Now that Rick Steves has been jetting around the world for thirty years, he has a wealth of information in his travel guides. I used to watch him on PBS and see him grow older, his toddlers grew up to teens and adults, and he still is out there traveling and taking notes for the video programs that support Pledge Week!
I watch to see how many of the places he visits are the same as the ones I already have gone to on my own, with just the library materials and a sense of adventure to see me through.
Once I had planned to go out to the Trust Territory of Micronesia I had to obtain travel permits for myself and my five year old son. This was done before the internet made things faster if not easier. Also, I had the help of a friend who claimed that he had either been in the CIA or worked for them in Central America. It must have been bragging, as he worked for a Federal outfit called the Post Office, cleaning their branch in a small mountain town. This fellow, who I will call John, let me borrow his phone to make reservations to fly out to first Guam and then Pohnpei. I had no hotel reservations anywhere, but since I was staying a month, got a room with garden shower for $30.00 in Pohnpei. We had to drape a sheet over the bed to prevent the lizards and geckos from falling out of the thatch ceilings. Only cold water was available but March in the tropics proved to be warm enough to not need any hot water.
The hotel provided an outrigger canoe so I paddled around in the lagoon until a pre teen aged native boy tried to convince me to “marry him” by hanging on to the side of the canoe and waving his penis at us. I threatened him with calling the police and raising my paddle, so he swam into shore.
They next day the canoe had disappeared and I was told that someone else had wanted to use it. Maybe.
This island had a history of Japanese occupation during WWII, and the big tourist draw was the sunken ships that delighted scuba divers. My little boy delighted in looking down the barrel of the small tanks left on land, and swinging from the end of the barrel. I have movies of this, but don’t know where they are.
Otherwise there was absolutely nothing to do there, but I astonished a person that was living there that had known me in a previous time, and my ex husband wanted to know how I managed to get my kid out of the country. Well, that was simple- do your homework, get the proper documents, and pay cash.
So Rick Steves, if you want to know how to leave all the humdrum travel behind and really get down to adventure, give me a call!