16 years old planning a big trip with a friend needs advice!

Travel Forums Round the World Travel 16 years old planning a big trip with a friend needs advice!

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1. Posted by cinderel5a (Inactive 6 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

My name is Bobbie, I am 16 years old and I am gradutading high school in 2 months.
I was suppost to study law next year, but I am planning something else.
I am extremely interested in the rest of the world.
I wan't to go on a world trip to see other cultures, poverty, learn languages, talk to people around the world and enlarge my knowledge about the world.
But ofcourse, I need help, lots and lots of advice and tips.
I want to go with a good friend of mine, I'm planning to work before I'll go and earn a lot of money.
My inspiration is the Motorcycle Diaries.
This is what I was thinking:

Go on a plane to Mexico, and then follow my journey by foot, bike and lifting.
Mexico > Panama > Colombia > Peru > Bolivia > Chile > Argentina > Brasil > Suriname > Venezuela > (then go back to Mexico and go to Tijhuana) > USA (Phoenix, San Diego > Los Angels > San Fransisco > Las Vegas > Denver > Chicago > Detroit > Philadelphia > New York > Washington > Atlanta > Miami) > Cuba > Jamaica > Puerto Rico > (then take a plane to Morocco, Rabat) > make a trip through Africa (but I'm not fully aware of dangers, so I don't know how to go) > Israel > make a (quick) trip through the Middle East (but here again I am not fully aware of dangers, so I don't know how to go) > India > Bangladesh > Thailand > Malasia > Indonesia > (went back through Indonesia > Malasia > Thailand) > Cambodja > Vietnam > China > Korea (and then again, I'm not aware of Korea) > Japan > (back through Korea) > China, again > Mongolia > Russia > Bellarus > Poland > Germany > (take the train in Berlin to Amsterdam) Amsterdam, home.

I am aware of the time this trip will take, I think it will probably take 2 - 3 years.
This is my dream, I hope to furfill it.
The secret of freedom, the feeling of ultimate freedom I want to feel that!
I want to make photos, write about everything, collect all different kind of food receipes and then make a large scrapbook out of it.
Can anybody help me? Any advice is more then welcome.
I need to know about Africa, the Middle East, Korea (North or South?), visa (USA?), world insurance, special rules that country's own (think about 'dont show your shoulders in a muslim country), money exchanging in every country, what to take with me, what NOT to take with me, can I put up a tent everywhere???
Thousands of questions, I am searching for all of this myself, but I figured going to a travellers blog would help me just as good.
I hope I didnt bore you, I hope anyone will give me advice, any advice.
Thanks a lot!!
Greetings from Amsterdam, Bobbie.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 20, 2008, at 1:37 PM by bobbie1991 ]

2. Posted by Cool Paul (Respected Member 611 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

sounds good.

I know you don't want to hear it but...you are very young. I'm assuming since you said you were "supposed to go to law school" that you probably have parents pushing you and that you have at least a tiny bit of interest in law. I say do the law school thing, maybe try to study different languages as well, so that you can help poor people in these countries you speak of. that'd be cool. get a couple years experience and do it when you are in your early twenties. you won't regret it, you'll be able to go out at night and have a good time as well. I also say go to college and get your degree first because you never know you could get to a certain country and completely fall in love with it and want to stay. if you have a degree you will have a much better chance at gaining residency.

also consider that many people in those countries would kill to have the opportunity to go to law school...can you imagine their reactions when you tell them that you gave it up to experience their culture?

right now if you go you will be washing dishes and waiting tables just getting by. sure you will see poverty and other cultures but you won't have too many options to do anything about it. in motorcylce diaries they had a little bit of experience and they helped on the leper colony. also some countries require that you be at least 18 to get a work visa

basically what I'm saying is you will be able to help the world a lot more if you have a college education.

3. Posted by cinderel5a (Inactive 6 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Cool Paul, thank you for your advice.
I've been looking all over the internet the entire night (I just couldnt get enough out of it).
But after just an hour I found out I have been way to optimistic about my plans.
Almost every country in Asia and Africa requires a visa, and some countries wont even give it to me because I am only 16, thanks Paul.
It would not have been great to stand on a border and cry because I have to wait another 2 years for a visa.
Russia and Iran are almost impossible to get a visa for.
I have changed my plans, after a lot of crying and dissapointment.
I will never collect so much money for the trip I planned, it would be impossible.
This doesnt mean I wont go, cause I am.
But now I decided to explore South America and North Amercia with a longer timeplan for every country.
After all, America was my biggest pull out of making a trip.
I looked on the internet and people with a dutch passport (I do) only need a visa for Suriname and Cuba.
All of the other countries dont reguire a visa if your touristic stay is not longer than 3 months, which it wont.
(sorry for my english by the way, i'm learning)
So.. the trip will be:

Mexico – Guatemala – El Salvador – Honduras – Nicaragua - Costa Rica – Panama – Colombia – Peru – Bolivia – Chile – Argentina – Brazil – French Guyana – Suriname – Guyana – Venezuela – Colombia (2) – Panama (2) – Costa Rica (2) – Nicaragua (2) – Honduras (2) - El Salvador (2) – Guatemala (2) - Mexico (2) – USA (same cities as mentioned above) – Cuba – Jamaica – Haíti - Dominican Republic – Puerto Rico – Amsterdam(plane).

I think this plan is so more realistic, can anyone agree on my info founded about only visas in suriname and cuba??
I already made a detailed route for every country because people tell me to do so.
Panama will be exciting, anyone ever been in the Darien Jungle??

Last questions, can I walk, cycle (bicycle) and lifting? I think I can.
Can I take care of a one-flight from Puerto Rico to Amsterdam somewhere in de USA??
I think so because Puerto Rico belongs to the USA, right??
I saw 25 people watched my post.
But only 1 replied, I hope its not boring, I need advice!
Also any suggestions on how to find multiple connections with people living in America so I can make a pitstop in the city they live, shower, sleep on a bed, eat normal food etc.?
Already know people in Santiago Chile, Phoenix and Las Vegas..
I hope anyone can help me, dont worry!
Judge me, i know i am insane.
Thanks for reading, Bobbie

4. Posted by pinkgirlie (Full Member 121 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi Bobby,

Your plans certainly sound optimistic and I'm sure its perfectly possible to do it and have a wonderful time. If you study though like Paul suggests until you're 18 when you can get your visas and travel easier due to your age, you'll have lots of time to plan and decide where to go and save up. In the meantime have you thought about looking at volunteer programmes where you can go to places like Africa and help local villages with building projects etc? You might find that you could study through the year and concentrate on your education and then go on volunteer schemes in the holidays. A friend of mine went to Africa on a volunteer scheme in the summer between school and university and loved being abroad and doing worthwhile activities. He's now been on loads of different schemes and helped dig wells, built a church and a school. Maybe this would be something you would be interested in which would mean you could travel and study?

I hope that helps and good luck


5. Posted by Cool Paul (Respected Member 611 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

there are flights from puerto rico to the states.

you should definitely look into getting work visas in some countries. it will definitely help pay for your travels. I'm sure they're easy enough for you to get one in the US. don't know about the other countries.

I agree with pinkgirlie, look for volunteer programs. I'm sure there are plenty of volunteer things to do as well that would offer accommodation and some food.

as for hitching...this is just me but I wouldn't even think about hitchhiking in central or south america. A friend of mine did some freelance work in peru and they gave him body guards to go out at night. I guess it all depends on how well you blend in

in fact I wouldn't even hitch-hike in the states and I live there (it's illegal here too, but that has nothing to do with why I wouldn't do it). I would only hitch in canada, and maybe australia or new zealand.

6. Posted by Ant-Cheryl (Budding Member 10 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

I am 18 now and I am away on a RTW trip in a few weeks. I started going on Holidays abroad with my Partner when i was 16 (he was 18) and i loved it. I went to Goa when i was jsut turned 17 also. Looking back on it now I am glad that i did it as i probably wouldnt have the courage to go away on a RTW trip so young now. I have to admit that if i wasnt with my partner I wouldnt have even been able to go to Goa as he had to go as my 'Guardian'. How old is your friend? Remember as well that you can not drink in America until you are 21 so there will be less chance of social networking etc. If you are planning a big trip then i think that it will be great and you will be far more mature for Uni afterwards. I worked in the Slums in Goa and it opened my eyes a lot also.

Good luck with your trip and if there is anything else that i can help with then let me know.


7. Posted by Jacaranda (Budding Member 61 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

All fair game mate.

A couple of things it's going to cost you a lot of money not a few thousand dollars, tens of thousands of dollars. You want to camp all the way live like a turtle your house on your back, the time will come that you want a fresh bed and shower and to escape from the world you set out to find.

It's unsafe but it's just as unsafe as walking or hiking in your own back yard. Chances are you'll feel true freedom and also feel the most confinded and alone you ever have in your life.

Take it easy don't plan everything in one hit you'll loose interest, do it in section and only focus on the next part when you've almost finished the first one.

Anyway's i could go on for hours. just realise it's not all sunshine and rainbows in the distant hills, it's malaria and blizzards.

8. Posted by nomadbea (Budding Member 4 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

better think everything through. it seems that you may be away for along time. you might get home sick. maybe a better plan would be to try things out for a few months, and then go home, work again, learn from you rmistakes, regroup and then go again, for longer this time :)

9. Posted by nzkatenz (Budding Member 51 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Young girls travelling alone, even in a group of two or so (dont know if you said if you are male or female) are not a good idea in some of those countries. Also hitching can be a bit hard to come across/dangerous/slow in some of them.
My advice would be plan the first two or so countries, and then take it as it comes. You are bound to find different things to do once you get there, and if you are stuck to pre booked trips or flights or accomodation you will be annoyed, or if you cancel you will lose money.
I agree with one of the previous posts. This will cost tens of thousands of dollars. At least.
Sorry to sound so negative, i actually think its a great idea!
Feel free to contact me if i can be any help

10. Posted by cinderel5a (Inactive 6 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Yes I am a girl
I know it could be hard because of that.
But the friend who goes with me is a guy.
Anyway, I wont plan any accomodation or flight.... :(
Thought I told that, but I posted on the South/Central America catogory and explained my recent plan.
I think I will take a hotel the first week of my arrival, but any further.. no.
I am gonna do my best to find al sorts of houses in different countries and cities.
Already have a place to stay in Santiago, New York, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and probably more.
And ofcourse the flight itself, but my flight back..
I dont even know how long it will take, 10 months, 14 months, 16 months, all my life?
I dont know, and I think that feeling is a big part of the reason why I want to go.
The ultimate feeling of life, freedom, independance..
So, thats what I just wanted to add to my post.
Just check the other blog I posted..