you took to put it all together. It was real interesting! OH! I was wondering if you still talk to the couple from (Sweden?) that you met in Fiji? I think that was pretty cool to. Well, Thanks again.
Andy Stokes, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
I read your whole journal from start to finish (it took me about a month in my spare time) and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for taking the time to record your daily, hourly, and constant impressions and experiences. You learned all the things that young Americans need to know about the world around us--namely, that we are not the only people on earth! I have travelled to twenty countries between 1984-1994, and cherish the memories. I didn't circumnavigate completely, like you did, but found your journal to be an accurate account of day to day travel. Thanks.
I unfortunately didn't have time to read your whole travel account. (I am supposed to be working) I've read the parts on Malaysia and Thailand with much interest; my soon-to-be husband and I are going there in 4 weeks for our honeymoon. In 1992, I spent 6 months travelling in New Zealand, Fiji and the Cook Islands. I was surprised to read that you really did not enjoy Fiji. Perhaps my experience was better because I went there at the end of my trip. I saw it as "a vacation to get over my vacation". I was really pleased to read that I wasn't the only one to have the occasional "going home for a day" dream.
I really enjoyed your travel journal. It made me want to drop everything and do the 6 month - 1 year trip again.
Anne Pigeon, Canada
Thanks for making your journal available. Found it to be quite interesting. It was fun seeing the world through your eyes. I had visited quite a few places that you had in Europe though I had not ever really considered doing SE Asia until reading your journal. Guess I'm going to rethink that now.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Canada
I am totally enjoying your journal. It is absolutely jammed pack with incredibly useful, interesting tidbits for travellers. I suppose it holds a great deal of interest for me because my husband and I are exactly 2 months away from departing on a 12 month round-the-world trip. We live in San Francisco and will be travelling in a westerly direction also.
Tomorrow I plan on bringing my "planning notebook" in to work to copy down some items -- especially the accomodation recommendations.
Ruth MacKay, California, USA
I have just spent most of the afternoon reading your journal.
I found it funny and informative and a couple of times I said "YES!" particularly about things like hot water, separate beds in Youth Hostels and the way people in Singapore don't like to admit they don't know something.
I went around the world with my boyfriend five years ago and we are to embark on another twelve months of travel. Some of the things you have covered are very interesting as they are details about places we haven't been yet. Others were interesting because we have been there.
Your comments about coming back are salient too. I went through a pretty bad down patch when we came back. In Australia it is even more difficult to save the money to get overseas because we are so far from everything. I was sorry to hear that Australia was so expensive and took up too much money. We felt that way about Scandinavia.
It was interesting to read your comments about Melbourne too. Comments from someone visiting your town give you a different view.
When we get to Texas in '96 we will be sure to visit the (what was it?) Black Eyed Pea restaurant :)
(name withheld by request), Australia