Travel around Pre Internet:
I’ve recently been travelling for over forty five years – by thumb in my early days and nights, by boots in the Scouts, a Lambretta arrived next and then my first old banger adopted by newer old bangers to the beaches of the Costa Brava. www.fairyknowe.co.za/
My own thumb, boots, bikes and bangers required all over Europe and great britain before finding that a hire flight to Spain by using an old ‘Connie’ could get me to the seashores and bars a great deal quicker and allow additional time to enjoy the local travel opportunities by horses and cart and the occasional bus and coach.
‘Go West and Prosper’ seemed to be a good idea so rather than taking an 8 hour flight I took an 8 day transatlantic traversing from Tilbury to Montreal on the Stephan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines ensuring that jet separation did not trouble my travel plans. Some years later I crossed the pond again on a ship but this time through it was 5 times bigger and I actually travelled in style on the QE2 and dined in the Queen’s Barbeque somewhat removed from my earlier experience. I highly recommend ocean voyages but cannot see myself on one of the ultra-modern sail ships going from dock to port with frequent line-ups to get on and off to buy t-shirts. However, I have done 10 Windjammers and a Star Clipper luxury cruise in the Caribbean which were all memorable (let’s hope Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ships recover from their woes). But I digress.
I had developed read that Canada is a spectacular country, from sea to shining sea, and my access into the St Lawrence Lake to Montreal and then heading west in an old Econoline van from the Great Lakes, through the Prairies to the Rugged Mountains before ending up whale watching off of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island was naturally a trip of think about to a bloke from London. Today the surroundings remains spectacular and the best way to go is still by street so rent or buy an auto, motorhome or motorcycle, take those train or tour bus but keep in mind the maps, a take flight rod, good boots and take your time.
My own favorite part of Canada / USA for experience travel should be Northern BC / Alaska, to stroll the Chilkoot Trail in the steps of the goldseekers of 1898. The Northwest Territories to kayak the Nahannie River and the Yukon to drive from Dawson City to Chicken, Alaska. If you like the outdoors and can put up with a few bugs, company a fly and level a few hills or drive on endless dirt and grime roads sharing the space with moose, caribou, antelope, bears and eagles, then these are the places to put on your list. The pleasures and experience in driving to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway as well as to Prudhoe Clean on the Dalton Freeway or even the Canol Road can only be experienced doing them. We would have mentioned the Alaska Highway but now it is a fairly easy drive unlike the aforementioned.
Today the costs of generating these distances may indicate that sharing the quest with others is required, but RVing or just vanning and camping is a superb way to see beyond the horizon. Some enroute journeys now need to be booked in advance although when I hiked Denali and the Chilkoot Move it was simply a circumstance of turning up, signing up with the local placer office and heading on out. A little more forward planning is needed for today’s traveller and cost considerations of long flights or drives have to somehow be countered with additional careful planning. In the times of affordable gas prices I might not even consider the traveling or flying costs and also have driven to Key Western world from the northwest coastline, down the west coastline to the Baja also to the west coast from Nyc. I once even flew my 1946 Fast taildragger from the Ocean to the Atlantic and back using around 5 gallons an hour of avgas. Ahead of the oil and credit crisis I went from Rj to Lima, down to Tierra delete Fuego and to Rj covering over 15, 500 miles of spectacular surroundings and with no thought about the price tag on gas. Southwest America should be on your itinerary too! A lot of other memorable drives which may now require a mortgage with the gas companies include London to The Nordkapp, Norway, Pilote Canyon in New Zealand and the loneliness of the far north of Australia and the surprising coast of Western Sydney stopping by at Goof Mia and Wave Ordinary.
We tend to ignore that the real cost of travelling is often less today than over the 40 years of my travels. In 1977 my round-trip airfare from Canada to Australia cost over $1700 in 1977 dollars so today it is far cheaper to fly, even with the airlines gouging for gas, extra baggage, no service and no pleasure. The ‘Big Mac’ approach to price comparison as developed by The Economist newspaper offers us a good measure for many expenditures of today compared to yesterday but my $1500 cost to get a private jet pilots licence in the 70’s seems cheap by assessment to today, but clearly not when you use this Big Mac principle. Other travel costs are also significantly cheaper today but this should not mean that travellers should disregard the many strategies of saving costs that then can be put to extended or improved travel experiences
In my forty five years of travel My spouse and i have had to use travel companies to make even the simplest of reservations and buy seat tickets, not even thinking to ask them if they had “been there, done that? ” It was simply a case of there being no other options to buying travel. We now have unlimited choices and can seek out better travel agents, better prices, better selections and information about anywhere in the world for our travels – without leaving home.