>fly to cape town
>start traveling by hitching and public transport
>fast forward 2 years and 7 months
>fly out of dakar
Ask me anything, also pic requests.
Why the fuck are you in West Africa now? When is your expected time of death?
But on a serious note, where are you from originally? Age? What job did you do before leaving for this trip? How much longer are you planning on traveling and what do you want to do after you finish?
How would you rate in terms of difficulty compared to all the other countries you have visited these two: Ethiopia, Yemen. I am interested in doing them but I heard all kind of contradictory experiences.
Also, in Nagorno-Karabakh did you visit Agdam? If so, can you explain in detail? I'm considering Armenia next year but I won't go if I can't go to Agdam.
Thanks in advance mate!
I'm Australian, 26 years old. I was in the army before, I just got home from the trip, and am planning on going to university next.
Ethiopia is fairly easy to travel and they are used to tourists. I got stuck there for a month when they confiscated my passport, but that is another story (to do with crossing from South Sudan).
Yemen is 10/10 difficulty. Seriously hardcore travel. Besides the difficulties with getting the required paperwork to pass checkpoints, there are also sword wielding bandits and random night time shootings to deal with. That aside, it is an outstanding country to travel and one of my favourites. Beautiful country, lots of history, friendly people, great architecture etc.
Yeah I visited Agdam. When getting my visa processed in Stepanakert the guy told me it was forbidden to go there, which made me want to go. It is easy and fairly cheap to hire a taxi. Then you can just walk around, but stay on the path because of land mines. I tried to go to the mosque but there were some soldiers in a building nearby who shouted at me to go away. Pretty depressing place really, it must have been beautiful once.
>pic related, it is agdam
I packed pretty light. I took a gym bag that weighed maybe 10-12kg fully loaded. My only valuables were an mp3 player, mini speaker, digital camera and an old nokia phone.
>pic unrelated, it's mozambique
1. Maybe you can't answer this, but getting a (north) Sudan visa in Ethiopia and hitching across the border - cheap and easy or hard and expensive?
2. Do I see in your map visit to Nagorono-Karabakh? If so, what was that like?
3. How much of a hassle is it to get into Iraqi Kurdistan?
4. How much of a hassle was it to get into Abkhazia? Was it worth it?
5. Did you take a boat from Djibouti to Yemen? My research has told me it's impossible to do this.
6. Was Somaliland worth it? What kind of red tape was there? What did you do for transport? Did you have to hire a bodyguard?
7. Was Djibouti interesting?
8. How was the iron ore train?
9. Is Namibia awesome?
10. How was hitching in Africa generally, and specifically in Djibouti/Ethiopia?
11. What's your favorite area of turkey?
12. What's better, Georgia or Armenia?
1. Yeah I can't really answer it. I chatted to some others who were waiting outside the Sudanese embassy as I was passing by and it sounded like a bit of a hassle for them. I will cover hitching in 10.
2. Nagorno-Karabakh was pretty uninspiring to be honest. Like Armenia, but more conservative. After visiting Agdam (see above) and asking some locals about it (they would either avoid the subject or proudly talk about how there isn't a single Muslim left in the country), I decided the place was built on ethnic cleansing and left in disgust. But worth a visit if in the area.
3. No hassle. Visa on the border with Iran was easy. The border with Turkey is a terribly organised shitfight that takes ages to cross though.
4. You have to fill out a form and email it to the Abkhaz authorities and they will send you permission to enter after a few days. Then you take it to the border and Russian spooks will go over everything, then let you through to Sukhumi where you have to find the right office and get your actual visa. Yes, worth the effort. Beautiful stone beaches and vegetation, awesome ruins in Sukhumi, Gagra is nice for chilling out with a variety of characters. Kind of place where you end up having a Ukrainian general pouring you beer while you drink with a mafia boss, a prostitute, a border guard, a hotel owner etc... Lots of thieves though so guard your stuff closely.
>pic related, it is in sukhumi
5. It is a matter of contacting the port authorities yourself and finding out when the boat is leaving. I had to wait a week for rough weather at sea to subside before we headed off. Hardest part is getting a Yemeni visa that allows you to arrive at the port and travel independently. I had to start by asking drug dealers on the street in Djibouti to find connections and ended up dishing out $300 in bribes on top of $200 for the visa. Ouch, but worth it.
6. Somaliland was good fun. You can get the visa in Addis in an hour. Transport from the border to Hargeisa/Berbera/Burao is pretty straightforward. Crossing the desert towards Djibouti is an ordeal though. Most uncomfortable ride ever where you are squashed into the back of a 4x4 without room to move and bouncing over the desert (often off road) at high speeds all through the night. My arse hurt for days. Pay extra to get an actual seat. I never hired a bodyguard, but everybody always expected me to have one. I recommend making yourself inconspicuous at checkpoints and you shouldn't be noticed. I sat in the front of the bus returning from Burao and got in the shit for not having a guard and taken to the police station, but of course they couldn't do anything at that stage and eventually sent me on. You are supposed to visit the police commissioner in Hargeisa first where he gives you "verbal permission" to go without a guard which may impress those who believe you. People are really friendly there and many speak English. Delicious camel samosas. Kids will throw rocks at you, little shits.
>pic related, en route to yemen
7. Yeah kinda interesting. City is a lively smelly shithole except for the nice district, and it is expensive. If you go to a bar it will be full of only hookers and foreign soldiers. Kicking back smoking sheesha with the hookers is pretty fun. Local girls are beautiful. Not much to do during the day though, and it is really hot. In the season you can swim with whale sharks. Outstanding. Also go to Lac Assal, which is saltier than the dead sea and pretty amazing even if you can't stand the heat, wind and glare for a long time.
8. Iron ore train is great. Pro-tip, if you are heading inland the carts are empty and locals will load many with cargo. Look out for something comfortable and get in that cart. It is a long, bumpy ride and the carts are not soft at all.
9. Yeah I liked Namibia. Locals are open to good fun, easy to hitch hike and Sossusvlei is great.
>pic related, being awesome in mauritania
10. Depends on the region. Down around SA/Namibia/Botswana it is easy and similar to a western country. I never took public transport there. In the rest of sub-Saharan Africa the line between hitching and public transport is blurred and usually you are expected to pay for rides (not always though), so I ended up taking a bus or paid truck most of the time. I didn't try hitching in Djibouti, in Ethiopia it involved me waving down a truck and then negotiating a cheap price with the driver. If you have the time and patience to stand in the sun waiting for somebody to take you for free, you could do it eventually I guess.
11. I loved Istanbul. As for the rest of it, I liked the leg I did up from Iraq to Georgia. That was all done by hitching and I met some really friendly people. Beautiful mountains and way off the tourist trail, but very little English.
12. Easily Georgia for me. Delicious food, cheap beer, fun locals, and great places to visit. Tbilisi is really nice and I stayed there for over a month. Armenia seemed more of a shitty left over Soviet state to me, but other people love it as well. I did make some good Armenian friends in Georgia.
>pic related, it is georgia
Sounds awesome OP.
Any hassles getting into Iran, given that it looks like you came in and got out overland? I remember one Australian guy a while back saying they wanted to see details of his departure flight when he got his visa.
Mind if you explain a little bit the logistics of Nagorno-Karabakh/Agdam?
Where did you get the NK visa? Costs and specific info
How did you actually get to NK?
How easy can someone move around Armenia/NK with english?
How easy is to get a taxi to Agdam?
Also, general particularities that surprised you from Armenia/NK
They get about 40k USD annually, for a guy of OP's age that's plenty of money - plus the army houses and feeds you so it's easy to save up that amount over a few years. OP sounds like a nice guy with lots of good advice. Stop being a dick.
Jels OP, I'm a bit pussy to do what you did, did you ever hitchhike before this trip? How green were you in Cape Town and how easy/experienced were you by the end of your epic trip? Did your Army training give you confidence?
Holy fuck OP, 10/10 trip, 10/10 thread. You are my hero.
Did you see those guys getting loaded on the ship? I was in Djibouti and it was a sight to see. They'd hook up livestock to cranes and bring em on board. You'd see camels floating 50+ ft in the air, lmao.
How was the crew? I visited an Egyptian livestock ship, and my fuck they were friendly. Showed me around, offered me dinner. Shit was sweet. Pic related. Made me want to buy a livestock ship, but it would still cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, I'm sure.
This isn't where you got on was it? :D
Thanks, OP... you da man!
No nothing out of the ordinary. You have to organise the visa beforehand of course, I think I just wrote some bullshit itinerary that specified I was traveling overland. At the port immigration headed off with my passport for about 10 minutes and I expected some shenanigans, but they just came back and said no problems.
First time I got malaria, in South Sudan. I was traveling up the Nile by boat from Juba to Malakal, and it was around a 6 day journey. I got sick on the second day and ended up with full on vomiting, shakes, fever, occasional delirium etc. I couldn't eat or drink without vomiting it up and it was ridiculously hot with no shelter. By the time we arrived I couldn't walk by without somebody helping me and was pretty close to passing out. Luckily some local NGO employee saw me at the port and told me not to go to the local hospital and instead drove me to the UN base. Indian doctors fixed me up with a drip and medicine, then I stayed in a hotel for a while looking after myself and getting injections right in the buttocks.
>pic related, it is the boat
Crime wasn't an issue. Only time I got robbed was when somebody climbed through a window into my hotel room when I was out and stole my mp3 player (Senegal). I was doing plenty of "white boy out by himself in seedy areas at night" stuff but nothing ever went bad. Once in Uganda I jumped a wall to get out of trouble and then had to jump another wall to escape guard dogs. Could have got destroyed by a drugged up gang in the DR Congo but eventually they decided they liked me. I had both a visa and a mastercard, but mastercard is pretty useless in most of Africa. So yeah, visa card got me the whole way.
Depends on the country. Often you have to get it at an embassy beforehand which can take some time. I had to send my passport back home to get the Ethiopian visa because they wouldn't do it for me in the embassies there. Generally it is pretty straightforward though, just look up the requirements first.
>pic unrelated, just rolling with the boat theme in the Congo this time
Yeah, usually as cheap as possible. If I was in a place that had hostels, I would go there. Otherwise cheap hotels and guest houses. Couple of times I slept out in the open when things didn't work out, no fun. Also occasional couchsurfing. Sometimes I would be invited to stay with locals.
The train isn't that difficult. It is easy to find out when it leaves, you just hang out at the station and register with the police or something like that. Then jump on when it comes. It is a real buzz when you start, zooming through the desert like that is fantastic. When night falls it gets cold and windy and of course you are caked in dust. Luckily for me a nice dude gave me some blankets to keep warm and I even got some sleep under the stars. Great experience.
As for the Iranian visa, you have to apply online and pick it up at an embassy. I got mine in Muscat. I think it took a week or two to be processed. The Sharjah-Bandar Abbas ferry is pretty straightforward. It goes overnight and I forget the price, but fairly expensive. Maybe over $100. You get comfy seats and food and everything.
>pic related, a cheap hotel/brothel in Guinea-Bissau
So you really never had anyone try to mug you or otherwise steal your cash? I know that much of Africa is much safer than people think, but still, you'd think with the level of poverty there would be someone desperate enough to try.
You get the NK visa actually in Stepanakert. When you cross the border you stop at a little police post and just fill in what looks like a visitors book and they give you the address of where you have to go. I can't remember if the visa cost anything, but if it did it was cheap. They ask if you want it stuck in your passport or just loose. As for getting there, there are mini buses from Yerevan or you can get yourself a taxi which is actually really cheap. English is not very widespread, but if you try enough times you will find somebody. Young people are more likely to speak it of course. Taxi to Agdam is also easy. It isn't far from Stepanakert and the second or third guy I asked was prepared to take me (and spent ages miming land mine explosions to me). Like I said before, I wasn't too enthralled by Armenia, but that is probably also because I had good things waiting for me back in Georgia. You can have fun in Yerevan, and the Armenian brandy is good stuff. Unlike Georgia it is a much more pro-Russian country. A lot of it is pretty stark and industrial. I did some nice hitch hiking around the North of the country.
I only hitched once before the trip, when our car got bogged in Australia. Yeah I was pretty green when I first arrived and once I started hitching I was stretching the comfort zone a bit. But it worked out well with the order I did countries because things slowly became more hardcore and I became accustomed to it on the way. By the end I was like a duck in water, it all felt natural to me. Being in the army did help with confidence and knowing what I was are capable of doing.
>pic unrelated, it is yemen
Yeah, those poor bastards hooking them up to the crane were covered in shit. The crew were a bunch of Indians. Cool dudes. Didn't speak English, but we named Australian and Indian cricket players to each other. Ate spaghetti with them. I don't think that is the same place, but who knows. It's a big port!
>pic related, djibouti
Depends on the region. Anywhere in christian Africa the local girls will be chasing after you. You can literally be chilling in a park in the middle of the day, then a girl will come up and start a conversation, then next thing you are waking up the next morning with no idea where you are and thinking about how great life is. In the Muslim parts it is more difficult, but doable. I didn't have any luck in the Middle East outside of foreign chicks, but I also didn't make much of an effort. Obviously Europe is fine. In many places you will find travelers and/or expats and/or NGO workers as well. Best is when you get a temporary girlfriend who you can hang out with and get shown around and cooked for etc.
I don't want to go into exact details as to how often, but I did alright for myself.
Helping to run a little lodge in the bush and managing a few local staff.
Nope. Ebola was there when I passed through, but hadn't taken off like it has now.
>pic related, african chick in senegal
Yeah second time in Sierra Leone. No big deal then because I was in Freetown and had a decent doctor next to the guest house.
It happened to other people I talked to, but not to me. I think a lot of it has to do with how easy a target you look. Be confident, don't stare at your feet, don't wear fancy clothes and watches etc. When I was in dodgy places I never carried anything valuable anyway. When you just have a nokia phone and $15 in your pocket you don't have to be stressing. When you are around potentially dodgy people just be firm and friendly and treat them like equals. If it looks like escalating further, don't be afraid to swear your head off and get angry at them. They may decide you are cool and become friends.
>pic unrelated, in harper, liberia
>Posts good pictures
>answers practical questions in a polite manner
>Interesting and unique anecdotes
>Isn't a smug asshole boasting about his exploits
Good thread OP. Do you have advice for someone who might be considering doing this kind of travel in the future? Anything you really wish someone had told you before you left? Any useful strategies you learned, or major mistakes you made along the way?
Not as bad as I thought to be honest. Although for the last few months I was just living in the one place, so the trip kind of wound down slowly.
I got the Ethiopian visa while I was in Uganda (mailed it to the embassy in Aus though). There was no immigration at the border though, so I just passed through without any formalities because the police told me to. Then when I was trying to find somebody to stamp my passport later they confiscated it and said I was a criminal and had to go to court etc.
Fairly, yes, and yes. Probably helps.
>pic unrelated, it is iran
What did you do in terms of accessing money? You mentioned you used a Visa card, was that linked to your Australian bank account and you just sucked up the currency conversion costs, or did you find a cheaper way to get cash?
Why thank you. I used to like these kinds of threads on /trv/ before I left so it is nice to give back. My best advice to you is just do it. No need to over think the planning and preparation. Of course you need money, a way to access your money, and a passport, but that is about it. Everything you need can be bought there. You will learn how it all works while on the road. Have you seen the movie Yes Man? Pretty corny I know, but the strategy is sound. If somebody invites you to do something, do it. Whether it is to go down to the bar, or to eat dinner at their place, or to travel somewhere with them etc. Ignore that part of your mind that says, "But I am tired, it might take a long time, my bed is comfortable, I was planning on going another way". Yeah it may be a dead end, but some of my best memories have come from going with the flow and ending up in unexpected situations.
In Africa most foreigners are white. Only times I saw many Asians were Chinese workers building roads and stuff like that. Of course there are some around though.
Yeah around 5 days. Bit of a tourist trap, but not bad if it is your first visit to the continent. They speak the English. You will be pissed off by all the people trying to sell you stuff. If you are into weed, good destination for that.
>pic unrelated, it is tyre in lebanon
Yeah it was linked like you said. I had a pretty good deal, if you are Aussie go with ING everyday. It costs $2.50 per withdrawal, you can use it anywhere, and the conversion was pretty good.
>pic unrelated, i hitched through this shit in turkey
I consider travelling the world myself with little money I have. Did you have some opportunities to work/get some money as you travelled? How often and what kind of work? Would it be possible to travel some time, then work some time in country I am in and then go on etc.et.c?
might sound like a bit of a nerd here, but did you have travel insurance? I have the feeling something like that probably wouldn't be that useful when you are in the middle of nowhere needing treatment.
>everybody in djibouti was telling me i am going to get abducted and killed if i go to yemen (al qaedea kidnapping westerners is all over the news now)
>go to yemen anyway
>stay the night in the port city (mocha)
>next day get in a share taxi to ta'izz
>all going according to plan, cruising along
>driver and passengers in the front start shouting in arabic
>there is a big boulder in the middle of the road
>all the cars on the road are being stopped
>there are big men with masked faces stomping around waving swords and clubs and screaming at us
>even 12 year old kids are threatening us with clubs and shouting
>the cars in front are being taken up a small dirt road to an unknown fate
>oh shit they were right, i am going to die on my second day here
>i am luckily in the middle of the taxi (it is packed full of people)
>i am tall so i sit up straight so they can't see me unless they bend down to look in
>bandit guy glances in the car, then screams more stuff at us and points back the way we came
>driver turns around and gets out of there
>take long detour on a small dirt road through very scenic farmland
>didn't end too badly
We all know about doing this in western countries, but I don't like your chances in third world places. The economies are wrecked and unemployment is high, so unless you have some useful qualifications nobody would hire you over some poor local who will work for peanuts. I think something you can do over the internet is your best bet if you are looking at the kind of route I took.
>pic related, it is ta'izz
I took out travel insurance for a year before I left. Everybody told me I should and I didn't really know what I was getting into. Once that expired I went without insurance as I felt pretty comfortable with it all by then. For my Iranian visa they wanted proof of insurance and I just edited my old certificate so the dates suited and submitted that.
Going on the trip is the best life choice I ever made. I think I changed a lot. Aside from more confidence and general knowledge, I became much more into all that peace, love, and acceptance stuff than I was before. And yes I am glad I was away for that long. I can't think of any better way I could have spent that time.
>pic unrelated, continuing on with the yemen theme in wadi hadramout
FUUUUUCk OP I am so envious, can I do it? I don't have 30 grand saved shit, you definitely did a truly great trip, deserves more than a thread on here. Not many people have done what you did. Truly inspired.
Me too, I'm 29, I want to do this trip, or something similar.
OP did you ever feel like you want to work in these places or that you should be doing more than just travelling around.
How did you cope with loneliness etc? What were the downsides of your odyssey? How did you know where you wee going the next day?
Yeah you can do it. If you go to the right areas you can live for much less than $1,000 a month. Thanks for the nice words.
I was generally pretty happy just traveling. I didn't feel unfulfilled or anything, I am quite content being a bum so long as my mind is occupied with something. Loneliness could sometimes be an issue, and then it was just a matter of pushing through it until I found somebody I could connect to or a stimulating situation. The hardest thing was saying goodbye to people. That hollow feeling when there are people who you know could have been part of your life forever, but you have to say goodbye and head into the unknown again. I guess that is the traveler's curse.
Not knowing where I was going to wee the next day was really nice. It is liberating to be on the road and having absolutely no idea what you will eat, who you will meet, where to poop or where to sleep (I could make a poem out of that). Many possibilities.
As for age, I'm sure it is just fine going into your 30s. At least I hope so, because I will be there soon and there are more trips I want to do. I guess the only thing that should change with age is how well you do picking up the girls.
>pic unrelated, hitched with this guy in iran
Did you stay in contact with your family back home? Did you write any sort of blog or journal?(you don't have to post it if you don't want to, I just want to know if you kept track of your trip).
What did the people you know think about you doing this? It's one of the reasons I don't travel as much as I would like to. I have an overly protective family and being an only child I'm extra coddled by everyone. I also come from a culture where I'm supposed to take care of my family members as much as I can and they guilt trip me a lot haha. It's kinda hard to be a dick to them and just fuck off to another part of the world even though I'd love to do that more than anything.
I bought a SIM in most countries, and there are internet cafes all over the place for staying in touch. My family was used to me being away even before this trip, I moved out when I was a teenager to enlist and have been all over the place ever since.
I didn't write a blog, and just kept a little man diary which was a notebook where I would jot down the date, location, and any events. Usually a couple of sentences. This is the first time I've put anything out in public except for some facebook photos.
>pic unrelated, it is mozambique again
I'm thinking of going to Senegal, can you tell me about the costs of living there? What's the cheapets accomodation possible? $1000 a month is a bit too much for me.
Also, did you hear about cheap flights to Cape Verde from Dakkar? Somebody told me it's super cheap, it would be nice to visit the islands for a bit.
You are looking at $11 or more a night for the cheapest hotels in Dakar. If you want to stay longer, you can rent a room for $130 a month if you find a cheapy. If you eat at local restaurants you can get a meal for $2, but the food is not exactly tasty. Hamburger or shwarma will set you back $3. A decent quality meal from a mid range cafe is around $8. Beer in a local drinking hole $1.50, in a nice place $4. Things may be a bit cheaper outside Dakar. I was probably spending about $20 a day in Dakar when I was living in a room with somebody else and occasionally splashing out on nice food and activities.
I didn't hear anything about Cape Verde, sorry. I inquired about boats but there didn't seem to be anything available.
>pic related, having lunch between surfing sessions on yoff beach
how clean is the beach? the food looks awful
I sometimes watch sailing documentaries and the only time I've EVER wanted to visit africa was one time, they pulled into port, and for some reason it wasn't completely polluted, and the dude jumped out of the boat and came back 2 minutes later with a huge lobster and had a local cook it on his grill.
this is literally the only thing that has ever remotely tmepted me to visit africa.
Should I give it a try?
Either way, nice thread mate.
It was pretty good, but not my favourite region. Albania was my favourite country there, and Sarajevo and Belgrade were cool. A lot of it was a bit too touristy for me though, and hanging out with a bunch of Australians getting drunk and making dicks of themselves isn't my cup of tea anymore.
It is a general requirement for travelers to have a bodyguard there.
I was never racist before but you can't help but have some of the general attitude rub off on you, particularly being in the army. I guess I felt there must have been some fundamental difference between us. Yes things changed. Of course there are many down sides to Islam today, but our own society is pretty messed up too. Now that I have been invited to live in their homes, got drunk with them, got stoned with them, discussed atheism/homosexuality/politics etc, hitch hiked with them, you see that they really are just people like us. I even ended up with a Muslim girlfriend and lived with her on and off for 7 months. I see people like >>908514 as the mental equivalent of the muslims who support beheading Americans.
>pic related, dropped in on the syrian rebels for a visit
Most beaches in cities are pretty dirty, but it depends. Once you get outside the cities there are some absolutely stunning beaches (see >>908258 ). Don't come to Africa for the food. Some of it is good, but it is generally uninspiring stuff. Fish is always a safe option. I've had some delicious fish and attieke in West Africa. Yeah lobster is also good if you can find it. To be honest I don't recommend traveling Africa unless you are happy to put up with noise, smell, rubbish, discomfort, bad food etc. Of course flying in to enjoy a particular destination and flying out again is a different matter.
Who is the dutchfag? Any of his stuff archived?
>pic related, it is food porn for >>908512 on a beautiful tropical island in guinea
the difference between us and them being, of course, that they want to exterminate all jews and they're currently beheading christians.
our extremists are made so by the fact that there isn't a single place in the world where muslims exist where they don't cause riots and beheadings.
I used to be one of those "I want to see EVERY country" types but I've calmed down significantly. My richfag ex gf had been to maybe 100 or so countries, and she said that s. am. wasn't really worth visiting except to see the jungles, scuba diving, the pyramids, or dancing, if you like that, but you don't really need to fly halfway around the world to dance.
The said mostly similar things about the middle east and most of africa.
I used to be sceptical about her advice, but she said despite the sex tourism, even for a woman se asia is more or less the only place that you will want to stop in every single country.
I like you a lot, op, what do you think of that advice? I want to see the pyramids at gaza, and maybe stop by west africa with my best friend who is from there, but otherwise I've been thinking that the only place with a lot of diversity and a pleasant experience that I haven't been to is SE asia. (I've been to most of NE asia and europe.)
What do you think?
I could see a bunch of blown out warzones with dirty beaches in the me or africa, or for even less money, I could meet friendly people, go scuba diving, and be safe in vietnam. That's my logic. Please tell me if it is mistaken.
Sorry for the long post.
not OP, but I think you and he have a bit of a different attitude. You're more interested in the destination (what can I see, how enjoyable is it, what does it offer no other place does, etc.) whereas a journey like his is well, just that: a journey. It's not so much about the specific sights you saw, it's more about the experience of being away a long time by yourself, covering distances, experiencing the differences in regions and their inhabitants as you go. One way is not better than the other, they're just different ways of going about things.
How much preparation did you do before you left? Things like planning a route, deciding which places to visit and which not to, learning language basics, other misc. stuff.
Also just out of curiosity (and by no means wanting to derail the thread), what did you do in the Army?
>the difference between us and them being, of course, that they want to exterminate all jews and they're currently beheading christians.
>our extremists are made so by the fact that there isn't a single place in the world where muslims exist where they don't cause riots and beheadings.
>I want to see the pyramids at gaza, and maybe stop by west africa with my best friend who is from there, but otherwise I've been thinking that the only place with a lot of diversity and a pleasant experience that I haven't been to is SE asia
How can someone be so stupid?
>What do you think?
>I could see a bunch of blown out warzones with dirty beaches in the me or africa, or for even less money, I could meet friendly people, go scuba diving, and be safe in vietnam. That's my logic. Please tell me if it is mistaken.
You're very ignorant and need to familiarize yourself with an atlas and world issues.
I love these threads, but they always make me so fucking jealous. I have a few questions though.
1) How prevalent is scamming/overcharging in Africa outside places where tourists regularly visit?
2) How easy is it to find guest houses/hotels/places to stay in Sub-Saharan Africa outside the cities/bigger towns?
3) Were any places surprisingly expensive to travel through? You didn't go to Angola, but Luanda used to be (maybe it still is?) one of the most expensive cities in the world for example.
4) What regions of your trip did you enjoy the most, and why? Don't have to be too specific, you could just say "west Africa" or whatever.
If you traveled, you would know that "there isn't a single place in the world where muslims exist where they don't cause riots and beheadings" is unadulterated bullshit. You clearly have to draw a line between muslims and muslim extremists. I have had enough personal dealings with the Taliban to loath the latter, but it is no excuse for ignorance. Anyway this is not a political thread and that is the last I will say on the matter.
As for the second part of your question, >>908610 is pretty spot on. The main things I wanted to do were get an insight into contemporary culture and a general understanding of the country while making personal connections with locals. Of course I also wanted to see the sights, drink with fun people, and pick up girls and all that good stuff concurrently. But for the type of experience I think you are looking for, yes I would recommend SE Asia. It has tourist infrastructure so you can spend your days in nice places, move around easily, do plenty of activities etc without wasting lots of time. But if your ex is saying there aren't many unique things worth seeing in Africa and the Middle East, she is most probably blind.
I enjoyed Zambia. Of course Vic falls is outstanding, and I had a good time moseying around Barotseland. Lusaka didn't seem like the most entertaining city, but not a bad place.
>pic related to unique things in africa, it is namibia
Not a lot of preparation. I just had a one way ticket, a couple of nights booked in a hostel in Cape Town and a vague idea of heading up the East coast. I learned some very basic French before I left and continued to improve it on the way when I met French speakers or was in a francophone country. I tried to learn Arabic once I got up there but that was too difficult, especially with the dialect changing all the time. I managed alright just by knowing a few things like "hotel", "how much", the number system and types of food.
In the army I was Infantry.
Not really. There were western students getting kidnapped in Yemen before I arrived, and stories of kidnappings and killings in Mali a couple of years back, but that is the extent of it.
I'm real happy for you champ.
>pic related, it is mali
>1) How prevalent is scamming/overcharging in Africa outside places where tourists regularly visit?
Extremely. You're white.
>2) How easy is it to find guest houses/hotels/places to stay in Sub-Saharan Africa outside the cities/bigger towns?
Easy depending on what you are willing to put up with.
>3) Were any places surprisingly expensive to travel through? You didn't go to Angola, but Luanda used to be (maybe it still is?) one of the most expensive cities in the world for example.
Africa is cheap as fuck, Luanda is expensive if you want to live there in luxury.
>If you traveled, you would know that "there isn't a single place in the world where muslims exist where they don't cause riots and beheadings" is unadulterated bullshit. You clearly have to draw a line between muslims and muslim extremists. I have had enough personal dealings with the Taliban to loath the latter, but it is no excuse for ignorance. Anyway this is not a political thread and that is the last I will say on the matter.
You are so uneducated. You need to read more. Thank god you aren't saying anymore on the subject, you are embarrassing yourself.
1. Not prevalent. Once you get off the beaten track there isn't the culture of making money off white guys. Of course it can happen though, and it is a problem in regular tourist areas. To give an example, South Sudan. I went to places where they said they had never seen a traveler before, and I could hardly pay for anything. Free boat rides, and on the boat the owner insisted on making me use his mattress and mosquito net during the nights. Then at the end I stayed for free as a guest of the regional governor, and I would be invited to dinner. I stopped at an army checkpoint for the night and the officer in charge brought me beer and gave me a tent to sleep in. It is devastating to see what is happening to the country now.
2. It is easy, just don't expect good quality.
3. Prices in Africa fluctuate a lot. You can cross the border and everything changes. The DR Congo was pretty expensive, and so was South Sudan if you wanted anything like a hotel or imported food. Djibouti is also expensive. You can end up paying more than you would think in a few places in West Africa as well. Visas can also be very expensive when you are going to non-tourist countries. All told, it is not a very cheap continent to travel unless you stick to the backpacker trail.
4. I loved the Middle East leg, specifically Yemen, Iran (my all round favourite country), Georgia and Lebanon. Also central/Eastern Africa, like Malawi, Mozambique, Congo, Uganda, South Sudan. Really good times...
>pic related, it is south sudan
>1. Not prevalent. Once you get off the beaten track there isn't the culture of making money off white guys. Of course it can happen though, and it is a problem in regular tourist areas. To give an example, South Sudan. I went to places where they said they had never seen a traveler before, and I could hardly pay for anything. Free boat rides, and on the boat the owner insisted on making me use his mattress and mosquito net during the nights. Then at the end I stayed for free as a guest of the regional governor, and I would be invited to dinner. I stopped at an army checkpoint for the night and the officer in charge brought me beer and gave me a tent to sleep in. It is devastating to see what is happening to the country now.
This makes me question if you have even been to Africa.
Maybe you are posting someone else's pics?
The most common heard phrase in Africa is "Donne-moi de l'argent."
1. What did you do for water? Can you buy bottled water everywhere, or did you eventually get used to drinking from less reliable sources?
2. In 30 months being exposed to all kinds of different foods and conditions, how many times did you get the shits?
Kids ask for money, obviously. This is not scamming and overcharging.
1. Yes you can buy bottled water almost anywhere. If you are going somewhere without bottled water it is seriously off the map and you will know to plan ahead.
2. Haha an untold number of times. I did become accustomed to an extent, but there were always times when I was squirting green water out of my arse into a smelly hole in the ground.
>pic unrelated, it is mauritania
Obviously this kind of trip is not something that would appeal to anyone. How important do you think your background in the military (and maybe before that as well) was to your success? Would it be possible for someone who hasn't already had years of experience with uncertainty, discomfort and risk-taking to do what you did and make it anywhere, let alone enjoy it?
On a personal level, I think my background did play quite a big part in it. But I should point out that the vast majority of things I did were not extreme at all and anybody can do them. And if a person honestly thinks that they can handle it all, then they should have the confidence and just go and give it a shot. Comfort zones are easily widened when you are constantly pushing them and I am sure many people can adapt to the lifestyle (and it is a lifestyle, not a holiday).
Well yeah, but I didn't take corruption as part of the question. In any case, when traveling without a vehicle corruption isn't a big deal. Sure it comes up frequently, but 95% of the time you can talk your way out of it in less than a minute. I only paid a bribe a few times in the entire trip.
Just in Tanzania, I did a two day safari to Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater. Pretty cool experience.
>pic unrelated, i checked into this hotel in kirkuk, iraq because it was too good an opportunity to miss
thanks for the reply, I appreciate the effort you're putting into the thread.
I think my ex meant moreso that all of s. am had been flattened culturally by imperialism, and that what remained, while differing country to country, was not anything seriously divergent of your expectations between countries.
similar to the middle east, arab and muslim conquest has absolutely, nearly 100% devastated indigenous cultures, religions, customs, etc. I wouldn't consider myself ignorant on the issue, I do a fair amount of reading and I have a small circle of friends of various stripes, from copts to berbers who absolutely detest what their country has become because of homogenized arab dominance. They say what used to be brilliant, diverse, and free countries, full of various cultural trends, art, languages,religions, etc, has been stamped down and turned into one, single, arabized muslim region. Again, with some small differences, but the time to travel to the middle east was 100 years ago.
Similarly, my best friend from africa happens to believe that africa, far from being homogenized, is boring because of the absolute similarity between 99% of the tribes in any given country. every country has a different version of jalaf rice. That's not really diversity. He also mentions the sheer backwardness of the countries leads to an incredibly lack of diversity. Teh genocides, as in the case of the middle east and africa, don't help any either.
So similar to what my ex said, SEA is the only relatively uncolonized, unmodernized place left on the planet where city to city people speak different languages. And on top of all this, it's safer, cheaper, and has access to better services.
So I think that's what she meant. I thank you for your well thought out reply though. I am now certain in no uncertain terms that I don't really feel like riding through a warzone, when for the same price, I could be doing just about anything else in SEA.
Very interesting topic.