T R A V E L O G U E S   &   T R A V E L
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Click on the following Travelogues to read them on-line, or scroll down to download them all as a ZIP file.

South Atlantic Islands (2000/2001, 970k)
A seven-week trip to the remote, isolated South Atlantic islands of SAINT HELENA and TRISTAN da CUNHA,
as well as MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, Capetown SOUTH AFRICA, and Bintan Island INDONESIA.
Written to be informative and entertaining, this is my own personal favorite. If you're curious about
little-known, far-off corners of the world, it'll be worth your time. It's a good read.
Tristan da Cunha is the remotest inhabited island in the world.
     
Note: If you're interested in St. Helena or Tristan da Cunha, be sure not to skip over the "RMS" days
(out at sea), as a lot of information and interviews on the islands is discussed on these days.

Click here for a map of St. Helena Island
Click here for a map of Tristan da Cunha Island

Africa (1999/2000, 800k)
An 11-week trip through SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA, BOTSWANA, LESOTHO, SWAZILAND, KENYA,
TANZANIA, MALAWI, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE, and MAURITIUS during the Millennium New Years period.
Interesting and informative, it's both a good read as well as a great resource for anyone planning such a trip.
This and the above Islands travelogue are definitely my two best.
     
Click here for a map of Southern Africa (including Mauritius & Cape Verde)

Australia/New Zealand (1996/1997, 219k)
A one-month trip through AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND, from Alice Springs to the Bay of Islands.
Indexed by areas for easy reference.
     
Click here for a map of Australia
Click here for a map of New Zealand

Thailand (1995, 65k)
THAILAND during April 1995, from Chaing Mai to Mae Hong Song.
     
Click here for a map of Thailand

Cambodia (1995, 26k)
Not a travelogue so much as a short report on a trip to CAMBODIA during 1995, including Phnom Penh and Ankgor Wat.
     
Click here for a map of Cambodia

New! Download Complete Set of Travelogues in ZIP Format (808k)
Click here to download a complete set of all five travelogues in ZIP format, for reading or printing off-line
(South Atlantic, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia)

T R A V E L     M I S C E L L A N E O U S

Countries

If you're curious, here's a list of the countries I've been to so far (outside the US):
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Botswana, Cambodia, Canada, China (PRC), Denmark,
Egypt, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Faroe Islands, Germany, Greenland, Hong Kong,
Japan (four summers), Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Lesotho,
Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Scotland, St. Lucia, St. Helena Island, Swaziland,
Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tristan da Cunha Island, Vietnam, Zambia,
and Zimbabwe.

Larry's Travel Mottos:

(1) Where to Stay

    Fancy, plush hotels are nice and air-conditioned, but when
    you're isolated in a fancy hotel room, are you really experiencing
    the country you're in? The purpose of travel is to be exposed to
    other cultures and living conditions. Don't let yourself be isolated
    from the country you're visiting by revolving glass doors and bellhops.
(a) Staying at a Youth Hostel (to which there is NO age limit) is the best choice. Not only will it save you a bundle, but you'll have a great time meeting and talking to fellow travellers from all over the world. Hostels have lots of information about the sights and attractions of the area, and many of them will rent bikes, book tours, and help you get a small group together for specialized outings. Youth Hostelling is a GREAT way to travel, and chances are, you'll make some life-long friends as well.
(b) If you decide you want a night or two in a private room, AVOID the 'tourist' hotels, and instead, look around for a cheap, unassuming local place. You'll save money, and you'll get to see what travelling is like for the local population.
(c) In countries that offer B&Bs (Bed & Breakfasts), it's worth trying a few times. Though often expensive, it's nice every once in a while to be able to stay at a local home and chat with the owners.
(d) Homestays are another great idea. Organizations such as SERVAS offer homestays in countries around the world. The maximum number of nights is usually 2, but it's a great way to live with a local family, and see how they live. I did this in Japan, and have made a lot of friends.
Conclusion: Try making your next trip more enjoyable by staying in Youth Hostels, homestays, local dives, and an occasional B&B.
NOTE: for those of you planning on visiting Japan, their Youth Hostels are among the best in the world -- and many of them are on temple grounds. Just for Tokyo however, I usually stay at a nice, inexpensive ryokan called "Sawanoya Ryokan", located in the Shitamatchi area of Ueno (near the Nezu exit of the green "Chiyoda" subway line, and not too far from Ueno station).

(2) Travel Light

    For all my overseas trips under six weeks, I've never taken anything more
    than just a Jansport SCHOOL backpack (not a "real" one -- I've only
    used a larger Eagle Creek backpack for my 3-month Africa and 7-week
    Islands trip) Surprised? Don't be. The lighter you pack, the better
    your trip will be -- and it's easier than you think. For instance,
    when you pack, take along only a FEW changes of clothes. When you
    travel, who is going to know or care if you have the same shirt on
    today as you did yesterday, as long as you spend 5 minutes at night
    washing it in a sink? It's night-and-day better having only a small
    school backpack to tote around than a heavy suitcase or full-fledged
    larger pack. Learn to pack smart, and you'd be surprised how little
    you really need, even on trips that last quite a while. People can't
    believe that I've taken such long trips (up to 6 weeks) with only
    my (stuffed) school backpack -- but it's worked out great.

(3) Wander around

    Sure, when you visit a place, there will be sites that have hoards of
    tourists checking them out, just like you. But when you're done looking
    at the Center of Attraction, take some time to start wandering away from
    it, and see what you find in the back alleys. Go out of your way to check
    out something different. If you want to go between Point A and Point B,
    don't always settle for the most direct route. You might enjoy the long
    way much better. Finally, don't be afraid to get lost. While it may be
    instinct to start worrying when this happens, don't. Stand back and
    enjoy it instead. Some of the best travel experiences I've had happened
    while I was lost. Travel should be about discovery, and being lost is
    a great way to have that happen.

(4) When bad things happen

    If a bad incident happens on your trip, change your frame of mind so
    that you turn it into a discovery rather than a disaster. If you lose
    your passport, don't panic. Satisfy your curiosity by seeing the
    proceedures of getting a replacement. If your wallet is stolen, what
    other (law-abiding) way would you get to see local law enforcement
    up close? On a certain level, these things are quite interesting -- and
    you will enjoy your trip much more if you decide to treat them that way.

(5) Don't worry...Enjoy it!

    This says it best. I'm not saying to throw all caution to the wind,
    but don't let doubts rob you of a great time. Whether it's a worry
    about taking the trip at all, or a worry about hiking up to the top
    of a waterfall, use common sense, but if at all possible, convince
    yourself to do it. You'll be glad you did. And once you're on your
    trip, ENJOY yourself there. As stupid as this sounds, people often
    forget this. Don't spend your trip thinking about business or problems
    back home. You're on your TRIP now, and it'll be a major part of your
    life. Leave your worries behind, and enjoy yourself where you are.

(6) Soap: The Wonder Product!

    The secret to having a good trip is packing light, and one of the
    best ways to do that is to leave some of the bulkier items at home
    in favor of a trusty old bar of soap. For example, there's no need to
    take Woolite or laundry detergent... washing your clothes in a sink
    with a bar of soap works just fine, and if you use soap to wash your
    hair, you can leave the heavy shampoo bottle at home as well. Packing
    light takes no special talent: it's just being creative, and a plain
    old bar of soap is a lot more versatile than you think.

Airline Customer Satisfaction Ranking
United Rising? Yeah, right...

On April 10, 2000, the yearly survey of airline customer satisfaction
(conducted by the University of Nebraska and Wichita State University)
was released. The best and worst results for 1999 travel are:

The winner for overall best customer satisfaction: Southwest Airlines
The loser (the worst-rated airline by travellers) was United, which came in dead last.

December 2002 Update:
According to the US Government, United Airlines had the worst customer
satisfaction ranking of any US airline even in the most recent survey.
United's unsatisfactory index was 1.9 per 100,000 people (the industry
average was 1.3), giving it the lowest rating of any US airline. Now
they're in deeep financial trouble. I guess what goes around comes around.


Travel Links

This section will be updated more as time goes by, but I want to include a few links now... Lonely Planet publishes travel guides for just about every region of the world, with an emphasis on budget, independent, and off-the-beaten-path travel. I use their books all the time, and recommend them highly. They have a great web page, and you can subscribe to their free quarterly travel newsletter. Want to know more about the small, isolated South Atlantic Islands of St. Helena and Tristan da Cunha? * One of the most comprehensive pages on St. Helena is here. * A great page on all the South Atlantic Islands is here. Hostelling International has a web page which will give you information about Youth Hostels around the world. Southwest Airlines has a web page that lets you do everything from check prices to book flights. I've flown Southwest a lot recently (for domestic U.S. flights), and have really come to like their service, low fares, and lack of restrictions. They're also one of the few financially-stable low-cost airlines out there, and they do an excellent job. On the other (bad) end of the spectrum is United Airlines. They've become one of the worst in recent years, and I will no longer fly them. They've gotten so bad, that another disgruntled United flier started his own anti-United web page, called Untied. Check it out. South Africa's Getaway Today Magazine keeps a great on-line web page full of information on African travel news. The World Guide Online is a good resource for general travel and country information for just about every place on the planet.
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