What makes an Indie Traveller?

So week 2 of BnA’s 2012 Indie Travel Challenge:

What do you think? Are you an indie traveler? What do you think makes someone an indie traveler?

Well, my inner English pedant would stipulate that I would agree I am indeed an indie traveller 😉  (although it’s not a phrase I use myself in everday language, I can’t think of a better way to put it) but what does that mean? It is more than just someone who is travelling independently -i.e. without a tour company or travel agent arranging things for them. I think it’s more a mindset, an approach to travel and to the world at large. It’s being completely open to new experiences and to taking life as it comes, an unquenchable deep need to see, taste, touch, hear, learn, and just to be out there exploring. It’s an attitude, and if you take it far enough (as some would argue I may have by now), it’s a way of life.   More

Indie Travel Challenge #1: Resolutions for 2012

So the first prompt for BootsnAll’s 2012 Indie Travel Challenge is to write a list of my travel resolutions for 2012. Whilst I’m not usually one for new years resolutions – this blog prompt seems incredibly serendipitous for me, seeing as just a few days ago on 1st January I left home for a one-way journey that will hopefully see me travelling for the entire of 2012. I haven’t up to this point ever written down my plans, so this seems a good opportunity to commit the jumble of ideas in my head to the written word! So here goes:

1. Couchsurf wherever possible

2. Become a qualified divemaster

3. Complete at least one multi-day trek – in Northern Thailand, Laos or Vietnam

4. Attend a 10-day meditation retreat in Thailand

5. Volunteer on at least one veterinary project in Asia

6. Visit Burma as independently as possible

7. Go wreck diving in the Philippines

8. See Orang-utans and Komodo dragons in Indonesia

9. Get a working holiday visa for Australia

10. Spend time (at least a month, if several months each) living and working in Perth and Sydney

11. See the total solar eclipse in November near Cairns

12. Visit Uluru

13. Take a long train ride across Australia

14. Be in Australia for New Year 2013 – preferably watching the fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge!

So, there it is!!! 14 things I resolve to acheive in my travels this year. Watch this space!

Things to do in (insert place here)

So yesterday I landed in Kuala Lumpur, the first stop on my one-way wanderings around Asia. I’m couchsurfing here and had not really done much research on things I wanted to do or see in the city whilst here before landing – and now I have a travel-buddy date with a fellow surfer to do touristy things today, and neither of us have a guidebook!

No fear. This past year I have visited several cities in the same manner, and each time, my strategy has paid off: simply type ‘things to do in (place)’ into google, and hey presto!! This led to 4 wonderful days sightseeing in Cairo,  including a free Sufi dance show we’d have never heard about otherwise, also kept me happily entertained in Tel Aviv and Athens. Virtual tourist usually seems to have a pretty good list, and it’s nice because it’s written by other travellers who have been there rather than a tourist board, but here in Kuala Lumpur, I’m going to start by following this gem from a blog; 12 free things to do in Kuala Lumpur. The added bonus that they are free is an obvious attraction!! Whilst budget isn’t the main reason I’m couchsurfing – more that I’m attracted to the different experience it offers staying with someone who lives here to gain a more inside perspective on a place – couchsurfing does have the added bonus of being free, so I like the idea of trying to see how much I can do here, in a big city, without spending a lot. I shall report back on how that challenge goes!