For many years I heard other folk talk about their travel experiences. Their exciting tales and photographs inspired me and whetted my appetite to explore this spectacular planet and all that it has to offer. In 2001 after an unexpected windfall, my husband and I decided to take off on our first travel adventure.
In those fledgling days I knew little of the geography of the world, so employing the services of a travel agent seemed the way to go. They did the flight bookings and some of the tours but, in “free spirit form”, I decided to take on the task of booking our accommodation and several other small group tours myself. To my delight I discovered that I was able to secure deals for far less than the agent could offer.
Our first escapade took us to France, Italy, England, Greece and Turkey, and by the time our six week adventure was over I was totally hooked on travel.
I longed to see more of the world and immediately began to plan our next adventure.
Driven by my innate “free spirit”, I took up the challenge of planning the entire itinerary myself with the assistance of the internet, travel brochures and books. This self-planned trip had us visiting thirteen countries around the globe.
Ten years down the track we have vacationed in twenty one countries! These journeys have taken us not only into the US and Europe, but to exotic locations such as Borneo, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China.
I purposely seek to explore ‘off the beaten track’ locations not often seen by the common breed of tourist, and I can truly say that the rewards of what I call “off the leash travel challenges” are boundless.
Why this Book? I have designed this D.I.Y. travel guide to give passionate advice to free spirited adventurers who prefer to go it alone. It has been structured to allow for many options. For instance, YOU, "The Adventurer" can choose where you want to pick up our trail, whether Hanoi Vietnam, Nanning or Guilin, Guangxi Province China, or Changsha Hunan Province. It includes a heads up on places and outlines some of the challenges that we have experienced. Hopefully it will encourage you to turn those ordinary, structured tours into exciting adventures of your own.