A hearty stew of the dromomaniac’s mail

     I am pleased to report that I get a pretty regular stream of interesting mail. I do get spammy offers to have text ads in my blog posts or people wanting me to write guest posts on their blogs (should I do that?), but I also get nice emails complimenting me on the website, asking for advice, or wondering if I am a freak. I get it all:

From “T” in Mumbai, India:
     Hi, I bumped into your blog after checking out your post on Couch Surfing.
     Haven’t had a chance to completely rip the site apart with my eyes but did glance through the toilets page. Maybe somehow I too have a clandestine affection for toilets. To blow the lid off my secrets, I’ve done it at most places in India. On a Hill Top, On the beaches, In the Himalayas, upon a road divider on a National Highway. et al.
     Might sound a little gross to most people but I think very few people would understand this thrill and you are a fellow mate 🙂

From “J” in Pittsburgh, USA:
     I have a question, and it’s not meant to be inflamatory at all… just out of pure curiosity.
     Are you actually a narcissist? Or do you just acknowledge that you can come off as one, and therefore play it off as a joke? It’s hard to tell the tone of your articles.

From Jim (location unknown):
     I had a question about faux onward tix. I’m headed to southeast Asia and wanted to buy a one way because I’m not sure of my return (month, let alone day). I’ve gotten a lot feedback online suggesting that I may not be allowed to board a plane in New York headed to Bangkok without a round trip, and that they’d use a system called Amadeus to confirm the validity of my itinerary. Thoughts?

     Oh! I forgot that I should be answering these emails. Yes, usually the onward ticket will be asked by the airline before you depart as (they might claim) they are the ones liable for you in case you are deported, but I believe it is simply another way for airlines to make some money.
     I haven’t heard of them checking on Amadeus, and I don’t know if Amadeus has ALL flights, but it would be a good reason to pick an obscure airline that doesn’t fly from New York such as AirAsia or a regional Thai airline. If it comes down to a duel where you show them a ticket and they don’t find a record of it, I think they blink first and cave. They usually have neither the time nor the resources to investigate. That’s my best guess. I’ve shown a fake e-ticket at least a dozen times and have never had more than a cursory glance at it.

From “E” in Lithuania:
     Hi Kent,
     When my doctor told me I am diagnosed with dromomania, I’ve never even heard of it before, so when I was searching for the information, I accidentally found your blog. And liked it – I really love the way you see the world.
     One thing I am really interested about – did you travel like that when you were young too (I don’t want to say that you’re old now, but…you know what I mean)? And when you were under 18, you were also a traveller? Or were you just living in a house for a long time like everybody else till your 18th b-day?
     I will be thankful for your answer.
     P.S. your opinion on dromomania is just perfect. “which means I am very sick!” – I will be laughing at that for my entire life.

     These young punks, sheesh! OK, I will say it for you: I am old. OLD! I did stay home until I was 18 and then went to university, but no, I simply found that traveling was more interesting than working. I would work just as much as I needed in order to make enough money to travel again, and that’s the cycle.

From “L” in Azerbaijan:
     Your writing sucks. F— you.

     My family goes to the trouble of using an Azeri proxy server to write these messages. I see right through you, grandma!

From Eric (location unknown):
     Hi Kent,
     I picked up your blog while I was on my way to the Middle East and have kept coming back for a read since. You’re an entertaining writer and pretty envious of the amount and lengths of time you seem to be travelling, which brings me to my question: how do you fund such travels?
     I am working full time and trying to see places during holiday periods, but that’s just not enough for me anymore. I’m trying to figure out ways I can include more, long-term travelling through the year.

     I do travel a lot. For most of my life my plan has been to come home and work until I had enough money to travel again. I am American and it had been pretty easy doing that for many years through temporary employment agencies and companies that didn’t mind that arrangement. I’ve had dozens and dozens of jobs. Nearly everything can be accomplished via Craigslist, but it is a risky proposition, as you are probably aware.
     Some people smarter than me have figured out a way to work while on the road. I have a bookkeeper friend who can be 100% mobile, and all she needs is a reliable internet connection and nothing more. If you are creative and diligent and keep your eyes and ears open, you might be surprised what comes your way.
     The main point I’d impart is that I don’t travel expensively. If you are American, too, you can have a great, long trip in Central America, for example, and it won’t cost you much. I don’t know why more people don’t do it.

From Airam (location unknown):
     Hey Kent, I love you! It’s love at first read. Would you marry me?

     Yes, I will marry you. (I hope you are a woman.)

     I like getting mail of any kind, so don’t be shy: write me. I almost always answer unless I am totally blown away like in certain mail from Mumbai. Also, I am always curious how people discover my website because I do a horrible job of promoting it, so tell me how you found me.

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A hearty stew of the dromomaniac’s mail — 13 Comments

  1. Can you include a list of the “dozens and dozens” of jobs you’ve had- I imagine some of them have to be pretty entertaining! (Feel free to leave the stripper one out, we all understand.)

  2. I might have to make another blog post about all the jobs I’ve had. It might be hundreds more than dozens. Most I have successfully forgotten. When I worked for temp agencies I told them I would rather work five jobs in five days than one job for five days to relieve the boredom. Off the top of my head, aside from the numerous so-called “administrative assistant” jobs, I have sold track and field event tickets door to door, bagged groceries, helped build wood decks, worked for an internet start-up, worked in a summer camp for foreigners (check the August 21, 2006 entry on this page: http://www.kentfoster.com/news.html for the funny stories) worked in a dog hotel in Japan, worked in a video store in Japan, taught English in Hungary, etc. etc.

  3. Meet me in Turkmenistan in April? Isn’t that a song? That’s going to be a great trip. Let me know how it goes with all the visas.
    J in Pittsburgh took my “Page of Narcissism” page literally. I’m not that bad, am I?

  4. I should be able to get the two hardest in Vienna in a few weeks… hopefully. If not I’ll be spending a lot of time in the lovely capital cities of Central Asia.

    Nah, not so bad at all. I was just amused that you happened to skip over that one.

  5. scotland scotland edinburgh
    we have decorated the spare room in advance of your arrival…
    found you on CS, like your fb friend and adore your writing

  6. G’day Kent,

    Long time listener, first time caller…
    I first came across your site while checking out couchsurfing (I think).
    My suggestion for your next trip The Alaska Marine Highway then pop over to eastern Russia


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