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RAQ  (Rarely-Asked Questions)




Here are some thought-provoking (?) questions that I've gotten during my travels.



Why did you decide to take this trip?

For several reasons. 

  • I wanted to learn more about my family's history and from where I came.

  • I've always wanted to visit Australia because I like scenic, wide-open, empty spaces.  And I've heard so many good things about New Zealand that I decided to travel there, as well. 

  • I'd been working pretty hard at my job with Parsons Brinckerhoff in Portland during the past few years and got tired of the endless all-nighters and weekends in the office.

  • I wanted to inspire others to break out of their "comfort zones."  Maybe not everyone is ready to quit their job and go traveling around the world for 18 months, but hopefully by following my website they'll be a bit more inspired to try new things in life.

  • I've been wanting to learn web design for several years and figured this would be a great opportunity.

  • I hate winter.  By going to the southern hemisphere in October and coming back in July, I'll have three summers in a row!

  • I could finally afford it. 


What do you usually eat when you're traveling?

For breakfast, usually Krispy Kreme donuts, Oreo cookies and Diet Pepsi.  Lunch usually involves Nacho Doritos and Diet Pepsi.  Dinner is usually bratwurst and beans... and yes, more Diet Pepsi.  Yes, with a diet like that, it's amazing that I'm still alive.


Don't you get lonely traveling alone?

Nope, I've always enjoyed being on my own.  I could never understand the insecurities that some people have about doing things alone, such as traveling, shopping, jogging, or going to movies.  Besides, I meet terrific people almost every day.  My website and the e-mails I get from friends, relatives, and Googlers have made me feel a lot more connected with everyone, so I've hardly ever gotten lonely on my trip.  


As the comic strip "B.C." once put it:  The difference between "being alone" and "being lonely" is that being alone is usually by your choice, while being lonely is usually by theirs.  


Jeez, I suppose that makes me sound like a hermit.  I'm not, but I do enjoy my own company.


How can you afford to travel for a year?

Two words: Chunky Soup.  Seriously, though, I believe that there are more important things in life than driving an expensive car or living in a big (and then a bigger... and then an even bigger) house.  A lot of people are never content with the money or possessions that they have... check out the Hearst Mansion in California if you want proof, or just look around your neighborhood.  While I don't think that people should live in caves, I do believe in simplicity, that less is often more, and that more possessions don't necessarily equate to a higher quality of life.  I also believe that a lot of us get too caught up in the "I-work-to-buy-more-stuff" rut.  I know that this thinking is blasphemous in our consumeristic society... so shoot me.


I always apply this concept of simplicity to my travels.  For instance, I prefer staying in campgrounds instead of fancy, expensive resorts not only because they're cheaper, but also because I enjoy reconnecting with nature.  This philosophy of "less is more" is what that traveling guru, Rick Steves, calls "traveling through the back door," and it means you can have a more fulfilling traveling experience while spending less money.  Or spending the same amount of money and traveling for a much longer time.


How much is your trip going to cost?

I don't have a specific budget set aside for this trip.  In fact, I'm not sure how long the trip will last.  I'll probably travel for around 18 months (April 2001 to September 2002), but my trip may end sooner or perhaps extend beyond that.  It depends on whether I get tired of traveling and how soon I want to go back to work.  It also depends on how much money I want to spend. 


During my U.S. trip, I've been aiming for a budget of about $40 per day for everything, including lodging, food, gas, souvenirs etc.  From previous trips, I've learned that I can travel comfortably on that budget but it's not a big deal if I go over that.  Not including airfare, I think my daily budget for my 4 months in Australia and New Zealand will be a little less than that, thanks partly to the strong U.S. dollar.


So how come you're not married?

As I've said elsewhere on this website, I figure that any woman who'd want to marry me would have to be crazy, and I don't want to marry someone who's crazy.