In August of 2012, I left my job at Oprah to pursue my dream of backpacking the world solo.
Having spent the vast majority of my solo travels in Latin America, I wanted to see how I would fare in a place where I didn't quite know the culture or even speak the language. I decided to begin my journey in the Far East and then head west to more familiar terrain in Europe.
I would post brief summaries of each place I went and intended "next-stops" on Facebook to see if anyone within my personal network of Facebook friends or acquaintances knew of anyone I could potentially meet up with. Inevitably, I found that after visiting 13 countries and dozens of big cities all over the world, somebody ALWAYS knew someone who could, at the very least, meet up for a quick coffee and/or sometimes even take me in for a few days to a week. I traveled "Paul Theroux style" (as much as I could by train and by land). Bigger continental jumps were done by plane, yet only when a cheap fare would surface.
Below are some highlight albums from the trip:
Indonesia (Bali to Java- 29 hours by bus/ferry) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151413544966939.1073741832.592106938&type=1&l=e1e3a4805f
Indonesia (Bukit Luwang, Sumatra): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151435695596939.1073741837.592106938&type=1&l=924204dd32
Indonesia (Tuk Tuk, Sumatra) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151440655001939.1073741838.592106938&type=1&l=ddfbd9aca8
Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151480565566939.1073741846.592106938&type=1&l=cb1f723763
Overnight Train to Hoi Ann, Vietnam: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151487810076939.1073741847.592106938&type=1&l=446ccf5d83
Camino de Santiago, Spain: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151598219256939.1073741862.592106938&type=1&l=44e29068f5