Travelvice II

This is part two of an interview with Craig from Travelvice. You can read part one here.

Say I’m a 25-year-old educated guy and I think travel may be the answer to my quarter life crisis. And I like girls. Where should I go? And where should I not go?

Big regions of the world that I’ve explored and can speak with some modest authority on: the Caribbean, Latin America, SE Asia, and Eastern Europe (including Turkey).

In SE Asia you’re in a better position to get laid than in other places in the world because the tourist girls aren’t very interested in doin’ dirt with the local men. So for the vast majority of opportunities this mindset eliminates a lot of competition. Add to the mix that you also probably want to sample some Asian fare, and you’ve got a large market of tasty possibilities.

Argentine assThe downside to SE Asia is that you’ve got a lot of stress placed on your physical characteristics. It’s the tropics buddy, and if you’re not looking okay topless in a swimsuit (or at least confident and fun loving with your approaches), you could be having problems (as the cut Aussie standing next to you with the ‘cute, exotic’ accent will certainly put you in check).

SE Asia is also full of couples and groups and almost zero hostels. This is a very challenging place to be without a friend, as you should be getting private rooms nearly 100% of the time and the bulk of the socializing is done at the bar. Traveling alone and don’t drink socially? You’re probably gonna be sleeping alone every time unless you want to pay to play.

You want a controlled dose of decaying Latin American structures, mixed with plenty of new foods and flavors of women to frolic with in the sheets? Peru is your spot my friend.

While places like Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil and Ecuador hold a special little place in my heart for such things, Peru has the proper balance for a short-term vacation, and the geographic placement to explore the continent should you have the time or desire. One-way flights on SpiritAir from Fort Lauderdale to Lima are almost always less than $300.

My suggestion for Central America would have to be Guatemala. Pretty easy to get off the tourist trail if you’d like, lots of things to experience with opportunity for neighboring countries, and just a crap load of tourists from all over the world, many of whom are getting their feet wet for the first time in Latin America. (It’s very, very easy to get laid in the popular backpacker city of Antigua.)

But I had a friend of Iranian descent that just slays women in the States because he’s aggressive and has a different ‘exotic’ look about him, but he failed miserably in a place like Argentina, where black hair, ‘exotic’ features and aggressive men are the status quo. Avoid Argentina if you’re looking to get laid, as the competition is high and the women are slow to lower their defenses and move past a certain point. It’s a great place to admire some great looking females and enjoying some excellent wine and steak, though.

I’d certainly avoid the Caribbean if you’re looking to get some lovin’. Unless you’re on some sort of cruise ship thing where you can hammer away at your opportunities over the duration, you’ll probably be out of luck. On many islands local girls have children by 15 or 16, and tourists tend to stick to their resorts or ships. Puerto Rico might be the exception, but then again, why limit yourself to just one island when you can have a continent of opportunities for a fraction of the price?

And finally, if you’re into ugly beaches but tight Aussie and Kiwi bodies, Kuta Beach (on the island of Bali) in Indonesia is your spot. Shit, shit beaches and generally a shoulder-shrugging environment, but the place is truly hedonism at its finest. (Although Thailand is far more accessible a place, and just as ripe for debauchery.)

Colombian soul food... 20 centsUltimately, the wonderful thing is that the pretty girl you might never have had a chance with is sitting across the table from you in a foreign country, and you know you automatically have both travel in common. Use that and run with it—everyone does (exhaustingly so, sometimes).

Your ability to travel very cheap is well-known. What is your strategy when it comes to spending less but still getting a good experience? What are some common ways you see other travelers wasting their money?

The cost strategy totally varies by location, but it starts with something as simple as budget: I have none. I’m all the time looking for the angles to spend as little as possible for the greatest benefit. Saving money one day doesn’t mean I splurge the next. You’ve got to purge that mentality from your mind. Spend when and where it’s warranted, haggle, and always ask for a discount or what the weekly rate is for rooms even if you’re not going to stay that long.

I’ll tell you flat out right now that the biggest budget killer for travelers is alcohol. If you’re drinking with any regularity, add $10-15/day to your shoestring budget. I’m typically in a situation when my private room costs the same price as a beer or two. I know that for every drink that I buy, that’s money that I could’ve used to live in the city another night. Men, you need to learn to get laid without getting drunk.

The second big budget killer is restaurants and traveling too fast (transport costs money). Outside of Eastern Europe (where I’m cooking nearly 100% of my meals in a kitchen), I’m eating off the streets. Street vendors are your friends. They’re an excellent source of information, and you can see exactly what the condition of their food is. I don’t trust the mystery of a restaurant kitchen, where cockroaches and bacteria thrive. But if you have to eat at one, eat at a popular place with locals. The food is less likely to have been sitting there for hours or days before being served to you (which they will have no qualms doing).

And for the love of God, stop buying so much bottled water (another huge budget killer). If the locals are drinking it, so should you. I’ve got an infant son that’s been drinking the tap water since he was born, in a dozen countries all over the world, and he’s amazingly healthy. Just be sure to put a good amount of yogurt in your diet to help foster the good bacteria in your belly. The sooner you acclimate to the local bugs, the less loose stools you’ll be having. Don’t like the taste or you’re just afraid? Put some of that sugar-free Tang stuff in there (available everywhere). Now you’re drinking liquid mango–problem solved. Americans may want to watch this video: Bottled Water is Bullshit.

At the heart of any long-term penny-pinching traveler, you’ll find a generally adaptable person. Someone that modifies their tactics according to the way the game is played in the country they’re in.

Craig & Aidric IIIHere in Europe, I’ve been spending only dollars a day in one of the most frighteningly expensive places on the planet. How have I done it? By adapting to the environment. Six months of continuous CouchSurfing has allowed me to have the all the perks of a home, without having to endure the $35/night rates for dorm beds in the same city. Instant cultural immersion, oddities explained, questions answered, access to local insights, and regular Internet access. It’s been an amazing experience, and my total spending comes out to be something around $250 a month!

Good travelers are resourceful by nature.

With so many places to visit, how do you prioritize which cities and countries and step foot into? Do you have travel by schedule or plan or do you play it by ear? What advice do you have for someone who doesn’t even know where to start when it comes to picking places to go?

The only plan is that there is no plan.

I learned a long time ago that planning much more than two weeks in advance is wasted energy. I’ve usually got a general direction that I’m always sort of headed in, but the specifics of the cities and how to get there are always a mystery until I’m ready to make the next jump. Back before I had the family in tow, I was a big fan of jumping on a bus and randomly getting off at an anonymous city that looked good. It’s a little more complicated these days, but it’s still pretty much unplanned.

You need not let your budget dictate where you want to go. If you’re serious about doing it up at shoestring levels (< $10/day), then you'll find ways to do it. CouchSurfing in Europe only takes dollars a day. My general advice would be to pick a place where you can relocate overland easily, into countries you're curious about. Figure out what you're after: beer, monuments, girls, local insights, archeology---whatever. Look for parts of the world that pique your interest, and book the cheap one-way flight to the biggest airport. Land yourself at a popular hostel or CouchSurfing host, and you'll absorb more stories and advice than you can handle. You'll be on your way in no time. CONTINUED: Part 3

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Jay Gatsby
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Jay Gatsby
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Great story, but even better first picture selection!

craig | travelvice.com
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Yeah, all kinds of booty down there in Argentina (that’s where that photo’s from). wink

craig | travelvice.com’s last blog post: Headscarves and Turkish High School Girls.

Jay Gatsby
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Based on your interview (and Roosh’s past blog entries), Argentina seems to be land of “look but no touch”. I would have guessed the photo was from Brazil (which in this context is most definitely NOT Argentina).

Travel travel
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WTF- SE Asia has something better than hostels- they are called guest houses, which are absurdly cheap and easy (there are also hostels). In fact- I’ve traveled all over SE Asia alone and met awesome people and had loads of fun!! In northern Vietnam alone, I met 5 different people who were traveling alone, as well as small groups of people who were extremely amicable.

I’m also comfortable with actually being alone, and don’t need to constantly be with someone to have a good time.

This just proved what I have learned in life (not only about traveling)- never, ever, ever, make decisions based on what any one person has to say. Everyone takes away from their personal experiences (especially limited experiences) with a certain degree of biases and expectations.

Whether taken as an offense or not, Craig sounds like a complete tool.

The G Manifesto
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Great tips.

I always think the true test of Game is to swoop Local Girls.

Tourist girls are too easy. (Although I still swoop them).

To be a true G, swoop a fly local girl. No matter where you are.

Argentina is tough. Most “players” get chopped apart there.

However, I have always done exceptionally well in Argentina.

– MPM

The G Manifesto’s last blog post: How to Prepare Uni (Sea Urchin).

Anonymous
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I wonder what Roosh has to say about the advice abut diarrhea and bottled water in South America?

todd h
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The water thing might be better advice for long term travelers or people moving abroad. It also depends where…if you’re going to Mumbai for 3 weeks, guzzling tap water could be a poor option.

Argentina is a great place for steak, wine, watching a soccer match, and trekking in Patagonia. LIke people have been saying, at least in B.A., your Game has to be as tight as in any large cosmopolitan city. Not to mention your Spanish…

Rajia
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Even the Indian people in Mumbai don’t drink the tap water unless they have no other option. Have you SEEN the water sources there? Ugh. Gross. I don’t care how good your digestive track is, Mumbai is DIRTY. And if the city is dirty, so is the water. Might as well just suck on the exhaust pipe of a moped.

Eugenius
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I am glad the top pic you can click on to enlarge……

todd h
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you can, and should, check with a travel medicine clinic before going to developing countries, to find out about potable water or vaccine recommendations (or requirements). Incidentally, when I was in Mumbai, there was a cholera outbreak, and as Raija said, Indians avoided drinking tap water at that time.

random traveller
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Not only does Mumbai have bad water, but it’s difficult to pick up girls there. Overall, India has a disappointing nightlife.

Generate
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Went to Punta del Este (Uruguay) last month and I can tell you all the information on Argentinians being hot and tight are true. The hottest women I have seen in my life- but hard to mack….

The G Manifesto
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“Went to Punta del Este (Uruguay) last month”

Nice move. Was there last winter.

“The hottest women I have seen in my life- but hard to mack….”

Not for beginners. But ask yourself “Who’s The Mack?”

– MPM

The G Manifesto’s last blog post: Down Economy and Dating.

Travel travel
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To Random Traveler:

Guess you didn’t make it to a party in the Himalayas. I have one compounded word: Mindblowing!!! It’s like a Thai Full Moon party, but isolated in the mountains and more of a secret (kind of).

The G Manifesto
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“Guess you didn’t make it to a party in the Himalayas. I have one compounded word: Mindblowing!!!”

Break it down.

– MPM

The G Manifesto’s last blog post: Down Economy and Dating.

Travel travel
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Here’s what I mean:

That wasn’t where I went (it looks even more amazing), but it was in the same region. Maybe they don’t have the parties much anymore sad Anyway, the typical destination is Manali in the Himechel Pradesh region in the Himalayas, and I stumbled upon the party by fortuitous accident (right timing, right travelers to bump into). I went at the end of May, four years ago, so it could be very different. Manali is quite touristy, but there’s certainly a reason for it to be so.

It’s really just a Full Moon Party moved to the mountains, and obviously it’s not for everyone.

aha
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aha
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few people scattered around the mountainside trancing around…wow…i’ll try to hold my excitement in.

Zictor
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Travel travel’s video is not particularly amazing, but that doesn’t meant that the party sucked, just that the person who filmed it can’t film.

To be honest, if there’s anything that can be learned from whatever Roosh or Craig have written, the Lonely Planet and my personal experience with traveling, is that there are no rules. And one person’s heaven can be another person’s hell.

So many times I have been to places that other travelers said sucked, and I had a great time. Just find your way and walk it. I live in China right now and I have met people who love Beijing, and people who hate it.

Craig himself says he hated my city (Recife, Brazil) even though I have met many more people who have loved it (and a few who hate it, too).

It’s normal. But I have to say that most of his views on travel in general are solid enough.

craig | travelvice.com
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I now wished that I’d CouchSurfed in Brazil. I think it would’ve positively impacted my experiences there (as it has everywhere I’ve done it). Still bloody expensive for Latin America. razz

wink

craig | travelvice.com’s last blog post: Headscarves and Turkish High School Girls.

Zictor
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Craig,

I have to give you something: Generally, most people I have met who have loved Recife and Olinda had a local showing them around, and those who didn’t have one, generally disliked it.

Basically, my city has a terrible touristic structure. That’s why a healthy dose of tourists is important, it also makes life better for the backpackers.

I’m a big show off too, it would have been a great pleasure to show you around. Will do that as well if you ever come to any city while I’m living there.

craig | travelvice.com
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Thanks! Keep an eye out for Roosh if you two are there at the same, I think he’ll be there before me.

For what it’s worth: Tatiana _loves_ Recife, and Brazil in general. (She speaks very advanced Brazilian Portuguese.)

craig | travelvice.com’s last blog post: Headscarves and Turkish High School Girls.

Zictor
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I would, but right now I am living in Beijing. Actually, I moved from Recife to Paris on March 2007 (we just missed each other), from France to Ningbo, China in July 2007 and from there to Beijing in October of the same year.

Been in the Jing ever since. Maybe I could call myself a serial expat. My next goal is to move to Hong Kong next. I also would like to live in Japan or South Korea. But I want to get my Chinese going first.

But if Roosh ever comes to the tip of Brazil, I’d be more than happy to give him some pointers or even indicate some of my friends to help him go around.

craig | travelvice.com
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“But if Roosh ever comes to the tip of Brazil…”

I think Roosh is interested in reacquainting Brazil with his ‘tip’ ;D

craig | travelvice.com’s last blog post: Headscarves and Turkish High School Girls.

Zictor
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This is ridiculous! we’re chatting on the comments of the post and e-mail!

Gotta run now though, nokia store is about to close and I need to fix my phone. I’ll write about teaching English in Korea/China/Japan later.

James G - Expat Rock Star
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Great Story man, I am not really in the budget travel category anymore but its still good to see more travel articles here

James G – Expat Rock Star’s last blog post: The Jakarta Blok M Taxi Mafia.

todd h
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Himalayas moondance party….

incredible.

RW
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RW
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My high school Spanish is not good enough for Argentina. My lawyer is originally from BA and she was very cute in her day with a terrific personality. The wine and steak would still be worth a visit to go along with some great soccer though.

As for this traveltravel, there’s nothing so amazing about a sausage party of stoners bobbing to the beat on a mountain. Lame.

Swooping on local girls sure, but the living on $5 a day thing is not my speed. Maybe if it was back in college or thereabouts. To each his own though.

Travel travel
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Travel travel
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Haha, lost all credibility about what exactly? You just jealous, BITCHES smile

The G Manifesto
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That party does look like it sucked.

Are there even any girls there?

Cold, Techno, no girls, sounds more like hell.

Hopefully they had plenty of good drugs.

– MPM

The G Manifesto’s last blog post: The Top Ten Hip-Hop Tracks of All Time.

Travel travel
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Yeah, the whole point is drugs. I’m a girl so, I can’t really comment on girl-hunting.

Travel travel
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Travel travel
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Also, I happen to like being stoned in the middle of a gorgeous mountain range, although that video is not mine, nor was I at that party/whatever it was.

wedding
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