I am hiding in a "Love Hotel" a short taxi drive from the Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Airport. The country and culture has become a game of dice, it is not possible to predict which way the dice will land today, or tomorrow. It is, and would be silly to plan for the future, there is no future. I am not even sure which name I should use when writing about this country, the true name is Cote d’Ivoire, however the Anglophone world demands to call it Ivory Coast.
"Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology."
Amazingly in one short post you have "nailed" what we have in common, especially the one major reason I have always chosen to alter my consciousness with a variety of substances. When one has nearly limitless energy and determined to maintain a positive attitude about life, the incredible adventurous possibilities of the future as well as the present day's joys of living one seems odd or annoying or weird to the majority of people around them unless somehow one learns how to "normalize" oneself or shutting down or slowing down one's natural "god " given embracing of LIFE.
Your Blog helps to stimulate people who might not otherwise take it upon themselves to MAKE IT ( traveling the World / Following their Dreams ) HAPPEN. Somehow the teaching part is nearly impossible as it's something one learns while in action. I've lived most my life outside the States and have traveled extensively but have been settled down during long periods of time also so your blog helps remind me of details I might have known or experiences years ago but had faded away. But in regards to maintaining a mobile office and various ways of earning a living with as little on-site time as possible you have provided ALOT OF CONTENT and LINKS which many of your readers have learned and I believe , in time, will use such tips for their own LESS NORMAL, adventurous lives.
Occasionally during periods of 3 to 9 months which I have managed to stay "straight" I experience vivid psychic waves of thoughts and see life's daily course of events as guided by some superior all knowing being. Guess some might call it a "natural high" like some "holy rollers" or religious / spiritual people claim to have experienced. Luckily after long periods of self-therapy I came to the conclusion that I CAN STOP any behavior which becomes a HABIT and change any physical appearance, hairstyle, fashion choices which I've chosen that causes people to classify me into some sort of "box" identity. I don't like to think I'm addicted to any habit, look or behavior pattern so change things every now and then when I feel the need.
I have often pondered the same question: are all of these travel tips just me blowing off hot air trying to prove that I am some sort of travel expert or do people really take something from them?
I found my answer this past year in Central American and Mexico. I found that I am pretty recognizable to readers and they would pick me out of the street around once or twice a month. We would usually stop and chat, maybe go get a coffee or a beer. It was during these conversations that I found that some people DO take these travel tips, advice, and suggestions to heart -- they read and listen, think, come up with new ideas based of what they read. The readers that we think are out there really are. They seldom comment, email, or let us know that they exist. It is only when you are walking down the street and someone calls out, "Are you Andy Hobotraveler?" that you will know how much your ideas have shaped the course of another person's life.
These readers are not the majority. I believe that most people want stories, knowledge, entertainment, but there is a fringe minority that will take these words and put them into practice.
Few websites and few travel bloggers are able to create and share good travel tips, and the one that do will find their sites being very special to a small amount of people. I feel this is better than being a run of the mill publication for a large audience.
We went less than two mile to the airport, the country of Cote d'Ivoire is in the business of putting up roadblocks. It appears though the military keeps the locals working the roadblocks all day and collecting bribes to pass.
I am in Dakar, Senegal now, or more correctly a small place called Yoff.
$31.22 US Dollar for a room with WIFI, no TV, not sure on hot water, a fan and could be noisy, but OK environment.
My first impression of Dakar is it feels like Niger or Mali, dusty and broken but I guess I am in Yoff, not Dakar.
I am doing the pay for first night and walk until checkout the next day to find a better value.
Generally, after a person finds the courage to travel in the third world countries they never want to travel in first world countries again....
It is 10 times more enjoyable to be in Guatemala, Peru, Thailand, Ghana than in the USA or Europe. Travel is often like having a baby, there is a lot of pain, but worth the pain.
I was in Paradise in Cote d'Ivoire, and not I am in Senegal, my quality of life has taken a nose dive for three time the cost. But then again, it is perceived that Senegal is better than Cote d'Ivoire, so far it appears about the same, maybe a little cleaner.