eight months backpacking

Oct 21st, 2007, 10:27 PM
  #21  
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Again, thank you for all the tips.
My thinking right now is that you all are probably right. However, I like the opinions of the more positive better . I don't plan on living a life luxury while in Europe. I don't plan on going on tours. I don't plan on eating at nice restaurants. I don't plan on staying in hotels. I plan on traveling by my own terms.
I've been reading a book called "Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa" by Ed Buryn. He pinpointed a life that was thinking about from the get-go, but couldn't put my finger on. Now my finger is in the right direction. I don't even think I have to do anything illegal to survive, now.
To the poster that gave advice about college credit overseas. I really do appreciate it. I am in a unique situation, however, as my school (The Evergreen State College) is very flexible. I am not going on vacation. My schooling doesn't start and end in a classroom - I don't believe anyone's should.

http://thinkandtravel.blogspot.com/
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Oct 21st, 2007, 11:56 PM
  #22  
 
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Thinkandtravel, I wish you all the best, and hope that you have a wonderful travel experience.

>>I like the opinions of the more positive better<<

Of course you do, and I have learned that people are more apt to listen when one phrases things in a positive way.

Most of the replies to your post are less negative than I would have thought, merely pointing out pitfalls you may not have been aware of.

The Ed Buryn book you have been reading is a real classic. In fact, it is so classic it describes travel in a different world - Europe in the 60s and 70s. Treat it as a historical document, not a travel guide for the 21st century.

As an American who was living in Europe when Buryn was traveling there, I can tell you how much easier it was to get by in those days. Air travel is cheaper in relative terms now, but just about everything else is far more expensive. As a frame of reference, in the late 60s I could get a pub meal of filet steak and a glass of wine for about £1 ($2.40 in those days).
Heimdall is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 04:46 AM
  #23  
 
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nytraveller:

"This may be a surprise to you but Americans don't own the whole world - other countries have the right to make whatever rules they want for admitting others".

I am so glad you said that before I did in a rather less polite fashion.

T&T - it's great that you want to break out and be different, and your enthusiam is a delight to see. But sadly you don't score too well on being informed.

You have apparently ruled out Mexico and chosen Europe instead. Why? On what grounds? Did you consider any other parts of the world?

It would be as illegal to work in Thailand as it would be in Europe - and rightly so - but at least you could get a meal for under $1.

Europe is expensive, but I guess SE Asia is too hard?

Love to know how you get a credit from your "college" for just travelling? Hope you aren't studying medicine or nuclear physics.

Stick with the dream, but please don't try and bend the rules too much, cos if you get caught and deported it might have a bearing on your life down the track in a way you can't foresee now.

Be adventurous, but be realistic.

Cheers.
chimani is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 04:48 AM
  #24  
 
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Ed Buryn. Love seeing that book mentioned. I read it back in the Seventies and just a month ago bought a second hand copy for nostalgia's sake. As the previous poster mentioned, though, it is seriously out of date. Hitchhiking through Algeria, anyone?

The vagabonding site I mentioned above is maintained by a guy who has written his own book on the subject, and who refers to Ed Buryn -- I think he interviewed him when he learned about the earlier book.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:04 AM
  #25  
 
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Meant to say that the specifics in the book were out of date. The philosophy is as valid today as when it was written. It is a grandfather to the Lonely Planet guides, and great-grandfather to the much gentrified Rick Steves.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:15 AM
  #26  
 
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Backing up a bit, one thing I would rethink is the "camping" you mention. I assume this would mean toting gear? And you are arriving in the dead of winter. That bit doesn't really make any practical sense.

Obviously you won't be doing tours and eating in fancy restaurants. No kidding! Have you done the math for a daily budget?

There IS a bottomline figure if you plan to sleep in a bed! Let's say 20 euro for the hostel bunk & 20 euro a day to eat and get around (bottom line imo) & multiply by 8 months... that's $9000 euro which is $12,700 USD. And that doesn't include transportation between cities and countries.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:18 AM
  #27  
 
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For those of you not familiar with Evergreen State College...

if anyone would give out college credits for this, it's them!! But don't credits, cost $$$ too?
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:14 AM
  #28  
 
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Suggest don't fall for the teaching English to students bit either. Normally very badly paid in Europe and requires you to speak the other language.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:19 AM
  #29  
 
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For novice travelers planning such a wide ranging journey involving no doubt trains i always refer folks to some reasources i like: www.ricksteves.com for lots on trains, buses and cheap airlines; www.budgeteuropetravel.com whose web site has some very good info on trains and offers the free European Planning & Rail Guide which is a great primer on European rail travel; and Let's Go Europe which folks in your age and style of travel will find is the single best source of info on things like hostels, youth hotels, working, etc. Available at any library or bookstore. Written by college students.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:41 AM
  #30  
 
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I like Suze's calculation. Even if you managed to eat really cheaply--food from grocery stores only--and eked out on 10 euros a day food, that's still 7,000 euros over 8 months.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:07 AM
  #31  
 
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I hitchhiked thru Europe in 1969 with nothing but a backpack and a budget of $5.00 a day. I wonder what $5.00 will buy today?

I once slept in the bushes in a city park in Athens, a squatter's crash pad in Amsterdam, and among the boulders on what later came to be known as s--t mountain on Mykonos. I'm sure you wouldn't be sharing these spots with other fresh faced American kids like I did, back in the good old days. Most likely any free spots are now homeless encampments. I couldn't rest easy among IV drug users and other potentially unstable characters. Could you?



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Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #32  
 
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specs~
Your $5/day budget from the 1960's IS pretty much my 40 euro/day figure for 2008.

thinkandtravel~
Cities are obviously more costly than the countryside. Netherland, Scotland, England more costly than Turkey and Romania. Also you might rethink your order and start furthers south since you're arriving December, to take advantage of better weather. Heading north once it's spring.




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Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:53 AM
  #33  
 
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Well, if Suze's and Ellenem's calculations and all other rational arguments don't convince, then there's nothing left to say. Good luck.
Jean is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 12:04 PM
  #34  
 
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and go to Crete and pick oranges then
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:52 PM
  #35  
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Again, thanks for the advice guys.
Do you know anything about things like Salvation Army - or Church soup houses, etc. I don't have a problem picking oranges - I am already planning on going to Mallorca to harvest olives and such. That should be good source for food, shelter, and cool people.
There are also plenty of people in Europe that are travelers and have couches available. Making big meals at home could be very cheap. Eating out of garbage cans outside of decent restaurants? I think there are ways to cut down the cost of traveling in Europe. Any other suggestions?
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:06 PM
  #36  
 
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Dude, you really start to scare me.

Yes, many young people in Europe also travel with little money.
But most will have saved at least some money for their trip.

And they are allowed to take any odd job here and now when they are citizens of an EU member state.

Even though it's illegal for the farmer as well as for you, you may find a farmer who lets you pick oranges or harvest olives - but only for very little money. So it won't really help your budget.

By the way: I think that the soup kitchens of the churches or other organizations which give out food for free are more targeted at the seriously poor and hungry than at travelling college kids.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:19 PM
  #37  
 
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OK time to ask... have you ever been out of the United Stated before? Do you have experience traveling on a shoestring that you think your ideas are reasonable?


<I am already planning on going to Mallorca to harvest olives and such.>

Thereby taking away a job from a local person who needs to support his family.

<That should be good source for food, shelter, and cool people.>

Really????????????


<There are also plenty of people in Europe that are travelers and have couches available.>

Again, really????????


<Making big meals at home could be very cheap.>

Where is this "at home" where you are going to be cooking? Who's pots and pans? Who's electricity or gas?


<Eating out of garbage cans outside of decent restaurants?>

OK, you've got me there. That in fact should work out fine.

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Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:26 PM
  #38  
 
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Blog or no blog, this is beginning to sound like a troll. Nobody could be this naive.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:29 PM
  #39  
 
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Jean, Obviously you've never been to the Evergreen State College. ;-)

They specialize in this kind of thinking.
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Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:38 PM
  #40  
 
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"Nobody could be this naive." I take back that comment. Chris McCandless ("Into the Wild"), college graduate (Evergreen perhaps?), who died because of a lack of planning and preparation.
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