Presenting: Lash – Solo World Traveler since 1991

5.Please give us your insight into traveling around the world as a woman.What about safety on the road? Do men come on to you or harass you?

Probably the 1st and most important insight is this: America is a much more dangerous place than many other places in the world! Really!! All the countries I’ve traveled through in Asia are infinitely safer than the USA.Asia is safe.That’s the main thing you need to understand.
In addition to that,I practice the following;

1.I expect to be safe.Thus I exude the right attitude,project ‘safe’ energy out into the universe,and automatically take actions / make decisions that ensure my safety,without even thinking

2.I have a strong character and I’m physically fit.Therefore I don’t seem like someone to easily mess with.

3.I’m friendly,smile a lot and project a happy high energy.

4.I have a ‘pact’ with myself: If I ever get into a situation where I feel unsafe or threatened I get out immediately.Usually this entails leaving an isolated situation into a populated area.

Lash at Dali Museum,Florida


6.You also spent some time traveling through Europe.Please tell us about those experiences.

I took my 1st trip abroad at 21.I visited London and Paris for one week each.I loved London.As for Paris,although the architecture was marvelous I found the Parisians quite snotty.I actually left early and returned to London! I was quite punk at that time,so I suppose the Parisians didnt’ care for that while the Londoners were used to it by then!

In 2008 I spent 3 weeks on the Costa del Sol visiting my aunt and uncle.The Mediterranean surprised me with its clarity and great uncrowded beaches.After traveling through SE Asia for so long,I expected European beaches to be disappointing.

Following Spain I spent 3 months in England.I liked Manchester much better than expected.The city is full of very interesting history and architecture.Unfortunately,the horrid work and living situation I got myself into clouded most of my British experience,so I’ll just leave it at that.

7.Please tell us about your travels in Australia.

I traveled around Oz for 9 months in 2003.I pretty much saw the eastern half of the country.As usual,I immersed myself in the outdoors,visiting many national parks,mountains and jungles.I also explored several cities,cycled up the east coast and scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef.I fulfilled 5 long-standing childhood dreams: *see the Sydney Opera House,* see koalas and kangarooos in the wild * visit the Great Barrier Reef * visit Uluru (Ayer’s Rock).My fondest memories,however,are my 2 wwoofing experiences in Queensland.I’ve written 17 stories about my Australian travels,including 2 on Wwoofing: http://lashworldtour.blogspot.com/search/label/Australia

19th century pub in central Manchester,England

8.You also spent some time in Brazil,working on the crew for “Survivor”.

Yes,I crewed 2 episodes of Survivor: Thailand and Amazon,both in 2002.An amazing,stimulating experience! I’ve written 14 stories about my crewing time,so if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work on a film set or pondered the ‘making of’ of ‘Survivor’ here’s your chance to find out:
http://lashworldtour.blogspot.com/Survivor/

9.Occasionally you travel back to the US.How do you view your home country now? What about experiences of culture shock?

Needless to say,the USA is exceedingly different from Asia,on all topics from interpersonal communications,personal habits and mannerisms,food,interests to the arts,you name it.Not surprisingly I find it really bizarre each time I return to the States,which I do about once in 2 years.I’ve recently written 2 posts about that very topic.They’ve become my most popular posts to date:
http://lashworldtour.blogspot.com/2011/01/culture-shock-strangeness-of-being-in.html
http://lashworldtour.blogspot.com/2011/01/flip-side-of-culture-shock.html

Lash on bike during circumnavigation of Bali

10.Bicycling has played a major role in your travels.Now you are writing a book about it.Please tell us more.

Yes.I started cycle touring in Japan as one means to see the country.I loved it! By the time I set out on my world trip I decided to travel by bicycle.I flew into Bangkok with my bike in a box and my backpack.After exploring Bangkok I headed out,cycling down the entire east coasts of Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore,about 2000 km.I wasn’t in any rush! In fact,I explored the coasts and islands quite thoroughly en route.It took me 3 months and was a grand adventure.

I continued cycling the next few years,through Bali,Java,Laos,more of Thailand,Myanmar,Vietnam,Nepal,and Australia.Gradually I cycled less and less.Much of that was due to becoming a dive instructor and working on remote islands with few or no roads.Nowadays,I mostly use bikes to get around cities,though I do still take longish road trips as well.

Last year when I returned to Bali,for the Xteenth time I immediately decided to write a guidebook on cycling Bali.After all,I’d been cycling there off and on for 10 years,knew loads of routes,and understood just what needed to be included in a guidebook.So I repeated many familiar routes,taking detailed notes on distances,road conditions,etc.I also circumnavigated Bali for the 2nd time,also compiling notes and useful facts.

During the trip I wrote daily stories about my adventures,which are here

I’m actually writing 2 guidebooks on Bali.The other is on Hiking the Mountains in remote Amed,Bali’s NE coast.I’ve already spent 3 dive seasons there in recent years,so I know the area well.Last year,in between diving gigs,I hiked the mountains for 2 months,compiling notes on 20 hikes,and repeating each route several times for accuracy.

Now I’m in the process of writing the guidebooks.Next comes editing,re-re-editing then the publishing process.I will release them both this year in print and ebook format.

Thanks,Lash,for taking the time for this interview and all the very best for your upcoming plans as a writer and traveler.

 

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