FAQS HoboTraveler.com


Frequently asked question of Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com on his world travels.

FAQS HoboTraveler.com  "A Life Less Normal"

Frequently Asked Questions

- Ten Years continuous travel, starting in March of 1998
- 88 plus countries and growing List of countries
- 212 Newsletters written - 11,000 subscribers - (Merge with Blog)
- 20,000 photos TRAVEL PHOTOS
- 5000 Blog Entries Started in Iraq - Top Five Travel Blog for Forbes.com, National Geographic Adventurer
--- Updated June 2010 ----

Normal Questions?

NUMBER ONE

1. How do you make enough money to travel?

ANSWER

The answer has changed over time and continues to change.

The first 7 years, I average cost per day was probably
between 5 and 10 dollars per day. I do no drink and
save money in any way possible.

YEARS 1
    Had savings after working in Real Estate as both Broker and Investor. I believe I had maybe 10,000 dollars, but squandered most of it. Now I could live for 4 years on this money and then I only lived for one.

YEARS 2-5
    Traded making a webpage for a free room.
    Taught English
    Had some saving and collected some money.
    Happened to make a webpage for 4 thousand dollars.

YEARS 6 - NOW

1. I created three major types of communication forums.

Newsletters:
http://www.topica.com
http://www.yahoogroups.com

Blog, Travelogue, Diary
http://www.blogger.com

The web site:
http://www.hobotraveler.com

I then asked for donation and got paid through
http://www.paypal.com

2. Selling of products
Make page then got paid with.
http://www.paypal.com

3. Advertisers.
I had in year seven an advertiser contact me and started to pay me 300 dollars per month, this with donations, and the sale of a few products helped me tremendously.

Note that I have a good family and know that I ever got really stranded or in trouble they would help buy a ticket home.

4. This is the dangerous question for me to ask. I now have another form of advertising that pays about 30 cents per click that is all over my pages. This is a complete windfall for me. It is called contextual advertising and is the future of the internet. It has been around for maybe a year and I have been using for four months.

I asked Google if I could explain and they said yes, the new big money for me is:
http://www.google.com/adsense

They are wonderful, the check come and they pay, if you do something wrong they do not seem to be looking for a way as are most affiliate programs to not pay you, they look for a way to help you correct your site.

I have presently went solvent and can probably now
afford to travel in Europe and America.

I will continue to expand my other types of advertisers.

NOTE: The bottom line is I sat down and typed in my computer daily for 8 years. I have made maybe 5 separate files or pages per day. These all become searchable in the google.com and I presently have an average of 9,000 plus UNIQUE visitors per day on my site.

The more pages you have the more money you will make.
Here is an example of how to make a perfect page for google.com
http://www.hobotraveler.com/perfectpage.html

I devote my time and one of the major themes is for a Hobo
to travel from place to place looking for a job. So I have also
collected a lot of ways to make money as you travel the world.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/jobs.php

Hope that helps,
But save up enough money to live for 6 months and you
will find the way as the money runs out.

It cost about 15 dollar a day to live in countries like
Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, or Thailand
 

2. Why don't you learn to write? Your grammar is terrible.

I am always tempted to say,
"Why don't you learn to introspect, look at yourself, what are you doing?
You are reading this!
Therefore I have learned to write.
A person that knows how to write is read by other people."

I have learned a lot about writing, what it means to have a voice, a style, and way with words. However I admit I am not a good editor of my work, my belief is my mind works so fast, that it is almost incapable of going slow enough to see the problems, the words are abstract in my brain, and not letters or words. I cannot think on that slow of level.

Communication is my goal, I work to choose the exact phrase or combination of words, sometime I am positive the sentence is constructed wrong, however it does say what I wish to say. Plus a trickle of annoying sentence forces a person out of their mental constraints, and helps them think outside the box.

Writing to me is an attempt to illicit emotions, unfortunately I am classified or thought of as a travel write, therefore people are accustomed and programmed to read flowery, nice, wonderful prose about a place, because in reality, 90 percent of travel writers are paid to make a place look good to sell tours, they are paid to write lies for money. Therefore when you read my travel writing you are annoyed, it is nothing like what you like to read. Please go read the lies if you do not like my writing, this is the amazing and wonderful parts of writing to read the comments and to understand that sometime a simple click of the mouse would have led the person away, but maybe the world world rather argue.

My best teacher is the Grammar checker of Microsoft Works, I learn a lot about the rules of grammar, now if the would implement the same system into the Frontpage program, I would be able to implement in web pages better.

Ergo, you are reading, Ergo I am a writer, or a hack... Do not take yourself too serious, life is short.


3. Where is the best place to start a never go home travel trip?

ANSWER

STARTING a "Never go home trip."

What you have to do is learn the rope or correctly you will get financially raped or bad advice. I recommend you go to one of the following locations. Live for a minimum of one month before you leave. Keep looking for cheaper and cheaper rooms and negotiate rooms. You should be able to get a room in any of these locations for less than 2 dollars per day. Food cost is cheap if you stay off the beer and look for a kitchen to cook yourself.

Panajachel Guatemala or Lago Atitlan
A great place to retire - Volcanoes

Otavalo Ecuador or Quito Ecuador
Go to the old part of Quito and stay. NOT the new.
Otavalo is touristy but very cheap.

Arequipa Peru or La Paz Boivia
Both these cities are nice and easy.

Bangkok Thailand - Khao San Road
Go to the opposite end than the Wat or Temple
and there are tons of cheap hotels.

Phnom Penh - Anywhere near Lakeside Hotel

Palolem Beach Goa India
(Almost anywhere in India)

Katmandu Nepal - Best for Asia

China - I am sure there are places, but the language
is more difficult.

Best choices are Panajachel, Guatemala, Quito
Ecuador and Bangkok Thailand.
South and Central America is more cultural and
Asia is more about Sex and Drugs - Religious quest.

4. How old are you?

ANSWER

Do I have to answer this... hehehe?

I am 49.
Feel like 29
Look like 39

But you are only as old as the girls you date, so I am about 31.

5. How much do you work?

I work about 2-4 hours per day. I am maybe on the internet about 2 hours per day or less, I suppose if it was cheaper I would be on more, when I am bored I go to the internet, but I am not working. I would estimate though if you extract or subtract the time I am answering emails my real work time is only two hours per day. But then you have to add back in the hours in a day I take photos.

If you like to do this type of things, I would suppose I only work about one hour per day of monotonous work. Like fixing links, answering questions from readers that do not read the blog or the newsletter and instantly send me questions. Ergo the reason for this section so I can send them this link. Everyone has good questions with a twist so I try to answer them all short or long.
 

6. What motivates you? The website and newsletter must take a lot of work.

My motivation has always been simple, I wanted enough money to travel, and to continue to travel. Presently I have achieved my goal of having enough money to travel, so now I ask myself the same question, why work when I am living comfortable and happy. I suppose partly to quote my friend Walt,

"That is who I are."

I have woke every morning for the last 20 years at around 6:00 am and fiddled around with work or tried to categorize my life first on a yellow legal pad, and now on a computer, but this is what I do every morning. It keeps me regular. routine is my security blanket, my best friend, and sometimes keeps me from accepting a new challenge.

I quit drinking alcohol about 18 years ago, and I needed to change.
So I changed.

Most travelers make their trip and endless party, they are on vacation, and use this as an excuse to be someone else, therefore they are radically different on their trip, when they go home they become someone else again. For me, I am about the same traveling as I was home in Indiana, just a different dance.

I am very curious.
I am endlessly curious.
The world is endless, there is always another corner to go investigate.

I like to help people, on the other hand, I do believe the best help I can lend to people is to let them know all is possible and they are responsible for themselves.

I should add girls to the list of motivations, I suppose one day I will find a wife somewhere.

7. Do you have insurance?

I suppose I am the same as the rest of the travelers in my class. No, I do not have insurance, I suppose God protect fools, but nonetheless I live under a lucky star. It has become a thought though, although is one of the excuses people give me for not traveling. I would do the same...

Except for ... I have no money.
Except for ... I need to pay my car payment, my house payment.
Except for ... I need insurance.
Except for ... Blah Blah Blah

Face the facts, you are afraid, or you jump.
Get a passport and buy a plane ticket, then you leave, it always works out.
That is what is great about travel, there is a path.
You will never have enough money, I will guarantee that.
I am endlessly curious, I am not endlessly wanting to buy things.

8. Do you have some favorite gear or products you buy.

http://www.hobotraveler.com/recommendedandy.shtml
 

"A Life Less Normal"

QUESTIONS POSED TO ME BY MY NEPHEW IN FEBRUARY OF 2006



Hi Uncle Andy,

Thank you for taking the time to do this. We appreciate it. It is easier to do this over email. You can answer the questions however you wish.You don't have to go into great deatil. This way you can do it whenever you have time between now and Tuesday Feb. 14 if possible.

Thank you again.
Here are the questions:

1. When did you first decide to leave the country and explore the world?

ANSWER
I left about nine years ago, there was not a conscious decision to leave, I more or less was taking a year off to try to live in Mexico and see if it was possible to live by making money from the Internet. I more or less was buying time by living in a place where time was slower, I had a lot more time, and life was very cheap. I suppose on my downward trip from Mexico to Costa Rica I started to want to see the world. When I finally put 2 and 2 together and made my first dollar from the intenet, I then knew it was possible.

2. How many countries have you been to?

ANSWER
64 as best I can calculate, I have figured this wrong a couple of times, now I more careful.
This page has a list:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/countriesvisitedbyandy.shtml

3. What do you hope to accomplish by traveling the world?

ANSWER:
I do not wish to accompish anythiny specific, HoboTraveler.com is a business at the end of the day, with the web site I am able to earn money if I provide helpful information to my readers. Only by traveling the planet am I capable of understanding the real needs of travelers, and not the imagined needs. I write from actual need of myself, create sites that serve or would help me to travel.

4. Do you have a favorite country or place in the world and why is it your favorite?

ANSWER
Guatemaula, Ecuador, Peru, Thailand, and the Philippines.
I am not sure which is my favorite, howeer I think most about returning to Thailand, it has the cheapest living, with the most options or choices. I can live in a beach hut for 3 dollars per night, watch a movie at a restuarant, while eating for 1 dollar. Then meet persons from all over the planet, when I am bored the plane fares are cheap from Bangkok, therefore I can fly anywhere on the planet for less than about 700 dollars.

Guatemaula is great because Lago Atitlan is easy, cool at night, warm in the day. Tropical, however 1500 meters of altitude makes is cooler and warm at the same time.

5. Is there a country or place that you never want to return to?

ANSWER
Philippines Nepal

6. What made you decide to put your travel experiences on a web page?

ANSWER
I only had one goal to earn money to travel, if I helped person, I knew I would get paid back in the long run.

7. How many places in the world do you visit in a year?

ANSWER:
Presently I am doing about 2-3 countries per month, in the past I did not move very fast, all my trips were over land. Now that I am in better financial conditon I am able to fly from boring places to more interesting places. Pay my way through tough gaps that would take a lot time.
I hope to cross over the 100 Country Mark this year.

8. How do you pay for expenses?

ANSWER:
Million Dollar question, asked a lot, it has changed over time.
This page answers that:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/faqs

9. How do you decide where to travel to next?

ANSWER:
Normally there is a natural progression or path to follow. Travelers move or migrate in paths. I am not the only person traveling. I am in the lower part of the Caribbean presently and it somewhat obvious the easy path is to hop island to island north. When I get to the USA, turn right and go towards the Europe. I normally make a big decision by which airfares are the cheapest. I also become weary of cultures and need a change of channel.

10. What are your modes of transportation?
ANSWER:
1. Bus: Everywhere on the planet the bus is the best, I am on many buses.
2. Plane: I fly often, now with the invent of the LCC or Low Cost Carriers I can fly more.
3. Train: Europe has trains, india has trains. I do not like trains, they do not go to the cities well, and normally more expensive.
4. Taxi: Taxi cost about 1 dollar per trip inside a city.
5. Boat - Amazon River or Rio Napo in South America - Mekong River in SouthEast Asia
http://www.hobotraveler.com/aroundtheworldairfare.shtml

11. What do you take with you on your travels?

ANSWER:
I have a tip or list of all the things I carry, note when the weather gets colder like in Tibet, I purchased more clothes, than in Tropics I will dump them.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletterhobo176insert.shtml

12. What other languages do you speak and what is it like communicating with people of different races and languages?

ANSWER
I speak Spanish very well, than a little of a lot, I can say hello very well in many languages. It is not excitiing anymore to communicate with the persons on the planet, it is often amazing how cold the world has become. I am still curious and look for places where they are excited to see me and where I am excited to see them. Many place have so many tourist the locals ignore me or anyone.

13. Do you have any specific memories from your experiences traveling that stick out in your mind and that you will never forget?

ANSWER:
yes
1. Elephant Rice in Chitwan Park in southern Nepal and chasing Rhinos.
2. The hot springs in Quezaltango, Guatemaula and the Israeli girl with Wini the Poo underwear.
3. 30 hour bus rides in South America

14. What does it feel like coming back to America after being gone a long time?

ANSWER:
I am a visitor, I do not live in the USA, I live on the planet. I feel alienated and often amazed nobody asked me what I did while I was gone.

15. How do you view American culture in comparison to others?

ANSWER:
Americans are the polite culture of the world, they look or expect a person to do the right thing. This also makes them soft targets for the mean persons on the planet. People of the planet are jealous of success. I am sad though that the American culture can no longer just say what they think, they seem to hide behind nice words, soft sayings and do not act like the John Wayne type of men the movies created and America is known for, there is too much apologizing for the USA. I love America, the whole world fights to enter it, much more the world wants to go there.

In the end though person or people do things to earn money for their families. The nobel causes are now assigned to anyone but themselves. I do see the American culture as the appointed leader of the planet. We are also the ones that will take responsibilty. I am not happy that American women like to act like men, they are difficult and obnoxious, they do not see the errors of their ways.

Never apologize for being American, others are jealous, say thank you.

Thanks,

Brandon & Collin


Thanks
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

2006-02-13