10 Best Places to Start Being a Traveler

Do you want to call yourself, "A Traveler?" Here is the list of the 10 best places to start being a traveler. I have traveled continuously for over 12 years and have visited 88 countries, never staying in one location more than three months.

I recommend you move to any of these 10 locations and live in the same hotel for one month. A person should search and study endlessly until they find a room for less than 300 U.S. Dollars per month in a Hotel, not an apartment.

1. Slow your lifestyle down until you are not preoccupied with accomplishing something.
2. Teach you how to live on a budget of 500 dollars per month.
3. Introduce you to the "Travelers Huddle." the conversations of other travelers as they learn about the planet.
4. Allow you to speculate on how you are going to earn money to continue to travel perpetually and become a professional traveler.
5. If you live in a Hotel for one month, you will be able to plan your next hotel budget jump; this time will allow you to find a hotel in a new location for less than 300 U.S. Dollars per month, with the best goal of 150 per month.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com


Starts with the Best

1. San Pedro, Guatemala on Lago, Atitlan
- Cheap rooms with outstanding "Travelers Huddles."

2. Bogota, Colombia
- Move into one of he houses owned by German of the Platypus, Bogota

3. Hampi, India - Goa
- Cheap, and cheaper, a great place to learn how travelers think.

4. Rajasthan India Boat Hotels
- I have never been here, but I believe people chill for months on end, in the cheapest country on the planet for travelers.

5. Seoul, South Korea
- Teach English Huddle, many travelers who plan on working, they are not tourist, they can teach the ins and outs of earning money outside your home country. Before you start, please study or Google for the "Midnight Run."

6. Cusco, Peru or Lima
- I recommend you go stay in La Espana Hotel in the old part of Lima, avoiding at all cost the modern parts of Lima, they are tourist traps, then go find a room in Cusco after a couple of weeks in La Espana.

7. La Paz, Bolivia
- Great Traveler Huddles and one of the better cheap to party places on the planet, figure out the way the Israelis are traveling, they are good mentors.

8. London, England Kangaroo Court
- Dangerous place to start, too much party, the Brits and Aussies drink like fishes, and you will be tempted to enter Europe, but Europe is a dead end, it is a tourist trap, and requires you know firmly in your mind that 10 dollars per night is the prices of rooms on planet earth, and there is almost zero reason to live in a Hostel dorm bed as a traveler.

9. Bangkok, Thailand Khao San Road
- Party, Party, and endless numbers of people who have lost the plot or get addicted to prostitutes, but incredibly cheap. If you find Bangkok too big, go the Full Moon Party Beach by the name of Koh Pha Ngan and live for one month.

10. Riga, Latvia Europe
- The new party capital of Europe, truly a great city, but full of flash packers and children running around spending their parents money. Try to seek out people living in the city for longer than two weeks and avoid the one or two night stop and party children. This city is going to teach you about both Russia and Europe, but in the end, you will be confused on prices, you need to never give up and connive, muse, drive yourself until you have a private room for less than 10 dollars per night in a Hotel.

Do not get rooms in apartments, this is for people who live overseas, this is not the life of a traveler, a seasons traveler knows they must get the inside skinny, the valuable information from other travelers, not from guidebooks or on the internet.

500 Dollars per month budget is easy to attain, if you remember a couple principles, one is the slower you go, the cheaper your travel, and the other is you move hotels, you do not move cities.

The number one reason you will fail is because you will be greedy, you will think you need to visit everything, the traveler’s avarice for consuming tourist attractions will use all your money, time, and you will need to go home to rest.

Be a Hobo not a Bum
A Hobo went from place to place looking for jobs, you must focus, and find a way to earn money to be a traveler, be a Hobo, look for a job, do not be a tramp or bum. I can travel forever, and live anywhere on the planet, because I earn money, I am Andy Graham, the HoboTraveler.com.

10 Best Places to Start Being a Traveler


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Must have been a challenge making your list above.
1 ) I learned hitchhiking around the States first summer after high school ( U$35 + dried foods and camping gear in my backpack, slept free in a variety of places ), then
2 ) the first winter away by sharing a 2 bedroom apartment in Tucson AZ with 5 other guys from Fort Wayne, Indiana who my hometown friend and I met hitching ( worked for building maintenance company cleaning offices ) and then
3 ) by living on a sail boat in the Florida Keys ( worked on the boat a few hours a day for room and board )
4 ) by getting back together with my hometown girlfriend after a 9 month separation when she and her friend traveled around Europe and Morrocco and found a place to work for AFRC in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, going back in Jan ,filling out a job application before heading back to Torremolinos, Spain ( paid U$25 / week for studio apt ) and Morrocco ( paid U$30 / 3 weeks in room ) and back in GAP worked cleaning offices then as Sales person in a duty free ski shop for small salary + 20DM / month to share army barracks room with 2 others like myself
5 ) Learned from other travelers all along the way, flew to India, went overland to Kathmandu, Sikkim and Sri Lanka averaging U$180 / month for room and meals for 2 of us
6 ) landed in Korea with U$75 and "ghetto blaster" ( paid U$300 in HK sold for U$800 ), taught English until saved enough to take off to Philippines

Met so many travelers doing so many things to keep living life "on the road" . The most common equation or plan was WORK and SAVE in wealthier countries and travel to and from less expensive developing nations living on a fraction of the cost of living where you worked. Now some of these work opportunites have dried up and faded away but some remain and new opportunities are available for those with an open mind, determination and diehard ambition and persistance but at the same time remaining humble and free of materialistic attachment.

Andy, if you know of a hotel in London where you can stay for $300 a month, please tell me, I will move into it permanently!

I do have a couple of tricks I was thinking about London last night, though. I use the railways in Britain all the time. Here are my 2 tricks:

1) ALWAYS piss on the train, do not wait for the station. The toilet on the train is free, the toilet in the station will either be shut or cost you money.

2) The toilets in King's Cross station cost you money, the toilets in St. Pancras International station do not. This station is next door, make the detour.

In my experience, these rules apply in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Czech Republic too. I don't think the Swiss charge you to piss, can't remember.

London is 8, but truly not that bad, England gives you proper Hostels with real guest kitchens and breakfast.

Start with gettting a real copy of the TNTmagazine, not just the internet.

Then contact the Aussies and South Africans, they are the key, plus any Brit is more or less scared to go into this Kangaroo infested territory.

The Barmy Badger, and Hostels around that area will probably make deals for a one month stay, then you have to look at all the bulletin boards in the area.

It takes work to get a 300 dollar room, and every dollar saved is like earning 2-3 dollars.

I only took the subway a few times in London, one trip was to Heathrow Airport, the price is not a good value, walking is better deal.

Now THAT - was a GREAT travelers tip!

Way past the time people still had their shoes shined by a boy in the 40's of 50's? I started shining shoes when I was 7 or 8 y.o. in the late 70's. I'd go to the county court house, police station, and business district and shine shoes. Perhaps, because I was an anomoly, I made excellent money shining shoes. The pay seemed amazing for a little kid, even $20.00 tip from a lawyer. I did that until my cutesy looks wore out at about 10 or so. Then I had a lawnmowing business and made quite good money until I was sixteen. I started investing in the stock market when I was 12. Unfortunately, I didn't chance upon Ben Graham books or make it to the Oracle of Omaha or even invest in Berkshire Hathaway until I was in my 20's, but I was able to save lots of money from my very small businesses. I'd recommend parents start kids learning the value of earning a dollar, for me it held my consumption down when I realized t that pushing a lawnmover or even driving a J. Deere mower around in 95+ F plus weather was what I had to do to earn a green back.

I joined the Japanese Pen Pal League, (back when snail mail then and still is--10-14 days each way, and Ma Bell sucked out $3+/min. for a foreign call) and would write letters back and forth to kids around the first world. My parents let me travel to Hiroshima to meet my penpal when I was 14. (I don't know if people could FaceBook such a thing these days? Definitely easier, quicker, and cheaper, but could be more intensive). The following year I did the same thing in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. For a 15 y.o. kid, it was amazing. The following year I went to Spain and took the Algeceras boat to Tangiers, Morroco with a couple of much older Dutch and German college students--great memories. I went back to Western Europe a few more times with each trip memorable and inexpensive. A couple of 2 breaks in Cen and S. America. I'd visit my penpals and stay with them. After the airfare, student train and bus passes were so cheap, and I had hot meals and a bed for free. Sometimes we'd have my pen pals visit us in the States.

In the late 80's and early nineties, I went to many places in Thailand, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, and especially Indonesia where nobody had seen a white person in the flesh before. Mostly like Wade, I strung together grants, tuition waivers, and scholarships to attend University Hawaii, but spent more time off campus on exchange programs at U. Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and worked as an intern at an American Consulate in Indonesia. I imported trickets and sold them at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and herbal remedies at health food stores. I decided academia wasn't for me and started a partnership in Hawaii and another U.S.territory and was able to create good size business. As I became burnt out from 16-20 hour days. I sold out to my partners, and semi-retired investing in financial securities.

As for my 10 best places to stay for under $500 month:

1. Upland East Java Indonesia.
2. Some parts of coastal Bali Lombok (surf)
3. Rural upland, Sabah, Malaysia
4. Jammu state India
5. Vanuatu...pick an island.
6. Upland, East Timor.
7. Samar, Philippines (surf)
8. Ko Chang, Thailand or Ko Tang, Cambodia.
9. Molokai, Hawaii (especially if on welfare LOL).
10. Arequepa, Peru

10 best places to stay for under $500 month is good to know Vic and thanks. As I thought about the above list, I know that people will fly to their first starting locations and need to quickly enter the travelers mentality.

I would hope they use a list like you provided after the first month.

I have trouble promoting Southeast Asia, because of the difficult with languages, the experience is colder and less personal. Plus the beginner traveler has a high propensity of become addicted to party or paying women. Therefore I recommend they stay away from you list until more experienced, except for Aerequipa, Peru and maybe Hawaii.

Thailand #1 hands down feet bound.

My very first trip to another country was Bangkok, Thailand. I stayed in Khao San road for several days. I didn't actually stay there long since there were many other places that I wanted to see and I only had a month. It was tough experience for me since the only other country I had been to at this point was Canada and I don't really count it since I had been going to Canada regularly since I was little. I think that it is a good place to start since if you can make it there for your first traveling experience, you can make it anywhere.

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