“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” - Lao Tzu. Well, after months of planning I’ve finally taken that first step. Now I find myself in a foreign city on the first day of my Wanderjahr. Thankfully (due to smart planning) ...by dcampSaturday, 20 July 2013
At one point or another everyone dreams about exploring the world and experiencing all that it has to offer. I first developed the travel bug when I was a young boy and its stuck with me for my whole life (and I'm not exactly a young boy anymore). ...by dcampFriday, 13 December 2013
Zoos are a place that we've all visited at one time or another. Some are good, some not so good. Well, over the weekend I cam across a place that made me look at the keeping of animals in a whole new light. It's called the Pearcedale Moonlit Sanct ...by dcampTuesday, 02 July 2013
I think I must have been about 12 years old when I first started to seriously dream about traveling. It all started when I went with a friend to an enormous used book store (more like a barn) near my home in New Jersey. It was here that I came acro ...by dcampSaturday, 14 December 2013
On my travels throughout the world, I've seen many, many great sites, met a lot of interesting people, and tasted lots of food (some good and some not so good.) Although I certainly am not a fruitarian, I do have a keen eye for fruit – and on my tra ...by neytiri12345Wednesday, 02 October 2013
When the travel bug first hit me I wrote down all of the places I wanted to visit in a 150 destination Global Bucket List. Who would have ever thought that this wouldn't end up being enough? You can find the list by reading my blog: A Tale of 2 Buck ...by dcampMonday, 14 October 2013
My obsession with traveling around the world came from two primary sources – both books. The first was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Vern and the second was A Vagabond Journey Around the World by Harry Franck. Both of these books made it abu ...by dcampMonday, 15 July 2013
Yes, I've been meaning to write a followup to my earlier blog post "Sunsets" – but, you know how things always get in the way... been busy travelling, you see... A personal goal of mine has been to see a sunrise on as many continents as possible, an ...by foamfollowerThursday, 25 July 2013
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Top 10 Tips for a successful Wanderjahr (round-the-world trip)
My obsession with traveling around the world came from two primary sources – both books. The first was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Vern and the second was A Vagabond Journey Around the World by Harry Franck. Both of these books made it abundantly clear that the hardest part to a round-the-world trip was working up the courage to actually leave home. As they say… the first step is the hardest.
Now, after making a trip (that most people only dream about), there’s a few items of hard-earned experience that I’d like to share. For the lack of a better name let’s call it my Top 10 tips for a successful Wanderjahr.
1) Pack light – when I left home I was weighed down with easily 30-40 pounds of gear. When I got home I was down under 10. The simple fact is that you can buy virtually anything you need – anywhere in the world. It’s also much easier to travel when all you have to worry about is a small pack of things you can replace fairly easily.
2) Travel Insurance – don’t leave home without it. During my 2 years on the road I lived through an earthquake and a revolution. While these things are rare, don’t be foolish enough to think nothing ever goes wrong. Oh, and don’t forget those vaccinations and malaria tablets! What’s the saying? An ounce of prevention is work a pound of cure!
3) Airline Tickets – sometimes you can’t get into a country unless you show evidence that you actually plan to leave. So, before leaving home, make sure you know which countries require you to have an on-going ticket before allowing you in. If you do this you’ll avoid the need to buy an expensive ticket just to get that “nod” from immigration.
4) Language basics – while you can get by virtually anywhere in the world with English, it pays to know some of the local lingo. It only takes a small effort and then most of the world will transfer into English to help you out (even in France)!
5) Don’t forget the sandals – the world’s greatest foot wear. Ever hear the expression “Travelling on a shoestring” – it should be “Travelling on a sandal strap”. These are great because you can wear them anywhere; it doesn’t matter if they get wet and if your feet get cold – add a pair of socks. It’s a great fashion statement!
6) Travel documents – keep electronic copies in a safe location in case you need them. Replacing a lost passport while abroad is one of the most painful travel experiences you can have – one that (while still unpleasant) is made much easier with a copy.
7) Beer – develop a taste for it as most of the world knows how to make a good brew and they don’t add preservatives, so the hangovers (even after a huge night) are manageable. It’s also much tougher to spike.
8) Travel as much as you possible can over land. Flying is great, but it’s not what traveling is all about. Maybe that’s why the expression is on “the road”, not “in the air”.
9) Take photos of yourself when you visit famous places. These are the ones my kids seem to love the most. It’s also what starts their little brains dreaming about how much fun it is to travel. Check out my PlanetHop! Passport at: http://ns2.vm1664.sgvps.net/component/community/dcamp/profile
10) Keep a journal. Even after an extended journey that literally changed the course of my life, time starts to make the memories a bit hazy. It’s great to read about your adventures (first hand), even years later.
I know I said Top 10, but here’s a bonus!
Don’t expect you’ll come home on time. My first trip around the world was supposed to be 9 months and it was 2 years before I once again walked through the portals of my parental home…