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Thread: Travel challenge?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Travel challenge?

    In this year of our Lord, 2017, I have taken two substantial trips. In May I went to Israel and Jordan and I just got back on Friday from Argentina and Uruguay.

    In 2018, I would like to travel to two more destinations. I am most open to trips to just one country at a time but I will consider trips that are convenient for a twofer.

    But here is what I am thinking:
    -I want to go without a cell phone. When I travel I usually borrow an old dinged up iPhone from my BIL. I want to go totally incommunicado for the next trips though.
    -I want to take only my REI Daypack (see review on this forum). This pack is pretty dang small.
    -I want the trips to be as inexpensive as possible. I tapped out my travel funds and will need several months to replenish the coffers. I contribute to 2 retirement vehicles and I keep a fairly well-resourced emergency fund. But I can still set some more money back for travel, and I will likely have a good-sized tax refund in the spring because I use it like a discretionary spending savings account.
    -The trips need to be international (No repeat locations; I have been to Costa Rica, Aruba, Spain, England, Canada, Portugal, Israel, Jordan, Argentina, and Uruguay).

    Here is what I ask of you all:
    -Suggestions for books on traveling on the cheap?
    -Suggestions of places to go (perhaps you went or know someone who did) that fit the bill for my goals above?
    -Any other advice or ideas that come to mind?

    Thanks! Feel free to be snarky, but real advice is appreciated too! haha
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    The only snarky thing I would contribute would be: why go without a cell phone? A phone allows you to be more spontaneous, check ahead for lines, change your plans on a whim. Not having a phone would mean all your plans would need to be locked down ahead of time, and you'd have to turn down spontaneous plans.

    As far as traveling on the cheap(er), eastern Europe (countries formerly part of the Soviet block) is still relatively affordable I hear. Or you can look into hostels for cheaper accomodations. Hostels usually have a shared kitchen, so you could prepare some of your meals to save money. Picnics are also good for meals on the cheap.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    The only snarky thing I would contribute would be: why go without a cell phone? A phone allows you to be more spontaneous, check ahead for lines, change your plans on a whim. Not having a phone would mean all your plans would need to be locked down ahead of time, and you'd have to turn down spontaneous plans.
    With a phone this would not be much of a challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    As far as traveling on the cheap(er), eastern Europe (countries formerly part of the Soviet block) is still relatively affordable I hear. Or you can look into hostels for cheaper accomodations. Hostels usually have a shared kitchen, so you could prepare some of your meals to save money. Picnics are also good for meals on the cheap.
    Good thoughts on this! I will say Albania is way up on my list of destinations. That is sort of Eastern Europe, I think.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    If I had my wish to do likewise, i would go to one location and stay there to really understand the culture, the mindset that makes that location unique based on its history and the hopes and fears for its future.

    EG - i spent 2 weeks travelling around Germany trying to understand the different kingdoms, the divergent culture of each and the impact of the amalgamation to make one country. Former Czechoslovakia would be another. Simply rushing through a country does not do more than dip one's toes in a country. The world to me is a fascinating place.

    When in Greece, I asked a tour guide in a private conversation, "where did the story of the blond and blue-eyed Greeks come from?" She was devastated by my question but, in actual visible pain, told me how in their past, the invading Turks raped almost all the females despite families struggling to protect their wives and especially their daughters. There are still some blue eyes but no blondes. Some women always wear black in memory of some horrific experiences years ago.
    My question to you, UL, is "have you built up a trust and really talked to the residents of the countries that you have visited to learn their stories or just skimmed through a country?" In fairness, you may have no interest doing this but I have found that everyone has a story to tell that has coloured their life and culture. I am fascinated by these stories.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Consider Ireland. We rented a small cottage near Kenmare. It was a more central location that allowed day trips to sites like the Blarney castle, but evenings spent in a countryside setting. Kenmare happened to have their summer fair going on that weekend too, which was really for the locals and not just a tourist thing, so we felt like we really got a taste of their regular life. It's really true that there is no color green on earth than the green in Ireland (at least, with my limited travel, I agree).
    I think going off season in early spring or later fall would make it very doable price-wise.

  6. #6
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Friends just spent 8 weeks in Italy and France with only small backpacks and phones (left the big cameras at home because the camera phones are so good these days). There rented some unusual airbnb places, posted daily on facebook their photos and videos and only bought food and good wine to enjoy and if they bought something it had to be something they could wear (or replace what they packed).

    I'm curious how you feel about spending so much on traveling when you have so much in student debt? I know your hoping the work so long/payoff thing works but what if it doesn't? Will you feel guilty for having traveled instead of saving for a big payoff if the plan doesn't pan out?
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I think Float On addresses the issue many will have cross their minds but might not confront you on. It worth putting forth your philosophy. In my own mind, I can justify some mortgage debt and a car loan while at the same time traveling or just buying things that are not necessary so who am I to judge you one that.

    I don’t recall, you may have mentioned Leon Logothetisis, he travelled around the world relying on the kindness of others and has an amazing story to tell. I’d like to challenge you to do something like that. If I were in my twenties again, I’d be a high risk for something like that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Oh I disagree about needing a phone. DH’’s cell phone didnt work anyway in Europe. Unless UL is going to some popular place at peak season, and I doubt that he is, he can always find accomodations although granted, with Air BNB now it is easier for tiny rooms/cheap accommodation and you need web connectivity for that.

    We did use wifi in hotels, but that connectivity was not essential to our trip.

    UL If you have a yen for Europe, i highly recommend Central Europe such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Transylvania in Romania. I dont know how cheap it is compared to where you have been but it is much cheaper than Western European countries like Switzerland, Germany, and the UK.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 12-18-17 at 10:26am.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    If I had my wish to do likewise, i would go to one location and stay there to really understand the culture, the mindset that makes that location unique based on its history and the hopes and fears for its future.

    EG - i spent 2 weeks travelling around Germany trying to understand the different kingdoms, the divergent culture of each and the impact of the amalgamation to make one country. Former Czechoslovakia would be another. Simply rushing through a country does not do more than dip one's toes in a country. The world to me is a fascinating place.

    When in Greece, I asked a tour guide in a private conversation, "where did the story of the blond and blue-eyed Greeks come from?" She was devastated by my question but, in actual visible pain, told me how in their past, the invading Turks raped almost all the females despite families struggling to protect their wives and especially their daughters. There are still some blue eyes but no blondes. Some women always wear black in memory of some horrific experiences years ago.
    My question to you, UL, is "have you built up a trust and really talked to the residents of the countries that you have visited to learn their stories or just skimmed through a country?" In fairness, you may have no interest doing this but I have found that everyone has a story to tell that has coloured their life and culture. I am fascinated by these stories.
    Time and money is limited, so totally diving deep is not really an option.

    Though I do learn some historical and cultural things while I am traveling, and beforehand too.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  10. #10
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    Poland is cheap and really beautiful!

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