The Way

[Audio https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9901364/23_Fastball_The_Way_May_1998.mp3%5D

The Where and How

There are countless people taking trips like ours right now. A lot of them are blogging, tweeting, and sitting in hostels right now giving advice based on their experiences. In fact there is so much advice out there on “the right way to travel” that fights tend to break out in travel communities about things such as: how much to pack, how long to stay in places, how to travel in between them, and so on. Just like everything else in life, we take the advice we want to take and ignore the rest.

One of the things we hear over and over again is: don’t plan ahead. For people traveling long-term it makes sense to leave a lot of room for improvisation. But I’m also not necessarily the type of person who is okay sleeping in a train station if there are no rooms available in a town that we arrive in late at night. We’ve already run into issues trying to book rooms for New Years and at the top of a mountain, even when planning those two things months in advance. Of course, these were the two things I knew needed to be done early – I wasn’t early enough. So for this trip we are trying to keep a balance between preparedness and spontaneity.

The “Way” is roughly this: Our first stop is the Cook Islands. From there we will meet family in New Zealand and then spend a short amount of time in Australia. After that we just need to make sure we’re in Thailand by Christmas. We know all the countries we want to go to – and which cities in those countries we would like to go to. But we don’t know if we’ll get to them all. If you look at Southeast Asia on a map – its really small. And yet we have no plans of even making it to some of the countries in that area. We would rather take in everything in the countries we are going to see. Slow travel is also cheap travel, and 7 days in city “A” is sometimes half as costly as two days in city “A”, “B”, and “C” each. Plus, that’s exhausting!

Flying Pig Hostel in Amsterdam

The “How” is roughly this: We’ll be staying at all types of places along our trip. There will be a lot of guesthouses and hostels, but we hope to have also have much more interesting accommodation plans in some of our destinations. Also, for some people, hostels conjure up bad images (the horror movie I’m sure doesn’t help), but hostels are the traveler’s best friend. They are usually very clean, and we see people 18 to 70 years old hanging out in their common rooms. Hostels are also incredibly social places. It’s not uncommon to hear travelers trading stories and tips, and making plans to do day trips together the next day.

We want to do as much overland travel as possible. So we’ll take a lot of buses, boats, and trains. But since there’s a lot of ocean out in that area we have to fly a lot on this trip. We’ll probably fly 10 to 15 times at least, but we plan on moving around as many as 50 times on this trip, so along the way we’ll probably find a lot of unique ways of getting from place to place. It sounds exhausting just writing about how much we’ll be doing, but once we get into the routine of being nomadic I think it will probably feel perfect.

“I wanted every day to be different; I craved the novelty of sleeping in a different place each night, waking up to unfamiliar smells, sounds and languages. Most of all, I wanted to be moving along, to always be going somewhere. It’s as old as mankind, the urge to roam, but when you get it and succumb to it, for a fleeting moment, you kind of feel like you invented it.”

– Lois Pryce, “Lois on the Loose”

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. George
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 15:45:29

    Hi,

    This is a wonderful blog! It was a very good read.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in guest blogging on my blog. It is a collection of my travels and the travels of my guests. If you scan the site you can see that now almost 100% of the posts are from guests. Lately I’ve been finding many people interested in guest posting.

    Included in your post will be a link to your website using whatever anchor text or key words you wish and a description of your site (if you choose to include one.)

    The blog (Cheapoair.typepad.com) contains hundreds of great stories from travelers who love to share their journey with the world…

    So if you are interested in being a guest, please let me know.

    Send me an Email:
    gchristodoulou(-at-)cheapoair(-dot-)com

    Reply

    • Lolitaa
      May 25, 2012 @ 12:20:57

      La plus grande des chareuls humaine que tu nous transmet, est celles de ses photos et de toi a travers tes voyages. En retour nous te devons notre amour, par la fide9lite9 et je serai de ceux le0 !!!

      Reply

  2. wheresbatman
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 16:12:24

    Thank you so much for your feedback George! Glad to hear it, since this I’m just getting started here. I’ll get in touch once I have a free moment. I’m in countdown mode right now for the trip.

    Reply

  3. Erica Keen
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 23:22:29

    When in Australia, you are always welcome to stay with us in Melbourne if you’re keen.

    This adventure sounds exciting!

    Reply

    • wheresbatman
      Nov 01, 2010 @ 04:07:31

      All the Aussies we know Live in Melbourne (including the guy on our flight to LA) so we wish we were stopping by there and If we were we would definitely have been in touch. I just told Tim you wrote and he said he wished we could hang out with you both!

      Reply

  4. Grandma Barb
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 15:56:33

    Dearest Robin and Tim, I read every word, stared at every picture and felt … there. Then I said to myself “how privileged to be able to do this in your 20’s … or ever !!” I agree the desire to roam is in most of us. I just wonder if you can come back and settle in with a job-job anywhere in the U.S. w/o this pull to get-outta-Dodge and discover some new oasis on planet earth ?! Grandpa and I used to pick up hitch hikers like you in our travels and think how terrific it was to be free, working at a bar or restaurant to save enough money to move on to the next adventure. The angst I had was to be honest with myself and say …would I be happy if that was OUR child? Today, as a grandparent, I would shout … “DON’T HURRY BACK!” One of our greatest adventures was boarding a cargo ship in Tahiti and visiting the Seychelle Is (some with only 12 families). A runaway couple from somewhere in Europe came to our ship, both on same horse, he an artist in wood carvings and she wood jewelry with tatoos on them. That’s how they sustained themselves. It was a voyage I’ll never forget. The ship had 3 lg cranes. It was amazing seeing things delivered from gasoline drums (we could have been part of a mighty explosion –but obviously weren’t) mattresses, diapers and even a jeep put on 2 whale boats with boards underneath in choppy waters at 5 am. Like us, you will have memories that last a lifetime. I doubt you will have satisfied your travel lure but only whet your appetites for more. Continue keeping us in the loop. Of course saving all this in a “folder.” lOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOU HEAPS,
    GRANDPA & GRANDMA BARB XOXOXOXOXO

    Reply

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