Tips for an extended backpacking adventure from Julia Dimon, Road Warrior – http://www.thetraveljunkie.ca/ - from an article in the Metro, Oct 23
Before you go:
- Research travel insurance, immunization shots and tourist visa requirements.
- Sign up for online banking, to check your finances from anywhere.
- Carry various forms of payment: bank cards, credit cards, US and local currency.
- Pack lightweight clothing that don’t wrinkle or show dirt.
- Bring: a headlamp (forall-too-frequent power outages), retractable clothes line, calculator, plug adapters, quick-dry towel, alarm clock.
- Lonely Planet is the best guidebook series.
- Don’t book all accommodations. Book the first night & go with the flow.
- Organize tours locally. It’s cheaper.
On the road:
- expect different perceptions of distance, ‘It’s just near’ usually means it’s too far to walk.
- Carry small bills for both safety and convenience.
- Take an over-night train. It’s slashes travel time and save’s on a nght’s accommodation.
- Schedule flights so they arrive in the morning or afternoon, not at night. It’s safer.
- If you want to buy souvenirs but can’t carry them, hit the post office. Sea mail takes a few months but it’s the cheapest way.
- Ask trustworthy locals what the going rate is for food and taxi rides. You’ll be less likely to get ripped off if you are well informed.
- Embrace the fact that you will get ripped off. It’s a learning curve.
- Read local papers for what’s going on in the city.
- Carry toilet paper and anti-bacterial lotion with you everywhere.
- Don’t live by the guide-book all the time. Explore, go off the beaten track.. that’s obvious.. as is this:
- You can’t be a hard core traveler all the time. Take days off to kick back and enjoy.
There is a ravine where Northview and Beachdale usually are, and I go to visit it. A little boy is riding a motorboat in the water and gives me a ride to his little cottage on the far shore. He tells me his parents are away but i can tell from the scale of the cottage that it's his. He is an elf. I bring him to your house, no one is home, so we sit on the couch to wait for you.
Jim comes in and tells me quite seriously, tho not angry that he doesn't want me coming in when no one's home. He's grown a moustache and beard and is wearing a yellow satin shirt. He tells me you're at a jam session at his cousin's and you have my Les Paul and that i can come if I'll help load the truck with equipment. I help ( and the elf ), but then he tells me there's no room for us and leaves. It's raining. i go back inside and dave hynes is performing a musical piece to an audience, playing your crystal and nicnacs, but he's missing a certain note. i bring him a blue and gold porcelain kitten with a pure beautiful tone but i have to finish getting to you, so I take the kitten and a banana and get on my bike and even tho I don't know exactly where you are I ride and ask directions and even tho everyone is Chinese and I'm entering a mountain range I continue on uphill, careful not to damage the porcelain or the banana.
When I arrive the jam is over and Jim points you out but it's not you, just a woman with long brown hair and Jim can't tell the difference and acts like I'm crazy. So i go to the loading dock to see if my guitar is there and the sun is coming up radiant and Jared and Dylan and Daniel and Nick are there smoking a joint in a roach clip ( green beads on it ) offer it to me, i won't take it tho, and I say I'm looking for you and they point down to the ground and tell me you just fell asleep and there you are in a sleeping bag, serene and lovely peaceful smile and I will not wake you. I wake up instead. The feeling i have for you is unique and incommunicable.
Have an adventurous day!