There are lots of good reasons for going travelling — you can kiss the nine to ﬁve goodbye; nobody laughs at you if you wear pink T—shirts and ﬂip-ﬂops; ditto a straggly goatee beard; and when you come home, you won’t be short of stories to bore your stay- at-home friends with down the pub. But best of all you’ll be going places the sun almost never stops shining. If it does, it’s because the monsoon’s on, which is still better than the proverbial wet Saturday afternoon in Paisley. You’ll certainly have fun and you might even come back with an idea of how people live in other cultures. The List backpacking guide offers some tips from people who have circled the globe, tells you where to get more information on planning a round the world trip and exhorts you to be a responsible traveller. Start saving!
‘I’ve just come back irom my iourth trip this year,’ says Perth-based travel writer and broadcaster Katie Wood. ‘Travel’s a real hassle - I think the glamour has gone.’
it’s hard to ieel sorry ior someone who’s lust returned irom the Caribbean, but ior Wood, who ls currently putting the iinlshing touches to a new television travel show, it’s work. She has clocked up 75 countries in her travels and ii the world had corners she would probably have visited them too. So what advice does the seasoned pro give to a rookie traveller thinking oi venturing iorth into the big, wide world?
‘You’ve got to get street-wise,’ she says. ‘You’re likely to get ripped oii by some oi the people you meet
i travelling. You’ve got to harden
! yourseli to that without losing your
! love oi people or you can end up
7, becoming depressed about human
i nature. The people that have diiiiculty i adjusting to travelling are the ones
] who thought it would be an extended
Kate Woozworking hard hoﬁday! Beiore you set out, decide where you
; want to go. Round the world tickets = oiier big savings, but only ii they oiier
stopovers in places you want to be. ‘Don’t be dictated to by your ticket,’ she says.
Wood advises travellers to iind a i reliable guide book - she rates Rough Guides and the Lonely Planet books - which should become like a ‘close iriend’. Other travellers are a good source oi iniormation but advice is only as reliable as the person oiiering it. ‘There are a lot at spaced out, Jack Kerouac throw-backs out there,’ she warns.
And it you’re Scottish, let everyone know. ‘The directness oi the Scots appeals to people abroad,’ she says. ‘lt’s never been anything other than a huge advantage to play up my Scottishness.’ The only place this stunt might tail is amongst the colonial gln-sippers of Barbados, where you’d do better mentioning your great aunt in Henley. (Eddie Gibb) Scottish Passport starts on 7 March at 7pm on Scottish Television. Katie Wood’s travel books, including The 1994 Globetrotter’s Bible (£9.99), are published by HarperCollins.
78 The List 25 February—10 March 1994