I am new here, my name is Joe, 24 from London and on October 3rd 2012 I will be starting the first leg of my around the world travels.
I have never travelled before, but is something I have always wanted to do. Why? Because I love to experience new cultures, meeting new people & food makes me happy and travel photography is a passion.
My itinerary is as follows:
October 3rd - Fly to Nairobi, Kenya - 5 weeks working with the East African Whaleshark trust
Mid November to early December - Travel from Kenya to Cape Town - plans TBC but want to go overland
December- January - Plattenberg Bay - working at Monkey Land
January 5th - Fly to Mumbai - work my way down the west coast of India to Sri Lanka
February 5th - Fly from Colombo to Beijing - Work my way down china to the top of SE Asia
March-April - work my way around South East Asia
May 5th - Fly home to London
June - Fly to NYC & work at Camp America
August - post camp - road trip around the USA
September-December - TBC
As a photographer - I am still deciding what equipment to take and security - are safes in hostel sufficient to leave equipment in at night?
Do I need to consider anything for my travels? Visa's? Anything to look out for? Shall I just try and wing it? or shall I try and plan a few trips in each country I go to?
Ive been told to budget around £500-600 per month for my Asia trips and around £700-1000 per month in Africa?
I look forward to hearing all your advice
That sounds like an amazing trip, and looks pretty well thought out.
I think the most common occurrence of cameras being stolen are on buses and snatches at restaurants etc. There's really nothing much you can do about being fully secure when you travel. Just be cautious of people offering help. Sounds skeptical, but unfortunately third world countries, first world too for that matter, are full of very experienced con artists that prey on tourists. They will come across as your best new friend, then rob you blind.
The Lonely Planet guide books have some good tips and things to watch out for in each country guide. I don't like traveling by Lonely Planet, but they are worth it for a good overview and guide to backpacker areas.
Visa's, yes you'll need visas! For the countries you are traveling in you need to do a lot of research. Some countries visas have to be applied for months ahead, some you can get on entry. You have to look up the requirements of each country and plan. Same goes for vaccinations.
I can offer a few places to see as well as a few tips to make your camera safer and can help a little with the east africa leg.
first things first when in India I seriously recommend you heading north and do a stretch across the himmalyas, an incredible place and with the rail networks in india its fairly fast to head up and then head down.
for cape town i recommend travelling from nairobi to mombassa via rail (one of the few rail networks in east africa) and then coach it down to dar es salaam, the coach is pretty cheap. from there there is a coach "system" which takes you to mbeya but be careful doing this, personally i would look up a touristy coach as a continuous on off coach encourages the risk of getting robbed. from there I dont really know how, but definately go via Zambia and Zimbabwe there will be buses.
as for cameras, there is not alot you can do from getting robbed, but you can reduce the risk of pickpockets.
first spy camera sun glasses, sounds daft but they look like normal sun glasses and some take some pretty good photo's some even record too. it is hard for people to pick what you're wear over your eyes.
for general filming I would also recommend a mini cam, or pen cam, they sell quite a few on amazon that come with clips and things and are easy to fit to a shirt pocket and record without it being apparent there is a camer there. many of these are high definition and even wide angled lenses. buses and at restraunts, especially over night sleeper buses. all you can do is get a code operated lock on an otherwise unopenable bag, hopefully then you will wake up if they have to start cutting the bag open.
as for hostels it depends, if it has a code safe maybe, otherwise i would take all valuables with you at all times. it is also worth investing in a rubber door stopper to keep out night time theifs.
you will need visas for most of these places, some of these you can get at border crossings but for timewise convieniance i would work out the day you would arrive there and get them in advance.
you budget is enough, just, if you are slumming it, unless you have accomodation already provided in some areas.
I would definitely recommend planning a few trips in the main locations you are going to. Last week I went on a trip and didn't plan well and played it by ear. Right after we came home I found two amazing amazing amazing sites that I totally missed and we were right there! I was so sad because I doubt I'll go on this trip for a long time.
You might not want to pack your trips full of things to see, but make sure you see the main attractions and famous sites that are meaningful to you or you'll be sad you missed out.
I'm a bit concerned about the "work my way down" are you referring to finding jobs in India China and SEA because you'll find this will be very difficult. If you are relying on the money you'll get think again. Unless you are an experienced English teacher or a professional with skills the money won't be rolling in.
You will need as much money with you as possible, on top of that there is all the Visas you will need for the different countries medical insurance inoculations etc all these can add up to quite a bit of money.
For Visas check out the embassies of the countries you wish to visit you'll get a reliable list of requirements for your nationality.
I had a amazing time on my 12 month trip but I did two years of planning before hand.
Crime is everywhere I certainly wouldn't advise leaving anything in a hostel room that would be a disaster if it got stolen. Any valuables need to be locked away in a locker.
Wear trousers with zipped pockets for money and credit cards that are in use and use money belts to keep the rest secure, you can never be too secure.
While in Beijing try to catch a Acrobat show!! You can not go to Beijing and not visit the Great Wall. I would also suggest The Forbidden City and The Temple of Heaven.
In NYC.. It's pretty obvious and open as to what you can see there. The good thing about NY is that the major sites are so close together that you can knock most of them out in a day... Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Part, Time Square, Rockefellar Plaza can be done in a few hours. Be safe out there!