Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I do not like to read about travel, I become too annoyed as the travel writers avoid or do not know the real budget costs of travel.

I will admit, I have never tried to tackle the job of explaining global travel budgets. I write about specific costs, I do not go global; I stay in the specifics and have not tried to explain how to travel the world in one areas of the site. I feel I maybe think I need to travel to the Stan Brothers, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea and parts of the Middle east before I can say, I know, or am close to knowing the planet.

The sad part is, let us be real, who has really traveled the whole planet, there are not many who have traveled on a backpacker budget, some who traveled on a Business Budget know the most places, not the cultures. However, off the top of my head, I know only one couple who I would say, comes close to knowing he world.

Why does a travel writer need to be brave to write about real budgets?

Easy, if you say or recommend Hotels for 500 US dollars per night, you just excluded about 95 percent of your readers. The same is when I talk about finding a room for 4 dollars; I have just annoyed about 95 percent of the click, browse, and click away readers. Say any specific dollar amount and some reader is annoyed and stops reading.

Recommend anything cheap and people complain, they want a Five Star Hotel on a minus One Star budget, geez grow up.

Why am I annoyed with travel writers, they normally only take the fantasy writing route. The fine dining restaurant, dream what I would do if I was rich and famous, Princess Diana, become a King fantasy adventure too safe to be an adventure trips. And a reader has to be brave to say a Five Star Hotel is bad.

I am laughing to myself; do you know why there are not very few travel writers in West Africa? It is because they cannot afford to travel here. Price an air ticket to Lome, Togo from your home round-trip and see if you do not get a little weak in the knees.

99 percent of Travel Writers make 1 percent of the money and 1 percent make 99 percent of the money. It is the rich who get richer and the poor get poorer scenario in as a nut you eat.

Annoyed readers is not a way to sell Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Expensive Tours, Hotels and Airplane Tickets.

I annoy more readers by talking about a 5 dollar room, then I talking about a 50 dollar room, I would annoy even less at 100 and start to annoy more at the 200 level and again to start really annoy if I say good valued rooms for 5000 per night.

Explaining how to cook rice with an alcohol cooker, buying bananas, how to cut up a pineapple in your room, or how I got sick eating does not make prime time travel readers happy.

If I talked about drinking wine on the French Riviera or having dinner in a with the USA Embassy workers in Togo French Restaurant, complete with wine testing, and clean table clothes, this would entice the fantasy travel reader more.

How could I write about real travel budgets? I first have to define the budget of my readers, and then write for them.
(I really thought first the words stereotypical tourist.)

I feel most wanna be travel writers dream about writing in one of these price ranges, and wanna be famous with some of these example of travel market stereotypes.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine Online

Rick Steves' Europe

Conde Nast Traveler on

New York Times Travel T Magazine

American Express

Journeywoman Travel magazine for women

Frommer-s Budget Travel Guides

Visa Everywhere You Want to Be

Thomas Cook

Geo Magazine

These groups are all focused on very specific markets, they are trying to appeal and write to a group with X amount of money, with this X amount of education and has this much time vacation and spend X amount of money per trip.

To write about a global real budget, I then make some general broad comment or copy that somehow appeals to each of ten price levels for real budgets, and then explain how to live within their budgets.

I would the need to explain all ten budgets to adequately explain how much it cost to travel the whole planet. Ergo, think, 10, this is why these magazines only try to manage one to three budget levels and normally where they can make the most money from the most people, it is about money, not about travel.

Learn a budget, ask a Business Traveler, and he will tell you,
- The company gives me this much per diem and I have this much money for room, they require that I normally stay in this Hotel Chain and kiss this mans wife. I can travel with these airlines and they allow me to get the Frequent Flyer miles so I can get a bonus. -

The will tell you their budget, this is what the writer has to keep as the top and bottom of their writing budget, they write about things to do inside this price range… hehehe If this was the groups you wanted to focus on, I would recommend you learn the per diem allowance for hotels for various cities of the planet as dictated by the US Internal Revenue, and have a laugh when you read about Lome, Togo.

I am a stereotype, however, the truth is, I fit in all the above categories better than I do in the one normally write about and truthfully everyone fits into all and none at the same time.

I be Hobo, who cares, I can do what I do, and be anything I wanna be, today, tomorrow or yesterday, because nobody pays attention to a tramp.

Which stereotype do you wish to be today? or maybe go Hobo...

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets

Making Films in Togo Africa

Making Films in Togo Africa
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 13, 2007

I like to create, I like art, I like the idea of inventing or creation of good work. I feel good when I bring forth good work.

For the last few days, I have been working on a small film clip of the Ceremony of Evala that is happening this week in Togo, West Africa. I took about 8-10 small MPG video clips, and now I am in working to put them together that will explain and document what I saw last Sunday and the explanations of the event by a Kabye person.

There are two factors I am trying to work out in my mind, there is the aspect of me, Andy experiencing and studying this cultural event called Evala here in Togo this week. And then there are some hard lines for me to draw in my head, I am trying to set boundaries of what is respectful and proper, I want to have my own personal standards that I can use to guide my public explanations and publication of what I caught on camera.

I cannot just say, I am not a Journalist, I am not a Scientist, I am not a Writer, I am not studying Culture this would be a mis-representation of truths. I think I have hit a big pothole in the road to what is right and what is wrong.

This may be analogous to the ever so stupid criticisms about George W. Bush and the Iraq Police Action. I often listen to a person go into great depth as to why this or that is wrong and how George W. Bush has no right to do this, or he is doing that wrong and so on and so forth. I try often to bring these discussions into more solution orientated conversations and not just complaintS.

I will say,
- If you were George Bush, what would you do? -

The person about 98 percent of the time says,
- I am not George Bush, so I do no have to make the decision. -

I say,
- He is George Bush and he has no choice, he must make a decision. I it easy to complain, but if you wish to complain please explain how to do better or you are just a person that likes to complain. -

I will often demand,
- You have no choice, you are George Bush, what will you do? -

Ok, it is not right to say,
- I am not a Journalist, I am not a Scientist, I am not a Writer, I am not studying Culture. -

It is not right, I am making a representation of real events, and I cannot hide behind some plaque of words put up to disclaim the truth.

I have been working on categories for what I write, for example, I could say,

Blogger - Which means about nothing.
Travel Journalger - Which again means nothing
Journalist - This still is to me meaning nothing.
Writer - Well, I do write or type, so maybe technically true.
Photographer - Technically, I think true.
Web Designer - Technically true.
Hobo.. Hehehe not technically correct

These are labels, tags, or other identifiers of some stereotypes we have in our heads that helps confusion.

I am thinking more about terms like,

Opinions or Hearsay
Propositions and Theories
Observations with references by TRUE experts.
Self-evident facts
Documentary Films

I will continue to think about this subject and try to clarify and hopefully evolve my own set of standards on how to Blog, and decide as to what I think is acceptable and not acceptable for me, not you.

I write opinions, propositions and ideas

There is a lot of work involved to separate and opinions from what could be verified, repeated or collaborated repeatedly or what can be falsified somewhere along the lines of scientific study.

I have compiled a five-minute video of the Ceremony of Evala and will try to publish the video with explanations Monday or Tuesday of next week. I was thinking I would say, I made a small documentary about the event, however… I think not.

Definition of Documentary from Dictionary:

Factual movie or TV program: a movie or TV program presenting facts and information, especially about a political, historical, or social issue.

Then I went on to read about what is a Documentary Film in and somehow this word lost the plot.

It is sad when a word is so mis-used that you can no longer trust what you read, see or hear. Somehow, the Wiki has included and allowed filmmakers such as Michael Moore movies to be called documentaries. The word is lost in translation.

It is as if a person needs to create a new combination of words for every event, whereby he or she can limit how another person can try to abuse. I will need to coin this with the identifier that nobody else can use, except for me… hehehe

Evala as interpreted by Andy of on Video

I am hoping to make many small videos of showing my interpretations of the world as I see it.

Making Films in Togo Africa

Geography and Potted History

Geography and Potted History
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 20, 2007

- I did not particularly like travel books - the form has fatal insufficiencies. It usually was Geography, and potted History, and a kind of lifeless boasting how far the writer had gone and what he ate. -
--- Page 420 My Secret History by Paul Theroux

A Zinger, I call that a Zinger, Paul Theroux has the way, he has the map, and he shares the map, he knows, as opposed to some of us who do not know. Some people in life know others are clueless, and the majority of people just go about their day, trying to stay out of the way, and staying out of trouble.

I have fun, life is easy, nothing to do, but sit around contemplating my next nothing to do, and then I move, not knowing where I am going or why, however positive it is a good idea to move.

I have been playing around, again I am trying to explain to myself how to Blog. Marc one of the Americans who came here to Volunteer and became a tourist said to me,
- Your idea of a Hostel can be your legacy. -

I think this is ok, but I am looking the word in the dictionary, just to reassure myself it was not an insult… hehehe

- When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.-
--- Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902)
British writer, painter, and musician.

Marc was not insulting me by saying a Hostel could be legacy; however, there is no benefit to getting older. People start to talk about legacies as a way of saying you are old, and I am not 20, I feel old when my name is associate with the word legacy.

Paul Theroux explained with his zinger how to Blog, how to be a Famous and Popular Travel Writer. A travel writer needs to do what he says has fatal insufficiencies, you need potted history, and 100 percent sure, you need to tell what you ate to have a successful Travel Journal.

How to Blog? Alternatively, how to TRAVEL Blog? I am filing opinions that mirrors Theroux and more or less tells a person how to be a Travel Writer, hoping as I do so, that I am a horrible Travel Writer.

I said I was going north, and I went south.

Geography and Potted History

AIDS is Cliche in Asia and Africa

AIDS is Cliché in Asia and Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

- A cliché … is a phrase, expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty, especially when at some time it was considered distinctively forceful or novel. The term is generally used in a negative context. -é

UNaids. all figures estimates.

I was looking to see if the words hokey and corny are words, they appear to be words and acceptable to use, and more accurate and of more value than words like,

AIDS or SIDA in French and Spanish


I have decided to have fun with these words; I am making a collection of words that I am calling Worthless Words. These are words that have no meaning; however, there is now value in the words. If I read or hear the word,
- Crisis -

I know the Article I am reading is attempting to become worthless, the writer or organization start get my little ticks next to their names. The use of worthless words slowly evolves until the person or organizations using the words are also worthless.

There are writers who are credible, however they are ignored because of they refuse to use these words. I also realize, I have used these words in the past and this is a learning experience. I can start to apply some critical reasoning to my own selection of words.

Writing, Cliches, How to Blog, How-to-be-a-Travel-Writer, Togo, AIDS,

AIDS is Cliché in Asia and Africa

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