A young man's first international adventure - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by jamesgignac, Apr 21, 2010.

Where in the World Should I Go? [help me choose my 6 month+ travel launching point]

Poll closed Apr 26, 2010.
  1. Western Europe

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  2. China

    6 vote(s)
    27.3%
  3. Middle East/Northern Africa

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. South America

    3 vote(s)
    13.6%
  5. South East Asia

    1 vote(s)
    4.5%
  6. Africa

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Far Eastern Europe/Central Asia/Russia

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  8. Mediterranean Loop

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  1. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    So, I'm 27 years old and have been a subscribing member of this forum for about a year and a half. I recently have been given the oportunity to travel anywhere in the world I want (though with a somewhat limited budget) and am anxious to have some suggestions or (finger's crossed) a host household to start off my journey.

    I have traveled a fair bit around Canada, the US and Mexico but have never been overseas. I have nothing holding me here at the moment and am at a bit of a loss regarding where I can go with this wonderful practice of film photgraphy in my small city of London, Ontario. Basically I need a fresh perspective and am very interested in your ideas on where to turn. The condition of the quasi-grant I'm receiving is that I must leave the continent, and preferably cross an ocean.

    Documentary photography is a passion of mine and while I enjoy wandering the streets of my home town taking photos of people, shops, and architecture I feel I am in need of something more - I feel worldly in my heart but, until now, have not had the chance to venture out on my own to experience new cultures and landscapes.

    Out of highschool I worked as a commission-based portrait painter through the insistance and guidance of art teachers. About two years ago I ended up at a camera show in Toronto, Ontario and my eyes widened - I knew nothing of any film format other than 35mm and since this time have been shooting exclusively in MF with a Bronica SQAi, then ETRSi and most recently a Hasselblad 503cx.

    I am a pedestrian without a drivers license so an urban environment is appealing to me although I feel the need to be taken out of my comfort zone with this trip. I am completely unaware of what it takes to become a photo journalist or documentarian but am constantly inspired by the work of such professions. Needless to say my recent discovery the Magnum group amazed me.

    I am at a loss. I don't know where in the world I should go but I know I am easily enthralled with new experiences and take every chance I can to put myself in powerful situations - I enjoy high-energy environments.

    I am hoping to start my journey in June of this year although the preparations required are at this point still daunting. I am trying to decide, for instance, what equipment I should have with me - I am selling off most of my Bronica equipment to put a little bit of extra cash in my wallet for new, lighter, gear (perhaps a Mamiya 7) - so I could use your recommendations here as well. Please note that if you make equipment suggestions I will have to pack everything I bring with me into a backpack (a rather large backpack, most likely), so though I really want to bring my Hassy I don't know if I'll end up doing so.

    This is going to be a long trip - 6 months perhaps or longer if I can find a way to maintain a monetary balance. I also want to move around quite a bit in this span of time so I would make sure not to wear out my welcome should anyone care to lend me a couch to sleep on for a time.

    Thank you so much for reading through this - again I am just beginning my plans so any and all suggestions are welcome. I was rather blindsided by this oportunity and it does have a time limit so my plans have to be made quickly.

    Once again thank you for your help, I'll post here again soon and though I may be out of 'internet range' for a day or two I will certainly take all advice to heart and update this thread with whatever decisions come about.

    I'm sorry if this post is a little scattered but that's where my head is right now until I begin to piece this all together.

    And thanks again to APUG - you've been a key component in my renewed pursuit of photography!
     
  2. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    James -- I can't recommend you come to where I am now -- Saudi Arabia -- but I can recommend where I was before that: Paris, and Europe in general. Not having a drivers license isn't a problem because the train/rail network is so extensive, and urban transport once in a city is easily available. There's so much to see outside the cities, however, that I'd hate to think of you being in France or some other country and be stuck in just urban environments. But at least those urban environments have a great deal of interesting things to assimilate and enjoy. Depending on how much gear you're going to travel, you could easily bicycle to many locales once you got off a train, or take a canal boat trip. You could accomplish a lot in six months in this manner. Only problem is the relatively high value of the Euro vs the dollar, but you can actually eat and sleep inexpensively if you can adapt to less than 5-star standards.
     
  3. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    I should mention as well that I realize there are many variables and conditions that I haven't mentioned in my first post - I am a mono-lingual but do not mind at all if I cannot speak the language of my destination country/ies - also I'm not entirely certain yet what my budget is going to look like but I will have a better idea of that soon (and I'm quite frugal and do not mind sleeping on the ground with my backpack as a pillow :smile:

    Thanks again.
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    :smile: : Europe. Start with Italy, Rome. Than go in Pisa, Florence, Bologa, Venice. From Venice up to Vienna, than in Bratislava so you can see at least one ex comunist country. Maybe go in Crocow - after that - if you will have money/time: Munich, and from Munich you have fast trians to Paris, after France - Spain.

    Imho: when it comes to architecture: there is nothing like Italy (I am not Italian :smile: ).
     
  5. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    For my money, it would have to be New Zealand - They are very much geared towards budget conscious travelers, not so many people though.
    Chittagong in Bangladesh, and the mountain railways of India are both areas I would like to explore.

    Regardless of where you end up, travel light.
     
  6. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Ah, to be young again.

    If you like Art and are schooled in it, and it sounds like you are from your post, then a tour of the great museums of Europe might fit the bill. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Prague, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Balbao ... An airline ticket and a european rail pass and you are on your way. And my post only hits the high points. There is some pretty interesting architecture along the route as well. And each city has many opportunities to do people photography. Hostels are your friend. With the rail pass, you can always spend the night on a train to save money. Take a train away from your city for 4 hours, get off, switch to a return train and wake up back where you started from. This is not recommended for night after night, but it comes in handy on those nights when you can only find a bench to sleep on.
     
  7. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    try this:

    close your eyes. Breathe out, clear your mind. The first int'l country that pops into your brain, go there. As long as it isn't all that "harmful" or "dangerous" to Americans/Canadians, like Saudi Arabia(not that its bad, but I wouldn't go alone personally). If you don't want to do that, look at southeast asia. There's lots of great opportunities there, and the exchange rates help extend your dollar even further. NZ would be a great choice too.

    one question though: Do you HAVE to be pedestrian-only? Can you get a driver's license before your trip? It might open some things up a bit more.

    definitely travel light though. Light as in you can run with ALL your things(camera(s) included) if needed.

    -Dan
     
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Consider South America. Not only will the prices be surprisingly good, but you also have a chance to see many things that many Americans never do (as opposed to Europe, which has a steady stream of young american tourists in the summertime). There are so many attractions, it's hard to begin to say what you should consider, but I went to Peru as a young fella and it was spectacular in every way. Of the places in South America I'd still most like to visit, I'd say Patagonia. A friend went all the way down to Antarctica and left me intensely jealous.

    As for pedestrian only, well, the first manual-shift car I drove was at a rental place in northern Norway. I was pretty young and by myself and just had to get out into that countryside! I told the story in my APUG blog here.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Wow! Congratulations!

    I cannot tell you where to go...but I can say that if I were given this opportunity, I would go to Iran or Afghanistan.
     
  10. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Come Downunder! :smile:
    See the red earth/blue sky of the Outback, the sparkling blue of the Great Barrier Reef, deep green glooms of rainforest down south and up north... even go surfing!

    You can hitch it easily or by Firefly/Greyhound or other buses right around the nation here, even into the heart of the Red Centre, but a licence/car for personal use would be one of my priorities. After Australia, head east to New Zealand and spent 2 months there; your timing would I reckon correspond to winter in both places, but depending where you go and how well prepared you are, the NZ landscape is much more challenging photographically (and physically!). But it delivers.

    Plan and experiment for the load you will be carrying; getting all excited with oodles of camera gear can be your point of undoing when you're carrying all your worldly gear on your back. Load/unload, pack/unpack, walk around and throw the pack around — with cameras in it — to get a feel for what 6 months on the road will be like. Any additional camera gear you fancy can be collected along the way assuming you can carry it effectively and securely.
     
  11. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I've traveled quite extensively in the course of my work. My three favourite places in the world are Peru, New Zealand and Vietnam, in no particular order. Although I speak Spanish (not as well as I used to) being monolingual would not be a problem. I've been to Iran and enjoyed the country and the people, but I'm not sure it's a good destination for a first-timer. Peru has the advantages of lots of historical (archeological) sites and being close to other latin american countries (my wife traveled extensively in south america and recommends Ecuador, second Peru); Vietnam has the advantage of varied landscapes from north to south and close to Laos and Cambodia (Laos is very nice, a little more laid back than Vietnam but I've never been to Cambodia). Neither have I been to the south island of New Zealand (which most people rave about at the "right" time of year).
    In none of these countries have I ever been concerned about my personal safety, but in Peru one should be aware of their surroundings and keep close track of the important things (passport, money and cameras).
    If you decide to go to any one of these places I'd be happy to offer more information on places to visit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2010
  12. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    I'm going to suggest Asia and south east Asia if you want to get out of your comfort zone. It'll be an awakening in many ways. Definitely not the Ceeps :wink: You might want to go to Australia if you want to pad your funds. Should be easy to find casual work there (friends worked orchards, vineyards etc...) and the people you'll meet there will probably become life long friends. I would suggest bringing minimal camera gear and simply enjoy the trip and all that unfolds as you travel.
     
  13. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Australia is great - I know - as I live here...but it is expensive for the budget traveller - even if you can pick up the odd job (legally or otherwise..)

    Most amazing place I've been to is China. You don't need to drive (and thankfully most of the population doesn't). Food is great whether you eat meat or are a vegetarian. People are very friendly (although watch out for those who walk up to you on the street in a major city and want to practice their English - yes, they are really trying to sell you something!). I spent a week in Beijing, and by then end of it felt comfortable getting around - maybe not like a local, but still very comfortable...and never once felt unsafe..(plus there's a great camera complex in Wukusong with maybe 100 camera stores in a 2 storey mall)

    Many amazing sights - some unexpected. Just walking throuogh the streets is amazing - we were walking down a side street, and came across a open gate. Looking in was a circular arch - it was a 400 year old courtyard house, and the owner allowed us in to ahve a look. It's such an amazing place - in front of you is the 21st century, next to you is a scene that could have come out of the 19th century...

    Then catch a train/bus out into the country side - there are many places where they still don't see westerners often...The Great Wall - I only went because I thought if I don't go I will regret it..how right I was. We went to a part of the wall about 100km from Beijing that hadn't been re-built, and we were the only tourists there......it was almost surreal...I'm not a landscape photographer, but even I couldn't take a lousy photo...

    Asia as a whole can be a place of contrasts - you could also consider Cambodia (Angkor Wat temple complex is amazing - and enormous-and if you travel 30-40km from the main temple complex you get ruind temples all to yourself), then on to the Killing Fields (so sad), Vietnam (so much history), Thailand, Laos....

    I'd steer clear of Europe due to the cost, plus the fact the Iceland volcano may cause air traffic chaos again in the future....
     
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  15. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Agree about China. In general, you'll find there's little crime against Westerners or foreigners. 'pugger Colin Corneau seems to go to China every couple of years. You could easily spend half a year in China, Viet Nam and Cambodia. Just keep in mind summer will be excruciating for Canadians. Hot and humid like you've never experienced, makes Toronto summers seem like spring :wink:
     
  16. naugastyle

    naugastyle Member

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    I travel a lot, quite cheaply, with a backpack and camera bag, never have a car, and am almost always traveling alone. So, I have a few ideas here.

    -Would not recommend South America, but there's a qualification. Love it, but it's quite difficult without Spanish (or (Portuguese). I find the people who don't speak Spanish end up only talking to other tourists (and most were not traveling alone to begin with). I'm not sure I can agree with johnnywalker that it's "not a problem," although more popular countries like Peru will have more English speakers. HOWEVER--if you have 6 months to spare and want to choose a few places to LEARN Spanish, it will give you a great excuse to stay in one city/town for a month or so, and then the basis of language for the next few months. I'd definitely recommend Colombia as a great country for this. You can study in a high-energy city like Medellin for a few weeks, then move somewhere remote and laidback and off-the-beaten track like Mompos for a few more weeks. I think they might have a Spanish school set up by now. Mompos would be a great place to work on documenting people. The Spanish is quite clear through the center of the country. Bolivia's Spanish is also on the slower side, and it's a ridiculously gorgeous country. If you were to do a longer cross-continental journey, generally it would probably be best to get your Spanish down in an Andean area before tackling the coasts ...or Argentina.

    -Highly, highly, highly recommend the Middle East if you can. I went alone when I was 28 (turned 29 while there) and am a girl who looked 20 at the time. Did not feel in danger. Summer is damn hot, but it's dry heat and fewer tourists, and you could save the hotter countries for the second half of your six months. I only got to travel in the Middle East for 7.5 weeks, which I constantly regret...can only imagine how much I'd learn and what I would have seen with six months. I flew into Cairo and out of Istanbul and traveled only by public transportation in-between. Language is not a huge issue--I found more English speakers there than in South/Central America. It's eye-opening, as cliched as it might sound--as much as I love all my travels, there was just nothing quite as culturally impactful as this trip. I truly wish I had not been as nervous about photographing people as I was then...I wish I had a record of all the wonderful people I spoke with. For those of us in North America, the physical landscape alone is a huge change. Syria is still my absolute favorite country...would be happy staying for a month or more, rather than the measly 2 weeks I did.

    -For specific countries that are absolutely overflowing with documentary possibilities, my recommendations are Ethiopia and Myanmar, both because of photogenic beauty, unique cultures, friendly people. (Friendlier in Myanmar--I admit some people hate Ethiopia but to me, it is fascinating in its energetic craziness). Amount of English speakers is probably similar in both. Unfortunately you're not departing at an ideal time of year for either one, but honestly...both so interesting. The advantage with Myanmar is that you could combine it with a longer trip to nearby countries. Whether it's a Southeast Asia trip or a South Asia trip, you have to fly into Myanmar either way (cannot cross the borders by land) so it doesn't really matter where you're coming from, but you could at least be nearby in the region. Still though--summer is not ideal. Do you have to leave in June?

    As for costs, hosts, etc. I think Europe is too expensive, but your budget may tell you differently. Check couchsurfing.com or hospitalityclub.org. I used HC when I went to the Middle East. I don't really do it anymore as I have a job and am paid for my vacations, but it was great and I constantly meet people who love it. For the countries I've recommended, cheap lodging is easy to find anyway. I very rarely pay more than 10USD/night but my usual is closer to $6. My most ridiculous price was 86 cents on the Sinai Peninsula. Price basically depends on what you need, and really all I need is a bed. I prefer porcelain toilets but you take what you can get! For me, the lodging is the least important part of any trip, I'm there 8-10 hours a day at the most. The particular countries that intrigue me unfortunately often don't have good cuisines, so that budget goes down as well. If you want your trip to stretch out as long as possible, you can certainly save money without sacrificing enjoyment.

    Oh, and for this type of travel, urban environment is definitely not necessary to be car-free. You can also simply choose a place that's small enough to walk around.

    Can't really give recs on equipment, because I prefer 35mm.

    Sorry this got so long...travel is obviously my biggest passion :smile:.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2010
  17. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    Before deciding on an itinerary it may be good to think some more about the type of photos you want to take, in terms of subject matter, mood, environment, etc. You can do documentary photography of almost anything, but you probably have some more definite goals you want to accomplish with this trip. If you don't drive then good public transport is one thing that should narrow down your choices. Beyond that, I agree with many of the suggestions above. The only other suggestion I have is to not rule out Edinburgh, Scotland, during any season but summer. If you avoid the tourist crowds and accompanying kitsch, it is a very photogenic city. Even a short (i.e. less expensive) visit could be rewarding. Perhaps on your way home from someplace more exotic.
     
  18. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    Naugastyle has a point - it's easier in Latin America if you know the language, but I don't think you'll have a problem without it. Besides, in six months you will pick up a lot. Try and learn some before you go, if you decide to go there. Don't bother if you decide to go to southeast asia. Those languages are impossible, and it isn't necessary. No one expects you to be able to speak Vietnamese for instance and they will try very hard to understand what you are trying to get across. Get a GPS before you go, you'll never get lost. Always carry the address of where you're staying, so if you do get turned around you can just show it to a cyclo driver or a taxi.
    I spent a month alone in Vietnam without any issues. To eat, go into a restaurant and look lost. Someone will feed you. Or point to whatever the next table is having. They will write on a piece of paper how much you owe. If you want to go to a particular place, get someone who speaks english and the local language to write it down so you can show it to a driver.
    You will learn how to get by. You will have fun. It will be an adventure. You will be ok. Oh yes, learn the word for "bathroom" wherever you are. And get all the shots you need before you leave, and some really strong antibiotics just in case. I always take them and have never needed them.
     
  19. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    Hey this looks like fun so i`ll join in.
    How about a med. loop. Turkey, Crete, Nth.Africa, Portugal. Perhaps Morrocco in nth africa,get a bit of diversity and far enough out of comfort zone, without too much worry.
    I see NZ mentioned by a few. You do know that we are the forth best in the world at rugby and the world cup is on here, so if rugby ain`t your thing maybe stay out untill it is over because nothing else will be happening during cup time.
    regards
    CW
     
  20. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Should you by mistake end up near the North Pole on your journey, you are welcome to stay a night or two on our couch. You are a lucky man to have this opportunity (to travel, not the couch).

    r

    Mats
     
  21. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Yeah its nice here.. I can also recommend Sweden. The ferry which you get a bed on to Finland from Sweden is also not that expensive.
     
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  22. jhenry

    jhenry Member

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    Another vote for China.

    I just moved out of China, having traveled to/from and lived there for the past four years. Out of all the countries I've visited (20+), China has the best opportunities for street and documentary photography (in my opinion, and based on my travels).

    There are some specific things that make China especially appealing given your circumstances:

    1. China is inexpensive. Even if the RMB is revalued in the near future it will still be inexpensive. Subways and taxis in the major cities (e.g. those over 500,000 people) are cheap; buses for local transportation are cheaper. Trains and buses for long distance travel is a great value. This means you'll be able to move through a city, and between cities and provinces without using a huge portion of your budget. Food and lodging can be ultra expensive, or incredibly inexpensive but still with quality service.

    2. China has every type of environment imaginable for photography. Street photography in 500 year old neighborhoods? Got it. Incredible landscapes? Head out to Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan or to Tibet. Documenting the intersection of modern life and ancient traditions? Go to almost any city in China. Ability to photograph more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country (I believe) in the world: yep. And, of course, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Terracota Army in Xi'an, Huangshan's (Yellow Mountains) famous peaks, Tiger Leaping Gorge, the terraced rice paddies of Guangxi. All are amazing.

    3. The Chinese love photography. Travel to other countries and one might/can hesitate before taking a picture of a stranger on the street. In Chin,a people will see you with your camera and be excited for you to take their picture. In the years I worked there (and did photography as my primary hobby), I only had one individual (a foreigner) get upset when I took his picture on the street. You'll even be approached by Chinese asking to take their picture with you.

    4. The Chinese love photography, Part II: Photography is a huge business in China. While digital is the big seller, I've never seen as many film photographers anywhere else I've traveled. When you travel to China you will know with absolute certainty that you will be able to replenish your film supplies--and replenish it with almost any/every brand, speed, type you can imagine using. Beijing along has a wonderful photography "market" that I would wonder through on occasion. Yeah, the 50+ stores have digital, but they also have large format, medium format, 35mm, unique and custom cameras, enough lenses to stock an army of photographers, etc. Other cities have similar markets.

    5. While the cost of film is similar to that of the U.S., the cost of processing (good, quality processing) is dirt cheap. Processing a roll of 35mm 36 exposure black and white: $1.25; scans of the entire roll: another $1.25. Color E6: $2.70. I didn't do medium or large format, but assume the prices are comparable. Try to beat that in Europe.

    6. Lastly, in China (as in some other countries), should your budget get tight you can just tutor English for a bit during the morning to earn money, and then hit the streets with your camera in the afternoon. Learning English is a huge business in China, with the vast majority of urban parents enrolling their child into a private part-time tutoring program, or hiring a tutor directly. You don't need to speak Chinese, and as long as you are caucasian (Chinese parents won't hire a Chinese-American or Chinese-Canadian, even if their English is native) you'll be able to find as much work as you want.

    Hope the above helps. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a private message.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
     
  23. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    If you end up in the Russian speaking world, I would be happy to give you tips and directions as I have spent much time there and have travelled a lot. I recommend it highly, also for the great opportunities to do documentary and journalistic photography. So many untold histories, so much history. However, Russian language is an asset when travelling there. However, it would help you get out of your comfort zone, so why not trying?
     
  24. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    First of all i want to let you know that i do hate you (come on ! i'm joking) . Wandering around the globe is my lifetime dream and i do not know whether it'll never come true.
    Suggesting the main destinations depends on the person you are. If you are one hating public transportations not being on time, delays and similar problems than forget the country where i leave (at least centre and south of it).
    If you are a bit adventurous then Italy is your country. I would recommend the south of the Nation. from Rome up to the north many things are well known around the globe (Florence, Venice,Pisa,etc..). Down south there are many fantastic places and life, in general, is much cheaper. Just to make an example eating a pizza in its capital (Napoli) may cost the half of what you would pay in Florence. And the quality is at the very.
    top. Archeologically speaking the south of Italy has many resamblences with Greek world. The ruins very similar to those in Athens. Everything mixed with ancient Roman stuff and medioeval architecture. In the case you decide for our troubled country (we have many kind of problems....) do not hesitate to contact me. I'll be very glad to suggest an itinerary that fits the person you are. Italy has all kind of beauties. From food/wine to cities, architecture, archeological ruins, persons, seasides, mountains. I'll be glad also to list the photo shops you may need.
    Here is my email address: fausto.testa at ericsson.com

    P.S. I have a very close Canadian friend who lives here since 1995 and has never stopped criticizing us (Italy and Italians). To some extent he
    is right. But he's still here and i think will stay for long (He got maried with a Woman from the south)
     
  25. PHinSD

    PHinSD Member

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    James - My advice is to just pick a country that intrigues you and go, someplace exotic, someplace romantic. Don't worry about the language, a smile gets you a long way and you'll pick up the language fast once you're totally immersed. If you're in Belgium on Tuesday and Germany on Wednesday you won't see or learn anything. Don't worry about not having a driver's license, hitch hike, rides are easy to get and you'll meet people and see things you otherwise wouldn't. If you're fit, think about buying a used bike when you get to wherever you get to. Aside from a camera bag, get a medium sized backpack (If you're thinking of biking it, substitute saddlebags) and a down sleeping bag in a stuff sack. Whatever you do, keep it comfortable, don't load yourself down. Comfortable hiking boots, a pair of flip-flops, 2 pair of jeans, shorts, 6 pair of socks, 6 pair of underpants, 6 shirts, a sweater, a sports jacket, a poncho, a bathing suit, and a tooth brush, period.

    Save your money and don't bother with hotels. Stay in a hostel or pension the first few nights in a new location. You'll be surprised how friendly people are. Families will invite you to eat or stay with them. The rest of the world is not like the US or Canada. You'll have a ball.

    Travel light. Take 1 or 2 35mm cameras that are rugged and reliable like an M-series Leica with 28, 50, and 90mm lenses and a Canon F1-N 2 or 3 prime lenses up to 200mm plus a 1.4 or 2x doubler. Protect each lens with a 1A or UV filter. A polarizer and graduated neutral density filter are handy. If you're shooting B&W, medium yellow and light green filters are useful. Bring a small strobe that uses AA batteries (they're cheap and plentiful). A monopod like a Manfrotto 3016 isn't heavy and comes in handy in low light and with a long lens. Everything should fit in a Domke F-7 bag with room to spare. Then fill all remaining space in the bag with film. Don't forget an LED flashlight that uses 1 or 2 AA batteries, a note book, and pen. Ah yes, get yourself a money belt and carry most of your money in traveler's checks.

    Save yourself a lot of money. Hitch hike to a port area in Canada or the US and then hitch a ride on a freighter or tanker to China or Morocco or wherever you fancy. You can do it, I did and I spent less that $5,000US hitching around the world for 6-1/2 years and was in every continent except Antarctica, had a ball, was never hassled, and made a lot of friends. DO it to it! Full speed ahead, damn the torpedos!

    Lots of luck,
    Paul Harris
     
  26. PHinSD

    PHinSD Member

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    PS: James, I forgot, sew a Canadian flag on your backpack. Paul