- Why Long-term travel?
It’s more efficient than lots of short trips, and gives you the freedom to do things could couldn’t otherwise (like follow your heart).
- How did you come up with the idea for this trip?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do nearly my whole life.
- How did you prepare for it? Where did you go for tips or ideas?
I didn’t prepare too much. I guess I looked online a little. I asked a friend who had done a lot of world travel. Mostly I just made it up as I went along. I became quite adept at getting good recommendations from locals and other travelers as I went.
- How did you financially prepare for the trip? If you make a living while you travel, how do you do it?
I saved for a long time. I started working at 14, always kept a low overhead, didn’t go to college (saved a bunch of money there!), and fortunately wound up working in computers which pays well.
- Please tell us the 3 most amazing stories, from the trip that you have shared the most after?
Hanging out with the Mafia in Jordan. Hitching a ride with the country’s most famous actor in Burma. Climbing an abandon skyscraper in Bangkok.
- Please share your 3 favourite places from this trip and why?
I have a hard time with “places”—it’s too broad. Countries? Indonesia, Turkey, Taiwan (honorable mention for Burma). Because of the people mostly. Super nice, and they smile. They smile when you smile at them, and they smile at you when you don’t. The food is also super good, it’s very easy to hitchhike around, it’s cheap, and more importantly: it’s diverse. All of those countries have a large amount of cultural and natural diversity which makes traveling through them a constant treat.
For more specific “places” I guess I’d go with: Bako NP on Borneo, Huangshan Mt in China, and Otres Beach in Cambodia, largely for their natural beauty. Butterworth, Penang in Malaysia had some pretty sweet food though…
- What was the most profound/meaningful moment of your trip?
Sharing a meal with a Vietnamese man who fought against America in the American-Vietnamese war. The kindness that he showed to me, even knowing that I was an American, brought me to tears. http://dangertravels.com/post/bus-passenger-pirates
- What about the craziest thing you have done?
That’s all quite relative. None of it seems that crazy to me. I got lost on a mountain for a couple days with no food, water, or shelter. I rode a motorbike full-speed down the center of an active airport runway. I hitchhiked across most of Asia & The Middle East. Hung with the mafia in Jordan. Ate a large ball of hash and tweaked out for a bit in India. Had sex with a ladyboy (not a prostitute) in Cambodia. Went hiking in the jungle alone at night on an island off of Borneo (that was perhaps the most dangerous…). I’ll let you choose what’s craziest.
- What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Expectations. Preconceived notions I had of the world, and that the world had of me.
- Which safety tips would you say are essential?
Smile. Stay away from monkeys. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut.
- What was it like to return home and reintegrate? What are your main pieces of advice?
It was harder than I was expecting, and it wasn’t hard right away. I don’t know that I have any advice other than to give it time. Perhaps to remember that your culture is also just one of the cultures on earth, and perhaps you have to explore it and accept its goods and bads, just like you did with the rest of the world.
- Given what you know now, what would you have done differently?
Apply for visas to China, Russia, and India before leaving. That’s it, and I’m still not sure I’d do that (I’d rather not lock myself in with plans).
- What do you think has changed the most about you during this experience? How and when did you notice?
My kindness to others. I couldn’t help but have the profound generosity of the people in Asia and the Middle East rub off on me. I don’t know that there was a particular moment that I noticed it.
- What is your favourite travel quote?
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
- What inspired you for this journey (Like movies, Books, People or something else entirely…)?
I can’t say there was any inspiration in particular. Perhaps the feeling that school and the media weren’t giving me the whole truth about the world.
- What are the 3 most important pieces of advice you would give to someone considering independent travelling for a longer period?
Don’t be afraid: it’s not nearly as bad/scary as you think. Learn to enjoy the journey. Don’t lock yourself in with plans. http://dangertravels.com/tips