07 October 2009

A Little Q&A (no T&A)

"I'm ready for my close up, Mr DeMille....wait, Mr De Mille? Come back! I thought you wanted to take my pic....oh nevermind. Who's got a poutine?"

A few weeks ago I posted an entry asking if people had “Any Questions?” Here are the questions I received and my answers. Cheers!

How do you afford this mammoth trip? Is S a millionaire?
-Dolly Daydream

Both S and I saved a ton of money – really dedicated ourselves to scrimping and pinchng and socking huge amounts of dosh away. S does make a great living (and was paid a handsome consulting fee while he working in India) but I'm not too shabby myself! I find it interesting that that wasn't your first conclusion – the old patriarchal instinct has kicked in! :) So far I have cashed some of my savings but I look forward to returning home with more than half still in the bank – along with a zero credit card balance (so important for a variety of reasons – I hate being taken advantage of!)

We also travel on a tight budget of no more than thirty Canadian dollars per person per day (flights not included) and this really helps to stretch the money we do have – extravagances do happen, but we try to keep them in check as much as possible!

How do you manage to travel without working? Do you work online?

-kanmuri

Other than blogging my heart out and making a few bucks from Google adsense, I have not worked one iota since September 30 of last year. If someone wants to pay me I would glady accept an assignment! S did work as a consultant in India (for visual effects on Bollywood movies – he had a hand in “Chandni Chowk to China”) for 2.5 months – this is when we lived in Mumbai (and yes, it was during the attacks.)

The picture from your title area - did you take that? It instantly conjures images of faraway places, shimmering sand and hot mystical nights!

-Rainysoul

I did take this photo – I am glad you like it! It was taken on a sand dune just outside of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan while we were waiting for the sun to set while on a camel safari. In reality it was a bit less idyllic than it seems – they were singing and dancing and begging for money – if we didn't give them any they would launch back into their repetitive song! It will haunt my brain forever..... Here are a few more!

I was wondering why you cuss a lot in your posts?

-Kristin

Well, to be honest – I swear in person and in my quest to always keep my blog as true to my actual personality I just write what comes to mind, in the way that it comes to mind. Sometimes it is really important to the feel of the piece – for instance when I am really upset or angry about something – ie: Burmese politics or suicide – I feel that they are more than warranted.

I did a search of my own blog and could only find the eff word 4 times in fifty posts – pretty good, I'd say! I do use euphemisms (such as eff or f%#@) quite often as well, but those hardly count....do they? :)

Lastly, I just really like to swear.

Where have you been that has been your most worthwhile, absolute best trip, and why?

-Chymere

That is so, so hard to say. Part of me actually wants to say that it was the 6 week trip I took by myself to Eastern Europe when I was 22 – I went to Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Hungary. That journey really had a profound effect on me – it wasn't my first trip to Europe, but it was my first time traveling alone and with a really good plan. I learned so much about Europe, myself and well...myself! I highly recommend that everyone takes a trip on their own at least once.

As for this trip to Asia (does an entire year count as one trip?) I would say that India, though I often hated it when I was there, was the most important place we visited. It is hard, it is full on and it is stinky – and it is wonderful.


An old alter ego - thanks to Pappa Jay for the artiness.

How did your pen name Violet Dear come about?

-Marilee in Portland Oregon

I have been using pen names and psuedonyms since I began writing as a young teenager. Originally I wanted to at least partially control my identity amongst the people that I know - bosses, colleagues, unwanted aquaintances, crazies - but that went out the window when I was chosen as Blog of Note!

As I wanted to remain at least partially anonymous on this site I chose to write under the name Violet Dear. Some of my previous pen-names have been: Violent Violet, Violet Femme, and Ultra Violet – I like Violet Dear because it is feasibly a real name and is less crazy and wild than the names I chose when I was younger. To be very honest Violet, dear (their comma) was also the name of a limited edition MAC eyeshadow that I purchased when I was about nineteen – it always stuck with me. (I am also getting a tattoo of the word "Violet" when I am in Melbourne - it means a lot to me!)


I love your practical tips. I am traveling to India, Thailand, Laos and Japan - can you recommend a visa company or would you just do it yourself?
-Stephanie C

Thanks! I always try to add a little practical info because it can be sorely lacking online... For the visas, if you live in a city with an Indian consulate than it is very easy – just pop down in person and you should be able to come back in a few business days to pick yours up. I really recommend paying a bit extra and grabbing the multiple entry one year visa – plans can change and this is a great way to avoid headaches later (for instance, the Bangkok Indian consulate is supposed to be a nightmare.) Your Indian visa is activated from the day it is issued, so make sure you have enough time – you might want to get it issued close to the date you depart.

Thailand, Laos and Japan – visas are issued on arrival at most borders. For Thailand, if you arrive by air you will be issued a 30 day visa, but by land it is only 14 days – don't get caught out. Hopping across the border to Cambodia (I recommend Angkor Wat wholeheartedly) Laos or Myanmar for a visa run is common and easy – and with Air Asia's cheapest deals even flying to S'pore, Malaysia or elsewhere is also feasible. Laos is a 30 day visa – I belive you can get more (and a prettier visa) by applying in advance – but for most people this is enough. Japan – I have little clue, as I have never been! Your trip sounds great – let me know if you have any other questions along the way!


How much money would you recommend for 5 weeks in India?

- Master Kevin

It is really up to you! You can spend from 10 USD/day all the way up to hundreds. For us, on a slightly higher than average backpacker lifestyle (ie: no dirty rooms, second class trains and nice restaurants sometimes) we found that 25USD/day was more than enough. Some days we went over, and some days under – it balanced out. If you are traveling by yourself than you will probably have to add another 10 bucks to your budget.

I was wondering what do you do when you aren't travelling?[:)]

-Nikki

Before I started traveling on this trip I worked as a consultant for a major travel company in Canada - my bonuses really helped us save money for this trip! When I get home I will be heading back to University - and traveling as often as a can to keep you guys entertained!

That's all guys - if you have any other questions for me feel free to ask - I can always do this again sometime. Cheers!

xoxo

Violet Dear

7 comments:

Jonathan Dickerson said...

"Lastly, I just really like to swear."

So perfect!

The Obers said...

That was fun! Thanks for sharing. :)

kanmuri said...

Thanks! I'm actually thinking about finding a job in the field you used to work in ;)
As for Visas in Japan, most people get a 90 days visa upon landing. If you need more info about Japan just check out my blog; I've been living in Japan for more than 3 years.

Anonymous said...

WOW! The questions you have picked to answer are fabulous! Well done! I really enjoyed this post. And personally? I abso-fuckin-lutely love the cussing.

Kristin said...

O.K. I guess I'm the only ninny. But your writing is fabulous and the cussing detracts--in my mind.

But really, who cares, eh? I so enjoy where you go and what you describe, especially what you like to eat.

Violet Dear said...

Kristin - You're not a ninny! It was a good question - I really did think about it.

Nikki said...

it was great to get some replies to our questions..

 
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