Over the past few months there has been a great surge of traffic here on the blog and along with it has come an influx of new readers. And from what I can tell, you are all people I’d love to see stick around for a while!
So first, I’d like to welcome everyone who has recently come across the site (and to thank everyone who has helped spread the word about the site as well!). I’m very happy to have you here and I certainly look forward to interacting and talking travel with you, whether through the comments, via email or through the Facebook fan page.
Second, considering that the aim of this site involves helping others achieve their own travel goals, encouraging people to get out of their comfort zones and learn about the people and places of this world first-hand and trying to convince you that “a life of travel is not a crazy fantasy, but a realistic lifestyle option instead”, I just want to make sure I’m still on the right track.
Let me begin with a summary of what I’ve been up to over the past 14 years…
In 1999 I took a 3-month trip to Southeast Asia with only $1500 to my name and that trip has never really ended. Ever since, I’ve been living, working, backpacking and volunteering overseas, having spent time in 84 countries around the world so far. I’ve taught English in Thailand and India, worked on board cruise ships as a Tour Manager for several years and since 2008 I’ve been earning a living online, through a variety of projects. I’ve been blogging since December 2009 and the truth is, I would have never imagined that this blog would actually have readers or that it become such a major part of my life. These days, the blog is what I spend most of my time working on, whether writing posts, promoting the site, interacting on social media, answering emails, updating my eBooks and also organizing and leading my Wandering Earl Tours. And I do all of this while continuing to travel, something that generally involves me having a base somewhere (it’s been Bucharest, Romania for the past 1.5 years) and exploring more of the world from there.
That’s how my life has been going. It’s a very basic summary of the past 14 years of course, but hopefully that gives you a quick idea of why I label this blog “The Life of a Permanent Nomad”.
Question – What Do You Want to Know?
Now that you know what I’ve been up to, here’s what I’d like to do. To begin with, let me state again that it is indeed my desire to help you achieve your own travel goals and I do believe that I have enough travel/life experience to make that happen. However, I’ve realized that the only way for me to provide you with the most useful information possible is to know exactly what you’re looking for.
And while there are over 200 blog posts on this site (the most popular/useful being listed on my “Getting Started” page), I know that there is so much more for me to talk about, discuss and share from my years of travel. But instead of just guessing, I’d really love to know what topics you would actually like to read about (or see on video!).
So, I’d like to ask…
What would you like me to talk about? What do you want to know about travel? What do you want to see? How can I help you travel?
I invite you to leave a comment below, telling me whatever it is you want me to put on this site. And I promise that if you do leave a comment, I will answer and provide the information you are looking for in an upcoming post.
Also, it doesn’t only have to be a request for practical ‘how-to’ information. It could be a request for additional details about any of the countries I’ve been to or about any of the experiences I’ve had. It could be about the logistics of long-term travel or short-term travel, asking for certain advice or recommendations, questions about the people I meet or about my own personal travel style or even about my life in general…absolutely anything!
What do you want to know?
(I’m looking forward to the comments on this one as I’m excited to give you the information you are truly seeking in order to help get you started with your own travels!)
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I’m in desperate need of some guidance!! I’m wanting to travel abroad from the UK to Canada in 2016 for between a month and two months work for a little while (on cattle ranch’s possibly) and travelling too! I want to see the Calgary Stampede! and I have no clue where to start! what would be a good website to look up ? Help!
Hello Earl…Would love to read your blog thoughts on…
Now that you sold everything for a travel life…how do you maintain a U.S. mailing address?
ACA (ObamaCare) – What this new law means for travel lifers?
Onward Travel Ticket – Is there really such a thing as a ‘One Way Ticket’? What to do?
Tourist Visa – You can stay here for 90 days then you gotta go! What do you do?
Your advice and the input from other posters would be a great help.
Hey Bill – Thanks for your ideas and I can actually answer those all quite quickly.
1. I simply use an address of a relative but of course, these days, most things are done online so I receive very little mail. It’s basically just to have the address.
2. It just means that, unless you live outside the country full time, you will need to have health insurance. I currently have a US-based health insurance plan myself.
3. Yes, there’s definitely a one-way ticket. I fly on one-way tickets myself most of the time. Have a read of this post (as well as the comments for some useful info): https://www.wanderingearl.com/proof-of-onward-travel-a-story-and-a-solution/
4. Every country is different. Some let you stay for one month, others for 3 or 6 or more. So it depends where you go. But if I reach the end of the visa validity, I simply move on to a different country or I apply for an extension if I want to stay longer and such an extension is possible. But again, the rules are completely different for every country so you just have to do a little research on each destination to see how long you can legally stay.
Hope that helps!
Could you talk about safety guidelines? Especially for women? Also, how do you keep your valuables-money, computer etc. safe while you are out and about?
Love your website and it’s really inspiring me!
Hey Aleshia – Thank you for commenting and you might want to check out this post: https://www.wanderingearl.com/traveling-with-technology-how-i-keep-it-safe/
And I’m working on a post about safety overall and should have it up in the next month or so!
Great website you have running here (from your newest fan!).
I’ve often pondered if you can tend to get bored whilst travelling? I mean I’m sure it’s great, not having to go to work at 9am in the morning, but one can only do so many temples and site seeing in a certain period.
Do you tend to immerse yourself in your online businesses to kill the time?
I’m just afraid that when I jetset off, I’ll feel bored after a while and not feel like I am achieving anything in life.
Hey Tony – It’s easy to get bored while traveling and many people I meet do. To me, the key is to always have a purpose, a goal wherever you travel. So instead of just roaming around the world, you need a focus. That focus can be anything – learn a language, learn a new skill, go hiking in the mountains, relax, spend time with friend, study history or religion, learn to surf, etc. If you have a purpose to your travels, even a simple one, it makes a huge difference and the chance of getting bored is greatly reduced.
I was wondering how you deal with malaria in countries which have high risks of incidence. I ask this, because you apparently have had your share of travelling on those countries, so you know your stuff. India, Southeast Asia, etc. Do you always take malaria pills? Or not at all? Or only in extremely rural areas?
I found the pills are pretty expensive (something like 40€ for 6 pills…), so I’m really interested in hearing your opinion on this whole malaria affair.
Hey Bernardo – I took one malaria tablet back in 1999 when I started traveling and was headed to Cambodia. It made me hallucinate and I vowed never to take any malaria pills again. And I haven’t actually, even though I have been to many malaria-risk areas. I just don’t like to take them and prefer to take other precautions instead (repellent, mosquito nets, long-sleeve shirts, etc.).
Hello Earl. What do you do for health care coverage while in these different countries?
Hey Jeff – Here’s the answer…https://www.wanderingearl.com/how-ive-handled-travel-insurance-over-the-years/
Hi Earl . I’m living in South Africa at the moment and I’m currently working in retail. My manager worked on the cruise liners in a retail store. This is my dream! I need to work in the ships. I have a very hard work ethic and an excellent sales person. However my application will just go through with hundreds of other applications. Do you perhaps have a contact for me to contact personally so I stand a chance. I’m 22 and have 2.5 years full time retail experience. For a very well known brand. My email is [email protected] please let me know. WANT TO SEE THE WORLD. Thanks
Thanks, Gigi! I’ll look into it!
If you are moving to Mexico, consider getting a Vonage line. My landlords in Sayulita had one and it was a way cheaper alternative to having a cell plan that allows them to call the states.
Hey Gigi – Also check out Movistar mobile company in Mexico because their cell phone plans include calls to the US and Canada. So it’s the same low rate as if you’re calling within Mexico. I just found this out during my last trip and it was a great option too.
Vonage sounds like a good choice for those staying in one place down there for a while!
I want to know where we should go! My husband and I are planning our 10 yr anniversary trip to Europe. The problem is we have never been outside of the country before so the options are endless & overwhelming. We’ve discussed Istanbul, Barcelona, Rome, London, Berlin, and cruise to St. Petersburg and surrounding countries. We have about 10 days total we can spend and a somewhat limited budget but not limited enough that we can’t make any of these places work. My question is…what would you choose for your 1st trip overseas and why? In addition, should we spend our time in one location or try to visit two cities in the 10 days?
Hey Michelle – I would choose one city unless there are two that are very close to each other. But in the options you listed, that’s not really the case. As for where you should go, it’s hard for anyone else to answer this. Surely if you think about it long enough, one of those places you listed will jump out at you as the place that gets you the most excited. Think about yourself in each of those locations…which one puts the biggest smile on your face? That’s where you should go!
I’ve been to all of them except for St. Petersburg and I had great experiences in each one. My personal favorites would be Istanbul and Berlin but again, find your answer by seeing which one(s) make you want to pack your bags and travel there right away!
[…] above questions were asked in the comments section of my last post when I asked all readers of the blog to specify what you want me to write about. They are great […]
I would be interested in information about travelling with small children, clearly something you know a lot of about ;).
Would you be willing to help plan a travel itinerary for a family or arranging a family friendly tour?
How careful are you about drinking the water?
I realize sampling the local cuisine is an important part of travel, but how easy is it to find “American” food (you know, for the picky kids and husband?) and how does the cost compare?
Hey Marcie – I’m definitely willing to help plan a travel itinerary. Just send me an email though the contact link above and I’d be more than happy to communicate some more about it!
As for drinking water, I basically find out before I travel to any country/city if the water is drinkable or if it is advisable to drink bottled water. And if it’s not clean water, I’ll go with bottled water all the time.
In terms of American food, it really depends on where you are. In some places, there are McDonald’s and all that stuff in the major cities and maybe the odd American-style restaurant here and there. But outside of major cities, it would be somewhat difficult to find anything beyond a hamburger on a menu. With costs, they will be in line with the overall costs of the country you are visiting. So if you’re in Thailand, the costs will be lower than in the US while if you are in Germany, the costs will be more.
Shoot me an email and we can talk some more!
Like many others, I’ve also recently started my travel blog and am working on that. The requests for info about how you built your community, what tools you’ve used, etc. would be incredibly helpful!
But, I’m mostly interested in the business side of the tours you’ve started to do! I don’t really see my travel blog as a potential cash cow, its more of a way to connect with other kickass people and a “portfolio” of sorts for future freelance writing and client work I’d like to get into. BUT, I think the idea of travel bloggers leading group tours has a lot of potential for success. I’d love to hear more about that particular side of things!
Without reading everyone of the comments, there are heaps, I am interested in the living on the road, travelling for an extended period of time. Creating a living whilst travelling, ie through my blog or what have you. But enough to pay my mortgage back home?
Thanks in advance and sorry if i have repeated many comments already.
I stumbled upon your site a couple months ago and I am so glad I did! I ‘ve actually become a little addicted to it, and it’s been pretty inspiring to me. I have a few different things I’d like to know about:
I would love to hear more in-depth stories about your travels to McLeod Ganj… which isn’t really a question, I just want to hear more about it!
What frequent flier programs are you a member of, and what are some tips for picking a good program?
I, too, would also like to hear more nuts and bolts of making money online and how you can sort of break in to the industry.
Thank you so much for doing an open post like this! I’ll be excited to see the results.
As you know we have quite a new website & blog. It has been going really well so far with people signing up every day and lots of great feedback.
My question is: when do you approach companies for sponsorship, advertising, etc? Do you need a certain amount of traffic?
Hey Paul – You should approach companies when you have something to offer them. People will advertise with you only if they get a return or else it’s wasted money/sponsorship for them. So you have to prove to companies that there is real value that they can track and notice in working with you. You could have 1 million visitors but a company would rather work with a website that has 1000 visitors who are completely engaged in the site. So again, it’s all about offering something in return. Prove that and the advertisers will come.
Thank you so much Earl! 🙂
My fiancée and I have recently discovered your blog and we’re loving it. We’re about to embark on a 5 month Thailand internship teaching English and afterwards we intend to keep travelling around the world. We’re living in the UK at the moment in jobs we hate and currently planning a wedding that’s in less than 5 weeks time and the internship starts in October so we’ve been reading as many of your posts as possible as we’re buzzing with excitement at the moment 🙂
I wanted to ask about your experience working on cruise ships. How likely is it that a married couple would be able to work on the same ship and have a cabin together? Is the money as good as I’ve read about? (approx. $3k a month with hardly any outgoings?) Is there a lot of competition for entry level positions? What’s the best way to apply for a job if you’ve never worked on a cruise ship before and don’t have any inside contacts? Any roles you’d recommend?
Also, what do you do about post? Do you have it re-directed every time you move to a new base? Or does someone in the US collect it for you? I’m thinking about the important letters like HMRC and student loans etc. I haven’t been able to find anything online about this so far and just wondered what it was you did.
I would also like to know more about how you create an Ebook that you can then sell copies of via your blog, as this is something I’d personally want to do as I’m a photographer.
One final question, have you ever met married couples with children who are travelling the globe together? We’re not planning children soon, but I wondered if you’d met couples who were able to do the seemingly impossible and travel with young children and not have it affect their education negatively.
I look forward to your future posts, you’ve got two fans here! 😀
Hey Sam – Welcome to the site! As for working on cruise ships, yes, it is possible for a married couple to get jobs. However, it is only possible with a few smaller cruise lines. But you would not be able to share a cabin as cabins are allocated according to departments. If one of you ends up with a single cabin (which is the case with most mid-level to upper-level managers), then the other person could obviously stay with you.
In terms of applying for a cruise ship job, just have a look at my popular eGuide, How to Work on a Cruise Ship
And in dealing with post, I have all of my mail sent to a family member in the US and then I collect in whenever I’ve back in the country. If it’s something important, they open it for me and let me know what it’s about.
As for an eBook, before you can create one that you can sell, you will need to create a large audience of readers. Otherwise, you could have the most amazing eBook on the planet but nobody will be able to find it! So my recommendation is to start by building a blog as soon as you can and trying to build the readership.
And yes, there is no shortage of married couples traveling the world together, even with children. I meet them in dozens of countries and it seems that there are more and more families doing this all the time. It’s not as impossible as you think!
Do you ever splurge on big-ticket travel adventures (for example: scuba diving, or that one expensive attraction that you MUST visit)? If so, how often do you splurge? I am curious because I always seem to do one big expensive thing on every trip, usually accounting for 1/3 of my budget. I don’t know how feasible this would be if I traveled like a permanent nomad.
Hey Melissa – Yes, definitely. If there’s something I really want to do, I’ll always shell out money for it as I figure I can always make that money back somehow!
Helpfull link that I used! Cross-referenced it w/ US Dept of State and it all was accurate (although not always complete, as far as where to obtain visas)
My friend Lorraine put me in touch with your website as I am doing an 8 week tour through Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and then to Costa Rica in July and August, and I have to say I absolutely love your site and the information it provides. I myself love travelling and will take great pleasure in catching up with all your previous blogs 🙂 I looked at the different countries you have visited, and I didn’t see Peru, Bolivia or Brazil listed on there, so I thought I would ask a more generic question instead. I really want to start up my own blog page for my trip so that I can keep my friends and family updated with photos and info as I go, but I was just wondering about the logistics of it all. In your experience as a blogger, how do you manage keeping on top of your blog posts when you are travelling through developing countries that may not have wireless/internet cafes? I want to bring my iPad with me, but I am not sure I will ever be able to use it! Do you have any suggestions for novice bloggers like myself?
Ps I travelled through Romania and Bulgaria last summer. I managed to just get inside The Buzludzha monument (the Old Communist Headquarters which looks like a space ship) near Shipka Pass in Bulgaria before they bordered it up. Did you go there? An absolutely amazing place.
Hey Carolina – You should definitely bring your iPad along, it certainly doesn’t hurt. And I think you’ll find these days that even in some pretty remote corners of the world, there will be wifi. It’s much more common these days, even in the developing world than you would think. However, it is a struggle sometimes to keep up with the blog because the connections might not be that great or I might head off somewhere remote where there is no internet. But that’s just a part of traveling and I’m certainly not going to tailor my travels to internet accessibility 🙂 Whenever I find internet again, I catch up on work and put up some new posts. You’ll be able to do the same, especially in the countries you mentioned.
Did you learn to code and do web-designing for building a well maintained site with lots of details and pictures?
Or is someone else handling our online work?
Hey Nigel – I have learned some coding and web-design but the overall theme of the blog was created by an actual web designer/developer. But I do maintain it myself with the knowledge I’ve learned.
Thank you everyone for all of your questions and topic suggestions! For some, I’ve already written my answers as a response to your comment and for those I did not answer straight away, I will dedicate a full post to answering them. It will probably take me about 4-6 weeks to get through all of the topics but I promise I will tackle them all!
Sorry to hi-jack Earl’s comments, but trawling the comments on his blog have netted me quite a few travel tips 🙂
Nepal – head straight to Pokhora and don’t pass go. Fantastic trekking to be had, the Annapurna Basecamp loop. From Kathmandu it’s about a 4-6 hour bus ride. You arrive in Pokhara and grab a local bus to the lakeside, any accomodation that suits, they’re all quite similar.
For trekking, there’s a small trekking shop here (https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=28.211854,83.957106&daddr=&hl=en), the guy who runs the place sorted me out for pennies per day, a map, the route, hired all the gear and you’re away.
Feel free to email me with any questions.
I was wondering if there’s anything that can be found in the US that you feel can’t be found abroad.
Hey Rachel – There is definitely nothing that I’ve come across that I can’t find outside the US. Most people are quite surprised when they discover that they can pretty much get anything they want/need in just about every corner of the world these days!
Hello! I was just wondering which languages you’ve used most frequently around the world or in multiple countries, because I’m wondering which I should start to really focus on learning. Thanks 🙂
Hey Mimi – Apart from English of course, it really depends on the region you plan to spend the most time in. There really isn’t one other language that would be most useful all over the planet. Obviously, Central/South America would require Spanish (in most countries) but Europe has so many different languages and Asian languages are an entirely different story. So in the end, I would focus on a language you think you’ll enjoy using as you probably end up traveling to countries that speak it!
I just discovered your blog today and I’m enjoying it so much. I also appreciated this entry because of the Q & A format. A lot of the questions asked here were ones I would have asked and it was great reading your answers to them. Thanks!! I’ll definitely be coming here often to check for your newest posts! Please Keep it coming!
It seems like my questions were easy to answer! I once had to run around doing a favor for a friend who was leaving the States. Bad memories but in hindsight, she could have done it herself via phone if she hadn’t put it off so late. Thanks for the reassurance!
I also have been enjoying all your adventures. I have traveled a little overseas but didn’t have the time or money to travel the way I want to. I am going to use house sitting to provide me with some opportunities to visit areas and actually get to know the people that live there.
The funny thing is for now I am going to concentrate on visiting all 50 states.
That is the goal I am going to focus on for now and at the same time get
some really great references to help when I decide to travel internationally.
My only question for now is will you please let us see the replies to all the
requests I have been reading here? I want to read all your answers as they were all great questions and I am a curious soul.
Hey Janet – You will definitely see the replies to all comments, as always! I’ve already answered some in the comments section so be sure to check those out now and for the others, I will write complete posts about those topics which will of course be visible to everyone too!
Just my opinion but I just left Thailand after two years there and would say for sure go south, avoid the major islands unless it is Railay and go to either Koh Phayam, Koh Mook and/Koh Tarutao. Tried to hit Ayutthaya if you get the chance as well.
I feel bad commenting on this entry since there’s so many questions already being asked. But I’ll go ahead anyways!
#1: How do you deal with tax? I read that one travel-blogger has her parents back in the States handle this by forwarding it to a tax accountant. Is it necessary to have somebody back in your home country to deal with it?
#2: Similar to #1. Are there certain things you’ve find yourself having to come back to the States to handle in person? Legal documents or applying for certain tickets, visas, etc (I don’t even know what exactly I’m asking here). I understand how jury duty and voting can be handled but I was wondering if there were certain annoyances that can pop during extended travel.
I have no suggestions as to what I would like to see on this site. I like reading your stories and I do like the countries that you’ve covered here! I haven’t seen too many bloggers cover the Middle East although I understand the reason why that’s the case.
Hey Jacqueline – I can answer those questions right here…
1. I do my taxes myself and I don’t need to be in the US to do them. I simply prepare everything and file the taxes online from wherever I happen to be. Some people don’t like to do their taxes themselves so in that case, they would need to forward things to a tax accountant but for me, I’d rather learn the tax rules and learn how to prepare it all on my own.
2. There really isn’t anything apart from jury duty that requires me to be back in the US. I went back for jury duty last year after having extended it for the maximum amount of time possible (after 8 months you have no choice but to come back for it). But that’s about it. The only visa that I was required to get from my home country was the visa for Syria but that’s an exception as I’ve never had to come back to obtain a visa for any other country. So in the end, you could basically stay overseas quite easily and not have anything pulling you back to the US if you didn’t want to return.
And thanks for being a reader! If any other topics come to mind that you’d like to see here, just let me know!
I’ve always been curious about backpacking hygiene. Also I wanted to know if you have visited Montañita, Ecuador. (New follower, digging your stuff)
Hey Danny – Welcome to the site! Unfortunately, I’ve never been to Ecuador but I’ll put together a post about backpacking hygiene shortly. I like that idea a lot!
Kia Ora, Earl!
I’m currently in NZ on a working holiday and have been struggling to figure out what I will do and how I will do it after my year is up in January. I was going to go start teaching English with a former colleague in Hangzou, China but that opportunity is only available starting September each year (and my current job doesn’t finish till after September this year). This leaves eight months for travel.
I was thinking I might like to use this time to get a jump start on teaching English by doing some freelancing in Thailand for experience and a bit of money. Have you ever done this? From what I understand it is frowned upon by the Thai government (tax evasion) but still generally accepted as a viable option for travelers. I figure this is a good option but maybe you could offer some insight on this and/or maybe some other suggestions based on your teaching experience?
Also, since we only get 30 days upon entry, I hope to visit a few other places using an airpass, maybe do a job shadow with my buddy in Hangzou and then head back to America to catch up with the fam. After that I may also do a motorcycle road trip down to South America – recommended??
Hey Trav – Freelancing in Thailand is an option and I actually wrote about my experiences doing this in this post here: http://www.wanderingearl.com/how-to-fund-your-travels-with-creativity/
As for the motorcycle trip to South America, if that idea gets you excited, then by all means, it’s an excellent idea! I’d be jealous 🙂
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your time in NZ, a country that I can only imagine you are enjoying thoroughly already!
Gracias amigo! 🙂
Ha, I actually had that bookmarked already xD
I often wonder about travel bloggers if they want to get married and have a family. As passionate as I am about travel, I would not have wanted to miss the journey of marriage and family I’ve been on for 21 years. So I wonder, is the idea of marriage and family a compelling one for you or do you see yourself single and traveling until you’re old? How do you see this working out in your own life?
I’m one of the newbies to your blog – I’m really loving it. Thank you for all the work you put into it!
A question I have is, do you have a cell phone when you’re traveling or living in another country? I saw in one post that you have a US-based plan that allows you to turn it on and off, but I’m wondering what about telephone communication outside the US. I am moving to Mexico in September for a year, and the plans I have found online are all VERY expensive. Any advice?
I’ve been keeping track of your blog for a few months now, and you are always so upbeat and positive about your travel experiences (except for the food poisoning and the never-ending hiccups). I would love to see you post about some of your struggles– do you find language barriers frustrating? Navigating new customs difficult? Are you every lonely? etc. I know that some readers may not want to hear negativity, but I would like to know because of my own frustrations with traveling.
I just started a two month crash-tour of Europe. I’m currently at my first stop: Uppsala, Sweden. And even though mostly everyone speaks English, I’ve still had some very difficult moments navigating the customs and the language. For instance, I have a room in the hostel and could not for the life of me figure out how to work the stove. When I stop at restaurants, I can’t read the menu or there is some strange self-serve system that makes me feel like a fish out of water. I have no idea if coffee comes with refills or not. A stanger once offered to buy me a beer, which I politely declined, but then wondered if I had been rude (in some cultures saying yes the first time is considered rude; in others saying no is rude).
Anyway, I am excited to travel and learn about new cultures. But my first dose has been disorienting and down right frustrating at times. Wondering your thoughts on this.
I’m very curious about your base… why Bucharest? 🙂
Hey Rashad – Here’s the answer in a post I’ve already written – https://www.wanderingearl.com/what-its-like-to-live-in-bucharest/
Earl what will you do when all the travelling is done? Write a book or something?
How do you prepare before getting into a new country? Do you do a lot of research? And if so, what steps do you take and what sources do you consult?
Or do you more or less “wing it” and just dive into the unknown?
Hi Earl. Are there any places they you would recommend against for solo female travelers? I know there are blogs geared specifically for solo female travel but I would really like to hear your perspective. I’ve been to about 15 countries on my own and with the Army (including a year in Iraq) but there are some places that seem too dangerous or impractical for me to go by myself (like Yemen). I braved Jordan alone for 8 weeks and had few problems since I usually wore long sleeves and pants. So any advice you could give to a solo female traveler would be great.
Nice contribution Gigi 🙂
Loved your blog.
We are planning a trip to Florence, Italy in Sept.
Carly will be studying abroad.. Thinking about spending some time in Florence,
Travelling south to the Amalfi Coast with Carly by train.
Spending a few days there. Could use suggestions on reasonable but nice lodging in both areas
Call if you are still in the states.
Hey Barb – I am actually in the US and will give you a call soon!
Because i’m quite a foodie myself (as I have noticed that you are in your posts) it would be nice with a post where you talk about where the best foods in the world is. Categorized by countries, naming your favorite meals from each country and perhaps where to find them usually and what how much it costs 🙂
I agree with you Osvaldo. More nuts and bolts info about making money online would definitely help me achieve my travel dreams. In fact anything that would lessen my dependence on my day job would help!
I’m curious about how you built your own little niche and community – I find it tough to get people talking and commenting some times, am wondering if there are any tips you had about this, because it’s really lovely hearing what everyone has to say!
Hi Earl, I recently found out your blog through from a tweet from Mark Weins (migrationology.com). Ever since, I’ve been reading every single post of your blog. It’s exciting to read all of your travel stories. It make me jumping on an airplane at once and starting to travel. Now I’m patiently waiting for my holiday from work and thinking all time about my first destination.
You took your first trip to SE Asia right? which country did you travel first? And what was it like to travel for the first time to foreign land with different cultures? how was your feeling at that time?
Hey Kyi – Welcome to the site and thanks for the comment! And yes, my first trip was to SE Asia. I landed in Thailand and then a few days later I traveled to Cambodia to celebrate the Millennium. As for what it was like that first time, I was simply blown away from the first moment. The idea that there was so much to learn and so many new people around me that I could meet was fascinating to me at the time and it really helped me get into the ‘travel mindset’ very quickly. I loved the food, loved the people, loved the sights and I don’t even think I stopped to even think about whether or not I was experiencing culture shock. I just wanted to soak in as much as I possibly could!
Thank you for the open post! I feel it would be great to have more of the technical aspect of full time travelling – different visas you need/when you need them, travel rewards you use and don’t, how you live in different places all the time, how you get sponsored to go on trips, the steps you took to open your blog… Basically a run down of how exactly you do what you do. It would greatly help all of us aspiring wanderers! (:
I’m delighted to have recently discovered your blog. My questions may be of a more mundane nature:
1. I’m confused about the 90/180 day rule regarding needing a visa in Western Europe. Have you dealt with that, and if so, is it easy to get a visa while in Europe if you want to extend your stay in the EU over 90 days? (US citizen)
2. I will have an extra week in Bangkok at the end of a two week tour to the north. How would you recommend I spend that week – in Bangkok, or go south toward Phuket or another island? We have a middle of the road budget.
Hey Joanne – Those are both good questions. As for the Europe 90/180 day rule, here’s a very informative post written by a friend of mine that will lay out all the details about how it all works: https://foxnomad.com/2012/01/27/what-is-the-schengen-zone-and-how-do-schengen-area-visas-work/
And with your trip to Thailand, I would personally not travel to far but that’s just me. I prefer to spend less time moving around and more time soaking up the atmosphere in fewer places. So if it were me, I would go to Ayuthaya or Kanchanaburi or if you want to go to an island, head over to Koh Mak near the town of Trat, about 5 hours from Bangkok.
Hey Earl! Love your site! My question is how do you deal with vaccinations? Going to so many different countries on short notice how do you keep your self covered with shots. Also on this topic I’ve heard mixed reviews on the Ducarol (travellers diarrhea) pill, at 80$ a pill I’m wondering if you have used it or if you think it’s worth it for travelling in south east Asia. Thanks so much in advance!
I am one of those relatively new readers – and it is easily the best travel blog I have come across. As you have asked, I would love to know more about travelling burma independently – prices, activities, transport and so on. I intend to go to Burma on my own backpacking trip during the second quarter of 2014 🙂
Hey Dominic – I really appreciate that comment and I’m happy to have you here! As for Burma, unfortunately, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve been so the information I could provide would be a bit outdated, especially with all of the recent changes in the last year or so. But I will try to find some good posts from other travel bloggers who might have been there recently and let you know!
An updated list of countries that cost $1000 per month to backpack in
How do you handle technology while traveling? I mean all facets of this question. I know you have talked about it a little bit but I’d like to know more. For example, what do you do with your computer and other valuable items while out for the day? I know this really varies where you are staying, but have you ever felt like it’s not safe to leave your valuables in your hostel/guesthouse/wherever? How do you ensure security while using the internet and internet banking? What other types of technology issues have you faced? Do you travel with an iPad? etc. etc.
Do you always learn a bit of the local language before you travel, or do you just “wing it” with a phrase book? Sometimes I feel a bit held back from travel because I want to go places where I don’t know the language. I’m more of a “fly the seat of my pants” kind of gal. Last big trip i took was to Amsterdam, and everybody spoke English, which made my life there so much easier!
Hey M – I generally learn the very simple basics before I go and then try to pick up more of the language once I arrive. However, I can honestly tell you that there is no reason not to travel somewhere because the people speak a different language. First, there are always people who speak English in every corner of the globe these days (99% of the corners at least) and in my 14 years of traveling, I’ve never been in a situation anywhere where I was stuck because I could not communicate. A few basic words in the local language, some hand gestures and a couple of English words will almost always be enough to get you through. And again, I think you’ll be surprised by how widely spoken English is these days even in the places where you would never think that to be true!
I, like Osvaldo, would like to know how to get sponsorships for my travels. Before I went to South Africa last year I sent out over 50 pitches looking for trades for tours, accommodations, etc for posts with links. Got one positive reply, and it was an awesome experience, but would like more for this year’s trip back to South Africa. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I am sure Earl will tackle this with some additional insights, but if you are looking for immediate gratification, Nora Dunn wrote a post on the topic: https://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/10/financial-travel-tip-52-getting-sponsorships/
What do you use most to keep track of everything online. Facebook questions, emails, blog comments? How do you manage your online time and not get stuck in front of the computer forever? Do you manage multiple email accounts? What does your “day” on a computer look like?
It seems to me that pilots are the ultimate travellers, and its one of the reasons I’m working towards a career as a commercial pilot of some kind. Do you ever interact with the people who transport you to such amazing places? I would love to see a post about how air travel has played a part in your journeys.
Your blog MAKES my inbox, thanks.
Hey Tim – To be honest, I haven’t really interacted with any pilots or airline crew over the years. Seems quite strange now that you mentioned it in your comment 🙂 With air travel, I personally use the time I spend on airplanes to just relax and clear my head. Rarely do I speak to others on flights, perhaps because I spend so much time meeting new people while in the destinations I visit and this is the time I just back and keep to myself.
But I’ll see what I can think of in terms of how air travel has played a role with my travels and hopefully come up with something to write about!
Not a question, I just think you are really good looking, Earl.
Hey Earl- Do you still have US citizenship? And if so how long can you physically visit some of the countries you have been too before need a visa? Do you have to apply for temporary visa’s each time? Thanks for your help!
Hey Chris – Yes, I still have US citizenship as you can travel as much as you want without ever losing it. As for visas, it all depends on the country and your nationality. Some countries require you to obtain a visa before you arrive (ie India), some countries require you to pay for a visa upon arrival at the border, other countries offer free visas upon arrival and some countries don’t require a visa at all. And the validity of the visa is also different for each country. It could be one month, three months, six months or anything in between. You really need to check the rules for each country in terms of what you need and how long you can stay (which, if you’re a US citizen you can do on the US State Department Website). Hope that helps!
Thank you for your open post and a great blog/website generally! If you have writing and editing skills, but not a well known blog, what’s the best way to make money from your writing in a location independent way? Also, have you come across people who’ve taught/tutored online as a way of living a life of perpetual travel and if so, do you know how they do so (e.g. freelance vs. working through a website)?
Thank you so much!
Hey Owen – With writing/editing skills, you can try and find freelance gigs on sites such as elance.com or odesk.com. I know several people earning good money through this method. Other methods would be to find online magazines that are looking for independent writers. With teaching/tutoring, I have also met some people doing this, including one woman who left a comment on the blog about a year ago (I can’t remember who it was but I do remember her mentioning that online tutoring was how she funded her travels). And if I remember correctly, I believe she was doing it all as a freelancer, advertising her services in various forums and classifieds and gaining clients that way. Definitely possible!
I would like to know, if you are learning any languages. Because, if you are in a country for a year, you could learn local language pretty well.
Hey Tomas – It really depends when it comes to languages. When I lived in Mexico, yes, I practiced Spanish and now I can speak it quite well. But during the year and a half I’ve spent using Romania as a base, I haven’t picked up much beyond the basics in terms of the language, simply because I am coming and going all the time (and spending much time outside the country) and most of my interactions in the country are in English.
I always make sure I learn the basics and as much as I can but I am definitely more motivated to learn some languages than others.
Excuse my ignorance as I am impulsevly writing without doing a search on your site but I have some questions about trekking in Nepal? Have you ever been to Nepal? Any tips on places to stay, things to see, things to avoid. I’m headed there in September and then slowly making my way to India.
Hey Ben – I have been to Nepal but my visits there were all before I started the blog which is why I haven’t written about it on the site. So at the moment, I unfortunately don’t have any recommendations on where to stay or what to do in that country, but I can highly recommend it as I absolutely loved the time I did spend there!
Thanks for such an open post! My question is about relationships and travel. I’m living in Thailand I’m finding it difficult to dive into anything too serious (romantically or with friendships) knowing that this time next year I could be in a completely different part of the world. How do you manage friendships and dating while traveling? When moving around so much, do you find it difficult to sustain relationships? Do you have any repeat travel companions or friends that you revisit around the world? Thanks so much! 🙂
Hey Earl! As for travel bloggers like me, it would be great to know more detailed information about making money online, your projects and all that stuff. I know it’s a cliché question and I don’t want to sound meddler, but since you know the nuts and bolts on this topic very well, a little help from you will be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance buddy 🙂