For Better or Worse: A Travel Guide for Idiots

Imagine having the opportunity to adventure through the streets of a bustling European city, to taste the foreign cuisine of the orient, to backpack on the trails of the Peruvian mountains… all of this is possible and more with the right knowledge of travel and the right connections. Ana Kempner (Age-26) who is the subject of this article is a well-experienced world traveler, having been to an astonishing 39 countries. Here are a few photos taken while she was there:

Since childhood, Ana has always had a heart for traveling and a strong will, putting in hard work in order to reach her goals. When Ana turned 20, she joined up with an organization called “WorldRace” a Christian missions group which hosts the well-known “11 Countries in 11 Months”.

In joining with this group, Ana began to fundraise in order to gain enough money to go on this once in a lifetime trip. However with such a long trip, fundraising was not enough to cover the cost fully.

Fortunately, on this trip Ana was able to work with the locals in each country, raising farm animals, learning how to sew clothes, raising vegetables and various other tasks in which she was paid.

When asked if sacrifice is sometimes needed in order to travel abroad Ana plainly stated,

“-so traveling requires a lot of sacrifice, like a lot of my friends are married with kids and have all these luxuries whereas I just choose to not have heat in the winter or air condition in the summer. And I don’t have cable TV, so you can just see all these other people with all these things you want and you just have to choose a different lifestyle and realize its gonna be worth it in the end.” Ana Kempner said.

From personal experience, Ana has gone without heating and air-conditioning for a whole year in order to save up for a trip to Peru.

Two of the most expensive parts about traveling abroad are: passports and bordering fees. Ana was quite blunt when asked the question of why bordering fees are expensive, she said:

“Because people hate Americans”.

It may sound harsh and hard to accept, but it is true. Different countries will charge you more to enter and pass through their borders simply based on the fact of where you are from.

Some good traveling advice on packing: if you are traveling in multiple different climates, make sure you pack clothes based on each one.

Ana warns everyone she comes in contact with who are traveling not to travel alone.

“It may inhibit your personal freedom, but it will guarantee your personal safety.” Said Ana

Some more advice is:

  • Don’t seem lost or vulnerable
  • Pay attention to your surroundings, keep eyes up not down
  • Do not hold money in one place on your person, disperse it over your body such as in your bra, shirt, pants, etc.
  • If someone threatens you for your money, try to comply and resist only when your safety is in danger
  • Take bottled water

Most importantly when traveling, in order to gain the most out of the trip, interact with the locals. Join them in their festivals, celebrations, help them do their daily chores.

In European countries, “hostels” are a great way to travel. Hostels offer rooms and food for labor, this is a great way to meet new people and make you feel more welcomed into the community, for you will be working with the locals on a daily basis for the entirety of your stay if you wish.


Good sources on traveling advice: