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i'm starting this topic to get some feedback. i'm planning to sell everything, pack everything and leave everything for at least a year. i will have money but i intend to be frugal. i plan to work and teach english as necessary. i plan to take only a day pack ( or only slightly bigger if absolutely necessary). i would like any advice from anyone on this way of traveling. i'm posting in the "europe" section hoping that it is the most read and it is where i plan to start my journey but i plan to travel whereever my feet lead me. some questions--
i'm thinking of taking a VELO-type mini computerwith me for internet and web access( to excellent sites like this!)and journal keeping. has anyone done this? what about a universal telephone connector?
does anyone have any advice on getting visas quickly while anywhere in the world. i can't imagine getting them all since i don't know where i'll end up til i'm there!(or at least near the border, trying to get in)
can someone recommend a good pair of walking shoes?
i'm also looking for a female companion to make this a joint venture but i don't imagine this is the proper venue. does any one know where to find like minded travelers?

thanks in advance-- i'll post more questions as they come up.

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    Hi Steven,
    Sound like quite an adventure. I recently met some people who had taken 14weeks (a fraction of the time you have in mind) to make a tour through Europe. Their biggest hassel was all the various currencies. With them travelled their trusty Cam Corder, from which they will have a terrific, journal of their tour. I presume, as you outline, you could take a break from this, by getting work teaching etc. Be sure and get a TEFL qualification, this will make find such work a lot easier. Also, you should consider the Kibutz in Isreal, as well as other oppertunities for migrant worker. As for you laptop, you might also consider getting an industrial rated one. This would mean for example that is would be mostly water proofed. Ciber Cafe's abound in Europe, so you should not have any difficulty getting an access point, as for attachements, you might find a trip to your local dealer worthwhile. Best of luck, Tim.

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    My husband and I travelled and worked our way around the world for two years, starting in Australia. A good starting point is Susan Griffith's book, Working Around the World (or something like that) for getting visas, finding work etc. I don't think Americans are eligible to work in New Zealand and Australia (as Canadians we could work for a year) but plenty of people do find work who aren't supposed to. Immigration descended on one farm we were working on--some workers got away, others were asked to leave the country. It's up to you. Beware that if your passport is stamped "deported" many countries, such as Thailand, will refuse you entry. I advise you to avoid overstaying on any visa--they will catch you eventually when you try to leave. Many countries allow work visas but only for travellers under a certain age. Griffith's book is an excellent starting point for you.

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    First of all, I applaud your
    decision, I am only 22yo and travelling is the way I want to spend the
    rest of my life. I have taught English in Japan, and worked as a
    bartender there, worked in Italy selling Leather jackets and many other
    jobs. The English teaching would prove very helpful, but get as many
    certifications as you can...Half of Australia is looking for the same
    type of job!!!
    I have travelled extensively in Asia, Middle East, Europe and SA, and
    believe my advice could help you.
    If you are going as barebones as possible, that is with only a day
    pack, the computer will be an annoyance, the connections are very
    varied and you may run the risk of just blowing the whole thing off (it
    is also a thief magnet), that would mean you can't walk under the rain
    while waiting for a bus that is 6 hours late and...you get my point.
    The daypack will also be too little, remember you may want to pick up
    little things here and there, don't refrain yourself from buying things
    in moderation, you'll regret it later(Maybe)
    A small backpack will be better, remember you will hit cold places,
    extra-warm places, rain, mud. So take some good quality clothes and
    that way you won't have to buy more.
    Back to the computer, there is more access in the "underdeveloped"
    countries than in Europe, yes, hard to believe, but it is true and much
    more cheaper . Keep your journal in composition notebooks, that way you
    can glue mementos and stuff and send them home once you are done with
    them.
    For shoes, a pair of Teva's is essential, but you'll also want a pair
    of hiking boots, nothing very fancy.

    Just use your common sense, don't take anything you can't afford to
    lose and anything that will be a bit of a show off, expensive watches
    and the computer. In every major capital you can get cheap Internet access.
    Sorry this is not very structured, but I am just typing as it comes to
    mind.
    Good Luck, and let me know if I can help further
    Also, you will love the Thorn Tree at www.lonelyplanet.com. It will be
    more appropriate to you than Fodor's
    Luis.

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    The following is a website called Round the World Travel Guide and it also contains journals by people who've travelled around the world: http://rec.travelmate.com/rtw/html
    I think you'll find it very useful. I'm 18 and I also want to travel around the world, or actually I wanna be a Foreign Service Officer. So right now I'm just dreaming about it... good luck! lindi

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    You might enjoy reading a book called "One Year Off" by David Elliot Cohen. It's not exactly what you're doing -- he and his wife took their 3 kids with them, didn't work abroad during their travels, and didn't exactly backpack -- but they did sell everything before they left and they did go around the world! The website is www.oneyearoff.com if you want to take a peek. It's a pretty entertaining read. The author is one of the editors of the "Day in the Life of..." series of photography books.

    As for walking shoes, Ecco and Mephisto are two excellent brands. They are very expensive but really good and have a great selection of styles. There have been a lot of threads on walking shoes in the Europe forum if you search. I personally just bought a pair of New Balance hikers -- they are Gore-Tex, waterproof, breathable, and very lightweight. Surprisingly, after trying on dozens of pairs at specialty walking and hiking stores, I found these at Nordstrom. I also have a pair of Timberlands which I like a lot and have lasted me for years, but I find them heavy and not breathable so my feet get hot. Friends who have Rockports seem to love them but I have never found a pair that fit me right -- just a personal thing.

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    Steve,
    Go for it! I quit my job and of 97, put my stuff in storage, and traveled the world for 11 months. You'll never regret it.
    I'd agree with the earlier posts: leave the laptop at home! It will be a constant source of worry, and worse, will make you "feel" like a tourist. For most of the world, carrying around a laptop is not a common sight (cell phones are a different matter).
    Find an internet cafe, and send yourself an email detailing your thoughts and feelings. I sent emails, but also kept a written journal. I find that reading about an event in my own handwriting brings back far more emotions and memories than reading the same account as an email printout! )
    I took a day pack, but also a 3000 cubic cm backpack (which is still small, but can carry what you need and have some room extras you buy and need to carry before mailing home).
    I found a great pair of Timberland boots that worked for me and took a pair of Tevas. Leave the sneakers at home. They will rot in the tropics and make you look like an American tourist in Europe.
    I had no trouble with Visas. Most countries I visited issue them at the point of entry. It took 3 days to get a VietNam visa in Bangkok (and when I arrived in HCM City, they appeared to be issuing them at customs), and I got a Visa to Mainland China overnight from an agent in Hong Kong (and I was travelling in China independently, not as part of a tour!)
    The book I found the most useful was "The Practical Nomad" by Edward Hasbrouck (Moon Publications).
    When you get to New Zealand and OZ, it will make you sick to see how easily the Canadians, Brits, Irish, Dutch, and other travelers can find jobs. You will be a working illegal alien if you find work there as a traveler, and subject to their laws as such. Have fun! Keith

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    Steve-You are going to have a blast. All the above information is correct esecially ditching the computer and basically anything you don't want to disappear. Thieves are adept at getting anything they want, I had my money belt cut off me in a train from Portugal, the bottom of my dayback slit on a bus in Rome, my ray bans taken off my head in Turkey, and DO NOT take your shoes (those nice new expensive Timberlands) off to air your little piggies without handcuffing them to yourself. Mine are currently wandering around Europe somewhere after being borrowed from the curb in the Charles de Gaulle airport. Just try to blend in. In a lot of the world the major crimes are pick pocketing, unlike the US where you have to watch out for grannies with road rage. If you are thinking of bartending or restaurant work, take a white shirt and black pants, these are standard in all European restaurants. I would recommend the e-mail type journal or if you do write it down, send them home and insure them to the hilt. Three years of my western and eastern European experiences are in the postal void somewhere between France and the US. Internet cafes are everywhere and they are not too expensive. Good luck and watch out for your stuff because it will be gone before you know it.

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    You have gotten lots of good advice in the earlier posts. My wife and I have travelled for one year stretches on two occasions. I particularly agree with the advice to travel light. You don't need to have a bag big enough to carry all of your purchases even if you do decide to buy things. Better to mail them home than to be burdened by their weight or by concern about losing them. When we first travelled I thought we would spend about an equal amount of time in Asia and in Europe. As it happened we spent far more time in Asia where we started. Part of the reason is that most of Asia (not Japan) is much, much less expensive than Europe. You can travel very comfortably in Asia and spend a lot less money than you would have spent staying home. In Europe your bank account will quickly dwindle - or at least that is what we found.
    (You specifically asked about shoes. There are places where you might actually want a pair of hiking boots - if you trek in Nepal, for example. But you won't want to be carrying those shoes around on your back the rest of the time. Mail them home. In most of tropical Asia you will want something like sandals that are cooler, dry out rather than rotting because of water and humidity, and can be easily slipped off when you go visit homes and temples where shoes are not appropriate. There you will not usually want your lug sole Timberlands.) In tropical Asia you will also need only a few clothes - most everywhere you stay you will be able to have your clothes laundered for a small fee. So it is possible to travel very light. If you find that you have arrived in a colder climate, go shopping - no need to have carried your cold weather stuff all of the time.

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