Tag Archives: Nevada

Hurricane Katrina after Burning Man 2005


Well, after a completely surreal journey in planes, trains, RV’s, and art cars….I am back. Burning Man was indescribable…at least at the moment it seems so to me as I putter around my little place here in Hawaii and try to figure out exactly what I am doing here. Jet lag, culture shock, and general confusion as I look around and see how very….normal…everything is. My neighbor watering his grass, the breeze blowing through the mango trees, and the sound of roadwork coming from Kalaheo Avenue. I have to go to work soon…I mean I really have to go to work soon…like 20 minutes….and in a more urgent sense to make sure I can pay my rent… I don’t have the inclination to describe Burning Man right now, nor our serendipitous journey in the RV up the coast of California and through 3 deserts, nor our amazing adventures in the now non existant 7th largest city in Nevada.

For more on Burning Man have a look at this link:
Burning Man

Burning Man Katrina I would like to indulge in describing the most surreal moment of this journey. After 5 days in Black Rock City where there was no NPR, no TV, no commercial radio, no newspapers, and in short no contact with the outside world, we hurriedly packed the Tioga and began the long trek back to LA. We were shocked that gas prices had risen more than 20 cents a gallon while we were away. These things happen and we continued on our way through hundreds of miles of desert and ended up spending the night in an isolated RV park of which I will talk more later. In the morning we dealt with a flat tire and a rolled over hay truck and desperately tried to make it to LA in time to return the RV and catch our flight back to Hawaii….more on all of this later too. The surreal moment was looking at the New York Times (and every other periodical) cover story and realizing that New Orleans was destroyed, thousands are dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and evacuated, and that our country has completely failed in protecting the lives of those who need its help most. It was the first we had learned of it. My heart broke as I read accounts of those struggling, my anger rose as I read the spindoctors attempts to avoid blame for thier bumbling, and my sympathy and grief join those millions of you in hoping and praying that the worst of this is over and that life can resume in Louisiana. It is all I can write now.

World Travel for Almost Nothing #6

One of the biggest impediments to world travel is your stuff. Not just your physical stuff, but your mental stuff too. It’s hard to get rid of the baggage you’ve spent your life accumulating. One of the reasons I’ve been able to see as much as I have is that I’ve gone through the painful process of saying goodbye to people, things, and ideas…it’s never easy and if I were better at it, I would have seen much more than I have.

world's ugliest baby doll
For some reason I liked this thing and had a hard time getting rid of it. I'm really glad I did though, but still I took a picture first.

World Travel for Almost Nothing Tip #6: Leave Your Crap Behind You

We all like the physical comforts that a sedentary life brings us. The nice lazy boy (yeah, I miss mine), the kitchen gadgets, the easy way we can lounge around the house, and most of all the comfort of routine.

Routine is the biggest killer of adventures. It’s comfortable, we’re used to it, and even if it isn’t good for us, we hang onto it. I say that as I realize I’ve been smoking for nearly 25 years and refuse to think of how much that has cost me in terms of money and health. Or how much it will.

Yes Virginia, habits are nothing more than comfortable routine. It’s hard to leave your city, it’s hard to put yourself in a new environment, it’s hard to leave the friendships and places you are used to. But if you want to see the world for almost nothing, that is what you have to do.

clown motel
Breaking free of routine means you might find a clown hotel.
Most of the time people think of travel in terms of leaving home and then coming back home. Well, a home costs you whether you are there or not. Same goes for a car, electricity, and all the other physical things you own. You have to keep them somewhere, right?

The bulk of my things are sitting in six small boxes in my brother’s garage. When I say small, I mean you could put them all in the front seat of a compact car. These are the things I’ve temporarily let go of with the knowledge that it might be permanent. I’ve also managed to somehow get a house full of things in Morocco, but I’ve very little attachment to any of them this time. My wife doesn’t count as a thing by the way, she isn’t a possession. :) Besides, she’s small enough to fit in that front seat with the boxes…

Anyway, the point is that if you want to travel for almost nothing you need to get rid of that stuff or find a place where it will sit and not inconvenience anyone while you explore the world. One nice thing about traveling is that you don’t have to pay any of those expenses unless you hold on to them.

The truth is that traveling takes less money than being sedentary. As you travel you don’t need to pay those bills, you don’t need to have a job, and you don’t need to worry about what the Jones’ will think.

That also gives you the chance to let go of some of the harder possessions. Obsessions and habits need to hit the garbage can. To Truly find the joy of travel, you need to walk away from it all and experience what comes at you with your whole mind, body, and spirit.

If you have to plan everything six months in advance and you can’t live in the moment and ‘carpe diem’ than you might as well book that cruise vacation or the all inclusive package and spend the next six months working to pay for it.

sleeping in fruit in the Philippines
Who says you ned a bed to sleep in? Fruit works just as well in the Cebu market.
The only way to really travel for almost nothing is to have almost nothing.

If you enjoyed this series you should buy my books, buy things using the affiliate links on the site, or donate a couple of bucks towards my future travels and the upkeep of this site.

Annual Travel Insurance – Why this is a Priority for my Adventures

Guest Story by Jenny Pilley

Travelling is exciting but at the same time a little scary regardless of where you are going. Robots in Vegas cc Image courtesy of Moyan_Bren on FlickrAlthough I haven’t been as adventurous to back pack around the depths of Australia or the Far East, I have seen quite a few European countries and more recently the bright lights in the city of Las Vegas.

When the flights and the hotels are booked, the next important thing is currency. By the time that’s been bought, what’s left is spent on the essentials; clothes, shoes and sun cream. The last element to be considered on many people’s part is the insurance; yet this should be one of the first priorities.

There are so many people going off on exotic adventures in various parts of the world that are still novice to tourists and contain many unknown areas. Obviously I was going to possibly the most touristy city in the world, but that said; the roads are busy, the streets are crowded and there are many dangers that could still mean I’m left vulnerable.

Vegas - ccImage courtesy of Curtis Gregory Perry on FlickrWith certain countries, the excitement lies in doing something new for the very first time. For me, it was the helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, taking the Greyhound bus to Los Angeles and enjoying the sites that Hollywood had to offer. These were elements that made my trip out there, and for many, whether this is skiing on the Alps, riding elephants in Kenya or climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, the danger element that these adventures could provide is half the thrill.

Of course, thinking ahead is a practical solution and having financial security should the worst happen, gives peace of mind that many travellers need; especially those who travel frequently. I try and go away a couple of times a year, even if this just on a city break. Last year it was Barcelona, this year it’s been Amsterdam, but not having this to worry about due to having annual travel insurance makes the whole process of going away less stressful.

It sounds boring, I know, but I think it’s an important aspect that more and more people believe they can do without. Despite the warnings, and the frequent scenarios we hear in the press about accidents occurring whilst on holiday, people do feel it’s worth the risk even though there are many providers that can offer cheap insurance.

Holidaying and adventures should be fun, but there are dangers that every so often mean you need to turn for help; whether this be for a lost wallet, emergency airline fare, or medical assistance, travel insurance is a necessity, and it doesn’t take up any space in the suitcase!