Hi, there folks my name is Gary Mason, and as you can see, I have created a blog about budget travel in South Asia. I am quite sure I will write thousands of articles in my life but, for me, this is my most important as I want to be completely transparent with my readers. I do not wish to churn out a load of facts and figures since I am not a robot.
After all, we live in an age where there are a gazillion travel blogs on the internet, and there is a tsunami of advice on how best to organise your trip. I know it can all seem overwhelming when all you want is a little information.
It is a mind-bending statistic that all the information human beings have created since the dawn of humanity to 2002 is now created every forty-eight hours! I have heard it described as trying to sip water through a fire hose when we are searching for information on the internet, and I think that is a very accurate phrase indeed. It is certainly how I can feel when I am searching for stuff.
So it is important to me that you can see who I am and my advise is honest and from experience. I have seen some excellent blogs out there, but I have seen some that look like the writers have just copied and pasted work from other peoples sites—maybe mixed a few words around a little for good measure. With so many choices out there, you have to know what you are reading is well researched and sincere.
I have spent my whole adult life, either saving money to travel or being on the road. As you can probably imagine over the years, I have picked up a thing or two, and now I would like to share them with you. Maybe I can make it all a little easier as there is a lot to learn and I have made plenty of my own mistakes along the way. Let’s face it; if you can, it is always better to learn from someone else’s cockups to save yourself from doing the same, right?
Before I say more about what kind of information you can get from my website, I want to tell you a little about me. I want to tell you how I concluded that living my life from a rucksack was an excellent way to spend my time.
So who is Gary Mason anyway?
So let’s start from the beginning, shall we? I was born in a sleepy little village called Mistley in Essex. As a young boy, I simply loved the Indiana Jones movies and I would imagine most kids did. My ambitions were clear, I wanted to become an archaeologist because I thought that job rocks! When I got a little older, and I discovered what archaeologists actually did, I was not so keen, but I still wanted the adventures in what was then a vast and mystical world.
Unfortunately, I had a very disadvantaged start in life, and for one reason or another, I wound up being raised in the English social care system. I found myself being bounced from one children’s home to the next. It is not hard to work out that is not the best start growing up in an environment where the staff just did shifts and didn’t really care if it’s me or some other poor kid in my place. Just as long as they get their paycheck at the end of the month, all is good, and that is the cold reality of the system as important as it is.
One day I was moved to this place called The Small School at Redhouse in Norfolk. It was a very unconventional take on schooling it can be said. Part of that was taking the students to developing nations, including India. We all took part in various charity projects that i found eye-opening, to say the least. This was definitely a turning point in my life, and it came at an impressionable age.
I noticed two critical things from doing this. Number one was there are a lot of people out there whose lives where so much worse than mine, and it made my own problems seem trivial in comparison. Number two was the world is indeed an incredibly beautiful place, and it gave me a strong urge to see more.
After I left school and got my first job, I didn’t do much as I tried to find my feet in the world. I have heard it said many people decide to travel because they feel like they don’t fit into where they are. For me, at least those words rang true.
Then one day, when I was twenty-something, I found the confidence to give it a bash. I booked my flights to Borneo, Thailand and New Zealand. My passport was ready, and I was all set to go. The truth is I made a mess on an epic scale! The amount of money I wasted seems laughable to me today but, I just didn’t know. Never the less I had a blast and was well and truly hooked on travel at that point.
In my defence, when I first began to backpack my way across the globe things were very different. It was before the age of Facebook, blogging or even the internet. It was hard to find out where to go, let alone be able to share your experiences with others. I used to write letters to friends and family, and I would get regular complaints on my return as to why I didn’t even send a postcard? I did, it just didn’t arrive before I had got home, honest!
I decided to give it another try, and I got a little better at it. Then another and another. It became more natural and more organised every time. I was honing my technique and developed a method that worked no matter where I decided to go. One fateful day I decided to make a trip to India and Nepal. It was literally like the mothership had called me home. I fell in love instantly with travel here, and I couldn’t get enough.
No other place is as challenging and sometimes as frustrating as India. At the same time, it was simply intoxicating as nowhere else I have ever seen was as vibrant or as colourful. I have seen almost one-third of all the countries in the world at this point, and that is still true today. I kept coming back again and again. Every time I arrived home, I started planning my next trip. Now, after almost half a decade travelling here, I think I have enough experience to be able to give some good advice, and I am keen to share what I know.
Ok, so what is this website about?
As I got better at backpacking across the world, I took enormous amounts of joy at meeting new inexperienced travellers and letting them join me for a while. I would show them my methods in the hope it would help them get the most out of their time and money. It made me really happy if I am honest, as backpacking is a skill that can be painful to learn. It can be costly or worse yet just plain dangerous to get wrong.
As I said, things were very different when I started my travels. We can speak to our friends and families at the click of a button. No longer will your relatives be upset with you because you didn’t write to them as it is all instant.
Now we can research where we want to go anywhere in the world. When I started my travels, it was the information in the guide books or nothing. Don’t get me wrong the information you can find in guidebooks like the Lonely Planet is an essential source of input and please get one. However, it is nice to have an alternative source of information and blogs like mine cover places and issues you won’t find in any guidebook.
Being able to build a website like this is amazing to me because it gives me the chance to share my tried and tested methods with lots of people at the same time. My content is very well researched from years on the road, and it is honest. I am not trying to sell anyone anything. When I recommend products or services that have worked for me in the past, they are only suggestions. What I want is to help my readers get the most from their precious time and money. That is because I truly believe travel is the best thing you can do with those two valuable commodities.
I do want to be able to make a living from doing what I love. That is writing and travelling in South Asia and helping other people to create their dream trip. So I have given this my all. I believe you find my work of value and you can count on the idea it is well researched and sincere.
It does not matter if you are a seasoned traveller or a beginner. Even if you are actually Indian yourself, you will probably still find something of use on my website if you plan to travel here. I want my website to be as interactive as possible. So if anyone can think of anything they want me to write about then just let me know.
I hope you enjoy my work and I am very open to suggestions on how to create a better service for you. All my work is impartial and accurate, based on my own experiences. Thank you for getting to the bottom of this page as I put a lot of effort into it and I hope it was a good read for you. So that is enough about me now go and check out my site and start planning your next big trip to this incredible part of our world.