travel

I enjoy travelling. Below is a list of places i've been, and miscellaneous tips. I'll be adding comentary about each. Why travel? It lets one see first hand the history of areas, meet the people, and find out why cultures are different and how they are similar. For much the same resons as one would read a book:

Belle: Well, it's my favorite! Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise - (Beauty and the Beast).

Alright, i try to avoid the swordfights...

Generally, i travel by myself. However, i often meet a group or persons for some part of the journey. Some parts of it are planned, others are random, and others arbitrary. I generally don't like arranging transportation and accomodations, so i pick a place and make it a center for as long as possible, then move on (or have someone else arrange this for me).

Random touring. This can be fun, but be shure to check out the area first; you don't want to end up in a dangerous area and don't do it in the evening or night -- heed this not and you'll find yourself at centerstage of a reallife West Side Story in the Hood. There are several ways of achieving randomness. Hopping on a bus, then waiting for some number of stops -- 5 to 10 is good -- turns out to be an excellent way of sampling a city. Likewise, wandering in a random direction (flip a coin twice to pick which direction, then walk for some number of blocks). Equally, finding another tourist (sometimes picked at random) and finding out what they are doing (if it turns out you don't really get along, find out what they just did and part ways going to that location). I managed to cover most of Roma in these ways (i later checked in a tourist information kiosk, and it turned out that i had only missed a couple of sites).

Tours. I've used Coniki so far. Both trips were on their “Superior” type, and were excellent. It offers a relaxed atmosphere, good hotels, and little travel (maybe a couple hours a day). If you want to catch a glimpse of everything and party a lot, try their “Budget” tours instead. There are clearly other excellent companies that exist -- make sure you choose a trip for your level of activity (from laying on beaches to cycling mountains), expanse (larger ones will mean you may have to sleep on trains and spend time travelling), expense, age group, freedom (leisurely ones may offer several hours or entire days to roam a city), safety, and region.

Planned. Remember not to overplan, but have a list of places you'd like to be and things to do, and when you might have to do them. You may choose to book all hotels ahead, or just a couple nights ahead. Often things get in the way of plans; for me, it's been giant forrest fires, terrorists, train strikes, motor cycle conventions in the middle of nowhere with 300k persons in attendance, and huricane force winds.

Belgium
Canada.Alberta
Canada.British Columbia
Canada.Manitoba
Canada.Newfoundland
Canada.Ontario
England.London
Italia.Toscana
Luxemberg
Netherlands
USA.California
Ελλαδοσ

Some of the places i'd like to go: Scotland, Confederation Helvetique, Slovenja, Iceland, Russia, Australia, Japan, Cuba, New Zealand, Italia (Sicilia), España, Portugal, Parajuei.

Places that would be swell if they were a bit safer: Isreal, Egypt, India, South Africa, various places in the middle east and the tropics. But, for now i'm happy seeing these on Discovery Channel where i don't have to worry about someone blowing me up, shooting me, or contracting malaria or any diseases... Check the CDC for more info on wherever you plan to travel. Then again, i've known persons to travel to many of these areas without much trouble.