Only a few questions this time as I give a long-winded answer and I am hearing faint grumbling that my posts are too long. (Look, you want quantity or quality?! Oh, wait, wrong argument.) As always, feel free to write me about anything you like. I have some questions for you, too, at the end.
One question stems from my getting serious about making videos. The tentative title of my first tour de force will be, “How to Fly Around the World for Under $2000,” with a globe as my co-star. I can do it on my little Canon PowerShot now, but the quality is poor. It would look like a hostage video. Can you recommend a camera? I might also need a recommendation for a real, live, breathing web designer as I need a new WordPress theme; mine is outdated and no longer supported.
From Steffie in France:
Hello dear Dromomaniac! I know you’ve already done a lot on your blog for travellers and a big up to you for that! I’d like to know about your wise advice about a first round world tour for a woman of 43 yrs old! My plan is to take a gap year from March 2013 to March 2014 before I’m getting too old and travel the world and visit some Couchsurfing good friends! It’s been too many years now thinking hard about it without really starting but now I feel confident enough to do it.
I’ve already travelled a bit but I’m still not familiar with the preparation list such as vaccinations (are they all so necessary and if yes which ones are to be given for sure?), asking for visas (from where and when?), getting a proper health insurance (I know few agencies but which one is the best!?) How do you manage your money (eurochecks, dollars, personal account, international mailbox?)
On which side of the planet shall I go first to ease my brain and body: east or west from France? I’ve read a little part of your recommendations like about not necessarily buying a Round Travel Tour ticket but prefer low cost flights from countries on the road. My first idea was to go to USA, then Cuba, French Polynesia, Australia (Perth), China (Wu-Han), India (Pondicherry), Asia, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Zanzibar and Kenya (Lake Victoria) then slowly back to Europe, but I’m open to change destinations on the way. Maybe I should have two years to do this all tour 🙂
PS: Do you think some Krav Maga courses would be efficient for a woman travelling alone?
I had to look up Krav Maga, which sounded like it could be a sort of Slavic origami that would help Steffie while away the hours on long buses, but is actually an Israeli self-defense system and martial art. I don’t feel right recommending what women should do about self-defense. There are tons of female travelers out there with websites that discuss this. The most famous might be Jodi Ettenberg who swears by her safety whistle and then on the extreme is this incredible Dutch woman who has hitchhiked from Mexico to Argentina (including the boat for the Darien Gap!) and I doubt she has anything at all. What do you girls who are reading this suggest to Steffie?
As for your travel plans, it reminds me of the over-enthusiastic itineraries on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Round the World branch, which is understandable if it is your first time and you look at the map and see so many countries close together geographically, but resist that urge! Those countries should be broken into separate trips, and if this is your first big trip, I wouldn’t assume you could or would want to go for a year or two, which is a very long time and mentally grueling. (I wince when I see my colleagues say that they have been traveling for years and years, which implies that they haven’t been home in that time and is an affront to those who literally can do it—usually Aussies and Kiwis.) The longest trip I did was a little over a year, and my brain was fried. I was like a zombie the last two months.
I am a big Southeast Asia fan, and I always tell everyone to fly to Bangkok or wherever is the cheapest destination and then one can roam around that part of the world for half a year easily. Further afield to Australia, China, and India, you can find cheap flights on AirAsia and then you can see how you feel about Africa or the Americas. North Americans can also take that advice, but it is too expensive to fly to Asia these days; I more strongly recommend Colombia or Central America. For both Southeast Asia and Latin America you don’t have to worry much about visas nor vaccinations nor money if you have an ATM card. With health insurance (I presume you mean travel insurance) I am a ticking time bomb as I never get it.
You’re never too old to travel, especially if your back is strong enough to carry your baggage and are excited to see the world. Pick a place, go, and you will love it. Easy!
From Orlando, location unknown
Hi i was just wondering how could i find a inexpensive ticket to puerto rico this saturday I made up my mind f— it.
I reply to just about everyone, except for when I am made to feel like someone’s last minute travel agent. Even then I sometimes reply, but throw me a bone. How about at least saying how you found me?
From: Rocio Perez
Subject: your blog 🙂
Hi Kent, my name is Rocio, I work for suxeedo, a marketing agency in Berlin. I was reading your blog and I would like to say that it is really interesting. You have a lot of experience, you have been in 100 countries, that’s amazing, you are absolutely brave, I dont know how could I react if I would be in jail in Thailand…
I write you because we are looking for blogs like yours, we are promoting two German sites fromatob.com is trying to find a place in the American market. They are just starting. We would like to introduce the link of the page into one of your texts, through a keyword. And the other site is Erento.co.uk Of course, we offer a remuneration for that. Let me know if you are interested.
From: John Morrison @casinotop10.net
Subject: contribution to your TheDromomaniac site
Hi Kent, I’ve been looking through some travel sites however TheDromomaniac stood out among the rest with the unique content and info you’ve published in it. I have an idea which I think can contribute more value to this. Is this something we can further talk about? Thanks and looking forward to your email!
I get a few of these every week. It’s rare they mention my name, which seems lazy since they are trying to sell me something. I still don’t have any advertising or paid links or other people’s content on my site partly because I think it’s tacky and partly because I think it looks bad to the reader, though in this day and age that seems like a quaint anachronism. Do you care if websites like mine have advertising for Top 10 casinos or apartments in Barcelona? Do people in 2012 really click on Google Ads?
This leads to all kinds of questions I have about what brought you to my website and blog, what you like and don’t like, what can be improved, (I can hear you already: “Dude, I just clicked “Like” on Facebook; it’s not as if we’re going to couple’s therapy now.”) how many times a week I should blog, what I should blog about, blah blah blah. If you have any feelings about it, you can write me privately through the contact page or comment below. I am keen to have your opinions. Thank you. (Bowing deeply, Japanese style)
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