I’m frequently asked how I go about making my travel arrangements. Well the answer is it takes a great deal of time to research and make logistical arrangements for some of my trips. It often takes several months of planning and hundreds of emails and phone calls to set up a visit to a remote area. And unfortunately trips often fall apart for any number of reasons — weather, transportation issues, safety concerns, permit issues, bureaucratic obstinance, etc. In other words, planning the trip can be significantly more challenging and time-consuming than the trip itself. But the experience can be well worth the hassles.
In this blog I probably won’t write too often planning these sorts of trips unless there are particularly entertaining anecdotes. Instead I’ll focus on more accessible travel that I do often in conjunction with the off-the-beaten track trips. For example, while a trip to Lao might include an “expedition-style” trek into a national park that requires special permits and embedding with a ranger patrol, it would also include a more conventional visit to an ecotourism lodge and nature park. The lodge can be a welcome reprieve after time in the deep forest, offering opportunities to dry out clothes and gear, recharge equipment, and organize notes and photos.