Nuts & Bolts

A great deal of the information we gathered to plan this trip came from websites similar in scope to this one. We owe alot to the people that went before us and have taken the time to document their packing lists, budgets and travel tips for public perusal. This section is our way of adding two cents to the wealth of information available to anyone interested in a trip like ours.

1. How much did it cost?

We've been asked more than once - how can you afford to travel for a year? We are not rich. We did not win the lottery. Fortunately we have choosen countries where travel costs less than maintaining a normal lifestyle in the US. Just take a look at the average gross national income per capita of these countries and you'll understand why America is so much more expensive - it has the fifth largest GNI per capita in the world. We're lucky to be from such a prosperous place. If you're curious, this is what we spent while traveling the world. Daily totals are for both of us and include all transportation, food and lodging expenses broken down by country.

2. What health precautions did you take?

3. What did you pack?

Take a look at our original detailed packing list, which we will comment on as we travel along. Our backpacks are forever fluctuating based on climate. The important thing to remember before you leave home is that most essential items will be available wherever you go. And they will be cheaper in second/third world countries than in first world countries. So try not to worry too much about forgetting something. Unless its an oxygen tank. But they probably have those every where else too.

4. How do you maintain your website?

We travel with an IBM Thinkpad (~ 3 lbs, although the cords are surprisingly heavy) and a Canon G2 digital camera. We also have an external I-Omega Predator CD burner though it flakes out a lot, so we don't recommend this model. We subscribe to an international dial up service called IPass, which has connections in most major cities throughout the world for $4-15 per hour. However it's faster and cheaper to burn the website to a CD and upload at an internet shop. Most budget guesthouses don't have a phone line to connect to the Internet with anyway. The CD burner is also necessary for backing up digital photo files and mailing them home.

Some people have asked if it's really necessary to travel with a laptop. The answer for us is an enthusiastic YES! This is for a couple of reasons - digital images need to be backed up on a laptop or a CD (preferably both), we spend a lot of time formatting images and writing, and we appreciate the entertainment of it.

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