Where I've been:

In all my years on this planet, I've been all over western Europe, to Canada, and to the Bahamas.

A few things I've learned:

Strangford Loch

This is one of the many lakes in Northern Ireland.

  1. If you're not planning on staying in one place for too long, it's a good idea to get a backpack big enough to carry some extra clothes, some emergency food, and something to read and/or music to listen to.

  2. While the backpack is convenient, it would be unwise to keep your money in there. Tourists are commonly an easy target for local thieves, so it's best to keep your money as close to you as possible. I've found that a moneybelt that goes underneath your clothes is a safe place to keep your money while keeping it easily accessible.

  3. Bring your passport with you at all times. You never know when you may need it. Also, the passport is probably more important to guard safely than your money, so if you've got a moneybelt it may be a good idea to keep your passport in there as well.

  4. Don't overbook your schedule. If you try to fit too many things into one day, you just end up shortchanging yourself. It is nearly impossible to properly enjoy the Louvre in Paris without devoting at least a couple of hours to it.

  5. On the ferry in the Bahamas

    This is me with two of my friends in the Bahamas in the spring of 2008.

  6. Hostels are an untapped resource in many parts of Europe. Some people don't trust them because you have to share a room with other tourists. It is true that there is a risk of theft, but many hostels have lockers, so if you bring a lock you can stash your belongings. I've also found that it is possible to sleep comfortably with the moneybelt on, so your most valuable possessions can be kept safe.

  7. Last but not least, don't forget to have fun! Traveling can take a toll on the body and mind, and bickering with your travel buddies is often inevitable. But remember, you're on an adventure that you'll remember for the rest of your life, so live it up!