Reader Survey and Travel Update: Bed Bugs and Booked Trains

A few nights ago I discovered bed bugs in my mattress. It was my first experience with bed bugs so my first stop was, of course, the Wikipedia page on Bed Bugs. Thankfully, they aren't known to transmit any diseases.

Only a few weeks ago I joked about being happy there were no bed bugs in the cheap cockroach-ridden hotel I was staying at in Ujire. It looks like I spoke too soon.

I requested clean sheets and switched from sleeping on the mattress to sleeping on the floor. Some of them still find me, but it's a whole lot better than the mattress.

Starting this nomadic lifestyle of cheap travel, I knew it was bound to happen sometime. As I've said before, they're just bugs! Continue reading

The Plan: 6 Months, 3 Countries, and $3000

I'm currently about a month and a half into my life-changing, soul searching, press-the-reset-button-on-life trip to India and I realized that I have yet to announce my plan for the next five months.

The word "plan" may be a little too concrete though; it's more like a rough outline. When I decided to uproot my life and switch to the lifestyle I had always dreamed of living, I knew that I needed some direction.

After all, how am I supposed to book a flight if I don't know where I'm going? Continue reading

A Quick Update from a Remote Farm in Ujire, India

If you're following me on Twitter, you might have seen my last two updates about reaching Ujire safely. This is my one week anniversary here in India and its been amazing so far. I've seen and experienced so much, I haven't really gotten sick (besides a mild case of travelers diarrhea), and everyone I've come in contact with has been so incredibly helpful and generous.

I'm currently staying alone in Ujire, on a remote farm about 9 miles from town. There is some electricty here, but it's solar powered (running on batteries at night) and the phone is wireless (basically a CMDA cellphone-type connection). For Internet, I'm using a Windows XP laptop that was already here -- it uses a dail-up connection and Internet Explorer 6 (ugh!). My cell phone still isn't working (there were issues activating the prepaid SIM).

I can use the laptop for doing very basic things like checking my email (GMail usually takes a minute or two to load every page), but everything else is painfully slow (it took me 30 minutes to respond to 8 comments on my blog!). The isolation, remoteness, never ending heat, and constant sweat have all made me shy away from using my laptop to write, however I have been taking my camera with me.

After getting such an awesome response on my first video blog, I've started making a lot more video clips (thank you to everyone who commented!). Unfortunately, the dial-up connection here on the farm means I have to go into town to upload anything, but if you can be patient, I can assure you that the clips are awesome!

Staying on the farm alone makes me feel like I'm on a remote island somewhere -- or like I'm on one of those TV shows, Survivor or LOST(I haven't watched a single episode of either, so I'm only guessing). The view here is incredible and I'm surrounded by mountains and jungle. The locals have seen tigers and elephants nearby and there are so many different types of tropical birds with incredible colors and songs.

There are some other really cool things about this place, but I don't want to spoil the surprise. The videos will tell all!

I'm planning to head into town at some point this week, so you can expect videos and pictures soon! Until then, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me (I love getting email and comments!).