Archive for the “Travel Advice” Category

Don’t Learn a Foreign Language

A few weeks ago, I was at the Taiwan Lantern Festival. I went with my guesthouse owner’s nieces and a Korean guy who stays at the guesthouse long term. We were walking around and they were mostly speaking Chinese. They were discussing one of the niece’s boy problems. I guess all that teenage angst and romance you have when you are 16 is universal. Though they were speaking Chinese, I knew what they were saying. I followed along, I laughed, […]

The Secret to Long Term Traveling

I get a lot of emails asking for my secret. People read my posts about how I manage to travel but still wonder if I am holding something back. What am I leaving out? What, they ask, is my secret to escaping the cubicle and being a nomad? Did I win the lottery? Do I have a trust fund? There must be something that makes me so special. I’m so sick of these emails that I am finally going to […]

How to Have Sex in Hostels

There you are. Sitting across from some foreign hottie in some foreign hostel. You stare deeply into each others eyes and realize you are both conveying the same thought: “Let’s have sex.” No one wants to spend a year traveling around the world and not come back with at least one story of overseas romance. Magical nights spent in exotic cities — two souls exploring the world together. Or at least one drunken night in that hostel in Europe. Whatever works […]

Four Ways to Avoid Being a Tourist

No one wants to be a “tourist.” Bermuda shorts, fanny pack, huge camera, giant map – you know the type. The target for thieves, scammers, and ridicule. Yet by the very nature of travel, we are all tourists. We are all strangers in a strange land. But I believe there is a “slight” difference between a tourist and traveler. A traveler immerses themselves in the local culture and spends longer in a destination; a tourist is just there quickly. As an avid […]

Another Travel Skill You Need

A few months ago, I responded to an email about what I thought was the most important skill a traveler needed. I said adaptability. Without the ability to adapt to the constantly changing conditions of the road, a traveler is not going make it. There are so many highs and lows on the road that without being adaptable and flexible, you are going to end up being frustrated all the time. You’re going to get aggravated, angry, upset. It’s going […]

Motivating Yourself to Travel

When I first went away in 2006, people told me they wished they could do what I was doing. For some people, it is easy to just jump ship and travel. We have it in us all along and we just need a gentle nudge to actually do it. For me, all it took was a trip to Thailand and a bit of jealousy towards some backpacker before I was quitting my job to travel. For others, though, it is […]

Why I Like to Travel Alone

I always get asked the same questions when I tell people I travel alone: “Don’t you get lonely?” “Is it safe?” “How do you meet people?” People are amazed that I’ve traveled so much by myself. “I couldn’t do that, especially for so long,” they say. Yet I wouldn’t do it any other way. Traveling by myself has taught me a lot about myself. People often assume that solo travel means traveling alone. Far from it. I meet more people […]

The Skills You Need to Travel

I recently received an e-mail I think deserves some attention. It’s a really good question that deserves a long answer. The person asked me: “Have you noticed a particular set of skills that come in handy abroad? What should I learn to best prepare myself for living, working, and traveling overseas?” It’s a great question because travel, especially solo travel, requires a lot of skills. So when I was asked this question, a few traits came to mind, but one […]

Things I’d Tell A New Traveler

Hope. Fear. Excitement. Traveling for the first time provides us with a wave of conflicting emotions. We are excited about new possibilities but afraid of the unknown at the same time. When I left for the road, I knew nothing. I read some bulletin boards, but I was green as they come. There were no travel blogs then, no Twitter, Facebook fan pages, or vast amounts of information on the Internet. You went on your own. It was good and […]

How I Find the Money to Travel

I get a lot of questions asking me how I find the money to do all this traveling. Am I rich? Do I travel for work? Am I a male gigolo? Sell drugs to little kids? Sadly, it is none of those. As I said in a previous post, desire is what motivates and keeps me going. I want to travel so I do. But there is always the practical question of money. No matter how cheap you can travel, […]