Well, here it is my fourth and final book about my life. As I stated in my third book about nursing, there will be some overlap in my first two books and my readers will come across a few chapters with the same information. This is unavoidable mainly because of the vast amount of information that I included in my first book and also because travel is so important in my life, so it is difficult to separate the two.
However, since this book is strictly about travel, I will discuss my experiences more in depth. I will also discuss how I prepare for my trips and what things I bring with me. Even though I plan extensively for my trips there is always the aberrant event that takes place, events that you just can’t predict. All you can do is to be as prepared as possible. While it is true that I make a lot of mistakes in my travels, I don’t usually repeat them in subsequent trips. However, you would be amazed on how many things that can go wrong in these trips.
I believe that the reason why so many things go wrong is because I try to squeeze so many different types of activities in my trips. I want to clarify this, I don’t usually subscribe to a world tour type of travel. I prefer to devote more time to limited settings. I find this much more rewarding. Since I take a lot of photos it gives me more time to get that special photo I want. This would simply not be possible if I just hopped from one place to another like Chevy Chase in his vacation movies. My wife is also a kindred spirit, and this makes our type of travel more enjoyable for the both of us. One thing that I have started doing if time permits and if I have a layover in an interesting place, I add a few days to that layover so I can explore it. When my wife and I went to the Philippines, we had a layover in Hong Kong, so we spent three days and nights there. I actually enjoyed that time that I spent there more than I did in the Philippines.
Another practice I want to discuss is one that I was taught in nursing school and that is to practice flexibility. No matter how well you plan something, shit always happens, it is just the nature of the beast. Remember you are dealing with people in many cases that think differently than you, so this is when flexibility comes in handy. Also having a back-up plan also helps as well. I will discuss this more in Part One of this book.
This book will be unique in that I not only will discuss travel and how to do it safely, I will also cover my travel experiences all the way through my life. In doing so, I will be able to give you anecdotal support for the reason I do things and why I am constantly evolving in my travel techniques. I want you to know that I am not a professional tour guide like Rick Steves I am an amateur traveler who likes to do a lot of things, so as a result I get into a lot of interesting situations. Even though as I age a little bit and I become a step or two slower, it does not lessen my thirst for adventure. I know one thing that if I was independently wealthy I would spend a lot more time traveling. Traveling can truly be addicting.
One more thing I want to mention in this section, is to first remember you are invading their home, and as a result you should try to really be polite and friendly. The old saying that “you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar,” is inherently true. Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t just let them walk all over you but nothing says that you can’t do so in a kind and genteel manner. I will be the first one to admit that I am only human and I have rubbed people the wrong way a few times but for the most part I am nice to people when I travel. You have to be. We also have as Americans a negative reputation that we have to live down and that is of being loud, boisterous, impatient and rich. This gives a lot of the people in the countries you visit a license at least in there way of thinking to screw you over at every opportunity. A way to limit this is to try to blend in and not to look too obvious. In my case, this is nearly impossible because I am six foot two inches tall and way over 280 pounds and have a whitish beard, all I am missing is a red outfit and some reindeer. So much for blending in.