RTW Books

Posted by on Nov 5, 2003 in Pre-Trip Planning | No Comments

I finished the RTW book I got a few weeks ago, The Rough Guide: First Time Around The World. Although I was excited when they finally published a RTW guide it was somewhat lacking. First off it’s poorly edited, with typos even! That just tells me that they rushed to get it out before The Lonely Planet published their version. I found about 25% of the content interesting (mostly visa information for regions). The other 75% seemed like either common sense or basic backpacker knowledge. I don’t really need to know that I should buy a backpack or that I shouldn’t bring a hairdryer. Anyone who has backpacked before knows that. I wonder if there are that many people doing RTW that haven’t backpacked extensively yet? Because I can’t imagine someone taking off without knowing if they liked traveling or staying in hostels.

What I really wanted to know was do most people head East or West? What’s the best direction to head from America? How many continents do most people go to? and How can I head a certain direction and miss all the bad weather? I’ve been attempting to figure out a schedule based on the 15 or so guidebooks I’ve read but that’s a lot of work. Isn’t the reason for the book so I wouldn’t have to read 15 guidebooks to determine a schedule? I guess I’m more overqualified as a backpacker than the book’s demographic. I dread running into all those 20-year old Europeans and Australians who stay up all night drinking. I really don’t fit in at all, but that’s nothing new. I guess I’ll just go back to The Thorn Tree and get some answers there.