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OT: After-college plans: world travel

From:Sai Emrys <saizai@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 13, 2005, 14:22
This is extremely off-topic, so feel free to ignore. I just figure
that this is a rather diverse group country-wise, and helpful in other
ways, so perhaps some of y'all would be willing to help me. *clears

I have been considering various things to do after I graduate (two
semesters to go - bachelors in cognitive science). I don't really want
to go straight into more education - I'll probably get a doctorate at
some point, but I'd burn out if I did it now - and staying in the US
is, well, a bit boring.

So one idea I've been thinking of fairly seriously (but just recently
started, so not very planned yet) is to take a few years to wander the
world. Starting soon after I graduate (June 2006).

I don't mean to be a *tourist* but a *traveler*; among other things,
this would be distinguished by my wanting to at least break even
overall, and more preferrably, actually turn enough of a profit to
save up a fair amount. And taking a rather different approach - while
I'd probably want to "see the sights" and all that, I also want to
actually learn more 'local' parts, culture, etc - all the stuff
tourists skip right over.

My main travel interests are Europe, Middle East, and Japan, though
I'm sure that could expand. I don't know how I would want to do this -
perhaps get a longish-term job somewhere neat (say, teaching English
in Japan for a year) and save up before moving to the next place, or
just backpack on minimal budget and work odd jobs, or find some way I
could actually do a very telecommute-y job (or one that I can do on
the road, in any case), or...?

My main requirements: I want to travel, see a lot of different places
in a fair amount of depth, and learn a lot. I'm not much for kitsch,
and I'm not a partier, so that cuts out a lot of potential expense. I
am a strict vegetarian (though not vegan), which I understand is a bit
difficult in some countries. I would like to have as few tie-downs /
commitments as possible, though I'm willing to stay somewhere for
several months if it's a neat place and a decent (i.e. save up money /
be interesting) job. (Among other things, this would probably mean
travelling light - no more than one backpack and a bike, with
everything else used short-term, sold off, or shipped home for

Beyond that, it's not really planned out.

I suspect my main marketable job skill "on the fly" would be my
massage work; I have no idea what the local laws or going rates are
anywhere, but if I could manage it, it'd probably pay better (under
table) than generic odd jobs (cleaning, cooking, whatever - though I'm
willing to do those). My other skills are probably more long-term
relevant - computers, languages, cooking, some martial arts, etc.

So, O ye conlanging internationals (or travelers): can you offer me
advice? How I can pull this off practically and have fun doing it, how
I could finance it, places I should be sure to go, things I should be
sure to do, people I ought to meet, etc.? Pros *and* cons appreciated;
I would like to make sure I am being realistic about my romance. ;-)