Live Talk: Traveling Around the World
Writer Gayle Forman answered your travel questions on Tuesday, March 29 at noon ET
When journalist Gayle Forman took off to spend a year gallivanting around the world with her husband, Nick, she figured she knew all the tricks. After all, she'd been traveling since she was seven years old. But it turns out that circling the globe for 12 months requires a set of skills that you can't learn in a guidebook.
In "Mr. & Mrs. Globetrotter", Forman shared a dozen secret tricks from the road and today she answers your pressing world-travel questions.
Gayle will answered your travel questions Tuesday, March 29, at 12pm EST.
In 2002, award-winning journalist Gayle Forman took a year off to travel around the world with her husband. While on the road, she communed with among others, Tongan transvestites, Bollywood starlets and out-of-work Amsterdam prostitutes and wrote about her adventures in the forthcoming book "You Can't Get There From Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World," which is out in April. She has written for a number of publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Travel& Leisure, Elle, Glamour and Seventeen. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Gayle Forman: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining me on this chat. I'm Gayle Forman. I went traveling around the world with my husband for a year, hanging out with strange subcultures in the far corners of the world. My book about that adventure, You Can't Get There From Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World is out now. When I'm not traveling, I love to help other people plan their trips. In my next life, I'm going to be a travel agent. So this chat is an hour of heaven for me, so much vicarious wandering. I'm going to get through as many questions as I can (so forgive the typos). So ask away&
Anonymous: So how much did you end up spending over the year? For Americans, taking a year off seems like a wonderful if not daunting task in terms of 'lost wealth'.
Gayle Forman: This is a popular question so I'll start with this one. Nick and I traveled fairly well-clean, AC hotels, restaurant meals-for about $30,000 for a year, including airfare, visas etc for both of us. It can be done for much less or much more. We met people who had been gone more than a year on under $10k. It depends where you go and how long you stay in one place. Much of Asia is very cheap. Central America and South America are also full of bargains. Africa can be pricey and Europe, especially Western Europe, very expensive. If you want a luxury trip, well the sky's the limit. Fifty dollars a day will do you quite nicely in many Asian countries, but in Europe that will hardly pay for a day's meals if you are eating in restaurants. Short answer is you can do a trip like this on a few bucks a day--staying in youth hostels, eating street food--and go up from there.
Manhattan, KS: I would like to travel around the world with my wife to visit friends in nearly 40 different countries whom I met in Manhattan. What is the most economical as well as safe way to travel between countries on a continent?
Gayle Forman: I could go on and on with the how-tos. But I'm assuming most of you don't plan on staying with this chat for hours. The short answer is that there are many ways to skin this cat. There are a couple of books on the subject-Practical Nomad is the most exhaustive. You can also check on my new web site (http://www.gayleforman.com/). There's a section called Plan Your Trip, complete with a lengthy article offering all kinds of nuts-and-bolts tips on planning a trip. It includes a section on locomotion that covers how to get from A to B, info on health, documents, etc. All the stuff I wish someone had told me when I was planning my trip.
Clearwater, FL: Can you tell us 3 places that you'd describe as "do not miss" that are not typically listed as tourist destinations. Thanks.
Gayle Forman: I see someone else asked my favorite places, so I'll combine your two questions.
My favorite places were the locales that surprised me. I loved Uzbekistan-Samarkand and Bukhara were amazing ancient cities and I had the best meal of the entire trip in Samarkand (for three bucks!). I also adored Malawi and think it will eventually become a big tourist draw in Africa. My absolute favorite place was probably India simply because it is so all encompassing. We were there two months, during which I acted in a Bollywood musical, went on a meditation retreat and made friends who I will know the rest of my life. It could be insanely maddening at times, but that's just the flip side of a culture (or cultures) so vibrant. We flew in and out of India on our way to Central Asia and as the Air Uzbekistan flight returned to Delhi, I caught sight of a turbaned Sikh guy guiding the plane to the gate and I just felt this sense of joy to be back. Of course, it was just for six hours; we flew on to Africa later that day.