The Website to Guide You Into Becoming a Fearless Traveler
Our objective in this website is to help you change from being a mere tourist to a fearless traveler. Fearless travel means that you are willing to go places on your own, maybe rent a car and drive yourself around, get off the beaten trail and boldly go where the average tourist doesn't go. The fearless traveler does not go on group tours unless it's impossible to avoid to see something special. To that end, we offer you travel information, tips, advice, and photos to help in planning a trip, a tour, a vacation or a holiday to international destinations. We will be discussing trips we have made around Europe and to the Upper and Lower Nile region of Egypt, Botswana, Africa, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Asia, Bali, Great Barrier Reef, Beijing and many other places. And, we offer photo albums, travelogues, and a variety of information that we hope will make your travel more enjoyable.
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Whether you take vacations, go on holiday or simply travel, there is a world of places to go, people to meet, foods and drinks to try, and sights to see. There are seven continents on this world and every one has dazzling sights to see. Our motto when we come across new things or cope with the unexpected has always been, "and the adventure continues." Our travels have been guided by the premise that we will never sit in our chair in the retirement home and lament, "If only we had done this or gone there." There are so many interesting things to see in the world and so little time that you can't afford to wait.
We have been traveling since the mid-1970's and we think of ourselves as fearless travelers. We have been to six of the seven continents, seen five of the seven natural wonders of the world, and most of the interesting man-made wonders. We have ridden elephants on safaris, stood over waterfalls, played golf in Thailand, gawked at the Taj Mahal, stood in awe on the Great Wall of China, drunk beer we backpacked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and shared homemade wine with tribal families in northern Vietnam. We have dearly loved our adventures and we hope that our website will convince you to become a fearless traveler also. To that end, we have included photographs of various sights we’ve seen and travelogues about the places to which we’ve traveled to whet your appetite in going there yourselves.
We are Americans and so, for us, travel within the United States would not be particularly adventuresome. Furthermore, for non-Americans, travel to the US generally amounts to little more than visits to various cities or maybe some of the state or national parks. So, while we have done a fair amount of travel within the US, our general attitude has been that we can do that when we get too old to do everything else. Clearly, there are a lot of adventurous things you can do within the US but, by and large, it is easy travel. Anybody who speaks some English can plan such travel with a minimum of difficulty. So, we will not spend much time on that aspect of travel.
On the one hand, many of the places we have visited may seem fairly exotic to the novice traveler. On the other hand, we are not into extreme travel like mountain climbing, high altitude trekking or white-knuckle river rafting. Our travel goals are about meeting the local people, photographing the local points of interest, experiencing the local food and drink and getting to know different cultures. It is about travel suitable for just about anybody who just wants to get out and explore the world. We believe that everybody should make an attempt to do the same because, in our opinion, the most important things in life are the people you love and the experiences you share. Years after many of our trips we still smile when recalling a particular adventure, even the bad experiences.
Of course, one of the biggest considerations when you plan a trip is traveling with children. Traveling with children means that you will surely want to go somewhere where they will have plenty to entertain themselves. And, after traveling 1,000's of miles to get to some foreign city, you let the kids convince you to go to a local fast food place instead of going to some local restaurant for dinner. In fact, we think that most families place way too much importance on going to places of obvious interest to the children. We have not been anywhere in the world where kids would be bored. What kid would be bored riding elephants in Nepal looking for tigers, riding a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Jaipur, India, wandering through Hanoi, or diving around the Great Barrier Reef? Why take a thrilling ride at an amusement park when you can experience the real thing. Indeed, we think that traveling with your children can provide some of the most rewarding experiences you will ever share with them.
In fact, information suggest that the vast majority of people are comfortable with nice, safe vacations. Indeed, a recent poll by CNN found that some 70% of the people polled listed beach vacations as their favorite winter destinations and only 17% a nature vacation. Clearly, winter vacations in Florida and maybe a trip to Disney World are big business. Summer at the shore/beach. Or, maybe, an exotic trip to a far-off place like Hawaii or Bermuda. Safe vacations because you are in the good, old United States or in a resort that might as well be in the United States. And, over the years, what comfort there is in recalling the adventure of yet another day on the beach, another round of golf at some resort, another thrilling ride at vacationland, or another McDonald’s meal along the way. When the children are grown, when you’ve retired, maybe then you’ll go somewhere interesting.
We think that you’re making a big mistake. First, travel to interesting places is often somewhat stressful and may be very difficult for anybody with disabilities. We have never traveled anywhere where there weren’t a lot of steps to climb, long distances to walk or luggage to be schlepped. So to leave exotic travel until you’re older is to take a great risk that you won’t be able to enjoy the trip in the way you had hoped. That old tennis injury could limit your ability to walk up steps. You may not feel like renting a car and driving in a foreign country. You may be on medication for all of your ailments and have limits on what you can eat or drink.
Then there is the appeal of the packaged tours. You read their brochures. They go to all sorts of interesting places. Everything is planned. All you have to do is show up. What could be easier? Well, we are definitely not organized-tour people for a variety of reasons.
We don’t like our itinerary defined every day. We don’t enjoy going places on a bus with 60 of our closest friends to see the sites of the world in a group following the guide with an umbrella or a flag, always trying to catch up to hear the talk and seemingly always in a hurry. And, we don’t like to know where we're going to be eating dinner, at what time and with whom. Indeed, we definitely don’t eat at restaurants catering to tour groups because the food is invariably mediocre and certainly not indicative of the local cuisine or ambiance. And, worst of all, is getting stuck on a bus with some complete idiots who are noisy, inconsiderate, and always late when getting back to the bus. For the vast majority of our trips we have never even considered traveling with friends.
As for us, we do like to stop wherever and whenever we feel like it to shop, take pictures or have a beer. And the last thing that we want to worry about, every time we find a nice place for a glass of wine, is when we have to leave to catch the bus to the hotel or meet for dinner. If you do decide that a packaged tour is right for you, make sure it is because it offers you exactly what you want to do, not because it is easy to do. And, for God’s sake, get on a tour where they offer wireless earphones so you can hear the guide.
Unfortunately, travel can be an expensive hobby. Regrettably, it does cost a fair amount to take a family of four to some distant land. But with careful planning, travel doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive either. There are travel bargains all of the time. You can stay at modest hotels. Eat at small restaurants or put together your own picnic by shopping at the local markets. And, of course, packaged-tours are not cheap nor is a week at Disney World. We can invariably do a trip for considerably less than a packaged trip would cost and have much better dining, comparable rooms, more flexibility and tons more fun.
Look. We love Disney World, golf vacations at beautiful resorts and relaxing with a book at the beach. But you can do those things anytime in your life. Now is the time to try something a little more adventurous. Come along with us on more exotic vacations. You'll like it. You'll save some money and enjoy a trip you planned yourself. Become a fearless traveler not a mere tourist.
We do need to note that we are not a travel agency. We cannot help you plan a specific trip; we can offer no help in making hotel or airline reservations. However, with the internet, all the resources to plan an entire trip of any complexity by yourself are at your disposal. And, while it will take some time to search through all the various alternatives, when you are done you will have learned a lot about where you are planning to go and you have the reassurance of knowing that you are going on a trip exactly as you want to do it. One thing that we have to apologize for is the timeliness of the information in our travelogues. The travelogues are specific to the time when we visited the country. To be sure that you have current information, check our notes against current information you can find on the internet.