The Fears Of Being A World Traveler

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about how much my life had transformed in one year since taking the red pill, which touched upon something I had yet to experience – traveling the world.  In that post, I wrote the following:

I had never thought about leaving California, much less America.  From what everyone had ever told me, America was the best place in the world to live.  “The girls are the most beautiful!  They’re independent!  They don’t care what you think!  They can’t cook so you can eat out all the time!  They LOVE cats!”

My eyes have been opened recently to travel.  I have no evidence besides the words of others, but I’ve realized I must see the world and see what else is out there.  I just booked my first trip to Europe last week – a week each in Poland and Czech Republic. (this has changed, see below for full itinerary)

As of writing this, my trip is less than three weeks away.  The weeks leading up to this trip are beginning to feel very much like the moments right before I stepped on stage for my first live guitar performance.  Truthfully, my emotions are all over the place, like a hamster spinning wildly around in its wheel.  While I couldn’t be more excited to begin my adventure, there is one emotion that I wish would go away.


I’m smart enough to recognize the benefits of fear though.  It means that I’m pushing myself far out of my comfort zone, into the realm of challenge and hardship.  Where blood, sweat, and tears pour down.  Where winners are made, and where men become men.

Nothing easy is worth doing.

I’m also smart enough to not try to deny the fact that I have my apprehensions.  Being that this is the first time out of the United States for me (apart from a cruise to the Virgin Islands and Mexico), and my first time traveling solo, it’d be silly not to.  I don’t pretend to be some alpha male who is phased by nothing.  Rather than live in denial of that, I’ve decided to write some of my fears down and how I plan to conquer them.

What If I Can’t Find My Way From The Airport?

There is very little doubt that the descent into Poland will be probably one of the most nerve wracking times of my trip.  I’ll be about to touch down in Europe for the first time, and quite frankly my Polish is rather, well, limited.  I’m sure there will be a million thoughts going through my head, such as:

  • I have the right kind of currency, right?
  • How do I find the baggage claim?
  • How the hell do I read all these Polish signs?
  • Where do I find my friend who I’m linking up with?
  • How do I make sure the cabbie doesn’t rip me off?
  • And, most importantly, are the girls cute?

To combat this, I’ll have a small tablet on my carry-on.  I’m a tech savvy guy, I’ll manage to get on the wireless network in the airport and find whatever information I need through there.  Truthfully, I am ecstatic to have a fellow red pill wingman and friend meeting me in Poland from the UK.  It will make the first country I visit much less intimidating to have someone to get lost with.


What If Lose My Passport, Phone, Credit Cards, etc?

I’m going to place the blame for my paranoia on this squarely on my grandmother.  She has been telling me for months that I need to watch out for being pickpocketed or beat up in a dark alley.  While I understand her concern, I also understand that I cannot possibly be paranoid on my entire trip – that will ruin the experience.  I plan to take precautions, and simply not be stupid (well, as not-stupid as a 22 year old can possibly be).  What does this entail?

  • Not getting ridiculously drunk
  • Keeping copies of everything back in the apartment
  • Taking precautions to ensure pickpocketing isn’t a breeze for some smooth thief

I think my grandmother is deathly afraid I’ll be looted and won’t be able to get back to the United States.  But hell, I suppose there are worse things than being stuck on the beaches of Barcelona.

Okay, My Sense Of Direction Sucks – I’m Going To Get Lost

I’ve come to terms that at some point I’ll likely be very, very lost.  Not the fun kind of lost when you’re exploring a new area, but genuinely lost with no idea how to find where you need to be.  I suspect it will be while I’m in Rome and all of the architecture begins to look the same to me after a day or two.

When this likely happens, I’m going to take a deep breathe and calmly remind myself that this is part of the adventure.  The experience.  There will be no panic, just rational thought.

Fortunately, I’m sure there will be cute girls around to point me in the right direction.  It’s a good thing I conquered approach anxiety a long time ago.


The Fear Of Not Having A Plan

I’m a very by the book kind of guy.  However, I have come to the realization that at some point in this trip, I need to just wing it and go with the flow.  Hence, I haven’t made any travel arrangements to get from Rome to Prague (where I depart to come back to the States).  I’m either going to grab a last minute flight or take an overnight train with a stop in Vienna or Zurich.

The idea of winging it makes me a bit nervous, but I’m determined to have freedom of any obligations at some points during this trip.

I Fear I Will Dread Coming Back

My life here in the US is great.  I have a good job, live in a great city, and have a beautiful girlfriend.  But what if life on the other side of the pond is really a lot better?  Will I be fully dreading walking back into the office on the day I’m due back at work?  What if my girlfriend pales in comparison to European girls I meet?

Will this be the final nail in the coffin of my American dream?

I don’t have the answers to these questions.  I’m sure I will find the answers to them at some point between March 27th and April 14th.

One thing is for damn sure though: I’ll have zero regrets.

I’ve posted the itinerary of my entire trip on my personal blog here.  If you’re in any of these places, I’d love to meet.  Fair warning though, I am pretty booked up in Poland and NYC.  I’ll be staying in AirBNB apartments pretty much the entire time.  I’m not looking for a place to crash (unless offered), but would love to put some faces to the names and have some locals to show me around if you are a reputable commenter here on ROK or the RVF forum.

3/27 – 3/30: Wroclaw, Poland

Plans: Nightlife and culture

3/30 – 4/2: London, UK

Plans: Nightlife, tourism, and I’ve heard the local music scene is good.

4/2 – 4/5: Barcelona, Spain

Plans: Nightlife, nightlife, nightlife.

4/5 – 4/7 or 8: Rome, Italy

Plans: Art, tourism.  I want to see the Vatican and Coliseum.  And eat pizza.

4/8 – 4/10: Prague, Czech Republic

Plans: Craft beers and pubs

4/10 – 4/13: New York City, New York

Plans: I’m seeing a Yankees/Red Sox game on one of the nights (undecided).  Other than that, typical tourist stuff.  Central Park, Empire State, etc.  I may be a bit burned out of nightlife at this point in the trip.

Hope to meet some of you on the road.

Read More: The Life Of A Location Independent Traveler

99 thoughts on “The Fears Of Being A World Traveler”

  1. You’re really going to love the U.S. when you return home and encounter DHS sitting there with their incumbent ZERO TOLERANCE! signs screaming at you, as they manhandle your luggage and maybe, if you’re lucky, grope you intimately.
    I love what America used to be. I loathe what it has become. You will likely find Europe far more relaxed, happy and carefree than anything you’re going to find when you return home. If it weren’t for my fervent love of firearms, I would have turned my back on this nation long, long ago and moved to Ireland or Scotland.

    1. Exactly!
      The WORST part of my trip was coming “HOME” from Tokyo, arriving at LAX to herded into different lines — very long ones — for immigration, then customs, with incompetent and stupid TSA agents yelling at people, many of which were foreigners with little or no English skills,j that they were in the wrong line.
      Welcome to the MFin’ USA! WE DON’T TOLERATE YOU, YOUR LANGUAGE, YOUR CULTURE OR YOUR WAYS. WE DON’T RESPECT ANYTHING OR ANYONE, BUT YOU BETTER RESPECT MY F’ING BADGE AND GUN. And, and stop staring at those 4 obese TSA agents sitting on their asses over there drinking Starbucks, texting on their iPhones, and not doing a GD thing to get you through these lines any faster. Now smile for the cameras and place your hands on the fingerprint readers so we can track your worthless ass with ICE and DHS during your stay in US, just in case you get as much as speeding ticket and we want to hassle you about it.
      I was ashamed and disgusted at this county’s treatment of foreign passengers (as well as it’s own citizens) as if they were criminals who should be glad they’re even setting foot on American soil.

      1. Last time I flew into JFK from Brazil, I’m in line to go through customs, and the 200lb 5′ tall Puerto Rican bitch (with penciled eyebrows that look like the McDonalds’ logo painted just under her hairline (I remember thinking she always looks surprised!)) with her NY Puerto Rican ESL accent is saying “Everybody open chu begs and teke oot chu leptup cumpootiz! Why eez no one mistinin’ to mee? Dun chu peepul spik Eeenglish?”
        When it’s my turn I step up and say “You know, none of these people speak English. You should try yelling louder.” I had had enough shit after being in the steerage section of an 85-degree cattle car for 13 hours. She was pretty indignant, so I got pulled aside for special treatment. No problem. My balls smelled like a dumpster fire by that point, so they got to enjoy that too while I was assuming the position in the rape-o-scan. As a parting shot, I loudly said to the guy running the porno xray machine that they should hire TSA agents who spoke English. The woman stopped and said “I speek Eeenglish chust fine I can’t even unnn’stand chu podunk accent!”
        Fucking foreigners.

        1. Oh yeah me too. And then I might even take it a little step further…. and request to be pat down “by the big strong good-looking one over there.”
          Then I smile. And MOAN. “Mmmmm Oh yeah, right there, Mmmmmm. That’s good. You’re good at that sugar.” They will get back on their feet and let you through so fast it’s not even funny.

        2. Oh, man, that made me lol. If you could pull that off with a little lispy whisper of “here… this is for you” with a nice wink, you could really ruin someone’s day.

    2. I haven’t been to the US for ten years and I never plan to go back, basically because of the torturous immigration process. It’s kind of boring to me anyway, as it’s basically just a warmer Canada, or Canada is just a colder US, whatever.

    3. I remember when a tolerant society was considered a wonderful thing to aspire to. Now zero tolerance is the rule.

  2. “I fear I will dread coming back”
    You’re doing a Kino’s Journey, which is specifically designed to prevent that sort of thing. You aren’t going to be in any one place long enough to get more than a snapshot of what’s like, without developing an attachment.
    You are likely to really enjoy getting back and being able to lie still in a familiar bed again. Travelling is tiring work and you’ll appreciate the nap.
    What you will principally get out of this trip is the sense of travelling and a breaking of the sense that California is the world and thus eventually want to go back and actually see something.
    When you do that, go to Rome or Prague and stay there for a few weeks, or months, that’s when you’ll find out how much you really want to stay settled in Cali, or not.

  3. Sounds like fun, I don’t have the same fears of travel. I actually kind of like getting lost

  4. my biggest fear is being scammed, either by assholes preying on tourists, or by police officers looking for a quick buck. i suppose the ‘official’ scammers are worse, since local laws give them authority to detain you. and good luck finding a policeman who speaks good english, cause pigeon-english won’t do in such cases.
    ah well, don’t mind me, i’m just thinking aloud, especially since i’ll be following young TroubleMaker’s example in a couple years. congrats for taking the plunge, let us know how it turns out

    1. some of the greatest human ingenuity I’ve seen has involved scams. Not to mention pieces of paper where my money should be.

    2. The only time I had a problem with police was in Ukraine, even 6 months in Hungary… Nothing… actually police in Europe walk around and mind there business, in North America they just glare at you like your some sort of criminal.

  5. In Eastern Europe, Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts.
    In other words, be wary of cute girls randomly appearing and inviting you into bars. Its a honey trap leading to a mugging (which involved a gang of guys taking you to an ATM for you to draw out all your cash). Also only take taxis you have booked through a reputable company. They can lead to a similar result.
    Otherwise, you’ll be fine. Going solo is a fantastic way to make friends. Definitely make friends with the locals. That will be very rewarding as they will teach you about the good food to eat and the great places to visit.
    I live in London but I will be Stateside when you are here. But you are guaranteed to have an amazing time in all those locations.

    1. That’s true of anywhere. I’ve lived in NYC my entire life. I ignore any woman who attempts to start a conversation with me on the street or in a place you wouldn’t normally expect a woman to approach you. A woman who will approach a strange man on the street is either crazy, or more likely, running some kind of scam.

        1. The decade has nothing to do with it “brah”. A woman worth talking to doesn’t initiate a conversation with a strange man on the street.

        2. That’s a very revealing comment about yourself more than anything. I get approached by women occasionally in the street and they turn out to be confident and fun. Maybe it’s because I’m not a “strange man” but an attractive one.

        3. I understand that it does happen. There exists a small minority of men that women find so irresistibly attractive normal women will, against their own nature, take the initiative. My late friend Gary was like that, women were constantly hitting on him.
          Fact remains that the majority of men will not be approached by a normal woman on the street. As far as average guys are concerned, if a women approaches him on the street, it’s more than likely some kind of set-up.

        4. Nah. I went ashore today in Brooklyn, while my boat is in Red Hook, and some Aspiring Rap Artists or kids who are always in the obituaries where it says “turning his life around” sized me up and asked for a cigarette. I pretended to look in the breast pocket of my jacket so they could see I had a 1911 in a shoulder holster, and they got mysteriously polite. I looked it up- apparently it’s illegal for tourists to go armed in NYC. Good thing I looked it up. What kind of place sets up their tourists to be victims to 100% of the armed criminals?

      1. You are right, there are scams being run in every country. But there are specific scams that are unique to certain cities. These people are very professional and they are very subtle. That’s why they shake down unsuspecting guys every weekend in Eastern European cities. You obviously are streetwise and wouldn’t get suckered. But for every man who sees these scams coming, there are plenty more who don’t. Forewarned is forearmed.
        Just one thing on culture. Its not unusual for groups of women to approach men on the street in Europe. Happens all the time in London. Women in the US are different.

  6. Your trip is epic. First time my brain figured out that there is other cities in this world besides Las Vegas, I flew to Brazil for Carnival. It was my first time leaving the country too. Nervous? Sure, and it did not help that my Brazilian radiologist told me the story of her sister being robbed at gunpoint while exiting a restaraunt. She then tells me not to go to Brazil because,”they’ll put a gun to your head, and you won’t know what they’re saying!”
    I immediately flipped out and actually started to panic. Full blown panic-where your scope of perception narrows to the Nth degree- as my trip was planned for the very next week. I called up my friend in London to tell him I was thinking about cancelling. As a world traveler himself, he advised correctly to sleep on it. I did, and then I went.
    Embrace the fear, as it implies you are about to grow as a man and a human being. I used that fear to make my trip 2x more successful. For instance, making sure I had a hotel room with a safe and using it to the max, calculating only what I’d need for the excursion/day and placing everything else of value in it. Dressing for South America was sparse and simple-no Movados, or any other name brand assessory is worth taking along-you’re there to learn, not to show off. One last tip-act as if. Walk through the streets of Warsaw as if you have been there a thousand times. No one will bother you outside of those that prey on tourists and know that you are one. Simply learn the local language for,”No thank you” and keep walking confidently in the direction you are heading.
    Oh, and one more thing-have the time of your life

  7. I Fear I Will Dread Coming Back
    My life here in the US is great. I have a good job, live in a great city, and have a beautiful girlfriend. But what if life on the other side of the pond is really a lot better? Will I be fully dreading walking back into the office on the day I’m due back at work? What if my girlfriend pales in comparison to European girls I meet?
    TM. I have worked in the US quite a bit. In 2001/2 I spent a full 9 months in New Jersery. Life in the US is a poor imitation of life in the real world. Your trip will show you this.

  8. When I travel alone if I feel there might be trouble, I leave an itinerary for the day in the hotel room. If I disappear there will be something to go on. Get one of those wallets that go around your neck under your shirt. You will run into pickpockets, usually a crowd of kids. You will have a great time.

  9. Pro tip: order currency from your bank before you leave. They will give you a good rate, saving you from the raping you will take if you try and exchange currency in the airport.
    Don’t worry you will be fine.

    1. Have to disagree.
      My MO is to deposit $’x’ into my debit card account (that doesn’t have foreign ATM/transaction/exchange fees) and then withdraw whatever I need from whatever country I’m in. This way, you aren’t carrying significant amounts of currency on your person (or stashed in your hotel room), which diminishes the threats of pickpocketing or outright theft.
      As far as exchange rates go, I got my best dollar-euro rate at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome when I was there 2 months ago.
      p.s. Don’t forget to notify your credit and debit card companies that you’re travelling outside the USA. Otherwise you’ll have a headache on your hands when you try to use your cards in foreign countries.

      1. “Don’t forget to notify your credit and debit card companies that you’re travelling outside the USA. Otherwise you’ll have a headache on your hands when you try to use your cards in foreign countries.”
        That, FTW.

      2. Interesting, I agree with the debit card as I use that on travel as well, but for the initial amount of currency, I bring it.
        As far as the airport, I think that is an anomaly. Airports in all the countries I have been to rape you, because they know you are desperate for cash and they are paying a lot of money for their store front in the airport.

        1. Depends on the Airport, if there is a “National Bank”, you get the same “official rate”. Now for countries with double exchange like Argentina (official versus illegal) better to bring fresh bills and change them inside the country in one of the “illegal” exchange places..

    2. You’ll get a much better rate getting money out of the ATM once you are there. I pay 1% through my credit union on an ATM withdraw. But yes, never go through the money changers at the airport.

  10. Suggestion: black pants, plain dark t-shirt, button up shirt with no logos or crap on it, black boots (city boots, not REI), light jacket (dark colored, nothing on it), a couple of pairs of socks and underwear, camp soap for washing clothes, small clothesline, toiletries, camera, pen and notebook. It will all fit in a small day pack, and dressed like that no one will know you’re an American. Travel light: I’ve never wished I’d taken more stuff with me. Avoid businesses that cater to Americans, venture out, keep your mouth shut, etc. Your life is about to change in so many ways.
    Good luck and safe travels.

    1. And be sure to wear a fanny pack so no one knows you’re an American. Everyone in Europe wears them :o)

    2. Another suggestion: no camouflage clothing.
      In some countries, only the police/paras get to dress in it.

  11. Twenty-two and taking your first trip to Europe. You are doing it tight, Trouble.Maker!
    Some advice:
    Barcelona: Go to a Bull Fight.
    Rome: Avoid cabs. Take the subway or the tourist bus. Avoid the long lines at the Vatican in the morning by going after 2pm in the afternoon. Both St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Vatican Museum are absolute must see’s. The Pope’s tombs are interesting as well. The Coliseum and other tourist spots can be seen by taking the tourist bus. Do those spots in the morning before doing the Vatican in the afternoon.
    Prague: Avoid cabs. Great walking town. Streetcars will get you around cheap as well. Go to the Park near the soccer stadium and ride the “Funicular”. Do the Prague Castle. Walk there and back from the Main Square of Prague. Prepare to be astounded at the beautiful women you see.
    NYC: Go to the top of the Empire State Building, The Met, The Museum of Natural History, Times Square.
    Have fun.

    1. NYC: Avoid cabs.
      Seems to be a common theme in your advice. Just though it applied here in the US just as well.

      1. NYC cabs are a pricey way to get around, but most cabs (The yellow ones) will not outright rob you the way a lot of cab drivers will rob foreigners in other countries. NYC had a real mass transit system that is cheap to use by international standards. Buy a metro-card and get a paper subway map and you’ll be fine.

    2. Prague: weed weed weed weed weed weed weed weed weed weed.
      How does anyone gain access to WiFi on airports?

    3. Barcelona: Avoid pickpockets. I hate those fuckers. The Rambla is full of the nasty sub-humans.

    4. Good advice about the Bull Fight.. never seen one….Bull Fighting is the soul of spain i hear

    5. Quote: “…of Prague. Prepare to be astounded at the beautiful women you see.”
      And be prepared to be snubbed by them as well. Prague is indeed a beautiful city but also one of the first former soviet union countries to feminize.

  12. All I can say is you sir are lucky to have found the red pill at such a young age, how I wish I had this knowledge in my 20s.

  13. Also, scan and email yourself the information/picture pages of your passport and your driver’s license. This way, if you either lose or get your passport stolen, all you need is an internet connection and a printer and you’re covered as far as having valid ID’s.

    1. I lock my passport and visa in the hotel safe and only carry copies of the picture page and visa with me when I am out and about.

    2. Get a real money belt, as in a belt that looks like a real belt that can hold money. Then print out all of the useful information you need on a single page — I suggest waterproof paper for this (Rite-in-the-Rain laser/copier paper works).
      Scan and add to this page your driving licence, passports, ID cards, eyeglass prescriptions, medical cards, whatever paper/cards you need. Fold the paper so it’ll fit into the belt, then seal it with cellotape. Add a microSDHC card stuffed into a miniSD adapter, wrapped in fibre packing tape so it’s well protected — you can add scanned digital copies of all of this stuff stored inside a TrueCrypt volume, just in case you need to decrypt your vital documents at a US Embassy or in a transit zone. (Advice for Americans: don’t save/copy scans of your passport in full colour — look to your State Department for reasons why.)
      You can also fit in a few thousand Swiss francs if you have any space left in the money belt after you’ve jammed in all that. (If you don’t know why I said Swiss francs and not American dollars, go visit the Wikipedia page on Swiss bank notes, then key in 1000 CHF to USD in Google.)
      Large Euro notes tend to generate problems, but you can usually get a forex desk to exchange larger Swiss franc notes once they determine they are genuine …
      What’s in your wallet? Haha.

  14. I recommend the book “Around the world in 80 girls”. Everything you ever need to know about traveling.

  15. Go man Go!
    If I could give advice to the younger me, I’d tell him, “travel young man, see the world.” And, “don’t listen to what others tell you about places. Like most travel guides people’s knowledge and understanding of Poland, is as good as their Polish language skills. Go despite your fears and feeling adn come back informed and enlightened. And, resist your feelings and urge to settle with one woman. The planet is populated with BILLIONS of them, and even 1% of beautiful women out of a Billion is 10 MILLION beautiful women to enjoy!”
    I’ve traveled a bit round the globe, but still at my age had some reservations about Tokyo, being more foreign than any other country I’ve traveled to in SA or Europe. I can now say those fears were completely unfounded and irrational.
    Enjoy your journey!

  16. Going to Western and Central Europe for three weeks is being a “world traveler”? Who knew?

    1. It’s starting the journey. You gotta start somewhere. If his goal is to continue traveling, this is a fine start.

      1. Sure. But this article is entitled “Fears of Being a World Traveler” and then it is revealed that he is going to a few adjacent countries which constitute the safest, most tourist trodden places anywhere.

        1. Nitpick much? So, you’re saying that this guy’s first journey isn’t actually a venture out into the larger world? He’s going for his own reasons, not to satisfy your arbitrary definition. This is his FIRST trip out. Not necessarily his last. Just because he’s coming home at some point doesn’t mean he can’t venture out more. On coming back, his horizon will have grown. That makes him a world traveler… just a new one.

    2. I did weeks in europe 4 years ago, and thought I was travelled, then 6 months study abroad, now I need at least 2 more years living abroad to fullfill “taveler” 2 or 3 weeks isn’t even worth it. If I ever go back to Europe it’s for 1 year plus “in my tourism class you have to be a resident somewhere for at least a year to be considered not a tourist”

    3. This is Trouble’s first trip, you damn spoilsport. Don’t shit on his parade. I applaud Trouble for his life-changing decision. This trip will doubtless lead to lengthier, more varied trips in the future. Enjoy yourself, dude, and ignore the misery-loves-company naysayers!

    4. Not everyone can be a sophisticate like you. I am sure you have whacked off to porn from dozens of countres. What a douche!

    5. Let’s go to Karachi. I hear it’s cheap and the night life for Westerners is a blast!

  17. Facing your fears and overcoming them – that’s the right attitude Trouble.Maker.
    You’re going to find solo travel a very rewarding experience. Your schedule is very hectic though – six cities in two weeks means you are going to spend half your holiday in transit. It is a good way of getting familiar with the logistics of international travel, but to really appreciate a city you are going to need to spend more than two days there.

  18. Funny, I will be over in London showing a good friend of mine the City(Been 3 times), at the same time you will be over there. I found a pretty sweet site didn’t know you could rent houses over there for what I feel is much cheaper than a hotel. Anyway have a good time over there. This will be her first time out the country, not sure why she choose London.

  19. Reminds me of my first month-long “world-trip” about fifteen years ago. The UK, Germany, USA. No itinerary, no plans, easy-peasy doing stuff. Once I arrived at destination it was a blast, was all over the show and purely enjoying myself.

  20. Get gone boy…. photocopy your passport and license and other critical docs and put them in your luggage , carry on etc..
    Text people back home regularly ( daily) where you are , itinerary etc…
    1.Swiss Army knife
    2. Dental Floss–I traveled in India and could not find anywhere that sold this. Maybe just an India thing …
    3. Condoms….
    4. if you have clothing that you were going to give away to GoodWill don’t. Wear it on your trip and leave it. Old underwear that you would soon make into rags wear one last time. Wear it and leave it and come back with just carry on….
    5. if you need local currency then I’ve heard the ATM’s are OK with exchange rates.. OR have enough $$$ in your debit card account
    6 Euro outlets are different so you will need a wall converter so your chargers will fit…
    You’ll be fine

      1. If you check it you’re cool….
        SAK are non tactical and are generally allowed into most countries

    1. 7.Scan your passport,license so that you have digital copies in your email account.
      8.Invest in an unlocked cell phone,wherein you can put in SIM cards of whichever place you go to,thereby never being locked into only one limited network.That saves on roaming charges,easier to sell your phone since it is unlocked and compatible with multiple networks.And in case your cell phone goes bad,you can simply shift the SIM to another phone.
      9.An adapter that converts from 220 volts to 110 volts (and vice verse).Usually laptops come with this universal adapter that make them workable in any country,but things like electric shavers etc are designed only for the country you bought them in.

      1. No need to invest in a more expensive cell just unlock it yourself with the right code and hack :o) Oh I forgot I’m boomer and know how to do these things. Done it to all my cells just for the hell of it.

    2. Sure, wear Goodwill clothes and nasty underwear just to save a few dollars.It’s not like you’re going to look like a poor slob or some female is going to see your underwear lol What a loser!
      Cops are not usually going to bother you in Moscow or Europe but I suggest that you wear more expensive clothes and especially shoes. Good leather ones and not the junk you wear around your hometown of Bumfuck, Arkansas. Cops all over even in NYC are pretty attuned to class and don’t want to annoy someone who may be rich or important and get them disciplined or fired.
      And btw, you should change your name. A fluffy biskut is defined in the Urban dictionary as a submissive effeminate bottom in a homo butt fuck.

      1. @Boomer– Yes you don’t want to look like a hobo while traveling but if you have a shirt you were going to give away I say wear it and leave it. I was assuming MR TroubleMaker isn’t a rich social security recipient like yourself with his taxpayer purchased penis pump and power chair. The young lad isn’t part of the greedy Boomer generation who has ruined yet another activity. Travel. There was a time when there was off season travel. You could travel to Europe in winter and get cheaper hotels and easier access to sites. Now hordes of entitled retired boomers are infesting the globe driving up prices. No one is safe from you guys….

  21. Good for you, but this is serious? How I am supposed to read posts by people that never have been lost in some village in the Mekong and “lost” in Viang Vieng (you know what I mean, wink wink); wandered at night around the West Bank looking for that “rave in the forest” that was promised in Tel Aviv; partied with students fifteen years his junior in provincial France, or stuff like that?
    I mean, I will want to read what a newcomer to this thing called “the World” will think of it, especially if he is American, but you should know that your reader base does not reside only in the US, and has a couple of air miles under their belt.

  22. Ahh it’s a shame you won’t be heading to Budapest, Hungary. I’ve been living and working here for the last 5 months.
    I think you’ll discover a side of yourself you were never fully aware of, it’s amazing what happens when you’re stripped of all familiarity and comfort and you have literally no one to rely on except yourself; you’re forced to take action, make mistakes and become independent, and you’ll probably surprise yourself at just how capable you are.
    I’ll second what someone said about been approached by girls on the street; this is more common in Eastern Europe.. it’s usually two girls who will approach you asking for directions in their native language, once you confirm your a foreigner they will apologize and ask if you want to come with them for a drink, that there also visitors to the city and want to have a good time and will show you some traditional places, then you end up in some dodgy bar with a couple of drinks that are absurdly priced and you won’t be able to leave until you’ve paid for them.
    I’ve spent years navigating through Europe, it’s very easy and im sure you’ll have no problem.. almost everyone speaks english in the major cities. You’ll only encounter the language barrier if you head further into the eastern block of ex-soviet countries, i had a lot of difficulty in Ukraine in 2012.

  23. I have never been to Eastern Europe, I am sure it is fascinating. But, you need not travel so far. You can meet some of the sexiest women on the planet in Central and South America. A mere 5-6 hour flight from most major US cities and you can be in Medellin, Colombia. The people are friendly, always ready to have a good time. The women are incredibly sexy and easy to meet.

  24. I’ve not been to the other cities on the list, but have been to Prague – an amazing city. Good luck getting you head around the dates that some of the places in Prague were built – 900, 1100. And the stone work on the castle is incredible.
    > But what if life on the other side of the pond is really a lot better?
    It’ll be better because it is new and much much different than here in CA
    > Will I be fully dreading walking back into the office on the day I’m due
    back at work?
    Yes, leaving the US is always exciting, first day back after being home is teh suck.
    > What if my girlfriend pales in comparison to European
    girls I meet?
    She will pale. She’s just one girl in a sea of millions, your eyes will get opened overseas to this.
    Come home, reevaluate your life and your choice at that point with the info and experiences you learn from your trip. Till then don’t trip on it, just get on the plane with an open mind and have a ball. I’m off for 3 weeks in Thailand and a week in Hong Kong, wheels up in 8 days, have not been to HK in about 30 years, 4th trip into Thailand and all the fun that comes with being there. I’ll be interested in watching your trip unfold.
    Traveling internationally, especially the first time, is quite an eye opening and life changing experience.

  25. As a professional mariner, I travel 8 months out of the year. I love coming home, once you get past the assholes who we anoint as gatekeepers. Nothing makes me more tolerant of the shit we have to deal with in teh US than dealing with the shit you have to deal with to work overseas in a professional capacity.
    No shit, every time I enter a port anywhere but in North America, I have to bribe the pilot, who is already getting between $4000 and $9000 for 1-5 hours work. He gets a bottle of scotch. The scumbags who handle lines at the dock or on a boat to tow lines to a dock each get a carton of Marlboros and a bottle of soda, then the port officials get their cut, then the union representatives (worse in the US. Most corrupt organization in the world is the AFL-CIO)… at any rate, by the time it’s done, everyone’s gotten a piece and the price of goods there gets inflated to recoup costs from their own corruption.
    The author is going to have a good time. Different from what I do- I took 6 months to do the same, back when I was a junior deck officer. There wil be good and bad, and that’s all mostly a good thing. And, coming home, he’ll either have a new appreciation for home, or will have outgrown it… or, the 3rd path, he will find a way to take a middle road. @trouble.maker, we’re always looking for guys like you.

  26. I love getting buzzed and wandering around foreign cities.
    First time I hit Russian soil: drunk. Hey, you have to hit the ground running!
    Russia doesn’t interest me much anymore, but I’m heading to Asia next month for the first time. That’s where the future is, boys! Might be investing a bit there too.
    I’m getting to the age where cancer or heart attack could strike me down any day, so I’m not terribly paranoid about self-preservation. If I die, I die, and hopefully with a hot tight little Filipina riding me.

  27. A good travel tip. Get a Dropbox account (or iCloud, or whatever) Link your smartphone photos to your dropbox. Take photos of your passport, credit cards, hotel reservations, receipts, friends phone number, what ever you think you might need if you lost everything else. This way you can always access this info through any computer that has an internet connection. (But try to hang onto your smart phone)

  28. My good man, you have nothing to fear. Get that out of your head right now.
    I crossed the world a few times and lived in 6 cities internationally at a very early age, and you’re definitely over-thinking it. Forget the fear of getting lost. You’ll make and find your way just fine. Listen to your manstincts. They are never wrong.
    Jumping in the Ocean for a quick swim?
    Now THAT”s something to fear.
    You’re walking into a goddam buffet!
    But hitting Europe without a plan is AWESOME.
    If you make a careful plan, you’ll probably want to break it as you go.
    Travel is THE SINGLE BEST EDUCATION YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. The most valuable lesson being —->> HUMILITY. What it’s like to stand on a street corner in the Ginza in Tokyo. With THOUSANDS of people swarming around you at a blazing pace… as you stand still and realize just how small and insignificant you really are. And a smile will appear on your face as you think about how every New Yorker thinks they are the goddam center of the Universe and all the stars and planets revolve around THEM.
    Your worries and fears will VANISH. And you will gain some perspective. About many things. The Vatican is amazing. (TIP: They won’t let you in if you’re wearing shorts. So wear jeans or pants if you want to see the Sistine Chapel – else you’ll be disappointed at the last minute. This is not advertised). No other spoilers here. But don’t you worry about a thing.
    Get one of those slim travel pouches to hang around your neck and keep your passport, valuables and & credit cards in there. Close to your chest. If anyone wants to steal from you, nobody will rip your shirt open. You can always buy a new bag and clothes if they get lost or stolen. With your valuables hanging around your neck, you can nap on the train and not worry.
    You may also want to get yourself a EuRail pass. Jump on any inter-city train any time you want. You can even throw your plan out the window and “decide” one day to just go to Prague. Save on Hotels and sleep on the train. Board the train in Paris……. sleep overnight and wake up in Italy. In most cases, the train will take you RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN. You’ll wake up and you’re already there. It’s a great way to get around.
    Have fun.

    1. New Yorkers all think they are the center of the Universe? Really. Having been born and raised in New York, I think I missed that memo. Do New Yorkers really believe they are the center of the universe, or do hicks living in Methville, Flyoverland have very serious self esteem issues? I think maybe that’s a question you need to ponder.

      1. Oh it’s not just New Yorkers. Lots of Californians think that way too. You can tell by the way they drive. They don’t understand that driving is not a “right”, it’s a privilege. The manners, etiquette and behavior on the road is abysmal. Signaling to change lanes will almost always be met by the person next to you deliberately ACCELERATING to not allow you to safely move over. As if chuckling to themselves about it. Wanna signal to make a left turn squeezing through the opposing traffic which is stopped? Fuck you . Hell would freeze over before someone leaves a gap for you.
        Never seen anything like it.
        And the general behavior of New Yorkers is something that must be experienced. It’s as if they all suffer from the “center of the universe” misconception. If you ever doubt it, just listen to the virtual symphony of car horns.
        Every single car horn that goes off is someone who is in the hands of something bigger and more important than themselves…. (the “universe” and traffic of New York)… yet they actually believe punching the logo on the wheel in front of them will move things along in the manner in which they prefer. It’s remarkable.
        But don’t misunderstand. A more catastrophic lack of understanding between “rights” and “privileges” is the American female. They are 1000000X worse than any New Yorker who ever honked a horn.

  29. Best of luck mate.. but being 22 you’ll have 10x a better time doing it in hostels than apartments. Trust me, I’m young and done both and you’ll have the wildest time in the hostels in europe. Some crazy times with some crazy people I met. Don’t believe everyone who says you’l never be able to bang girls in hostels.

  30. “I had never thought about leaving California, much less America. From
    what everyone had ever told me, America was the best place in the world
    to live. ”
    I find it hard to believe that Californians of all people would tel you “America is the best place in the world to live.”
    Californians are a well travelled lot, they know better.

  31. You’re gonna have a great time. Your fears are kind of silly, in my opinion. Don’t give them a thought in the days leading up to your trip:
    Here are my answers to your questions, based on travel to 5 continents:
    What If I Can’t Find My Way From The Airport? – Ask a hot girl for directions.
    Okay, My Sense Of Direction Sucks – I’m Going To Get Lost. Ask a hot girl for directions.
    What If Lose My Passport, Phone, Credit Cards, etc? – Passport: Kinda fucked if you lose it, so don’t. Keep it in your pocket, and don’t let anyone take it. Same goes for the rest of your stuff. Just don’t lose them. Has this happened to your grandmother? Is she an expert? Why are you taking advice from an old lady?
    The Fear Of Not Having A Plan – Ask a hot girl what is fun to do.
    Turn off the TV and news re: other countries. It’s just propaganda.
    One story: In Lebanon, a friend and I were planning on meeting up with some people he knew on the beach. We had a phone number and would call when we got off the bus near the beach. He forgot the phone number on the bus. So I started asking people if they knew of a “party on the beach somewhere closeby.” No one did. But, a mother and her very sexy daughter invited us to go to the beach with them. “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh” “We’re not going to hurt you,” she said. We got in the car and I had the best day of the trip.

  32. Hmmm.
    As an experienced traveler, I can see that you are making a classic newb mistake:
    Trying to do everything in a few weeks.
    Pick one of those destinations. Then explore it thoroughly. Don’t fool yourself into trucking back and forth across the continent twice a week. You’ll enjoy spending two weeks in one country far more than hauling your ass all over, and spending most of your vacation in transit.
    And pack light. If it doesn’t fit into a single carry-on bag, don’t bring it.

  33. All this fuss about 3 weeks in Europe…. how American is that? Nothing is gonna happen in these three weeks but you running around in all kind of places without you getting a little bit of the European spirit you´re all to eager to suck in….

  34. Interesting post!
    There’s nothing to fear!
    I am originally Swedish and currently living in Prague, Czech Republic since two years back. Before I moved I could relate to every single one of your points, but god damn was I rewarded for taking the step…
    I’d be happy to meet you up for a beer or two when you’re in Prague.
    Good luck!

  35. IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP REGARDING DIRECTIONS: Type “Ok Maps” in the google maps application when looking at any city and it will save an offline copy of the map to your phone. Now you can look at the map in complete detail (albeit without search) regardless of your signal or lack thereof. Do this for each city you plan to visit before you leave the states, and you will always be able to find where you will need to go as long as you have an intersection.

  36. After travelling for work all over North America, on average 1/4 to 1/3 of my time. All these things start to be a non-issue, the worst part are the flights and time wasted. Best pieces of advise are grab several books because your phone will loose power and when your at O’Hare, there are no electrical outlets, ok a few but still. Be logical about where you keep things and how you go about them. Before flights keep a mental list of the order of events that happen before you get on the plane and plan accordingly, same thing when you get off the plane and to your hotel. Sooner or later after 10 trips a year it’s all second nature.
    Advance travelers are like the soldiers, when your good with the basics you can start to learn more and have more liberty because everything else is second nature. Last bit of advice for those who wish to stay of trouble, don’t go to the shady part of town, don’t go to bars, and be in before nightfall. This will keep you alive in towns like Ciudad Juarez and Detroit, don’t follow this when your in Bumsville, Idaho or you might miss out on some fun…

  37. Wow spot on man. I left for Europe in October and now I’m in Australia doing my working holiday visa for a year. I had the same fears while I was leaving Calgary, but the fear subsides and excitement takes over. I got lost in many cities, bit Prague was easy to navigate. Their is a pickpocket problem in Rome bit you just be catefull and keep everything down pat. Good luck

  38. three weeks in europe does not make a world traveller.. but it’s a start. sell all your stuff and get a one way ticket to somewhere out of the western world, now you’re talking 🙂

  39. When returning home remember dirty drawers on top in your bag, bacon strips out, and visible will get you through customs faster. The effect is much better when returning from a 3rd world country.

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