Get Inspired! by Almost Fearless
Do you wish you could chuck that day job and go off on your dream trip? Need inspiration?
Rest assured, you’ll find plenty of that in our Get Inspired! interview with Christine Gilbert from Almost Fearless.
Christine Gilbert is a writer, traveler, and a film maker traveling around the world filming for The Wireless Generation, a documentary on a new generation of mobile professionals traveling the world and working online from anywhere.
She is currently in Greece with her husband Drew and their darling son Cole. There goes your excuse about not being able to travel because you are tied to a crib.
What made you embark on a trip like this?
India always seemed like the ultimate challenge for any western traveler, and has always been high on my list of places to see. Westerners typically react strongly to India, either loving or hating it, and I am lucky to count myself in the positive category with mostly excellent experiences while there.
Tell us about the work that went into planning a trip like this.
The timing worked well for us, we were in between interviews for the documentary we are shooting, and my husband and our friend Troy signed up to do the Great Circular Indian Railway Challenge, a 16 day train ride that circumnavigated all of India. The planning was easy, and the only real hurdle for us was in getting our ten-year Indian visas from the Indian consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which was not hard to do whatsoever.
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would like to change since the time you started planning this trip?
I got sick with Delhi Belly with only a couple of days left in our trip, so I would have avoided whatever meal it was that got me sick. Other than that, I would not change a thing.
How do you go about researching about your next destination?
It depends on the amount of time between the time we decide to go and when we actually get there. If we give ourselves a lot of time, we can do most of our research and planning online. We are in Greece now, after deciding to come here only a few days before leaving. In this case, we bought a Lonely Planet guide straight away at the airport. I used to shy away from guidebooks in any form, but now with the baby and less time on my hands, I will definitely lean on them in a pinch.
If we were to open your backpack, what would we find? What would be included in your ‘must carry’ list?
Diapers, baby wipes, two macbooks and cords, several pirated DVD’s we haven’t gotten around to watching, an external hard drive, and whatever books my husband and I happen to be reading at that moment.
Tell us about the interesting folks you have met on this trip?
This one is from the husband: “On our train journey we passed through Udhampur, where Troy and our Brit friend Steven decided they need a shave. We entered a great little place off the street, where a thin older gentleman gave these two the works. I had never had my face shaved by another person before, and thought it was a big deal. We had cameras out, and I was shooting video with my iPhone. We took his picture afterwords as well, all in the interest of documenting our experience there. It must have seemed like a big deal to him, because when we asked how much it cost, he waved us off with a smile, basically saying it was free. (He didn’t speak a word of english) They still insisted on paying, telling him he needed to work to make a living. I do hope he wasn’t insulted by this, but it was amazing to meet someone so flattered by our amazement of his craft that he would give them services for free.”
How has this trip changed you as a person?
Well I’m a lot lighter than I was when I came here (thank you, Delhi Belly diet), and I had my hair cut down to a pixie cut, so physically, I leave India quite different. Mentally? It’s been amazing to see people committed to their faith in a real way that is earnest and not a show put on for tourists. It doesn’t make me a believer, but I am starting to believe that if enough people believe a place is holy, it might just be holy.
Complete the sentence œAfter this trip, I now know I can …
“… travel anywhere.” I have been told more than once “If you can make it in India, you can make it anywhere.” Now that I have done it, I absolutely agree.
Three posts from your blog which would inspire our readers to jump off the fence.
What did you miss most about ‘home’?
What are your thoughts on traveling solo as opposed to traveling with a partner/friend/group?
There are a lot of freedoms that come from solo travel, not being tethered to another person’s needs, and both styles have real rewards, as well as very real headaches. At this point in my life, it’s been so long since I have traveled “solo” that I have acclimated to doing it as a team, and honestly, I don’t know what I would do without a partner around, watching out for me.
So, what’s next?
We are in Greece now, but will be headed to Barcelona shortly to continue shooting/interviewing for our documentary, then it’s on to South Africa and Rwanda. There is no “home” for us, more or less. We are without a home base, and are lucky enough to call wherever we happen to be “home”.
Travel Schedule for 2010/2011 (roughly): Bogot ¡ – Medellin – Cartagena – Burning Man – San Fran – Bangkok – Malaysia – Chiang Mai – Bali – India – Dubai – Greece – Barcelona – Cape Town – Rwanda
Any advice for our aspiring vagabonds?
Get out and do it! It’s not nearly as hard as you think. The hardest part is deciding to go.