26,364 reputation
775242
bio website en.wiktionary.org/wiki/…
location Tamarama, Australia
age
visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen 9 hours ago

Backpacking since Christmas Day, 1989. Hitchhiking since mid 2010.

I've just returned home after hitchhiking around Asia for the last 9.5 months.


Aug
19
comment As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?
Your comments on Mandarin are based on assumptions. Everyone I know who learned as a foreigner talks ceaselessly about how easy it is. All struggled with the tones, most did not master the tones at all yet many became fluent. Another deficiency in OP's question is no mention of spoken vs written language. In any case picking up enough characters to be useful in China and Japan is pretty easy. Learning enough to read a newspaper or book is not at all easy but also not at all impossible.
Aug
19
comment As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?
This shows part of the problem in the question. Do we just want to get the gist of what signs say and what people around us are saying? Do we want just travel basics "how much is it?", "where is the toilet?"? Do we want to be able to communicate, and if so to which degree of fluency? Just knowing Spanish plus some clues on French pronunciation and spelling get me very far with Italian and Portuguese but far less in Romanian than I expected, despite multiple lengthy visits. The same works with Slavic languages if you just learn Russian of course.
Aug
19
comment As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?
Ukraine is safe to travel in. Crimea is safe to travel in. The part of eastern Ukraine with large numbers of ethnic Russians is not safe to travel in. Russia's North Caucasus is not safe to travel in, including Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, etc. In any case the OP does not mention either current safety in mid 2014 or general safety in recent history, hence off-topic for this question.
Aug
19
comment As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?
And on the other side, if all of your other requirements are what you're really asking about, and not utility, then it's going to come down to personal opinions and assumptions rather than facts. The only clear winner no matter which way you slice it is Spanish. Everything else is going to be argued about unless you clarify the utility part of the question and minimize the subjective component.
Aug
19
comment As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?
It's really not clear what you're asking! You state it's about utility but in your details you don't talk about utility, you talk about a bunch of your preferences. The only thing you give us to clarify what you mean by utility is "most usefulness in any given country". You do not say whether you mean the most number of countries regardless of size or population. Do you want the languages that gain you communication with "the most people" or just with "some people in the most country"? The difference is bigger than you think if you just consider China and India.
Aug
15
comment How, specifically, can I travel between Taiwan and Okinawa by sea?
I didn't find a boat and ended up flying. This doesn't mean somebody else couldn't find a boat ...
Aug
12
comment Driving through every country in Europe
@mouviciel: And Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, and South Ossetia.
Aug
12
comment Driving through every country in Europe
I see you don't believe Northern Island, Scotland, or Wales are countries. d-:
Aug
12
comment Driving through every country in Europe
It sounds like if you start driving from wherever you are in the direction of Kazakhstan and come back a slightly different way you have a good chance of hitting thirty countries no matter your route.
Aug
12
comment Are there still any “cheap” options for flying from Australia to Mexico without going through the US?
Yes I mention the Santiago option in my question. $2600 seems a bit less than last time I worked it out but still a lot and over my $2000 upper threshold. And I bet it's not for a one-year ticket. I can't see a way to set the return date in the link you provide. But I think it's true that this is the best that can be done by booking the whole itinerary in Australia.
Aug
11
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
this question does appear to be a travel question
Aug
11
comment On the Matrix ITA site, why doesn't Virgin Australia show up in the search results?
@DaviddCeFreitas: I try new sites I hear about. I like Adioso, SkyScanner, and Momondo. I also use Matrix sometimes. Each site also has some other extra or missing features so it depends what I need.
Aug
11
comment On the Matrix ITA site, why doesn't Virgin Australia show up in the search results?
Personally, I don't trust any single flight search engine to include every airline. I now use three search engines in their own tabs when I'm researching flights. They all lack some stuff in the others and include some stuff missing in the others.
Aug
10
comment Are the usual TB vaccinations sufficient for the MDR and XDR strains now in Africa?
Wow that answer is a bit scarier than I expected. By the way, the linked documentary is a good quality informative one. I'm sure it was mainly in another southern African country and not South Africa.
Aug
9
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
To be fair I think it's also kinda hard to set off a detector with a real cigarette if you're not close to the detector. But it's possibly a bunch of people in a room could make the whole room smoky enough to do it in a way that wouldn't happen in a room full of vapers.
Aug
9
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
@Bernhard: I'm not the one who makes the policies but I'll bring it up at a meeting or at least know better when a guest "lights up" an e-cig in the building.
Aug
9
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
@BartArondson: There's only a few people here for whom it's a workplace but there can be up to a hundred for whom it's travellers' accommodation. By the way you might want to check out StackExchange's so-called "Pee-Wee Herman rule".
Aug
9
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
@Bernhard: That's another valid point but for this question I wanted to focus on the safety issue, for want of a better term since they don't usually start actual fires. But then again ...
Aug
9
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
@BartArondson: I have no idea what you're trying to express. Travellers stay here. We have rules that travellers must follow. Travellers may not smoke inside. Travellers setting off the fire alarm must pay a huge fee. To decide whether we need a rule against travellers vaping in the rooms one factor to consider is whether it may set off the fire alarm. I think I can spot something related to travel in there.
Aug
9
comment Can e-cigarettes / vaping set off smoke detectors?
@BartArondson: Do you fail to see how hotels are relevant to travel or is it only hostels you have this failure with?