Travel For Nothing

Perhaps the most valuable note

People often dream of what life would be like without money. People would trade things, give things. Generosity might rule, even as technology and development took back seats. Since we all have grown up in a society where money is really the driving force behind everything, it is very difficult to remove ourselves from the allure, the prestige, and the convenience which money offers. Maybe it’s not possible to live without it.

Travelers often have to worry about money. Immigration officials may want to see that you have enough money to support yourself before you are allowed entry. Lodging and transportation can cost a bundle, and even food and water may not be cheap. We bring cash, we bring checks, we bring debit cards. We exchange our own currency for the local paper at terrible rates. We stash our money cleverly in hidden pockets and money belts. We are scammed, we are robbed, and we call home and ask our parents to send us money afterward. Surely it is impossible to travel internationally without money! Continue reading

Migrant Work: Preparation and Opportunity

Seneca, Roman statesman and quote generator

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Part of the idea with this whole world traveling game is that I am always on the lookout for interesting opportunities which never fail to reveal themselves. There is always someone somewhere who needs your abilities or your skills, or who would just appreciate having your around. So long as you are receptive, opportunities are abundant. Being prepared allows to you get the most from opportunities, giving you the best chance that the newly opened door will lead you somewhere. Continue reading

The Jungle I Know: Destined for Failure

The Jungle I Know

Things always work out. That is what I tell myself. It’s probably why I’m not experiencing a complete nervous breakdown right now. A lot has happened in the past couple weeks with the effect of grinding my plans into dust and blowing them into oblivion with a strong gust of wind. Keeps it interesting, anyway. Continue reading

Fiji Time: Plan On It

Fiji Time happens when you put the beer in the coconut and shake it all up

Descending into Nadi on our Pacific Air flight a few days ago, my dad struck up a conversation with two stewardesses who were seated facing us in their crew seats. He went on about how when he had first visited Fiji back in 1980, there was no TV and only two radio stations. The ladies confirmed this and we began to compare Fiji to other destinations they visit regularly as airline employees like Hong Kong or Sydney. “Too busy,” they say.

“Yeah,” said my dad, “They don’t have Fiji Time.”

Laughing, they wonder, “You know about Fiji Time?!”

Indeed, everyone who has witnessed this remote, volcanic atoll knows about Fiji Time. Continue reading

When Adventure Beckons, Plans Change

JUST A MINOR DETOUR

At least for some. Adventurer types have an itch which is always waiting for a suitable scratch, so when the opportunity for discovery presents itself, it’s so long and thanks for all the fish. When a traveler mentions ambitious new plans, fellow travelers say “that will be a grand adventure!” while everyone else holds their tongues while an expression of anguish and disbelief floods their faces.

The Itch and an appropriate Scratch are the reasons behind my most recent itinerary modification. I was poking around online looking for some odd jobs to do in order to make some travel money when I found an ad with a title that read something like this:

“Seeking a film student with two brass balls for work abroad” Continue reading

Boxing: Fast, Intricate, Beautiful. Why Not?

Put 'em on.

There’s a building in Boulder, and if you are from here or if you live here, you know it because you have no doubt driven past it thousands of times. If you head south on Foothills parkway, just before the Pearl street exit on the right hand side of the road there sits a goofy tan building looking like a grain silo resting on its side, tied up among a tangle of irrigation ditches. It has been there for a long time, since the war, I reckon, and as you drive past at 50mph, you might have looked at the sign on one end of the building saying something about boxing.

Having read this sign hundreds of times on my way through Boulder, this shabby building has always been what I associate with the word, the sport, the pow, of boxing. The building belongs to a business called the Front Range Boxing Academy, and even now a flash and a whisper of *boxing* goes through my head as I zoom past. I thought of how it would be to box, to train, to hit somebody. Somewhere in the back of my head, I always wanted to go. I always wondered, and until very recently it was all just fantasy. Continue reading

Music and Travel: The Makings of a Modern Troubadour

A Musical Conversation Between Enthusiasts

Talk about cultural exchange. Music is a vessel filled with influence, ideas, ideologies, and insights on everyday life; it can be an explosion of passionate feeling on important topics like wars and politics, or a simple, mindless ditty about nothing in particular. Woven into the lyrics, rhythm, and progression of songs past and present is the state of the culture, and the individual, from whence the song sprouted. Walk through the downtown sector of many American city these days, and you’ll no doubt hear the plucking guitars, drum circles, and protest lyrics associated with the Occupy movement. Poke around wine country, and you’ll hear the harvesters bellowing drinking songs about the benefits of low maintenance women. Stroll through the market in an Indonesian city, and you’ll hear live traditional music clashing bafflingly with pop tunes issuing from some nearby boombox… Is that Michael Jackson? Yes it is. Continue reading

A Traveler Develops Professional Skills

Unique Resume by a Professional Migrant

I often wonder about what I’m doing with my life. Yes, I am trying to do something I enjoy in traveling the world… But is this… the right thing to do? What about my future, what about my career (what career?), what about bla bla bla? I go through this second-guessing routine all the time, especially now that I am set on working all over the world for kicks. I tell people I’m moving to Fiji and then Australia and then wherever, and I get responses which make me question my choice. Here I am, a recent graduate with an engineering degree, something which I wish not to squander. And so here I go, zooming around from place to place, which is no way to start an engineering career. Of course, the longer I go without having any kind of professional work experience, the harder it will be to find a professional job on down the line, if all I have to show for the past several years is extensive world travels.

But wait. This supposes that the time someone spends traveling for extended periods is wasted (at least from a professional standpoint). I know lots of people who have gone through some study abroad program, or taken a year off from school to travel through South America, who exclude this portion of their lives from job interviews later on, or who pass this time off as nothing more than ‘vacation’. Even I do it. Not a single one of my current resumes mentions anything about travel. Why? Because it seems unprofessional, perhaps, to have bummed around in some wild country with your pals, riding trains and climbing mountains and going to clubs. Sure you had fun and you have lots of pictures, but this is hardly worth mentioning to the hiring manager at company X.

Dead. Wrong. Unless you really did spend your entire time abroad learning nothing about culture and languages and yourself, doing nothing but lounging and having cocktails between gaudy resorts where the only native you met was carrying your luggage up the stairs. There are numerous valuable skills that are built while traveling for long periods. Some skills are more tangible than others, but the point is, time spent on travel is hardly time wasted, even in the professional world. Slap some of these big words on your resume beneath a description of your travels, and be proud of what you gained from your experience! Continue reading

Trip Finance for the Frugal Migrant

Allocation of funds, see?

People ask me all the time how I afford to travel like I do. So I’ll tell you. It’s pretty simple:

I don’t spend money or time on much else, and when I do travel, I am as thrifty as I can be.

Everybody has their things that they like to do, and so those things end up being the sappers of money and time. This is totally fine. Better than fine! This is great. If you spend your money and time on things you like, then you are doing well, I’d say. It’s spending your money on things you don’t like which is absurd, but that’s a whole different story. Continue reading

Perspectivism and Travel

Perspectivism! That is a new word to me. Truly, I thought I had invented it until just now when I learned that Friedrich Nietzsche coined it. Go figure! Happily, it turns out that Nietzsche’s idea of perspectivism and my own are parallel in some ways.

Me: Knowledge is gained purely by experience, and thus every individual has a completely different idea on how everything is, depending on the individual’s experience in a given area. One can only really know the truth about something through direct, first-hand experience. Continue reading