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Should I Compare Countries

A reader commented they do not enjoy me comparing countries. I have aggravated myself with this issue for many years, and I still do not have an acceptable solution.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Sunday, January 3, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear

I do understand, it is possible that 99 percent of readers do not want me to compare countries.

Three Types of Readers

Read or at least monitor every day, regardless of country. Maybe they read the titles, and then make a choice rather to read the whole article, the same as newspaper.

Bookmark the site, then check in to see what I am doing, peruse around the site, trying to find interesting articles. They are loyal readers, however for many reasons, do not read daily. I read many Travel Blogs in this way, I am a traveler, and I do not have an internet connection. It is impossible read Travel Blogs while I am traveling unless they send the whole text inside an email.

This is a one-country reader, who is doing research; they want to learn about the country they are thinking about visiting.

Think about this, which one of these three are you? I have analyzed this for years, and I have taken a path that leads to the least amount of daily readers. Why?

Do you want me to compare countries?

Should I Compare Countries


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 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!!!!

Phil J

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.