Dominican-republic Travel Stories, Page 12

Become a Travel Expert in One Niche

I am not a tourist, I have no idea why people want me respect, or write for tourist. I love to listen to normal people talking about normal life. I do not want to listen to Tourist gibberish, they all think they are experts.

Trisha Miller wrote this:

"So how do you stand out from the crowd? The answer is simple - choose a travel niche. Find a specific topic that you are passionate about (and no, "travel" is not specific enough), and focus on writing about that topic.

A perfect travel niche for you should be:

1. Something you love, and
2. Something you know a lot about, and
3. Something you have firsthand experience with

I recommend you read the whole article:
Why Every Travel Writer Needs to Have a Travel Niche

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Friday, February 12, 2010
By Andy Graham of
| Travel Gear | | Top Travel Site

Everyone is an Expert
Everyone is an expert on Travel.
Everyone is an expert on Sex.
Everyone is an expert on Real Estate.

I sold Real Estate for 14 years; often a person selling their house would want to tell me how to sell their home. I would ask,
"How many houses did you sell last year?"
They said,
I would say,
"I sold 85, you listen to me, I do not listen to you."
They would threat,
"You will not get to re-list the property."
I said,
"Who cares, I sell properties, I do not re-list property."

I have written 4968 Travel Post, maybe I know a little about this. I have traveled continuously for 12 years, maybe I know little about this. I stopped drinking 23 years ago, on February 12, maybe I know a little about this. I have visited 88 countries, maybe I know a little about this…

It took me 4968 post to learn I need to choose a niche. To write about, travel includes every aspect of living, the bite is too big. The only way to write to this general audience is to write fairy tale article, with poetic justice, that are politically correct, trying to keep them all happy.

Do you want your writing to be read in the Doctors reception area?
Do you want your writing taken serious by educated and experienced people?

For the most part, Travel Writing is about being a hack, the majority of Travel Blogger are Hacks, (They are not even paid… hehehe) it is just the fact of life, to leave that realm, a person needs a travel niche.
Hack Writer Defined

Should a writer care about the audience?

I have been thinking for years about writing a book of the identifiers that define a nation as developed or underdeveloped. I do not dream about travel writing... I am a writer that travels, not a travel writer. (I stole that from Paul Theroux.)

Become a Travel Expert in One Niche

The Hobo and the Jehovah Witness

The enemy of good advice is love and respect.

"Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves."
- Albert Camus

The voice of the good people can be weeded out of the angry comments. Sometimes it is impossible to find an honest voice in sea of sweet talking people who do not want to offend.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Friday, February 12, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

My Two Daily Questions

1. What shall I do today?
I am fortunate, 99 percent of my day is open, and I have nothing on the schedule.

2. How do I find friend today?

Hobo Annoying People
Here is a little story….

Suppose a Hobo gets off the train, wanders around your home town, then for some strange reason walk up to your back door and ask,
"Will you give me some food?"

Suppose for some reason a Jehovah Witness walks up to your door and says,
"Have you found God?"

I am guessing, but about 50 percent of the people are going to be rude, be abrupt, and disrespectful, saying.
"No, why are you bothering me?"

The Hobo and the Jehovah Witness see each other on the same path; they both are experiencing overwhelming rejection.

The Hobo says to the Jehovah Witness,
"These people are angry."

The Jehovah Witness says,
"I would rather listen to an angry person telling me the truth, then a happy person lying to me."

Good friendships starts with an honest statement, coupled with benevolent intentions. However, if the persons intentions are bad, I still want to hear the honest opinions. When a person twist honest sentences into lies, then couples it with bad intentions, we know we are talking with the devil.

Is God Lost?
Generally, when a person ask me,
"Have you found God?"
I say,
"I did not know he was lost."
"I am ok, are you looking for him?"

The Hobo and the Jehovah Witness

A Traveler in Sosua Dominican Republic

Yesterday, I paid the rent for another month here in Sosua, Dominican Republic, I suspect I will be here for 30 more days, but I am never sure, I am not a tourist.
(If you are a tourist, Shooo!, get out of here, you are on the wrong site.)

People I meet in Sosua ask,
"When are you leaving?
I buy one-way plane tickets, and cannot answer this question.
I would say,
"I do not know."
Which begets the next question?
"Do you live here in Sosua?"
I say,

I have confused the person, they want to understand, and they think I am being devious and evasive, that is not my goal. I search for an answer that will give closure.
I say,
"I am a traveler."
The people say to themselves,
"So am I."

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Thursday, February 11, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

Notes on my Frustration
Regular readers know I am frustrated, angry, full of rage, I think I am angry with myself. I created this huge mess, and I need to untangle it.

I do not want readers to read this Blog looking for Tourist information,

The circular conversation above is the pivotal problem that causes me to become frustrated. When I write on this Travel Journal, I am talking to tourist, I am trying to teach them to travel forever, and they only want to go on vacation. The tourist need to leave, and the dreamers need to come on board.

The first impression of this site needs to be about going to Haiti, Iraq, searching for un-contacted tribes and the enjoyment of culture. Danger, Violence, Challenge and all the other off the wall things I love to do, then somehow explain, like a Hobo, we need to jump out of our skin and become what we dream about, not what we are told is acceptable.

Today I am Sosua.
Tomorrow, I do not know.

We all start to write a book of about our lives, and somehow live another.

Do you want to be a Traveler? I suspect your answer is no, therefore I am confused what I am doing…

A Traveler in Sosua Dominican Republic India Suspends Payments 2010

Location independent workers, who live and work anywhere had another problem added to the queue today.

My morning started:
Boy Genius from India, chief coder for bangs me with a chat message the minute my computer connected with Yahoo Messenger.

“Everything is a problem in this country” (India)
PayPal: India payments suspended for 'at least a few months'

PayPal said a ban on personal transactions to and from India will continue for “at least a few months” while the online payment service tries to resolve a problem with local regulators.”

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Wednesday, February 10, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

Payroll Problems
If you have never felt the pains of payroll problems, then you probably are not an entrepreneur. General Motor received the bailout from the U.S. Government because all the big players knew that if GM workers did not receive their money, if they missed payroll, the government of the USA could collapse. This was a payroll problem, a loss of confidence situation. One money problem and workers can quit, it is all about making workers feel secure, safe and financially secure. Employee System
Here is an oversimplified explanation of the process of hiring a worker.

1. Advertise for Workers in India
2. Online Job Application Completed
3. Test Sent
4. Reviewed by Andy
5. Test Email Sent
6. Call the worker with

7. Send Agreement Letter
8. Worker Starts Working.
9. End of month comes.
10. Payment sent to worker by or Western Union.

Developing Internet Work Systems
Boy Genius has been working for me for over five years, I think maybe seven. I hired him when I was in Goa, India. I went searching around for PHP Coder in the Internet Cafes. I wanted a workers who lived in an area of India I would not mind visiting.

The Job Application with a control panel on the back was set up maybe four years ago, and daily people fill out Job Applications.

Biggest Mistake of US Employers
This is not easy; it takes tons of patience and persistence to work location independent. I would say the biggest mistake Entrepreneur make is paying people too much. The whole goal is to leverage the lower pay in underdeveloped countries into developed countries profits. Staff has employed up to five workers part-time. Our first big attempt failed because of investor problems two years ago. We are now trying again with a more compartmentalized internal management system and have hired a girl PHP worker from Egypt who speaks Arabic as her first language.

India Workers
There are workers in India fishing for naïve American employers who are willing to pay five times the monthly India wage. There is a never-ending series of comments by India Workers as they request their salary. 80 percent of the time, they want USA wages, saying something like,
“This is what the USA pays.”
I say,
“If I was going to pay that, I would hire a USA worker.”

Wage Guidelines
Generally, the salary of an overseas worker is:

U.S.A. Dollars
1. 5-10 USD per day
2. 150-600 per month

There is no hourly wage, truly an Americanism, nothing to do with 80 percent of the real planet earth, if you are paying by the hour, I would say you are having problems.

Real Problems
Fun stuff, and if you want to have real problems, have shut off the payroll work on projects can come to a stop until workers feel safe again.

Communication Advancements
The Verizon Smartphone I have with Global Internet access has made management of India workers 10 times simpler. (Disclosure) India Suspends Payments 2010

Video on Making a Camping Bread Toaster

I wanted toasted bread; I made a toaster using tin cans. Normally I hold bread over the flame, with this system I invented I do not burn my fingers.

Kitchen in the 285 Dollar per month Apartment on Sosua, Beach --- Dominican Republic.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Tuesday, February 9, 2010
By Andy Graham of
| Travel Gear | | Top Travel Site

If you do not see a video here, it is because you are reading by email, click here: Travel Videos

I enjoy making these travel tips videos. I would love to record one video daily; however, it is difficult to find a person to help make the video.

Video on Making a Camping Bread Toaster

Uniqueness of the Human Spirit

The good Gods gave me a gift; I try not to squander it. They have allowed me to wander the planet aimlessly, whereby I see small daily glimpses of the human spirit.

Can you see the Human Spirit?
Atakpame, Togo - West Africa

This gift has a proviso, I must wander, I cannot lead, I must not try to control my life.
I do not understand how this works, I just know it does, and if I obey, I will be given daily opportunities on this aimless path.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Monday, February 8, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

This girl walked down the path by my Hotel in Natingou, Benin. I felt a rush, a sudden compulsion, I needed to stop her. I took this photo and asked her name, as best I could tell, I may never know clearly, she is from the Dandi or Dindi Ethic group in Benin she spoke a little French. This is my day, my life, this is one of the small views I was able to capture for you. Moreover, it made me happy, I took for unknown reasons the 1 in 10,000 photo to share with you. See the human spirit spitting itself at the camera, trust me, this photo was nothing compared to the real visceral rush I experienced.

1 in 10,000 Photo

I feel an obligation to stop and observe these opportunities, and again, I do not know why, normally I am enmeshed in confusion, and I am trying to see, pushing the chaos to the side.

Sometimes friends and family ask, are you ok, I have to remind them to keep the faith, that in the end, we are all walking down the right path. I believe we all have a little voice talking to us, when we obey we are in Heaven, and Hell is the emotional turmoil, the monkey on our back created when we disagree. I suspect it is possible, who can be sure, but maybe one day I will stand in front of one the good Gods and he will say,
“Hmm, I see you obeyed that little voice more, than you disagreed.”

Ergo, my only responsibility in life is to wake up and be a good boy taking the next good step. I know my life is good, and I will have this life less normal. Again, it is all about some leap of faith, sort of the Fear and Trembling Søren Kierkegaard tried to explain in another explanation of little voices.

A person asked me the other day,
“Why do you travel perpetually?”
I tried to explain,
“I do not know.”

I just get small pieces of a bigger pie, I can only talk about my piece given to me today, I am not sure tomorrow, hopefully the piece is bigger. I know this path has little to do with Tourist, little to with the fascination with deserted Islands and beautiful sunsets. And it has everything to do with looking into the eyes of other people trying to find the uniqueness of the Human Spirit in all of us.

I wonder why I am not given a better camera, I guess perfection is part of imperfection, it is the struggle that is perfect.

Uniqueness of the Human Spirit

This Old House or Hotel Room

Who is better prepared for perpetual traveler?

A. People who watches the TV show This Old House where people remodel old homes.
B. People that reads Travel Sites.

Answer: A - This Old House
Too easy of question, without a doubt, it is the people who watches this old house.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Sunday, February 7, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

My neighbor asked,
“Does this need a gas line?”

I rented an apartment here on Sosua Beach in the country of Dominican Republic. A friend rented the studio apartment on the second floor. The owner did not connect the gas line to my neighbors four burner stove, well more than that; there is not a propane gas tank.

Propane Gas Tank
I looked below the sink, thinking to myself, the owner is a chump. My neighbor had a four-burner stove, but no tank, no gas line, no way to use the stove. More or less the room looked like it had a stove, but there was no way to use.

How do I explain to my Neighbor?
There is no way…
It is not possible…
I cannot explain…

My friend and neighbor does not have background knowledge of house maintenance. This seems minor, you just complain to the owner, however the room also needs:

1. Mosquito Screens on Windows
2. Fitted Sheets
3. Hot Water
4. Television

My neighbor has to become a big complainer to live in comfort; people generally are not able to complain effectively, they just live with problems.

Why the Owner does not finish?
I know why my neighbor does not have all these items completed, it is simple, he would need to pay a construction worker. Therefore until my neighbor complains for days, he is not going to do it. I cannot say he is a slumlord, but generally, he is a slumlord.

“He does not do work so he can save money.”
… However, the room is priced right for the quality.

Hotel Reviews
I managed about 200 hundred homes in the USA for a few years. I know about everything possible about maintaining a home.
“I can fix anything but a broken heart.”

I was a Real Estate Broker for 14 years, managed tons of apartments, and did too many constructions jobs to count. For me to live in Five Star Hotels is painful. Why? Because they are too many things missing in the rooms, it truly annoys pay big money and has the same maintenance problems as the cheap rooms.

I need to feel like I got a good value for my money, it is a need, not a want, I know the difference between a quality well-maintained room and just another pretty room.

Home Inspectors
I think Home Inspectors would be best qualified to do Hotel Reviews. They understand what makes a room livable, not just pretty.

If I could give you a choice piece of advice when choosing a Hotel. The nice receptionist is of little value, go talk with the maintenance man, this is the person you need to know.

75 percent of the Hotels on the planet do not have full time Maintenance workers. If there is one great reason to live in 500 room Hotels, it is because they have a maintenance man. I can live in small boutique type hotels, the bed and breakfast types, because I know the maintenance man, his name is Andy.

People pay 20 times the cost for a room, so they have maintenance, man, my advice,
“Watch This Old House.”

I try to keep my mouth shut when I visit friend’s hotels, I do not want to tell him or her, your Hotel room is managed by a slumlord. They will need to go home to feel comfortable, because of many nagging problems they will never truly understand, they just know, something is not right in the room.

This Old House or Hotel Room

10 Skills Needed to Succeed with Internet Business

My site has been in business for 10 years, for the last five years I have made between 35,000 and 55,000 Dollars. We are in the process of taking it to the next level. Whereby, I plan to have unbelievable amounts of traffic. (Money)

Do you want to be a Hobo?
This is the Hobo go this way sign, lessons learned in life come from anywhere, do not have contempt before consideration, you meet incredibly intelligent, wealthy and famous people daily who are trying to keep the dogs away, they disguise themselves so they do not have to talk with fools.

I will take these two site to “Super Sites,“ the top 500 on the Planet

How did I get this far? How did I make a regular job… oops, maybe I should admit it, it is the dream job, I can do anywhere on the planet?

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Saturday, February 6, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

Skills Needed to Succeed

1. Databases: A filing system for data, facts, ideas, dreams.
You need to understand how a database works, I use Microsoft Works daily, and it is where I collect data. I also use Excel, but prefer MS Works, the sort functions are easier.

2. Collect Data in Database: The raw information made into web sites.
Data, facts, ideas, words are made into pages, you need a good collection of similar concepts
Example: 100 skills needed to succeed on the internet.
(I am doing this off the top of my head, but I could make a list of 100.)

3. Capture Email: Emails are you contact, they are you smart people, your support. When a person writes you, you must add the email to your contact list; this list must migrate from computer to computer. It should all be in one location, preferable in a database, but Gmail seems to be the best depository right now I have two locations, one on Yahoo Mail and the other in my FoxMail Email Client

4. File Emails: in way you can find and remember.
I know who emails me; I have a filing system that helps me remember people. I will put emails in a folder; I save all emails with memory clues.
Example: I file the name in a folder.
Folder: ---- Person Makes Comments on Blog
I make the Yahoo Mail Nickname: George-techie-sent-me-Video-Program

5. Read How to News: --- How to Blog, How to make HTML, How to Write, How to SEO.

You need to read How to News, if you want to learn How to Write, you read How to Write Newsletters, keep reading more until you know the best. Note, if you do not like to read, then you probably should change your business. I like to read Search Engine Optimization emails, if this bores you, maybe it is better you not do an internet business.

6. Work Regular Hours: Same time every day.
I have a routine, from about 4:00 am until 7-8 am, I work everyday, after that I take a shower and go walk around where I am at taking photos, looking at girls and talking with friends.

7. Write:
You must be able to type and write a paragraph easy; maybe you need to take typing classes. Content is King on the Internet, you must be able to put words, NOT just pretty graphics or photos up. Google cannot read photos, I have a successful site full of words, we are hoping to add successful graphics, but not needed, but helpful.

8. Manners: Smart people like me like good manners.
You are not going to get the support and help of others without manners; you cannot establish friendships with people who will guide you on the path. I answer many emails, but when a person starts out a sentence like
“Hey Dude, you need to do this… “

9. Return Emails: Try to give value to all human life.
People that wrote you took their love and time to write you, they are humans; they need to be loved back. I try to reply to all emails, incredibly difficult. The majority of people are too self-centered to even write a thank you back. I will sit and write two paragraphs to help a person I do not know; they do not even say Thank You.

I will work and help people for a Thank You, but will stop replying when there is no appreciation given/.

9. Honest: Here is where many lose, they just cannot be trustworthy.
Yes, you can succeed by being a crap, but you not be respected, just another piece of crap who uses people.

10. Todo List of Five Things Daily:
People make big long unmanageable todo list, I make a daily todo list of five things. I then get them five things done everyday. No Failure allowed, I work on a success basis only, I do not try to land with the stars, I work effectively, I make a todo list I can get done. You must learn to succeed, to daily not finish your todo list will make you understand in your subconscious.

Hmm, I made a todo list.
I did not finish it.
I am a failure.
Make 5 easy things to do, and finish them daily, you will make progress.

In the end, you have a real goal, and your subconscious goal.

Goal: Make a lot of money.
Subconscious Goal: So I can impress my friends, find a beautiful girl, and make all my friends jealous.

You will find you always work for your subconscious goal, once you realize who you are; you may be able to accept yourself. I want to travel, this is my subconscious and now my conscious goal, I needed money, so I made a website so I could achieve my goal of traveling forever. I have new goals, I am upping the game, I need a game, this is me...

People who love the game only attain great Wealth, the love of money is not enough, and you need to love your internet business game. Writing good is a game, with practice, you become better at writing, and you can enter into bigger games, you can become a player.

I hate to say this, but there are players, and the losers often become the game. Readers make some nasty comments on this Blog, often I am gaming them to elicit honest thoughts, I do not want ingratiating attaboy comments, that do not help me. Surrounding yourself with people who love you is not going to teach you the world; you need to engage the world, real, ugly and trite.

Good Luck
I call myself a Hobo, I assume you think you are smarter than a Hobo. I am
Andy Graham in Dominican Republic on Sosua Beach, while you sit in your cubicle or desk reading this, think about it. I have traveled continuously for 12 years, and visited 88 countries, what have you done?

Go Tweet this,
I have a better idea, do not tweet it, and go do the list.

10 Skills Needed to Succeed with Internet Business