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Since you threw me a line and I became a perpetual traveler YOU allowed me to find my way wandering through Central and South America now for a couple years! I'm currently living in Guatemala because you showed me staggeringly beautiful places with many advantages ($$) like this for equaling out disparities in cost-of-living between my own country (plainly unaffordable and practically unleaveable) and the developing World, where it had always been my burning desire to to live and move about freely. I have many friends now around me I've met in other countries. I've learned some massage, I'm becoming a traveling silver jeweler and later an importer. Better than a wage slave, I'd say.
I'm looking forward to learning to scuba dive in Belize or Bonaire and riding a motorcycle over the Continental Divide in Panama to see a different Ocean to each side.
You can really pick the good budget countries friend. You decide - you know what you're writing about.
This morning I see volcanoes across a beautiful lake while eating my cornflakes ...
Very much...and thanks for all the Hotsprings!
I feel its normal to compare countries. We always make judgements about everything we come in touch with. You should do what your feel comfortable doing-your the one doing it. Ron
Cannot "compare" Africa to SE Asia for example, you, unlike many so many so called "travel writers" and bloqqers write in a very down to earth personal style, have n eye for unusual and subtle, and express your opinions once in a while online, as it is your site, you are the king of the castle, not a guest.
I am a daily reader, as I do research for a handful of persons from time to time regading the Central American region,and share travel tips and information on certain ex pat and or travelers social networks.
As well, like you, I am not "P. Correct" nor do I care to be to please people, I was a big people pleaser and doormat before I got sober. No more of that..today..for me.
Rarely do I even get a thank you like you just got from Chris Smith, but often teh thanks come and recently a traveler from Bahamas visited and filmed a short documentary on some of our projects in El Salvador. We met up with him, took him to the sites in vehicle and made sure he got free lodgings. When you live in a country a while one is able to do that. I used to be a guide/oral interpreter, ambulance for indigent locals and tramitador for those afraid to go into big bad Guatemala City in the 1980s and early 1990s and I told visitors who constantly compared Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, etc. to States or Costa Rica or Mexico to keep opinion to themselves as we were touring Guatemala, the worst were the "Time share" and "gated community" ex pats (USA Americans and Canadians) from Costa Rica and Northern Mexico with a very superior attitude, there were also the knee jerk anti USA crowd, the trust fund babies from up north the worst.
At any rate, have a sense of humor, and when minor or major S--- (crap) happens, as can occur in a split second just about anywhere in the world, sometimes one will board the wrong bus on wrong day and time or make an error in judgement trusting the wrong person or persons, especially when one has little or no knowlege of local language, slang and customs.
Proud to say I rn about 450 or so short trips, 800,000 klicks (km.) over several years, no "highway robbery", I had proper credentials to deal with corrupt cops/military police so paid no "multas" (mordida) and if my fault, paid the multa (fine) de transito, and teh driver of other vehicle as when I had two fender benders, a few clients did not heed my warnings and gotted pickpocketed or robbed of camera around teh neck in Chichicastenago and Solola (the worst) markets and zone 1, Guate City.
I had more problems driving in and around Boston USA area in the1970s, I am comparing, but to make a point.
Those who have the spirit and the people/tech skills PLUS sense of humor (indespenable) will 'make it' as Hobos abroad, wherever you wish to settle.
Learn local slang and sense of humor, very important, making the "wrong" people laugh at me, saved my life twice in Guatemala, once with Federales, bad ones in Mexico, 1986, I was driving.
Plus am in recovery many years from alcohol/substance abuse, often found a safe haven / fellowship wherever I traveled in this region, mostly locals
I pretty much have gone native, don't talk to too many gringoes much anymore face to face.
Again good luck your project and did not mean to be overly critical
Too much nastiness on Internet these days!!!!
Compare -- and contrast -- everything.
I'm somewhat surprised to learn that I, a daily reader of Andy's notes, am in a minority. I have lived in much of Europe, in much of Asia, and in almost every US state -- and I value Andy's broad INTERNAL data base which allows him to compare and contrast "apples" and "oranges". I enjoy his opinions and his efforts to resolve contradictions. He doesn't strike me as mean-spirited he just "calls a spade a spade".
Whether Andy encourages it or not, I believe there is a lot to be gained from becoming a daily reader.
I like it when you compare countries. It gives a standard to measure by. I have thought about your post in which you said that people sometimes see what they want to see. It is so totally human nature and a natural conditioned response. I have noticed that people hear what they are familiar and what they are conditioned to hear. It all has to do with expectations.
Your blog on love hotels let me see things on two levels. It is almost surreal. It is an interesting way to think about any country including the USA. But I am an incurable optimist and tend to inject my optimism and enjoyment of life into my evaluations of places and people and the way I see them. I enjoy reading hobo traveler. Keep up the good work.
I like stalking you while your in Thailand.