Around the World in 80 Years - Travel Journal

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Hey guys, the title of this thread is a play on Jules Verne's famous book "Around the World in 80 Days" - I intend to travel 365 times longer than that. ;) I've been on the road for eleven years so far, so I have another 69 years to go! I'm going to journal a bit about my travels on this board.

But first of all props to Alessandro for starting this board, I think that was a brilliant idea! There is nothing like a journal for putting all your thoughts in writing - it creates focus and accountability, and I also really believe in the words of Tony Robbins when he says that "a life worth living is a life worth recording".

I'm going to keep this travel log in English, so hopefully we can start a dialogue here that will be a useful exercise for everybody. Right now I'm in Vietnam, and I've been here since I left the Philippines about a month ago. This is definitely one of the most exotic countries in the world, and the food is amazing as well - especially the sea food!

Their language is super bizarre though, they speak in tones like the Chinese do... but they have six tones, whereas the Chinese have "only" four... and you thought English was difficult! Haha. Vietnamese sounds kinda cool though - it definitely has character.

As I had mentioned on another thread, Vietnam is a true paradise and very, very cheap - 10$ a night for a room in a resort (!) with air con, 17Mb/s wireless internet, flat screen TV, queen size bed and private bathroom... right at the beach. South East Asia is really an amazing place. This is my first ever flipcam video, first take, uncut:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13FcRty ... ature=plcp[/youtube]

So this is just a quick post to kick off my journal, I will be posting regularly here from now on and tell you guys a bit about life on the move. :) If you wanna hit the road too, just reply to this thread and let me know if I can give you some advice, I'm always glad to help. I'll also talk a bit about how you can travel for free, or make money while traveling, where to find good, cheap accommodation, and what the best places to visit are...

In my next post, I'll write a bit more about Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City.

Cheers,
Frank
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99 respostas
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No último podcast, prometi publicar um vídeo de mim tocando uma música brasileira... Tá no youtube agora.
Acho que vocês conseguem advinhar o autor e título?
Abraços,
~ Frank ~

I guess really nice to travel around the world! It must be a great experience! Good luck!

I also guess that it's a very nice experience and I'd like congratulate you for your initiative.
Thank's to share with us.

Hello Frank! How are you? In November my wife and I are going to Taiwan to our friend's wedding! Taiwanese friends we met in Boston when we did a English course for a month in 2011.
Have ever been in Taiwan? What did you think?
Ronaldo

That is a nice experience.

But would be easy live in a country like this and make $20 day?

In Brazil $600/monthly which is RS 1,200 . It's not easy a worker do this in Brazil.
MENSAGEM PATROCINADA Quer aprender inglês sozinho, mas não sabe como? Faça o download do guia Como Aprender Inglês Sozinho da English Live. Nele você encontrará dicas de aprendizagem por meio da leitura e também como tirar proveito de séries e filmes para expandir seu inglês.

Download do Guia em PDF - Grátis!

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luizaquino escreveu:That is a nice experience.

But would be easy live in a country like this and make $20 day?

In Brazil $600/monthly which is RS 1,200 . It's not easy a worker do this in Brazil.
I agree... US$ 600 per month is still a lot of money. But, compared to what a similar room in a similar resort would cost almost anywhere else in the world, it's very, very cheap.

That said, I met a Vietnamese girl on that beach who's a real estate broker, and she told me you can also rent a whole house there for US$ 50 per month... it's not going to have a hot water shower, but it will be furnished and have TV and internet.

Would it be easy to make 20 dollars per day in Vietnam? If you speak English, yes... very easy. English teachers make between 15 and 20 dollars per *hour* here, and you don't have to be a native speaker - you just have to be fluent.

Another option for those who are bilingual is to work as a translator... you can expect to make between 5 and 20 cents per *word* you translate - so between 10 and 40 centavos. And that's work you can do on the internet - in other words, you can make that kind of money *anywhere* in the world.

I actually wasn't going to post this video publicly, I just recorded it for some friends of mine - but they told me I should rethink that, because it might really inspire people to study. :) It's definitely worth the effort!
Ronaldo Dutra escreveu:Hello Frank! How are you? In November my wife and I are going to Taiwan to our friend's wedding! Taiwanese friends we met in Boston when we did a English course for a month in 2011.
Have ever been in Taiwan? What did you think?
Hey Ronaldo, thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I've been to Taiwan before, albeit only for two days on a stop over. I thought it was a great place. It's a beautiful island and Tapei is a vibrant city.

I have friends who live there and I will probably go there after Singapore... who knows, we might be there at the same time... let's stay in touch.

From what I hear, Taiwan has a very high number of English speakers per capita, and people are well educated and friendly. I can't wait to go there again and spend some more time in the country.
wender.jean escreveu:I also guess that it's a very nice experience and I'd like congratulate you for your initiative.
Thank's to share with us.
Thanks a lot, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

I Frank, how is it going? I loved the idea of you telling us your stories around this huge planet and also giving us tips of travelling and helping us to improving our english (u can correct my mistakes, feel free I apreciatte! :)
Sooo exotic this country, indeed! My ex boyfriend had gone there and he told me a lot of odd habits like they drink soda in room temperature!! Argh! Ahah he is photograph journalist and i saw many interesting pics, one of caught my attention was a 5 people sitting at a motorcycle!! OMG! How they do it without falling down!! Ahah
Well, I havent been around as you, but i lived in US, at NY, six years ago, and now I'm at the Middle East, living in Israel! Have u been here? I bet yes, or if u havent been it probably is in your travel plan!
I'm looking forward to reading your next threads!
All the best,
Flavia Cohen

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Hey Flavia, thanks for stopping by! Yeah, there are some fascinating things going on in this part of the world... and some of them can really blow your mind, I'll post about that later...

I haven't been to Israel yet, but I have friends there and I hope to go there some time, for sure... a lot of Israelis are avid travelers, especially after they complete their military service, many of them hop on a plane and just travel for a year... I've run into a lot of Israelis over the years. :)

Here are a few minor corrections:
Flavia Cohen escreveu:english
English - languages, countries and nationalities are capitalized.
(u can correct my mistakes, feel free I apreciatte! :)
Suggestion:
Feel free to correct my mistakes, I appreciate it!
I'm looking forward to reading your next threads!
thread = tópico, post = postagem... so in this case, post would probably be the better choice.

Hope that helps, and stay in touch! :)

Cheers,
Frank

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Hello Frank,

May I ask you how you deal about the matters of limited time you can stay in each country? Most countries don't allow you to stay more than 90 days as a "tourist". Do you have a special kind of visa or how do you deal with your passport?

Thanks for your time and attention.

Regards.

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Felipe, five people on a motorcycle? I remember seeing more on a zigzagging bike.

Staying on topic, I really want to go to a single country, in this case the USA. (Can't indulge in, nor have the financial resources for, country-hopping.)

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Marcio_Farias escreveu:Felipe, five people on a motorcycle? I remember seeing more on a zigzagging bike.

Staying on topic, I really want to go to a single country, in this case the USA. (Can't indulge in, nor have the financial resources for, country-hopping.)
Marcio, probably that bike you've seen, you've seen it in a chinese picture or video. Man, it's probably a chinese one... :lol:

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felipeh6 escreveu:Hello Frank,
May I ask you how you deal about the matters of limited time you can stay in each country? Most countries don't allow you to stay more than 90 days as a "tourist". Do you have a special kind of visa or how do you deal with your passport?
Hey Felipe, that's a good question, and it depends a lot on the country. Two extreme examples on both ends of the spectrum here in South East Asia: if you enter Thailand by bus, you only get a visa for 14 days. In Laos, on the other hand, you can simply apply for a one year visa, and you can renew that as often as you want...

Most countries do indeed allow you to stay for 90 days, after which you can often renew your visa for another 90 though - that's what I've done in many cases, and half a year is really plenty. I usually get itchy feet after about four months at most. ;)
Marcio_Farias escreveu:Staying on topic, I really want to go to a single country, in this case the USA. (Can't indulge in, nor have the financial resources for, country-hopping.)
Cool, I'm sure you'll have a great time there... the US are a very diverse place and have a LOT to offer. That said, country hopping can be a lot cheaper than you probably imagine - there are a lot of places where you can find simple hotel rooms for 2-5 dollars a night, and even long distance bus fares are just about that much... If you're willing to shoestring it, that's certainly a possibility. And then, of course, there's always the option to make money while you travel - I'll write more about all that later.

Oh, and five people in a bike is nothing... check this out lol:

Imagem

Cheers,
Frank

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Hi Frank,

First of all, thanks for sharing your wonderful and brave experience with us.

I think travelling frees our minds and souls and I try to travel as much as possible.

I´ve collected 6 trips abroad and in each one I learned a lot about their language, customs, habits and culture. I´ve made some good friends as well.

Vietnam seems to be a facinating place. I know something about it through a friend of mine who is vietnamese. Enjoy your time there.

regards

Sandro

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Hey Sandro, thanks for your reply and your kind words! It's true... there is nothing like traveling the world for a year to find out who you really are and what you really want out of life.

Every time somebody tells me "I don't know what to do with my life" or even "I don't know what career path to go down", I tell them to take at least 6 months off to travel... ideally 12. It opens your mind and broadens your horizon in so many ways, and most people arrive back home after a year with a completely new outlook on life.

I still owe you guys the update about Saigon, I will write that shortly! :)

Cheers,
Frank

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Alright guys, as promised, here is a little bit about Saigon... the first thing I remember thinking was - oh my God, I'm in Saigon - how crazy is that? For some reason, it felt perfectly normal to just hop on a plane to Vietnam when I was in Manila, but once I actually got there it felt pretty crazy. And I remember thinking this is pretty awesome...

I met a German guy on the plane who has been traveling for a long time as well (I run into a lot of people like that... there are a gazillion ways to pull this off folks!!). He was actually working as a missionary in one of the churches in the Philippines - it was volunteer work, but they paid his room and board and took care of all the essentials he needed. He came to Saigon to meet part of their congregation there, and we had a really interesting conversation about the strange paths we went down in life.

In his case, he had been a criminal, a real gangster, back in Berlin. He had seen men die and probably done more drugs than most people could reasonably hope to survive, but somehow he made it out alive and the day two Russians got shot right in front of him, he decided to turn his life around and is now a born again Christian, spreading the Gospel in South East Asia...

The lady at my hotel told me the street we were looking for was at the fook.

What?

"It's at the fook."

Oh, at the park... right.

There's something super bizarre about this country and their language... But the food is awesome. :lol:

I stayed in the backpacker part of town in District 1, which meant that there were always lots of prostitutes around, and apparently they speak pretty good English, with one exception - they don't know the meaning of the word "no"... :?

My hotel room was 14 bucks per night, for a huge room with air con, double bed, private bathroom and a fast internet connection... and the hosts were super friendly as well. Look them up if you ever get a chance, the two hotels I stayed at were Chez Vy Khanh and Thanh Hà... both are cheap and awesome and I absolutely guarantee their owners will make you feel right at home.

This was the first time I went to Saigon in 8 years, and it was kinda weird to see all the backpackers who are doing nothing but... well, nothing but nothing, really. There are so many foreigners in Saigon, and they're almost all backpackers, doing nothing. It's hard to imagine that I had that kind of freedom once - now, of course, I usually bring some work with me when I'm on the road.

I haven't posted here in a while as life's been a bit crazy lately (and I'll let you in on that in my next couple of posts!), but I'll keep this journal updated more regularly from now on. Feel free to reply if you have any comments or questions, or even better, start your own journal - it'll be good for ya! ;)


Cheers guys,

~ Frank Florida ~

Hello Frank!!!

I'm loving to read about your travels.

I'm planning to go Southeast Asia for the first time in the next October. I'll be at Thailand and Indonesia.
I'd would like some advices since, I won't have to many days there.

and how much will cost me a simple room with air con at these places?

Thanks in advance,

Nathalia

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Hey Nathalia,

Thanks for your interest! How much time do you have in each of the two countries? The best advice I can give you is probably to buy a Lonely Planet guide book for Indonesia and Thailand. They have become quite main stream over the years, but they are still the best on the market and if I need a guide book, that's still the one I pick every time.

Do you want to hit up the beaches and just chill out? Are you looking to do a meditation retreat in the interior? Or ride elephants in the mountains up North? Or do you want to party it up in Bangkok? Or do you want to take some courses in Thai cuisine, Thai massage or Thai language?

There are a million different things to do in Thailand, and the Lonely Planet talks about all of them... it also recommends different itineraries, depending on how much time you have and what you want to do...

Now Indonesia is a different matter, I actually spent 5 months there and speak their language fluently... There are a lot of beautiful places to go, but Jakarta is probably one of the the least pleasant cities I've ever been to. I wouldn't waste a lot of time there. The beaches get better and better the farther East you go, and Bali is interesting because of it's Hindu culture (it's not Muslim, like the rest of the country).

About prices... A hotel room with air con will run you about 15 dollars a night in Thailand, but it'll be a *nice* room. Private bathroom, TV set, fast internet connection, and new furniture. If you want something more simple, that can be found even cheaper... the low end is probably about 5 dollars a night.

I don't know the prices in Indonesia at the moment as I haven't been there in a few years, but you can find those in the Lonely Planet or on http://www.hostelworld.com - that is an excellent resource for booking accommodation, by the way. Or, you could rent a room at a private home on http://www.airbnb.com or even stay somewhere for free with http://www.couchsurfing.com - there are many options, these are just a few off the top of my head.

Hope that helps, and let me know if you have any questions, I'll help where I can...
Always the best,

Frank Florida

Hello Frank,

thanks for your fast replay.

I intend to be around [only] 10 days in each country. And i want to do everything and visit every place... more I research, it gets hearder to pick up. :cry:

So may plan for Thailand is stay about 3 days in Bangock, heading North to Chiang Mai staying there for a few days( yes, hiding elephants and visit the "Giraffe" women). Then, going south to beaches.
At Indonesia, I plan to go to Jakarta, and stay there for max. 2 days, and would like to visit also Yogyakarta and Borobudur in Java. And stay about 5 days in Bali.

Just 2 more questions: do you think I should book my rooms in advance? And about my fligh beetween Thailand and Indonesia? Do you think there is any problem in a buying my ticket only when I get there?

Do you have a website or blog about your travels?

Terima Kasih

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Well, that sounds like a pretty cool plan... I'm sure you're going to have a great time and end up going again! 8-)
nathaliacg87 escreveu:Just 2 more questions: do you think I should book my rooms in advance?
Unless you go to the most touristy places in high season, I don't think that's necessary... I hardly ever book rooms in advance. If anything, I look up a good hotel on hostelworld.com and give them a call to ask how many vacancies they have. But making reservations too far ahead of time doesn't suit my spontaneous life style. ;)
And about my fligh beetween Thailand and Indonesia? Do you think there is any problem in a buying my ticket only when I get there?
Again - I usually buy plane tickets just before I board the plane, or a few days ahead of time tops. You'll probably find that flights in South East Asia are quite cheap, usually less than 100 dollars for an international flight... and in some cases, a lot less.
Do you have a website or blog about your travels?
No, I never started one of those... a couple of friends of mine are fairly well-known travel bloggers though. Check out http://www.vagabondquest.com, I met Ryan and Dina in Manila... she's from Indonesia, by the way, so I'm sure they have some articles on there that could be of interest for your trip!

Cheers,
Frank

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Hi Frank,

I enjoyed a lot reading your impression of Saigon. It reminds me lots of stories that were told me by a vietnamese friend.

But I´m still craving for knowing about how do you support your live on the road. I remember that you said that you teach English. But for who? Locals or companies? And how about translation? When you went to Brazil did you work like that too?

Thanks in advance and enjoy your time in Vietnam (what will be the next destination?).

Cheers

Sandro

Hi Frank,
I read your notes and it's increadable that many of the things that you wrote in this article, I had never heard or listened before. The way that you said we could work and save some money is a fantstic idea. I'll follow you in this adventure and I hope you'll be successful because it will promote a lot of other people the opporunity of being and traveling abroad, including me.
Bye, God bless you there.

Hello Frank,

I just here to say talking for being so attentive, I'm looking all the websites and they are very helpful.

I'll keep follow your posts on the Forum and the EnglishExperts website.
I'm really enjoying them.

My best regards,

Nathalia

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Hey Sandro,
sandrom escreveu:Hi Frank,
I enjoyed a lot reading your impression of Saigon. It reminds me lots of stories that were told me by a vietnamese friend.
Hehe... yeah what a fascinating place, eh? I'm sure I'll go back there again at some point. I really enjoyed that city... it's just great to be out here, you can really "get away from it all" for a while in South East Asia.
But I´m still craving for knowing about how do you support your live on the road.
Sure man, I'll be happy to help you out with that. In fact I'm writing a series for the English Expert blog about that topic... you can follow along here:
https://www.englishexperts.com.br/aroun ... rs-part-i/
https://www.englishexperts.com.br/aroun ... s-part-ii/
Ideally you want to subscribe to the blog feed, that way you always get all the updates delivered to your inbox and won't miss any of them.
I remember that you said that you teach English. But for who? Locals or companies?
Teaching English is always an option... it's a job that is in high demand in almost every single country in the world. The easiest way to get a foot in the door is to work for language schools. They are always looking for teachers and if you simply compile a list of all the schools in the city you want to live in, you'll have a list of dozens or maybe even hundreds of phone numbers you can cold call. Chances are you'll find work the first week.

On the flip side, that kind of gig doesn't pay very much, and you probably want to switch to teaching private lessons over time. The disadvantage is that it can take a while to find enough students to sustain yourself... but if you're good at what you're doing, you will have more demand than you can handle in about 4-6 months' time. So that's always a good option if you want to stay in a place for a year or longer...

The highest pay is usually to be had in companies, teaching business English to groups of Executives. You need to be sharp, and you need to have both the skill level and the confidence to pull this off right, but it's by far the most profitable. Immersion classes often pay good money too.

So in summary... get your feet wet working for language schools, and then start looking for private students (run an ad, I don't recommend you steal students from the school unless you discuss it with the manager first). Eventually, start doing immersions and teaching in big corporations. As with anything else, word of mouth is the best way to land any job... cold calling can be rough and it also doesn't put you in as good a position to negotiate as when they approach you because of a referral and your reputation.
And how about translation?
There are jobs at translation agencies, but all the translation work I've ever done was on freelancing platforms on the internet... check www.guru.com, www.odesk.com, www.elance.com, www.vworker.com, www.freelancer.com, etc... those are the biggest ones and they offer all kinds of jobs. The two biggest websites that focus specifically on translation gigs can be found at www.translatorscafe.com and www.proz.com. These sites also have excellent forums and a huge aggregation of articles where you will find all the information you need about working as a translator.
Thanks in advance and enjoy your time in Vietnam (what will be the next destination?).
You're welcome, I hope I was able to help... if you have any questions, just hit reply. ;) I'm actually in Thailand already, and I still need to write the update about Camobodia... I'll do that in the next couple of days.

Cheers Sandro, and good luck with your job search!
~ Frank Florida ~

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Izabel Deus escreveu:Hi Frank,
I read your notes and it's increadable that many of the things that you wrote in this article, I had never heard or listened before. The way that you said we could work and save some money is a fantstic idea. I'll follow you in this adventure and I hope you'll be successful because it will promote a lot of other people the opporunity of being and traveling abroad, including me.
Bye, God bless you there.
Hey Izabel, thanks for taking the time to stop by! It's true... it's an amazing world we live in, and many people don't know how easy it is to set yourself free and travel. And hey - it's not always a bed of roses... there have definitely been times when I got myself into some difficult and even some very dangerous situations. But to me that's all part of the adventure...

There's a saying I heard once that goes "Escaping to paradise is a travel fantasy – but the real thing is much better!" I wish I could remember where I first heard that so I could give credit, but the point is... we should ALWAYS follow our hearts and live out our dreams if at all possible. As Matt Harding says... if you don't want to go to the office on Monday morning, don't... there's no lock on the cage.

You know, Brazil's own Paulo Coelho was actually an inspiration to me when I first started to travel. I know many people think his books are a bit corny, and maybe they are... but his message is profound. I'll quote my favorite part from The Alchemist for you here:
One afternoon, on a visit to his family, he had summoned up the courage to tell his father that he didn't want to become a priest. That he wanted to travel.

"People from all over the world have passed through this village, son," said his father. "They come in search of new things, but when they leave they are basically the same people they were when they arrived. They climb the mountain to see the castle, and they wind up thinking that the past was better than what we have now. They have blond hair, or dark skin, but basically they're the same as the people who live right here."

"But I'd like to see the castles in the towns where they live," the boy explained.

"Those people, when they see our land, say that they would like to live here forever," his father continued.

"Well, I'd like to see their land, and see how they live," said his son.

"The people who come here have a lot of money to spend, so they can afford to travel," his father said. "Amongst us, the only ones who travel are the shepherds."

"Well, then I'll be a shepherd!"

His father said no more. The next day, he gave his son a pouch that held three ancient Spanish gold coins. "I found these one day in the fields. I wanted them to be a part of your inheritance. But use them to buy your flock. Take to the fields, and someday you'll learn that our countryside is the best, and our women the most beautiful."

And he gave the boy his blessing.

The boy could see in his father's gaze a desire to be able, himself, to travel the world—a desire that was still alive, despite his father's having had to bury it, over dozens of years, under the burden of struggling for water to drink, food to eat, and the same place to sleep every night of his life. - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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nathaliacg87 escreveu:Hello Frank,

I just here to say talking for being so attentive, I'm looking all the websites and they are very helpful.

I'll keep follow your posts on the Forum and the EnglishExperts website.
I'm really enjoying them.

My best regards,

Nathalia
Hey Nathalia, glad to hear that, feel free to start your own "diário de bordo" if you want, I'll definitely have a look if you do. :)
Good luck to you and always the best,

~ Frank Florida ~

625 3 10
Frank,

Thank you very much again! I´m following your posts in the blog and I´m looking forward to reading the next ones.

You really clarify my questions. You´re answers are tips too valuable that I will bear in mind and put in practice.

Enjoy your time in Thailand and have a good luck in your traveling timelife experience.

my best regards

Sandro

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You're welcome, Sandro... I look forward to hearing about your success! 8-)

So as I mentioned, I decided to move on from Vietnam after about a month there and go meet a good friend of mine in Thailand. And that meant either taking a plane or going through Cambodia... I chose the latter of course, because that way I got to visit the magical land of the Khmer, a place I hadn't been to since 2004 and that I found to be really enjoyable.

On one of my last days in Saigon, I saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk, burning money. She was literally hanging out in front of her house and throwing real money into a little fire she had built. She was also burning incense, so I figured it must be a religious ritual of some sort (which as it turns out, it is)... but it was like a scene from the movie "Into The Wild". And she was burning dollar bills too, not Dong.

Speaking of which... Nobody in Vietnam wanted to sell me any US Dollars. Not even hotels, embassies, tourist offices or banks. And not even HSBC! That's craziness... Only at the airport can you buy American currency, and at a poor rate. I guess that says a lot... and a haircut costs US$ 2.30, including massage and shave. :shock:

And just before I left to Cambodia, I met up with an old friend of mine. He's a traveler who's been on the road about as long as I have... 14 years. We actually first met in Colombia 3 years ago, and stayed in touch... he works in New Zealand three months of the year, puts in 70 hour work weeks and makes plenty of money to travel the world for 9 months and still save up a lot. It's all possible if you put your mind and your heart to it...

And the next morning, I hopped on a bus to Phnom Penh, where I was in for a big surprise... but I gotta run now, so I will post about that shortly. Stay tuned folks! ;)

~ Frank Florida ~

Traveling around the world certainly is amazing, however when you did not put on your career in order, rough moments can coming up specially about get money. Then, resolving business situations is better first than just have fun alone! Take this advice: improving jobs environment really plunge to get the best experience ever! unless you have much money, then the life will be easier, of course. But it does not happen around Brazil!

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Stockl, that is very true and I certainly had some of those rough moments! In fact, I was absolutely flat broke with no money, four times in my life. It can be a bit scary to be in that situation when you're in a foreign country, I mean... I didn't even have enough money for food and had to borrow a few bucks from a friend... :lol: But you know what - life goes on, and it's all part of the adventure. In that kind of situation, you just need to dust yourself off, get up and keep going... and the next day you find some way to make some coin, and you pay your friend back. ;)

If you ever find yourself in that kind of situation on the road, here is the solution: accept any kind of work you can find, at least for the time being. At times when I was unemployed, I spent as much time looking for work as I would spend working if I *was* employed. If you look for jobs for 40 hours a week (or more, in some cases), you are absolutely sure to find something. And once you can stabilize your finances, you can scale up and look for better paying opportunities.

I never had much money and I don't come from a rich family at all... but in these modern times you can grow a real career on the internet and take it on the road with you... so you can still travel, and build a prosperous future for yourself as well. Either working abroad, or working on the internet... making money while traveling, the best of both worlds! And, I know lots of Brazilians who are doing just that - don't be intimidated. In fact, Brazil currently has one of the strongest economies in the world... certainly much stronger than Europe.

So yeah... be cautious and plan ahead, but don't be afraid to take the plunge - this can certainly be done. ;)

~ Frank Florida ~

P.S.: I'll also write another update about Cambodia tomorrow... and I'll have some pictures.

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Yo,

On my way to Phnom Penh, I met a really interesting guy just as we arrived. One of the best ways to find a hotel is to ask a fellow foreigner if he knows of any. Even if he's new to the place himself, chances are he has done more research than I have... I was too lazy to call ahead and check for available rooms at some of the places listed in hostelworld this time. :roll: Anyway, my new friend sorted me out, and I just tagged along with him as he hailed a tuk tuk, bargained with the driver, changed money and found us a nice street side restaurant to grab a beer and a hotel for the night.

As it turns out, he lives in Phnom Penh... interesting cat, he spent over a decade in Japan, several years in Indonesia and is living in Cambodia now. He's a Westerner, but speaks several languages as well... and we had one of the most interesting conversations I've had in a long time. It's always good to catch up with other travelers, most of them tend to have a bunch of interesting stories to tell!

Phnom Penh has changed a fair bit since I was there in 2004... it's much more developed now, and there is a lot less poverty than back in the day. The world is truly changing for the better... slowly but surely every single country in the world is becoming wealthier... and healthier (lower infant mortality, higher life expectancy, etc.). In fact, there are some interesting statistics about that in my favorite TED talk of all time - the one by Hans Rosling. Check it out, as somebody pointed out here previously, TED.com also has subtitles, both in English and in Portuguese - a VERY useful study tool.

Another thing I'll say about Phnom Penh is that it has a really, really pleasant vibe - it almost feels more Latin than Asian. It's very laid back, and people are amazingly friendly and open... and there are quite a few expats around, people who have made this their permanent home. Certainly not the worst of choices, I could absolutely see myself living in Phnom Penh for a while. If you come here, you will quickly make a lot of friends... every time I left my hotel, I ended up running into someone I knew and we'd end up grabbing a meal together or just going out for a drink... good times! :D

Pictures in my next post! ;)

~ Frank Florida ~

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