How it all Started

  1. Pick where you want to go (country or continent).
    Picking a destination should be a personal thing. Do not worry about the political or reputation of a country unless you can have real information from people who lived there or have been there , any other comments from your friends, family or co-workers will be pretty much worthless and based on nothing else than fear and miss information.The web can provide you with travel report from anywhere in the world and some website are really up to date on what is happening now anywhere in the world , one of my favorite is the HUBB  http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ .
  2. Go online and start to build a list of what you would like to see, visit and experience.
    To choose places and activities at the destination of your choice, the internet is one more time the best choice, guides are great but most of the time basic, so should you want to get more in detail you will need to do some research (Barnes and noble or any good book stores serving coffee is recommended).
  3. Buy a fairly detailed map and highlight the places you will want to visit.
    Paper maps are easy to find on Amazon or for the more difficult to find http://www.omnimap.com/ is my favorite store online.
  4. Choose a mod of transportation available in the country or bring yours (we will talk about this option later on).
    Now that you have the maps with the highlighted areas, pick the mods of transportation. Buses are cheap and go pretty much everywhere. Trains in Europe are the best to go from city to city or if you want to do a large Euro tour. Boats can be cheap and fun on the Mekong river if you decide to cross SE ASIA. Small planes in Alaska are inexpensive and will take you where there is no road. Motorbike or 4X4 are my choice but the budget have to be a bit bigger and its only worth it if you do go for a long time. Rental vehicles are a great option and price can be negotiate if rented a for few weeks.
  5. Do some research on the best season to visit.
    Seasons are very important and if you pick the wrong time of the year you will regret it , Thailand in the rainy season is not a place to spend time and if don’t like to feel like an ice cube you will avoid Moscow between October and May.The HUBB have great info for that too. Remember to plan wisely especially if you do want to do a lot of outdoor activity.
  6. Do some research on accommodations prices and ease of finding them or get your camping gear ready.
    Hotels are great but expensive, I recommend to have a reservation for your arrival but after that its up to you. Youth hotel are not just for teens and in many countries they will accommodate private room for a third of the price of a regular hotel. Couch surfing is really worth it but its not for everyone http://www.couchsurfing.org/. Camping is usually the cheapest way to sleep (not in Europe) but its not really possible in cities and you do have to carry a lot of gear and cannot leave your stuff unattended for the all day.
  7. Do some research on the visa that maybe needed.
    Visa are way easier to get now, check directly the embassy where you want to go as they will have the right answer, many sites do not update their info. Get the visa in advance and do not wait for the last minute (some take few weeks to obtain) and some countries even require vaccination.
  8. Check the price of the flights and establish a budget for food , activities and get an idea of how long you want to stay there.
    For the budget, it is pretty simple: Food +Sleep arrangement +Transportation+Activity= X  now take X add 20 to 30 % and you will have your budget . Don t be cheap with yourself you may never come back to this place so not doing an excursion because is a bit pricey is a bad idea.
    Avoid big chain restaurant and go where the locals go, you will have a real experience and the food will be cheaper (I warranty that). Market food is most of the time very good and inexpensive. Just remember to avoid fish sea food if you are far away from the Ocean, no salad if water could be a problem, no rare meat where refrigeration is not a sure things… And by the way I never got sick in India, Africa,  Mexico or anywhere else using just those tips.
  9. Make up your mind, are you going or what ?!
    “We often regret what we didn’t do, rarely what we did.”
Now you are almost ready to go, but remember the most important is the commitment to go.

One response to “How it all Started

  1. Pingback: The Ones who Wander are not always Lost | HENDI KAF·

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