A year exploring
May 2, 2010 9:42 PM Subscribe
I want to spend a year or two of my life going across the United States on foot or on bike, and don't know where to start or how to finance such a trip.
posted by LSK to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
For a while now I've wanted to spend an extended period of time exploring and traveling, both in cities and in the countryside, and I've decided that the sooner, the better. However, I'm still a student right now, and I've never been employed. I have a parent paying most of the bills, so I'm not going to graduate in debt, but I also only have about $1300 in my name, all as a result of $1900 in scholarships which I've been spending gradually.
I don't want to go on this trip unprepared, and I don't want to go without an ability to make it either self-sustaining or operating solely off earned money. Making this trip on a parents' dime would be entirely counter to its goals.
So, I have a few questions, but hopefully other MeFites know more about this than I do and know the answers to the questions I don't know to ask...
- What should I have and/or pack? I'm pretty sure a netbook and a camera are necessities, but what should I have in terms of food? Clothing? Should I carry a cell phone? CD player? [I haven't made the switch to mp3 players yet.] What should I pack these all in so that I can carry them?
- How can I finance this sort of expedition? I have a decent collection of Magic: the Gathering cards which I've made some money by selling off, but I don't want to be completely without a collection, either; plus, that can only get me so much. Would freelance photography be practical? Blogging? Could I make any money by writing about it?
- What sort of accommodations should I expect? Would CouchSurfing be a reasonable way to find place to stay, or should I expect to sleep in motels? How much would I expect to pay for sleeping in motels/hotels?
- How much should I expect to pay for food? How should I obtain food, and what food should I get?
- What method of locomotion should I use? I'm not particularly experienced with bikes, but I have one, and they're definitely faster than walking. On the other hand, having a bike would force me to use it the entire time, and that's not always conducive to exploring strange cities or uneven locales. Walking is easier, but slower. Driving is straight out - too expensive, and not at all the type of travel I want to do. Plus I don't have a car.