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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #211  
Old 12 Dec 2009
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Nobody should expect a free university education .What is wrong with the kids working for a couple of years before they go to uni or college ?If they pay the bulk of their own expenses it will make them assess what they really want ,if indeed they need a university eduction at all .

Your dad needs you , pure and simple ,there's no way round that .
Get some help with him ,take some time off ,do small trips on the bike .

Do the big trip later ,don't mope .
You can retire , do it .

You are not trapped ,you are blessed in having a family , look after them ,but don't mollycoddle them .

Australia has been there for a few million years , it ain't going anywhere soon .
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  #212  
Old 16 Dec 2009
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Wise words Dodger.

Thanks.
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  #213  
Old 17 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Krembs View Post
I feel rather silly asking this questions but here it goes. How does one afford to traveling around the world? Between the cost of equipment, maintenance (both machine and human) etc etc, it seems to be a expensive venture. I'd love a little enlightenment on this issue.

Thank you.
I'm hardly qualified to comment here - but I wanted to add how I have gone about it, and how I would go about it where I planning a very long rtw type venture.

I'd appraise my assets to begin with and see how much actual realisable capital I have tied up in houses, cars, consumer goods etc.

Then I would appraise my professional skills and see if there is any one area that I can maximise my earning potential; education, skills training, writing, photography etc.

Then I would look at fraternities, communities and internet groups like this one and read as much as I can. Don't be put off by the luxury tourers with their GS's and fancy pants electronics and mastercards etc. They are usually a bit older and wiser and have (usually) given up good well paid professional jobs to go and live their dreams. The rest of us will obviously have to make do with less, but you will be amazed how much more less can be.

A well off traveller might look at a Garmin Zumo 550 and might find a good used one for $300 on ebay or the like. A less well off traveller might forgoo GPS entirely or look at a HP Ipaq PDA with a bluetooth device of some sort (card or external) and hit bittorrent to pilfer a copy of Tom Tom Europe etc. Heck even a free on contract smart phone can run Tom Tom these days.

Me personally I was amazed how much 'cash' I had lying around the place, and other people's places that I could quickly access via ebay! I have ebayed almost £2000 of consumer items, spares, bits etc. I notice that Ted did the same! Half of that was my own stuff and the rest was stuff other people, friends and family etc donated to my 'fund'. Its amazing .. sure PayPal and Ebay are a total rip off with their fees but strewth, its still the easiest way to make cash quick in my experience. I paid off the bike in one go and got top insurance etc. Bought all my kit and gadets, health insurance blah blah blah and have £500 left for gas. All good!

Next up is skills, if you can write, illustrate, take good photos, speak a handful of languages, have engineering, bar/social/hospitality, educational/academic, medical skills etc you will never be stuck for work; especially in the developing world. It might not be glamarous but working to eat and fill the gas tank is seriously do-able.

The rest? Dunno. Not qualified to comment on the 'serious' RTW stuff of course. I'm only going a few thousand miles myself - but I am not worried about money. I have £500 for petrol and the rest is in my head and hands and heart. Of course I am taking a cheap small capacity motorcycle that can run on alchohol if it has too. That helps!

I appreciate I am a relatively young chap (30) with no emotional ties to the UK and no health issues or any reason to miss being here. I don't need to worry about kids or loved ones, pets, career etc. So take me with a pinch of salt.

- Harry
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  #214  
Old 17 Dec 2009
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the way we did it was to save like hell. we saved for a year and a half, and lived in a caravan on a farm to do it. that got rid of most of the rent, and the council tax, and the water, internet and fuel bills which were free. i worked as a secretary, Adam worked as a farmer, and we sold loads of stuff on ebay. we sold almost all our possessions, and we sold off some indian handicrafts stock we had left over from a previous life too. we saved 17,000 for the trip (for a year), and had already bought the bike. and then we left. but our budget is crazily small (20 GDP per day for two people), and we should have maybe saved for a couple of months longer to be able to afford the trip properly.

we haven't yet got work on the way- as i haven't tried i don't know how easy it is to get any, but to me as a tourist, it seems like it would be a bit hard. unless you are a qualified teacher maybe. but then who knows, maybe it's easy. it would mean staying somewhere for quite a while too- no one wants to train a worker who disappears after a few weeks.

in a few months we get to oz, and then need to work for a year again to save to carry on. not sure where we are going to carry on to yet, but we will need more money for it! going to take any job going, and live on a campsite somewhere. and eat beans. its worth it!

its all possible. but yep, again, no dependants, no house etc...
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  #215  
Old 19 Dec 2009
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Specialty Skills

Question concerning Engineering...

I've noticed working as an Engineer abroad touched upon a few times around the HUBB. Does anyone have any experience doing any contracted or consulting engineering work as they travel?

I graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering a few years ago and I have my FE certification (no PE yet). It sounds like something too good to be true. Following a dream of traveling around the world AND putting my professional skills to work in communities that don't have access to a trained engineer, all the while making money to continue traveling.
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  #216  
Old 27 Dec 2009
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This thread is getting on for six years old now ! Dare i suggest making it a sticky post ? it is such an important topic and is the one big question most of us have to deal with before we think of taking the big trip we all dream about.
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  #217  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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Such a great thread! Spent the last 2 hours reading through the posts, very inspiring!

I first heard of this website 3 years ago when I was staying in a Melbourne backpacker. I met this guy who had traveled all the way from the Netherlands down to Australia. Anyways, today is the first time I have actually visited this website, so hi to all. I've never really ridden a bike, but it is kind of a dream for me to do so. I have traveled a bit however, and here is a short story of the past 5 years of my life, and some tips on how to make money while traveling. Should anybody need more info or any topic, feel free to email me!

5 years ago or so I was studying at college and during the summer I started leaving to western Canada to pick cherries and other kinds of fruits. I stayed in a tent, worked here and there and tried (unsuccessfully) to raise a bit of money. But the money wasn't important really, the lessons I learned and the fun I had were worth much more than anything else I could've wished for. By the way, to all those speaking of the "travel blues", I really understand you all. Coming back to Canada has been a quite hard experience to me. I can't even begin to imagine how I would feel like coming back from a RTW trip and having to come back to the "normal" routine life again...

Anyways, after going to the Okanagan valley for 3 summers in a row, doing the fruit picking business, I had the travel bug and wanted to take a year or two off between my college and my university studies, so I left to Australia without a single penny in my bank account (actually, 1000$ of debt on my credit card). I had heard fruit picking was abundant down under so I decided to head off to Melbourne, without even knowing where the hell this city might be on a map, and I ended up picking cherries, grapes, apples, pears and mandarins in Australia for the next couple of monthse. I initially had planned to stay there only for 4 to 5 months and then travel to SEA and then to Europe.

Some fruit picking is not very good money to be honest, but some other can be very decent, really depends on many factors such as weather, the seasons, your ability to work hard & quick, knowledge of good farms, etc. Anyway, when I was in Tasmania for a month doing cherries I was making an average of AU$350-400 a day or so, with my best day being 530$, which I believe is pretty damn good! But for the more usual seasons or other fruits, it would be more like anywhere between 150$ to 250$ a day.

To make a long story short, I met love in Australia and ended up staying with this beautiful Korean woman to whom I am still in love more than ever, and we traveled around Australia by car for nearly 2 years. What 2 beautiful years I have spent! I worked in warehouses in Perth and Melbourne, did some of the fruit picking stuff here and there, and made some extra money buying and selling cars on the backpacker market (sooo easy in Australia!).

Had a wonderful time, and left for Southeast Asia for 5 weeks, traveled over there and then went to live in Korea for a short while. Now here I am in Vancouver since a year, finishing my degree in just 3 terms, and daydreaming reading posts on this website. I am learning a fifth language, I have some wonderful memories that will last me forever, I have learned so much about myself and about the world, I have opened up my horizons, and I met a wonderful woman! Unfortunately, my path is a little bit different from most of you guys, as I just can't afford to leave everything behind, and my girlfriend is not too much of the bike-riding type of girl; but hey, being happy is really the most important thing isn't it? I ultimately wish to get a nice job working in an embassy and actually getting paid to travel. I especially like living in other countries for longer periods of time where you can really get to know the language, culture, people, etc.

Anyways, all this to say, to all those single guys out there wondering how you could earn money on the road, fruit picking in Canada, Australia and NZ is just one option among many others. Getting some working holiday visas and working here and there in warehouses, cafes, or else is easy and often pays decently. In Perth I was making 18.25$/h doing easy work in a furniture hiring company. Same thing in Melbourne. After a couple of months you've got enough to last for months in Asia!

By the way, looking for some nice people out here in Vancouver that would like to share a and talk about travels. Let me know if interested.

Cheers to all, have a nice winter (or summer depending on where you are), and a merry Christmas. Miss traveling more than ever!!
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  #218  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillbillyWV View Post
Question concerning Engineering...

I've noticed working as an Engineer abroad touched upon a few times around the HUBB. Does anyone have any experience doing any contracted or consulting engineering work as they travel?.
I'm an IT Engineer and have been working now in Switzerland (originally from Australia) for 1 year in a bid to save for the next trip.

If you want to work in disadvantaged coutries try RedR an engineering NGO like MSF but for engineering.
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  #219  
Old 7 Feb 2011
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Just as relevant today

An old thread I know but this is just as relevant if not more so than when first started in November 2004.

How many of you have changed your plans due to the current recession ie put it off because funds have slowly melted away or the house sale has not gone through? How many have gone because of the recession in the hope things might be better when you come back?

How many have come back and thought I should have stayed where I was because the old place is nothing like it was when I left.
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  #220  
Old 7 Feb 2011
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Pretty much had to sit back and wait due to lack of house sales, I was supposed to go last year on a rtw. House prices really havnt dropped where I am[except on the really expensive houses] but theres a alack of buyers due to no one giving out loans.
The extra costs invovled with staying have also changed plans, I wanted to travel witha camper van like a unimog but now I am thinking of maybe using a small 125/250 and leaving the dog with my folks[they have already kidnapped my cats]. This would either allow me travel for much longer or have abigger nest egg when I finish.
The costs of living in the Uk are so high it wouldnt cost me much more to go volunteer at an animal sanctuary in bolivia as a back packer which is something I am considering right now while the house sells.
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  #221  
Old 7 Feb 2011
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Lightbulb New recession topic

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmanalishi View Post
An old thread I know but this is just as relevant if not more so than when first started in November 2004.

How many of you have changed your plans due to the current recession ie put it off because funds have slowly melted away or the house sale has not gone through? How many have gone because of the recession in the hope things might be better when you come back?

How many have come back and thought I should have stayed where I was because the old place is nothing like it was when I left.

This new subject reads a bit like a new poll on the recession and travel plans:

1. Have you changed your travel plans because of the recession?
2. Have you started travelling because of the recesssion?
3. Do you wish you had kept travelling if you came back during/after the recession?
4. None of the above.

Personally i would answer:
1. No
2. No
3. Yes
4. No

Perhaps you can start a new poll or thread on this new topic.
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  #222  
Old 7 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboCharger View Post
This new subject reads a bit like a new poll on the recession and travel plans:

1. Have you changed your travel plans because of the recession?
2. Have you started travelling because of the recesssion?
3. Do you wish you had kept travelling if you came back during/after the recession?
4. None of the above.

Personally i would answer:
1. No
2. No
3. Yes
4. No

Perhaps you can start a new poll or thread on this new topic.
Hi Turbocharger, apologies if this seemed like an excuse for a poll it was not intended to. I was hoping for a bit more substance to answers similar to the one above yours. I have met a few people over the last 12 months whose plans have changed radically because of the recession. Quite happy to start a poll if more people think this is wrong thread?

Take care and ride safe.
GM
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  #223  
Old 7 Feb 2011
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That's what it's all about

That's what it's all about.


Good day Wakold,

You hit the nail on the head. What is life all about. The things and lessons you have learnt, experienced, the people you have met, countries you have seen,cultures you have enjoyed or not, the horizon you have opened and the friends you made, you can't buy with the money you may have made in the meantime. Material goods often pass away very quickly, memories last forever. It will be on your mind for the rest of your entire life, many people haven't got much to remember, but all serious travellers do.
The box you have opened, will never close. You, like most of us have changed and so has your prospective in life. I am pretty sure, you will never forget the hospitality,help,advice and friendship you have experienced among strangers and pass it on to strangers and people,you will meet on the path of life.

Cheers, Helgo
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  #224  
Old 21 Feb 2011
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I know many people are engineers and pay their way on that route...but what happens if you can do a lot of different things but only have a simple BS degree in environmental science. I work as an environmental engineer dealing with erosion control and stormwater...but lack at PE or the schooling. I also can fix bikes, fly planes, write, photograph, and provide personal security due to work as an LEO. I was once told that I was a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

What prospects do I have in finding work overseas?
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  #225  
Old 22 Sep 2011
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My plan has been to simply live at home with my parents. Yeah, it sucks, but I can save abotu $2k per month. I'm 17 months away from having $48k in the bank, ready to drive off for a year or so and see how it goes!
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