8.Other questions we hope to answer:
Johnson and my husband and longtime traveling companion is David Franke.We've
been together since 1986 and married since September 1995. We loveto travel
and have journeyed all over most of Western Europe, and partsof the United
States and Mexico. Our "home" currently was in Los Angeleswhere we both worked.
Before we left,I was the Executive Chef of a well known seafood restaurant in Pasadena.I worked too many, long, hard hours, and spent my time day-dreaming oftravel to far off lands and exotic foods. I've spent the last two yearssurfing the web, reading other people's travelogues, and planning thistrip.
David was a bilingual primary school teacher with Los Angeles Unified School District. He taught first and second grade at Arco Iris Primary Center in South Central LosAngeles. He was also the technological representative for his cluster ofseventeen schools in the district. He too, worked long, hard hours anddreamt of travel to distant lands in search of adventure.
We both missour family, friends, and our four cats while we are gone.
WHENARE WE LEAVING AND WHEN DO WE RETURN?
We left August29, 1998. We wanted to be somewhere romantic for our three year weddinganniversary (September 2) to kick off the trip so we chose Kauai,Hawaii as our first destination. We traveled for nine months and returnedhome May 25, 1999.
WHYARE WE DOING THIS?
This isa tough question. The answer seems simple, we love to travel! But it is more complex than that. WHY do we love to travel? Well, it's exciting and it's challenging. It's something that most people only dream of but never dare to do. We're young enough now (almost 30 by the time we depart) toenjoy all the rough and rugged parts that we might not if we wait untilwe retire. And we're old enough to have saved some money to travel slightlyabove the severely budget-restricted "youth" travelers. We have no children,so the time just seems right.
WHEREARE WE GOING?
can! Over-ambitious? Probably. Unrealistic? Maybe, but we candream, can't
We're going tostart by traveling west to Hawaii and Fiji. Then onto New Zealand, Australiaand Bali, Indonesia. Next to Thailand, Nepal, Hong Kong, Mainland China,and Taiwan. After that, we don't really know. It all depends on how muchmoney we have left and the political situation of some of the locations.
WHATDO WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?
is similar to "why are we doing this?" We believe that this tripwill
change our lives, hopefully for the better. It could be the most difficult,
challenging, and frustrating thing we ever do. But one thing is for sure,
it WILL be worth it!
My goal is tolearn enough about each country's cuisine to have a recipe (or more) attachedto each country we visit. I hope to accomplish this by meeting other Chefsin restaurants, spending some time with local cooks in their homes, andof course by eating as much as possible! I want this web site to keep ajournal of our trip so that our friends and family can follow us aroundthe world. Also, I think there still is not enough information availableto the long term traveler. And finally, because I think it's fun to readabout travel on the internet and hope other people will enjoy the adventure.
David plans tolink this web site to his school so that his students and other childrencan follow us and learn more about different cultures. We hope to accomplishthis by carrying a small computer and digital camera, visiting cyber-cafes,and using available computers whenever we find them.
HOWWILL WE BE TRAVELING?
buses (not if David has any say in it!), boats, and automobiles.Also by foot,
RV, camel, and elephant when necessary. We will probablybe buying a series
of one way consolidator tickets for the long haul portions.
Although we willbe sticking to a budget, we are not on a quest to see how cheaply we cantravel, and consequently, how much we will suffer in the process. Thisis not about finding the absolutely cheapest hotel room or third classrail ticket in a third world country and then bragging about it. At somepoint, traveling ceases to be enjoyable when you deny yourself too muchfor too long. On the other hand, we will not insulate ourselves from theculture by only traveling first class and staying in five star hotels.We can't afford it and we don't want to anyway. We will stay in hostels,small hotels, pensiones, homes of friends and family along the way, andwhatever else we can find. No three dollar a night hovels and no hosteldorm rooms if we can avoid it.
7. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The answer to this is "We don't know, we've neverdone
this before, but we'll let you know when we're finished."
People then ask us how much we are budgeting forthe year. That is a complicated answer. Again, everyone is different inthe way that they like to travel and their personal level of comfort. Wehave more pre-trip expenses than the average traveler because we are bringingthe computer and the digital camera. We also have bills like student loansthat must be paid for while we are gone, regardless of whether or not weare working. We have cars that we'd like to keep and come back to and furniturethat we will put into storage (most people sell their cars and furniturebefore they leave). These things all figure into our expenses for the year.
Next, after we leave, one must consider our personallevel of comfort. See the above section on "How We Will Be Traveling".
I know, you're still sitting there thinking HOWMUCH???!!! Ok, we figure for all the things considered above we're goingto need about US$20,000 per person per year. Maybe more, maybe less.
Note: now that we have returned, see our budgetpage for what we really spent!
OTHERQUESTIONS WE HOPE TO ANSWER:
1. Who will be the first to say,"I
can't believe you convinced me to do this!"?
2. Where will we have our firstargument?
3. Who will get sick first and whatexotic parasite will it be?
4. Will we get robbed/pickpocketed?
5. Who will be the first to say,"Get me out of this God-forsaken Country" and which country will it be?
6. Is it all media hype or is theworld really going to hell?
7. Does the water in the toiletbowl really spin the other way in the Southern Hemisphere?
8. Who will go the longest numberof consecutive days without bathing and why?
9. How long will it be before wewant to burn the clothes we have been wearing for months?
10. What will be the longest timespent in transit between locations?
11. Who will say, "I don't carewhat it costs, just get me to a hotel with a real toilet!"?
12. Who will say, "This isparadise, sell the cars and everything in storage, we're not leaving thisisland ( or Tuscan farmhouse or African safari) ?"
13. Is the Village People's "YMCA"really the most recognized international dance song of all time?
14. Can we make it over the fourmonth hump of travel burnout without wanting to chuck it all and run home?
15. Is it true that almost everycountry/culture in the world has some sort of local version of chickensoup?
16. Who will say, "Get me the hell off this camel/elephant/bus fromhell!"
AFTER 9 MONTHS OF TRAVELIN 19 COUNTRIES, WE'VE ANSWERED SOME OF THE ABOVE QUESTIONS. IF YOU'REINTERESTED, CLICK HERE....
Let us know if you have any questions....