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Dr.Ian K.McLaren

Adventures do not need to be expensive affairs. In 1971 when the average wage for a skilled man was around 20 a week after deductions, I had over four months adventure travel through seven countries and two continents, setting off with a budget of 20 each for myself and my friend. Admittedly we did earn some money en-route through grape harvesting, but the majority of this was invested in a second-hand moped each to facilitate easier travel. I hope to show you in this publication, how by careful planning beforehand you can reach exotic places with no more than 1 per day for food allowance. Walking costs nothing but energy and shoe leather and this can often be supplemented by hitch-hiking. Sleeping under the stars or in deserted barns, outbuildings or houses costs nothing. You can even get across to mainland Europe for 1, courtesy of several tabloid newspapers. Although there are slightly greater hassles these days over visas, import restrictions and flight delays due to crowded air corridors, I'd like to offer guidelines on how even the unemployed on a very tight budget can get out of a rut and see much of the world on an open-ended time limit.

TRAVEL : Flight-only deals from package tour operators are a very cost-effective way of getting to far flung places, or you could wait until a day or so before you are ready to go and perhaps get last minute bargains which include 7 or 14 nights accommodation to start you off. You can then begin your adventure in relative comfort and might even get half-board. Tour operators often offer big discounts for late booking because they would otherwise be left with an unfilled place.When the time comes for you to return you simply tell the tour operator that you will not be requiring your return flight and they can then offer it to some other passenger waiting on standby for a cancellation, or no-show. If you go on a flight-only deal, on a charter flight, the tour operator will probably supply you with an accommodation address, or a hotel voucher which of course will not be honoured, as there is a legal need for charter flights to include an accommodation component. They normally charge a nominal 1 for the non-existent accommodation. If you are travelling to continental Europe by ferry or hovercraft, you can hitch-hike to Dover and then try to get a lift in a lorry or car where the charge is only for the vehicle and passengers travel free. If going by lorry you can then get a lift to wherever the lorry driver is going, which could get you as far as Athens, Rome, the Spanish Costas, or even Tangier. Throughout most of Western Europe and North Africa, travel can be by hitch-hiking, walking or cycling at a leisurely pace. If you are reasonably fit (which you SHOULD be if undertaking an adventure) you should be able to manage 10 miles a day on foot[4 hours of gentle walking], 25 to 30 miles on your bike which should be well equipped with luggage panniers, and a very uncertain amount if hitch-hiking. On my first adventure, my friend and I got back from North Africa to Bournemouth in three days and two lifts, at a total cost of 3 for the two nights accommodation in a shared twin-bedded room, but then again I've gone several days without getting a lift anywhere. In Arab countries and further East, hitch-hiking is a normal means of transport, but you may well be expected to contribute to the fuel costs, or take your share of the driving if you have the appropriate international licence. However you decide to travel, careful planning of your route is vital. You should allow as long on the planning stage as the proposed adventure itself. Portions of maps may be photocopied at public libraries and then your proposed route can be marked, using coloured felt-tipped pen. You should also at this stage make a written route chart, setting realistic targets as to where you can expect to be resting at the end of each day.

EQUIPMENT : Most travellers make the mistake of taking far too much excess baggage and then finding it too great a burden have to dispose of well loved luxuries en-route, usually at a loss. If you are walking, a good pair of "desert boots" are comfortable and hard wearing.. Unlike conventional hiking or mountaineering commando type boots they have very soft leather uppers and do need breaking in. They also permit the foot to breathe, but have the disadvantage of being liable to waterlogging in rainy areas and take a long time to dry out. I would recommend around a dozen pairs of new socks for each year of your adventure. If you get them all of the same colour, then as individual socks wear out, you can at least just discard the one sock and still use the other one with a matching spare. A magnetic compass worn around the neck, or on the wrist will help you keep a check on the navigation. Even without this you can navigate using the sun, provided you know the time. The sun is due South at mid-day in the Northern hemisphere and everywhere on Earth it rises in the East and sets in the West. So provided it is not cloudy you can find your way. Survival books will detail other methods which should, like other survival skills be practiced near to home before setting out. A lightweight waterproof anorak can be carried to protect against inclement weather. A towel can double as a scarf if the need arises, or as protection against blown sand in the desert wind. A lightweight tent in a zip-up bag, preferably in dark green or brown to blend in with the surroundings, can be carried on the base of a framed rucksack or shopping trolley, but do practice putting it up before you set off. A modern fibre-filled 38 oz.sleeping bag, will bring warmth and comfort on a chilly night. Remember that clear skies are liable to produce very warm days and chilly nights, with the heat escaping as soon as the sun sets. An air-bed can be folded away into a very small volume, then inflated with a rubber foot pump each night, or you may prefer a folding camp-bed which gives firmer support and cannot sustain punctures or leaks. If you choose to take a ready made tent for accommodation I would definitely advise the use of one with a sewn-in ground sheet and mosquito net with a zipped entrance. If you shave a dual-voltage electric razor is ideal if you will be stopping in youth hostels, but probably better would be disposable wet blade razors which can be used in hostels or if sleeping out under the stars. You don't need things like shaving foam if you shave regularly, nor indeed water, hot or cold. If the weight of your kit permits, a double sided shaving mirror is very useful as an emergency signalling aid. A multi-function Swiss Army knife is a valuable companion and can be hung from the waist, but not when flying. Money and passport are much safer in a money belt. For additional security a whistle on a string round your neck is very useful. As an alternative to a framed rucksack for walkers, a wheeled shopping trolley for around 5 will make like easier and can still be easily stowed in a car boot if you are offered a lift. Cyclists could tow one, or make up a cheap DIY trailer to carry the load. For hot foods a camping gas stove, such as the Super Bluet 200, is ideal. One one adventure, my friend and I sang and played a harmonica outside the factory gates of a camping gas bottling plant in Southern Spain to raise money for food and amongst the gifts we got as we sang for our supper was a box of camping gas replacement cylinders. If you are starting your journey by sea, you can take the cartridges with you and assemble it when you first need it. For air travellers it is most important you take no gas with you, but buy it on arrival at your destination and ensure that you use up all the gas then disconnect the cartridge, disposing of the spent cartridge thoughtfully, before returning. A basic First-Aid kit should be carried, comprising plasters ; crepe bandage for sprains or inflammation injuries ; 1" wide cotton bandage ; TCP antiseptic ; cotton wool ; Vaseline ; insect repellent ; sun cream and water purification tablets. To protect against the use of un-sterilised equipment in third world countries, approved sealed syringe and needle kits are available from chemists. As will be explained later, a folded 10ft. X 6ft.plastic sheet can fulfil a multiplicity of functions. Useful odds and ends could include a pair of scissors, some string, a pocket torch with spare bulb and safety matches. If weight permits take a diary with you to make notes and these can be used as the basis of an article to submit to your favourite adventure magazine on your return. The fee paid by the magazine can then be put towards your next adventure. Try to supplement your article with good colour photographs, preferably in 35mm. slide format which can then form part of an audio-visual presentation on your return. I would suggest a second-hand Russian camera such as a Zenit-E which is available for around 25. As regards clothing, cotton is far more comfortable than nylon in hot climates. I would suggest four poly-cotton shirts should last you for a 12 month adventure, if you wash them regularly, unless of course you are going on a naturist adventure, in which case the one set of clothes you are wearing to get there will suffice. If you want to try to get to know the natives, I would suggest that they would much appreciate you buying local style clothing. In the Arab countries of North Africa, a long, flowing, loose fitting white cotton robe is ideal, called a jellaba in Morocco and Egypt, and known as a thobe in Saudi Arabia. In muslim countries you should wear a clean pair of underpants beneath it. A spare pair of trousers and about half a dozen hankies should be adequate for a 12 month adventure. Socks should be comfortable and hard wearing, such as poly-cotton, nylon-terylene or towelling material. Remember that in warm, sunny countries clothes can be washed in a lake or river and laid out to dry on a rock whilst you too are drying after bathing. For eating equipment I would suggest a compendium set of pans which double as plates or bowls and a knife, fork and spoon set which all clip together for economy of space. A plastic mug is not going to burn your lips like a tin one will. However for ease of cleaning, if your weight allowance is O.K., as for cyclists, then non-stick cookware is much superior.

DOCUMENTATION : Before leaving, spend a few hours in your favourite photo-booth, stocking up on passport size colour photos for en-route visas and police registration/immigration purposes. If you can plan your adventure to an accurate time schedule, then by all means obtain any necessary visas before you go, but be sure to keep to your schedule, or you may well find on arrival at a border, that you are refused admission because your visa is time expired and therefore invalid. Of course some countries will require advance visa registration so you will need to organise this before setting out. A full 10 year passport is the only one now available (for British nationals). It is available in 32 or 100 pages. For travel mainly in Europe and North America, 32 pages should be more than adequate. But for travel in Africa, Asia and South America, you will need 100 pages for any adventure more than about a year. For instance in Saudi Arabia, foreign guest workers need an entry visa, then an arrival visa, then a temporary residence visa, then an Iqama which is for longer term residence up to six months, then an exit visa with re-entry visa for when you return home on leave with a view to returning. Each of these visas occupies one page, so you are quite likely to need several passports every 10 years. If you have room to include it, I would suggest a paperback guide such as "Africa on a shoestring" (Lonely Planet Publications), or other guides in the same series, or perhaps a Fodor's guide to the country of your choice. It will provide valuable en-route visa, social, currency and geographical information. Keep all your vaccination certificates in the back of your passport with a rubber band and ensure that you do not carry money and passport together in the same wallet. If you lose either then an an early visit to the nearest Consulate of your country is called for, but it is best to contact the local police first to report the loss. They can then fax details to your consulate on your behalf. Carry in a separate pocket, a photocopy of your passport pages dealing with personal data, also medical certificates confirming blood group and your organ donor card if you carry one, including next-of-kin details. Some Arab countries will require you to produce a certificate confirming that you are not of the Jewish faith. It is important that as a traveller you avoid offending religious sensibilities. For example in many Arab countries you will not be welcome if you wear a pendant cross, or carry a Bible or New Testament. So commit your favourite prayers, hymns and texts to memory Protestant Christianity is tolerated grudgingly in Saudi Arabia, but overt Christian worship is not, so please be discreet. If you are not a practising Christian it is advisable to carry a Certificate of Religion with you, from a Protestant Christian Church, if you intend to visit a fundamentalist muslim country. Many clerics will be happy to supply you with such a letter if you make a generous donation to their favourite charity. Of course as an option you could prepare by going to confirmation classes in advance of an adventure ; who knows, it may be just what you are looking for. But wherever you go it is is very inconsiderate to try to undermine the faith of those whom you do not agree with.

ONCE YOU'RE THERE ACCOMMODATION : Several options are available to the budget adventurer. If you begin with a last minute package deal, then you can get up to 28 nights in a hotel, pension or guest house. This method at least gets you a reasonably comfortable start whilst you are exploring the immediate surroundings and getting your bearings. The next possibility for flight-only deals, or if hitch-hiking, walking or cycling, is a ridge tent or one of the modern ultra light weight tents with fibreglass rods to give it shape, known as geodesic tents. These come supplied in a zip-up bag or outer holdall. Be sure that you practice erecting it before you leave for your adventure. You should arrange to have your tent erected in a suitable location, being a sheltered spot within easy reach of fresh water, before dusk. If you haven't been camping before, give it a try before you go, as once you're in a strange land it's too late to decide you don't like it. If travelling very lightly using only a sleeping bag and roll up camping mat or perhaps an air bed or camp bed, it is obviously necessary for you to find somewhere to sleep that offers you a roof over your head as protection against inclement weather, unless in dry climatic conditions such as deserts. If your budget permits, it is a good idea to spend say one night a week in a youth hostel where you will have access to a comfortable bed, shower, electricity, laundry facilities etc. Hostelling is designed to offer budget dormitory accommodation in the region of 5 to 10 per night at 1998 prices. You are expected to maintain the youth hostel and help out in some way perhaps preparing meals, cleaning dormitories, paintwork, or windows, etc. Breakfast and evening meals as well as packed lunches are available at good prices, so you can get the chance of a couple of decent meals at least once a week. As with other aspects of preparation for the adventure, give hostelling a try for a few weekends before you set off. You will need to become a member of the International Y.H.A. first. If the weather is fine, you can of course sleep out under the stars, in fields, beaches and forests. If in need of shelter there are caves, tunnels (including the small ducts running beneath motorways), deserted houses, barns and stables, also the banks of wide rivers beneath arched bridges, but keep near the edge and beware of flash floods. Another option is to find a dead branch about 10 ft. long and drop it between the branches of two adjacent softwood trees. It is now a ridge pole and can be used as such enabling you to drape the 10ft.X 6ft. plastic sheet mentioned earlier, over it. A few rocks either side to hold it down and you have an instant tent. Although taking longer to establish, the forest bivouac is more able to blend in with the surroundings than a simple tent and is designed for longer term occupancy. Having got your positive waterproofing from your plastic sheet you lay a framework of dead branches over the ridge pole and cover the frame with ferns. An even more luxurious and comfortable bivouac is based upon a flat roof construction where two ridge poles, lying approximately parallel to each other are used as a structural framework for a roof. Then a larger plastic sheet, perhaps 21 ft. X 9 ft. is draped over the framework and covered with ferns and mosses. If you are going to be bivouacing in tropical environments it is well worth taking with you a hammock to keep you clear of ground insects and snakes. A length of canvas or nylon sheeting about 6ft. X 4ft. with three sewn in rings at each end can be suspended from low branches by three lengths of 1/4 inch tow rope, or parachute rigging line which has enormous strength. The ropes should be around 6ft. long each and converge to a single spliced rope which in turn will be securely fastened around the trunk and lower branches of two adjacent softwood trees. As you climb in, the sides will fold up to prevent you falling out of bed. Whilst considering parachute rigging lines above, bear in mind that an old time-expired parachute available from most ex-Army stores will make either an excellent tent or hammock.

FOOD : The vegetarian adventurer will probably find life easier than omnivores when living in wilderness conditions and if working to a tight budget. The further South in Europe you go, the more abundant will be citrus fruits, grapes, tomatoes and lettuce.Also locally grown pulses, beetroot, and in tropical climates, bananas and plantains are all very nourishing. Whilst you can survive on fruits and fungi, (thereby dispensing with the need for a cooker) even vegetarians will benefit from cooked foods including potatoes in their various forms and pulses. Soup is another nourishing option. It can either be made locally from a concoction of fresh produce, or you could carry several dozen packets of dehydrated soup which is quickly prepared just by adding boiling water or simmering from cold, then stirring. Dehydrated potatoes provide bulk and are rich in many added vitamins and minerals. Like soup they are easily prepared with boiling water. Wherever you are, it is important to have a balanced diet, comprising one part protein (found in fish, eggs, cheese, milk and red or white meat) ; one part fat (found in all the above, or vegetable and fish based oils such as sardines and mackerel) ; and three parts of carbohydrate (found in bread, bananas, pulses and potatoes). By studying a library book on healthy eating before you go, you can draw up a diet that suits your particular preferences, having regard to the intended local environment and your financial resources. Ten miles of walking a day, carrying a 25 lb. rucksack, will require around 3,000 calories a day to maintain body weight in temperate climates. This energy requirement drops in tropical climates, due to less energy being required to heat the body, but there is a greater need for fluids to offset losses through sweating, and juicy fruits make a very palatable way of taking additional fluid on board. They are also high in fructose, a fruit based form of sugar which meets a fair proportion of your carbohydrate need. High calorie, lightweight foods, ideal for emergency rations, include chocolate, raisins and peanuts. Of course many enterprising snack food manufacturers incorporate precisely these three basic constituents in their products, usually around a biscuit base providing additional carbohydrate. Fibre is indigestible but provides the necessary bulk to keep our bowels in good order. High fibre foods include spinach, cabbage and bran rich wholemeal bread. Whole grain or high bran bread when spread with a low fat spread and with a fruit or cheese filling, preferably washed down with a glass of skimmed milk is a nutritious and well balanced meal in itself. Fruit provides a plentiful supply of fluid. Desert travellers in particular should pay strict attention to the need for an abundant fluid intake. Where the ambient air temperature exceeds the normal body temperature (37C), travellers should allow at least one gallon of fluid per day to compensate for losses through sweating. Urination will be diminished in hot climates and increased in cold climates. Any excess fluid drunk will be excreted through the kidneys as urine. In the early stages at least, desert travellers should walk just around dawn and sunset for no more than an hour at each end of the day, resting under shade during the heat of the day. This is an ideal application for the old parachute I recommended earlier in this guide. Remember that the temperature experienced by all travellers is the EXPOSED temperature and this is significantly more extreme than the SHADE temperature recorded by meteorologists using Stevenson Screens. In cold climates you are subject to the wind chill factor, whilst in the hot deserts of the world, exposed air temperatures exceed 180F, which is hot enough to fry an egg on exposed rocks. If you are staying in a forest area then squirrels, rabbits or birds can be caught. Go silently keeping downwind of your target. You can make a bow and arrow from available branches and either string, or parachute rigging line. Sharpen the arrows and prepare the bow using your Swiss Army knife. As an alternative you could use a well aimed rock to initially stun your quarry and then when it is unconscious, kill it quickly with a massive blow to the head. In the absence of loose rocks pick it up by its back legs and swing it against a substantial tree trunk or rock face. Snakes also make a nice casserole but in the event of coming across one that is alive, keep well out of harms way. In the South of France on one adventure I saw a European Dice snake crossing the road, which was run over by a car. So I thought, waste not, want not, and picked it up and hung it around my neck, taking it back to where I was living at the time. After decapitating it (thereby removing the danger of the poison fangs and sacs) I skinned it, cut it into slices, added lentils, potatoes and tomatoes and stewed the whole lot in a hot-pot. Small animals and birds can be cooked in the open, in a forest clearing, over an open fire, supported on a spit. Bind two pieces of wood together in the shape of a letter "T", the longer piece being sharpened to a point. This sharpened stick is then either speared through the animal or the animal is bound around it with metal wire. The T-shaped assembly is supported by two Y-shaped branches and the animal turned periodically to allow even cooking. The flames will easily remove the hair as it is cooking and the melting fat will drip down and feed the fire if you first cut a few slits in the body. Animals ought to be bled before cooking. You can simply cut off the head, thereby exposing the open carotid arteries supplying the brain. Then go through the motions of giving external cardiac massage, squeezing the heart by mechanical action causing it to continue to fill with blood from the venous system and then pumping this out to the brain. The brain no longer being there, the blood will just drain out on to the floor, or if you are enterprising you can drain it into a dish, using it to make black pudding. Desert adventurers can supplement their water supply by using the 10ft. X 6ft. plastic sheet as a solar still. Scoop a hollow in the sand. Place the bowl from your compendium at the centre of the hollow and lay your plastic sheet out on the sand anchoring it around the edges with a few rocks. Moisture is evaporated from the ground by the heat of the sun and condenses on the underside of the plastic sheet, running down into your container. Partial filling of the sheet with urine, radiator fluid or even green plants will increase the rate of condensation and thus the amount of fresh water produced. So you are effectively recycling stale, undrinkable water. Fish can be caught with a net made from a thin piece of clothing (the heel and foot section of a pair of tights are ideal) and the forked branch of a tree. Dawn and dusk are the best times for fishing, and whilst it is raining, as fish come up to the surface for the enriched oxygen. At night they can be attracted by a light source and after floods, fish can be left high and dry as the floodwater recedes.

HEALTH AND CLEANLINESS : Closely allied to the previous subject, good health requires an adequate, well balanced diet and sufficient fluid intake. For inexperienced walkers and when breaking in new shoes, blisters are a likely hazard. It is therefore wise to get into the habit of long walks in wild country for several weeks before you leave home and to ensure that you pay attention to footwear and footcare. Over a month before you plan to set out to exotic places, visit your G.P. or Vaccination Centre to check on the latest requirements for countries on your proposed route. Some vaccinations require injections spaced one month apart and you may well be refused admission to a country if your vaccinations are not valid, as they will not be wanting to take the risk of having an ill prepared foreign traveller becoming a burden to their health service. In general for countries South of the Northern borders of the Sahara Desert and East of Greece, you can be fairly certain of needing a comprehensive package of vaccinations, especially those against cholera, typhus, T.A.B, tetanus, yellow fever and polio to name but a few. Even if all of these diseases are not endemic at any one time, it is better to be safe than sorry. All vaccines require booster doses. Some like cholera offer only six months protection, others like T.A.B. last two years and yellow fever for ten years. Therefore if its a long term adventure to high risk areas, you will need to organise revaccination at local health centres. As a general rule, the more primitive the country, the greater will be the risk of communicable disease. With the problem of A.I.D.S. in the developing world, it is a good idea to take with you a pack of sealed, sterile syringes and needles for subsequent revaccination injections. These kits are available from chemists as a properly labelled and approved kit to satisfy immigration officers that you are not a junkie. With the problem of drug abuse in some countries you should guard this kit with your life. It is also a wise precaution to ask your G.P. for a blood test if you do not already have a blood donor card showing your blood group. Carry with you at all times a printed card showing your blood group, rhesus status, any allergies or medical conditions which may require special treatment, such as diabetes, haemophilia or streptokinase infusion within the past six months, and your next-of-kin. This can be ANYONE whom you wish to be notified in the event of any accident, or dramatic turn of events such as perhaps requiring repatriation, or finishing up in jail. Also I personally carry a Universal Donor card offering ANY parts of my body for transplant, or medical research by student doctors or trainee surgeons, in the event of me dying away from home. Whilst on the subject of drug abuse, note the severe penalties to users, dealers and couriers in many places. In Saudi Arabia, and a few other Islamic States, the penalty is death by beheading, by the sword, or hanging in Iran and Pakistan. The same measures apply for certain sexual offences. The death penalty also applies in certain Far Eastern States. This includes in some cases the possession and use of cannabis. So even if you are broke and thousands of miles away from home, there is NO WAY you should agree to act as a courier in return for a free ticket home. You might just get a free ticket to death row! Be careful what you eat in the way of wild fruit or fungi. As a general rule, satisfy yourself with what you can positively identify, or those exotic foods available at local markets. Test any strange plant for milky sap, bitter taste, or strange, pungent smell. If in doubt, ask the locals if it is safe to eat. Cleanliness is next to godliness but must come first. If only for reasons of morale, dignity and self-respect it is important that you keep yourself clean. If you are dirty and unkempt you are not likely to engender hospitality, so don't let yourself get into that state. Wash at least twice a day and brush your teeth after every meal, even if only in water. If you cannot afford to manage hostelling at least once a week, find a waterfall, lake or river and bathe regularly. Hot climates encourage B.O. If you are going to be bearded, grow it fully before you go and keep it neatly trimmed, using a wet razor every few days to remove stubble and keep a neat line around the neck. If you are not going to grow a beard, then shave as often as is necessary to keep yourself clean and presentable. It certainly helps in getting across borders. If you look like a dosser you could well get turned away, visa or no visa. If you get bitten by a dog, seek immediate medical attention and try to get a passer-by to capture it without risking their own life in the process so as the dog can be tested for possible rabies infection. Casual cuts and grazes should be treated by cleaning the wound with cotton wool or clean lint, soaked in TCP antiseptic, then covered with a waterproof plaster. Study a book on First Aid before you go, or better still train as a qualified First Aider with St.John Ambulance or the Red Cross, then you can be well equipped to help others as well as yourself. If you get bitten by a spider, snake or scorpion, kill it if possible and take it with you to a clinic or First Aid Post, in order for the staff to try and identify the correct anti-venom. TRY not to panic. Many people have gone into shock and died following a bite from a non-poisonous snake which they just assumed was poisonous. Indeed even with bites from poisonous snakes, many needless deaths occur through shock and mishandling the situation rather than from the venom itself. Firstly a snake may simply bite and NOT inject venom. It may simply be a warning. Or the snake may have bitten recently and have insufficient fresh venom in the sacs to kill you. If the snake is REALLY deadly you will probably die before reaching medical attention anyway. So if after half an hour, you have a fever, parched throat, intensive pain, or are shivering badly, there is every likelihood of you surviving the experience.I was once bitten by a wasp which had settled in my shoes and I didn't check it before putting it on. It was only young but when it injected its sting into the fleshy part just above the root of my big toe, it caused so much pain and swelling, I thought I was at death's door. I phoned my G.P. to get him to come out and administer morphine, but he said to give it 24 hours and if it was still the same, he'd come out then. At the time, I didn't think I'd survive for 24 hours, but I did and the pain and swelling had subsided as predicted by my G.P. For any bites of that kind, try to immobilise the wound and do NOT use a tourniquet, or cut or suck the bite site. You could try taking a couple of paracetamol or Co-proxamol every six hours as part of your first aid. Sexually active and promiscuous adventurers should be alert to the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly in the developing world where A.I.D.S and hepatitis-B are common. If you must sleep around then do take the precaution of using a condom. Many countries now expect a letter or certificate from an S.T.D. clinic confirming that you have had a voluntary test for A.I.D.S. and that you have been found to be antibody negative, as a condition of entry, particularly to take up employment or residence and business trips of over one month, Saudi Arabia being one such example.

WORKING YOUR PASSAGE It is possible to be self-financing on an adventure and thereby extend the scope of your travel. This can be done if you are a tradesman or professional, by taking up employment somewhere that appeals to you and thereby using the facility of free travel, accommodation and in most cases free food as well. When you have free time for local leave then at least you are on location with money at your disposal to cover short term hotel or guest house accommodation and food. Also when the job finishes, the government may give you permission to stay on in the country or if you are entitled to free return flight for annual leave you may be able to get a ticket for a destination of your choice, up to the same value as your return flight home. You can be very enterprising which is an important consideration, as adventure travellers often need to live on their wits. As an example, if you are going on an adventure by speedboat, this can be self-financing by offering 10 minute trips around the bay to locals or visitors. All the profits made on the pleasure trips will finance the next leg of your journey. If you have experience in, or a flair for lecturing or teaching, you can be entirely self-supporting by taking 35mm. slides and getting the school or society to give you free overnight accommodation and food, in return for your talk. You may also get a fee if you give a professional presentation in front of a large audience. Also by joining the Royal Geographical Society and getting the support of the Expedition Advisory Centre, you can get sponsorship with the opportunity to give a lecture tour on your return. For those who do not have a specific skill to offer, there are numerous opportunities such as cleaning, preparing and serving food, making beds, dish and glass washing, weeding, grape harvesting and other aspects of the wine-making industry and also general labouring perhaps on a building site. Those with language skills could finance their adventure by offering a translation service or by teaching English as a foreign language for which the official T.E.S.O.L. Diploma would be a distinct advantage. You can live in with a family for free, doing housework and teaching English to the children, taking them to school or on outings, walking the dog, etc. If you secure work in a Youth Hostel, as I did in Amsterdam, or if working in a hotel or guest house you will invariably get free food and accommodation even though Youth Hostels are unlikely to offer you any payment, at least you will have a roof over your head, so it means not sleeping out rough. It is a good idea to prepare in advance, typed or word processed cards offering your services and seeking work in your particular speciality. These should be prepared in the languages of the country you are visiting, preferably by a literate local. It is much appreciated by any community if visitors and adventurers will take the trouble to learn the fundamentals of the local language and customs and not just expect the locals to learn English. Yet another option available to appropriately experienced people, is to travel as a crew member with a shipping company and just just get off when you feel like it, joining another ship for the next leg of the journey. Finally I would suggest that all adventurers join the Royal Geographical Society and register their skills and interests with the Expedition Advisory Centre so as they can have the opportunity to join an expedition or to lead one of their own, recruiting other specialists from the EAC register. DO's AND DON'TS DO show respect and politeness to those in authority wherever you visit, whether police, immigration staff or civil servants. DO keep yourself clean, well groomed and presentable. DO travel at a pace that you can comfortably manage. DO remember that in any country you visit as a guest, you are there by invitation, not by right. Offensive behaviour can easily result in the host country withdrawing your privileges. DO remember that wherever you go you are subject to the laws of the country in which you live, whether or not you agree with those laws or sanctions. If you don't like a country to that extent then stay away. For example Saudi Arabia cuts off the left hand of convicted thieves, whether Saudi nationals, Brits, Americans, or whoever. DO ask permission of any people you wish to include in photographs and if their answer is NO, then respect their decision. DO show kindness, gratitude and understanding to all those you meet on your travels. Be a good ambassador without going in for flag waving. DO make an effort to learn some foreign words, phrases and customs and try to adapt yourself to the local way of life wherever you go. DO ensure that you plan your adventure carefully, paying particular attention to documentation and an appreciation of local laws and customs. Also consider carefully your financial security, getting a return ticket before you set out, even if it is open dated. DO carry travellers cheques rather than large sums of foreign currency. Change them to local currency on a daily basis and leave your travellers cheques lodged with a hotel reception desk if you are not on the move. DO observe the Country Code, avoiding un-necessary damage or harm to property, animals, crops, etc. If you need to kill a wild animal for food, let the death be swift and dignified. DON'T get politically involved in any sense, in any country undergoing change, or whose political or social ideology you disagree with. If you wish to support a particular cause, then do it from your home base by lobbying. I personally feel that it is in fact an intrusion into the affairs of another state for you even to do that. Each country should be allowed to work out its own salvation, in its own way. DON'T offend religious sensibilities in countries whose religious system differs from your own. As with politics it as an unwarranted intrusion. If your own faith is not strong enough and tolerant enough to accommodate those of other faiths as equals, then it is YOUR faith that is in need of closer examination. DON'T disgrace your country and your flag with undisciplined behaviour. DON'T set out on an adventure unless you have thought it through and are prepared for a significant change in lifestyle. You should think through the WHY as well as the HOW. DON'T set out on an adventure without proper preparation, training, financial security and equipment. To do so risks the need to be rescued. You can practice survival, camping, bivouacing and long walks in wild country, close to home, to be certain of your ability to survive in a strange land. DON'T make unwelcome advances of a sexual or amorous nature where such advances are likely to offend your host country. Some people set off to places like Bangkok or India, specifically to ensure sexual favours from child slaves, who get only a tiny percentage of the money paid to their master. This is in no way helpful to the child and merely continues their enslavement and risks of disease. DON'T take canisters of compressed gas if travelling by air. DON'T get involved in affrays between local people. If this does happen in circumstances beyond your control and you get caught up as an innocent third party, then try to talk your way out of trouble, or walk away from it. If you do get arrested for any misdemeanour then make a full apology to the authorities and accept any penalty with dignity and without malice. Good luck and GO FOR IT!

Dr.Ian K.McLaren (Published by

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