travelling for free?

Found this on I dont agree with all of it … esp’ about  staying for free  which sounds like using people  – doing a few chores does not help buy food!   anyway read a few of the tips and then go and check out the whole article if you want more!

cheers from the kiwi travel writer AKA the passionate nomadhapeta kiwi sign

How To Travel The World For Free (Seriously)

Embrace the Simple Joy of Travel

Travel frees you from the grind of daily routine. You will explore new places, meet new people, try new foods and learn things about the world – and yourself – that you never imagined were possible.

The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel – and new experiences are free. Walk the streets of a city. Stop and chat with a local. People watch in a public park. Climb to the top of a hill and watch the sun set over the ocean.

The simple joy of being in a new place is just a matter of…wait for it…going someplace new. No tour package required.

2. Keep Your Needs To A Minimum

Themodern American economy is built on the false premise that people need to buy new goods and services all the time. Again, I call bullshit.

People need fresh air, healthy food, clean water, exercise, creative stimulation, companionship, self-esteem and a safe place to sleep.

All of these things are simple to obtain. Most of them are free.

For fresh air, go outside. For exercise, take a walk. For creative stimulation, go somewhere new. For companionship, make a friend. For self esteem, turn off your TV, breathe deep and open your spirit to the basic goodness of the world.

Things like food and shelter are much cheaper once you get outside the United States. See # 5 below for ways to obtain food and shelter for free.

3. Go SlowWEB naked-front-cover
Cambodian Coast . photo by Ryan Libre

If you live in New York and want to take a 2 week vacation to Africa, it will be very difficult (though not impossible, see number eight) to travel for free.

Indeed, as long as you believe that time is money, you will spend money all the time.

Time is not money. Time is free. You have all the time in the world.

Instead of buying a plane ticket, catch a ride out West, or remodel an old sailboat, or just hop on your bike and ride away from town. The slower you travel, the less money you will spend.

4. Leave Your Possessions and Obsessions Behind

When you travel, you don’t need to pay rent. You don’t need a car. You don’t need an oven, a washer-dryer, electricity, Cable TV, a gym membership, a sofa and loveseat or a closet full of clothes.

You don’t need a suit and tie to wear to your job because you don’t need a job. You don’t need to worry about paying the bills, because there are no bills to pay.

You are free.

airline meals and passengers

Do other travellers amuse you or drive you crazy? Are you able to ignore them or is the person allocated the seat next to you always a talker of nonsense and wants to use your ear to pour all their rubbish into. Are you are able to stop them?

Travelling a few days ago I must have been in an intolerant mood. As soon as I arrived in the departure lounge a couple immediately, albeit unintentionally no doubt, tried my patience. Or rather, at 6 am, my lack of patience.

Loud voiced – like everyone wants to hear their scintillating conversation, yeah right – they waffled on about the various planes they have flown in. Dash eights were mentioned frequently as well as the amateurs version of the pros and cons of the propeller versus the jet engine, the umbrellas either available or unavailable at the various stops on their journey and finally the distance to walk to what they assumed was to be their aircraft. Metres away from them, the conversation was as clear as if I was sitting with them.

It was a small plane and the conversation continued for them, and their fellow passengers, until they settled down to read the newspaper after first complaining that they had been asked to put a parcel that was ‘as light as a feather’ under the seat.

The day improved as soon as we arrived in Wellington. It put on a perfect day- as it frequently does- my meeting was fruitful and at days end I board for my return flight. I think I have been travelling too much, or the day was too long, I was just grouchy, as on this journey it was the crew that I was inwardly complaining about.

For some reason the woman making all the announcements was saying ‘excuse me’ at the beginning of each announcement and although the signs clearly indicated toilet / lavatory in her words they had become the American ‘bathroom’.

I berate myself for such pettiness then am absolutely amazed at the young male flight attendant telling the men behind me that ‘the girls’ would be along with the drinks in a moment. The girls in question were both older than him but I’m sure they do not refer to him as the ‘boy’.

I went to bed early – I obviously needed it. These overheard conversations are usually ignored by me, but not on that day.

Recently a friend was complaining about passengers moaning about the meals -plastic, overcooked, and boring.

‘That’s not my experience’ he told me, “I’m travelling often but have never really had a meal to complain about. I think it is just a habit, an affectation, the cool thing to do, complain about the meals. By the looks of many of them it’s more than likely the best they have eaten for ages.”

I asked some other frequent flyers about the meals and they too unanimously endorsed the meals. None expected the variety or quality they received in their favourite restaurants, but all said airlines did a good job under difficult circumstances.

One person said. “I love them, they’re light,  perfect size, just right for travelling . . . and I don’t have to cook or clean up. Excellent.”

I too am mostly happy with the meals, and on international flights, I order the vegetarian option. This has three advantages, the special meals are served first, consequently the toilets queues are non existent, and I get to get to sleep while others are still lining up to use the lavatory.

So from many seasoned travellers – a well deserved thumbs up to the food section of the airline industry.

post travel distress and culture shock

The holidays are over. You have returned home and now reality bites. Post travel distress is about to attack.

The symptoms are vague but disabling. People you thought were friends don’t ask how the holiday went, or if they do they don’t  want to stop and listen to your hour long discourse on the rooms with a view, the wonderful (or  terrible) food you ate, the funny train you travelled or the boat you fell from. About the only thing that whets their appetite is talk of a fabulous French lover.

The memories start to fade with the suntan, work acts as though nothing has changed despite your new skills you have added to your CV while teaching English in Tibet, waited tables in Athens or negotiated your way through the London A to Z and learnt how to use the subway system.

Those back from a sabbatical in London or New York wonder why on earth the pedestrian crossings say WAIT when they only car seems miles away and you know it would be easy to nip across in front of it. The city they left has become a village.

The weather – now there is a topic that is bound to bring on an attack of post travel distress. Last week bathing in sunshine under some tropical Pacific or African sun – this week in NZ’s winter-imitating-summer. It’s all enough to send you back to examine your CV to see if you have the credentials that could get you a job with the VSA (volunteer service abroad) in some exotic location.   Some WARM exotic location.

Culture shock is something you are supposed to get when you go away – not something that happens in the place you were born or live. However its a real symptom of post travel problems. I recall feeling a real shock when after 3 months among African people i arrived in Perth, Australia and was amazed at all the white faces. It’s fascinating how quickly we become accepting of the current  situation or place as the norm.

So how do we counteract the distress, the feeling that we haven’t been away at all, that everyone else has stagnated while we have changed tremendously.

Firstly many of you will want or need go to your GP for a  check of the various ticks, itches and tummy upsets are not some unwanted souvenir of a great or lousy holiday.

Others will ignore health issues and start a saving routine that will ensure another trip will happen. Soon. I check my frequent-flyer-points hoping for a reward trip that will tide me over until the savings manage to reach a level that will allow me to consult my travel wish-list and travel agent.

A friend in the UK tells me that already they are settling into a boring and overworking routine and their 18m months of travel seems a pipe dream.  To counter this they have started reading their travel diary every Friday night to keep memories alive. A good antidote to their post travel distress symptoms.

So if you are suffering from some form of post travel distress find other travellers who want to talk about travel with you; read travel pages and books; write travel stories and submit them to newspapers and magazines; pour over your photos and save to do it all again.

Rob Tapert, Lucy Lawless, Micheal Hurst and New Zealand

Rob Tapert on Xena and more

Posted by Screen Talker on 28 January 2009

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American producer Rob Tapert talks to NZ On Screen about hearing that New Zealand was “an undiscovered production treasure” in a studio carpark and he discusses the internationally popular syndicated TV programmes that he’s brought here (Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules) that have helped realise that vision.

These productions were instrumental in building the skill base of the NZ cast and crew. Many NZ actors found fame through their characters, particularly Lucy Lawless (now married to Tapert) and Michael Hurst (Iolas in Hercules).

Tapert talks about his beginnings in the industry: dropping out of grad school in Michigan (where, “Hollywood might as well have been as far away as New Zealand”) to make films with long time business partner and Hollywood director, Sam – Evil Dead, Spider-Man – Raimi. Tapert also discusses:

  • Making blood mixture on their first feature, Evil Dead.
  • The inherent difference between feature films and television.
  • His involvement in Hercules and the challenges of juggling global productions.
  • His commitment to local cast and crew and the unlikely inspiration for Hercules’ cast (Desperate Remedies).
  • His inspirations for Hercules’ spin-off Xena and the internet’s influence on Xena becoming a pop culture icon.
  • Why local actors and directors have succeeded on these productions, but NZ writers haven’t managed the crossover and why post-production effects were done in the US.

Tapert continues to bring new productions to NZ, and is about to cast a new R-rated series for US Cable TV based on the Roman slave story, Spartacus. He has recently finished producing another major TV series in Auckland, Legend of the Seeker.

This video is available for distribution on YouTube as Part One and Part Two.

Credits: Direction and Interview – Clare O’Leary, Camera and Editing – Leo Guerchmann

french rugby player admits making up ‘assault’

Please note this was in 2009!

France centre admits making up ‘assault’ The Times June 26, 2009

(Scroll down to see addition – from CNN – on 1st July re French Prime Minister apologising to New Zealand)

Mathieu Bastareaud, the France centre who claimed that he had been attacked because of his nationality last weekend while on tour to New Zealand, has admitted to lying.

The 20-year-old Stade Français back caused a diplomatic incident after he suffered a broken eye socket, facial cuts and severe bruising. John Key, the New Zealand Prime Minister, and Kerry Prendergast, the Mayor of Wellington, wrote letters of apology to the France team immediately after the “attack” and rugby and tourism officials feared that New Zealand’s reputation had been damaged.

Bastareaud, who has since flown back to France, had claimed that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack in Wellington early on Sunday morning, but has now said that the injuries were caused by a drunken fall in his hotel room.

Prendergast said that New Zealand and its capital city were owed an apology by France team officials.

“I have to say that passing it off as an inexperienced, young player isn’t good enough,” the mayor said yesterday. “There was clearly collusion. There were other players involved, the team doctor was involved, the coach [was involved] because [Bastareaud] got sent back so quickly. This is wider than just one player and I think we need an apology.

“My understanding is that other players knew about it, so we can’t just say that this is one player.

“Clearly the doctor who did the stitching and the fact that he was sent back . . . other people knew.”

Prendergast said that Wellington police had also been suspicious from an early stage about the French version of events.

“I know from the start . . . [police] had their suspicions about the story, they were keen to get to the bottom of it and I congratulate them for doing it so quickly,” she said.

The New Zealand union (NZRU) expressed “outrage” that Bastareaud’s claim had “cast a negative light on rugby, Wellington and New Zealand”.

Steve Tew, the NZRU chief executive, said: “Like all New Zealanders, I am extremely disappointed with this series of events and will be expressing that concern to the French rugby federation (FFR).

“We share the concerns of Mayor Prendergast and Wellington area police at the distress, negative publicity and the unnecessary concern this has caused for many people — and will be talking further about this with the FFR.”

POST SCRIPT 1st july 09

(CNN) — French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has apologized to his opposite number in New Zealand, John Key, over the recent “unacceptable behavior” of France rugby center Mathieu Bastareaud.


Bastareaud has now been hospitalized after the furor surrounding his false claim of assault in New Zealand.

Bastareaud has now been hospitalized after the furor surrounding his false claim of assault in New Zealand.

The 20-year-old Stade Francais player, who is the cousin of Arsenal defender William Gallas, has been hospitalized with psychiatric problems after lying over an alleged assault outside the team hotel in Wellington — following France’s 14-10 defeat against the All Blacks on June 20.

Fillon told Key in a letter: “France’s tour of New Zealand has been marked by the unacceptable behavior of one of our players.

“Our two countries share the culture of rugby. This sport has always allowed us to meet and to share a mutual respect. I hope that these sentiments will continue after this regrettable affair.”

Bastareaud’s claim that he was attacked by four or five men outside the hotel shocked New Zealand and led to an apology from Key.

But video evidence showed the player had entered the hotel on Sunday morning uninjured and had gone into his room 25 minutes later.


Meanwhile, Bastareaud, who was admitted to hospital on Monday, received support from the French players’ union Provale.

“We, professional rugby players, lend our friendship and support to Mathieu Bastereaud and his family,” Provale said in a statement.

French Rugby Federation (FRF) president Pierre Camou also offered his apology to New Zealand over the affair that blighted France’s All Black tour.

A FRF statement declared: “To be an international carries with it responsibility as a representative of your country and your federation.

“The FRF is shocked that one of the French team has lied. The New Zealand nation and the world of rugby can legitimately feel wounded by the player’s initial statements which have also tarnished the image of French rugby.”

Bastareaud returned home early from the tour to treat his facial injuries as the rest of the French squad travelled on to Australia and on his return issued an apology saying he believed he had to tell the truth following the media furore.

He said that instead of being assaulted he had in fact sustained the bruises to his face after a drunken fall in his hotel room.

Bastareaud, who had been due to go on a family holiday to the Caribbean this week, is expected to stay in hospital for at least a fortnight under observation.


food in foreign places? vegetarian? no problems really

only 12% of westerners like durian - I am one of them
only 12% of westerners like durian - I am one of them

Notwithstanding having a kitchen the size of a yacht galley, I love food.

Living alone, I whip up very few culinary delights. This is despite watching the occasional TV chef, attending a cooking school in Thailand, managing a cafe in Athens, and working as an entree chef in Wales! (In an Italian restaurant, under a temperamental French Chef)

However this experience has qualified me, like people at an art gallery, to know what I like – and what I miss when I travel.

Usually simple things like good bread, vegemite,  good cheese, seafood, and poached eggs on toast. However it all depends on the country I am in, how long I have been on the road and my state of mind.

When all is well I am happy with the local food no matter what it may be, although a snack of sun-dried caterpillar in a Zimbabwean food market was hard to swallow because of its dryness.

When I was vegetarian it was difficult to be sure no chicken had sat in the soup water despite having learnt to say ‘I don’t eat meat’ in a dozen different languages. “Vegetarian meal? No problem, here is chicken, fish or pork.” As long as it is not red meat some assume that it must be vegetarian. “No – no meat, no chicken no pork, just rice please. No. No soup on it” I say as they would carefully scoop up some liquid and leave the chicken pieces floating in the fatty cauldron.

Some countries are easier to travel in when you don’t eat meat however even some Buddhist eat meat. The best place in the world for vegetarian meals is a small suburb in Georgetown. (Malaysia) If you are going there, write out these directions.

Go to the reclining Buddha, (walk or bus from town) then cross the road to visit the peaceful Burmese Buddhist temple and when you have finished looking, go out the front gate – turn left, walk a kilometre down the road to a t intersection, turn left and stop at any food shop. I guarantee it will be fantastic. I also know you will ask, as I did, “Are you sure this is vegetarian? No meat?”web food blog

They are amused. Yes, no meat. They have developed creative and tasty ways of using tofu in its many forms. Menus are varied, the food delicious and I went back, and back to sample the lot.

Many British people I met had become vegetarian for their travels, they wanted to reduce the chances of gastric problems and maybe it helps. I certainly ate everything I wanted, everywhere, and apart from the occasional quick trips to the toilet it seems my stomach could handle anything.

A young British GP I met in Harare said she always eats the local yoghurt for a day or two when she goes anywhere new – a gentle way introduce her stomach to the local bug culture- sounds feasible – I have no idea if it works but she swore by it.

I finally gave up being a strict vegetarian so I could join with locals and try cultural delicacies such as crocodile, haggis and in Cairo, pigeon stuffed with green rice. My stomach continued its cast-iron behaviour. I put it down to the earthworms I told my parents I had eaten when I was a very young child. True? I have no idea!

web food blog2

So eschew the international fast food places and tourist restaurants that will deliver the same meal as you get at home, and vegetarian or carnivore, go visit the local markets and give your taste buds a scrumptious surprise.

listen to New Zealands national anthem – you tube

New Zealands anthem

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
āta whakarongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific’s triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

YouTubeNew Zealand National Anthem

1 min 53 sec – 18 Jun 2007 –

New Zealand National Anthem sung by Benjamin McHugh at the Telstra Stadium,