I’ve bought a plane ticket to London, departing 5/16. Though I have a return date in early June, I probably won’t make it. My plan is to get my feet wet in London and then venture off to Europe on my own. I’ve gotten a lot of tips and a couple invites over the past few months, so this adventure won’t be completely alone! And there is a good friend in Sweden I must see, so since I’ll be over there anyway…

Yes, I’ll be working and yes, it will be as Amanda. I’ll play up the American angle. I think most men will be intrigued. I’m a very laid-back brand of American – probably what most people think of when they think American (aside from various politicians). I’ll be blogging and Twittering – when I remember to. Someone very special recently bought me my first digital camera so I can take pictures too! (Thank you, my friend.) I’m setting up an interactive online photo gallery on this site to store my pictures. So look for a test run of that in the next month. There will be a way for people to join the gallery, though I politely ask that no photos be posted other than mine. Comments are allowed. (I may just completely overhaul this blog theme, but not sure I’ll have the spare time. Volunteers are welcome to apply!)

Traveling like this is a life-long desire and my time has finally arrived. I plan on doing more than just Internet escort work though. I certainly want to try a variety of flavors of sex work. This is a thing for me, not a marketing/advertising thing. I’ll be paying my bills and living but at the same time, I want experiences and to find out new things. (Except pimps — not doing that.) I have a feeling I’ll be gone for some time.

the wish list (subject to changes)

My wish list isn’t necessarily a call for material goods. Not at all. I’m looking for some suggestions as well. (Though any travel donations are welcome!)

— Going to get a hostel pass. It seems there are a variety of passes and not sure which is the best. Suggestions? Tips on hostel security or other issues?

— Looking at Eurail passes as well. They’re a bit pricier than I like but are there any real alternatives? Or not? Suggestions on buying and usage?

— Looking at ways of moving my publishing business completely online. This includes a need for an online accounting/bookkeeping/inventory system. Free is better than paid, but all suggestions are welcome. (I realized I could probably download software to my web server — is it feasible?)

— Hair suggestions? I’m thinking short blonde bob but I don’t know. I want easy upkeep. But going natural isn’t the answer!!

— Tips on using electronics overseas are welcome as well. I’m assuming my new laptop will work just fine over there and a power adapter is all I need.

— Looking into an unlocked quad-band GSM phone that can handle texting/SMS and email as well as the usual basic phone functions. Buy SIM cards as needed. Of course, I won’t be checking any of my US numbers. Suggestions?

— Need some new clothes. Definitely need new socks for lots of walking and a couple very good pairs of dressy shoes to walk in. Living in Vegas has shown me that most of my shoes are not made for extensive walking.

— Thinking Eagle Creek, High Sierra or Swiss Army rolling backpack. But it has to be kind of a big one. I’m not going to pretend I can do the carry-on-only thing however I do only want one bag for ease of travel. Personal recommendations?

— What’s the condom scene like? Cheaper? Comparable? Same brands? European brands I’ll need to learn?

— Looking into a Kindle, much as I hate to admit it.

bits

— I’ll get to buy and use soft tampons. At least I think so.

— I can update this page most impressively!

— I won’t be stopping by Iceland, however.

— I am going to try and make one more trip to Dallas at the end of April. An attempt.

21 thoughts on “and it begins

  1. Yay! I am so happy that you’re able to do this Amanda, you’re inspiring good-hearted envy from me! Although I hope to study abroad next spring (fingers crossed). I have no suggestions on backpacking as I haven’t done it myself.

    I like the idea of the short blonde bob. But whatever you do, don’t get any bangs to go with them. Not that sideswept bangs don’t look cute with a bob, but upkeep on bangs is annoying.

    I ditto what Thais said. I haven’t used Google Spreadsheets but like the rest of their products, I’m going to figure that it works just as well.

    Very excited for you! And I can’t wait for the first update when you start your awesome adventure. Hmm…Amanda’s Awesome Adventure! 🙂

  2. I echo Aspasia’s sentiments.

    I hate that I wont’ get to see you when I am in Vegas, but I’ll be jealous of your adventures. And you sure better not go for days at a time and not let us know what is going on. We’ll be worried about you with all of the weird shit that goes on these days in different places, so do keep us updated on where you are and who…I mean, uh, what you’re doing. 😉

    BTW, I read your entier Book 2 while I was in the Bahamas yesterday, cover to cover while on the flights to/from and lying on the beach! Excellent work. You may need to write a Book 5 on international touring. 😆

  3. I wish you the best for your travel, Amanda.

    If your hosting company provided you with some site applications, you can look into them and maybe find one that will suit your accounting needs. I myself don’t trust anything Google as I suspect that they collect data through their services.

  4. I am using for travelling a SIM card from United Mobile. They have a UK number and incoming calls in many countries are free.
    I am not related to them.

  5. Thais,

    Thanks for the link! It’s a site I haven’t come across yet. New resources are always appreciated.

    Not sure about using Google for everything because I’m a spreadsheet dummy, unfortunately. But it’s a great suggestion.

    Aspasia,

    You’ll be with me in spirit, I already know! Bangs…well, you’re talking to someone who is not afraid to trim her own (though it sometimes shows). I hope it will be an awesome adventure. Sort of bad economic timing all around but…the timing in my life is right.

    Alexa,

    I’m setting up an emergency contact system and they’ll have access to this blog and Twitter. That’s the best I can do, other than Twittering from whatever phone I end up getting. I will try to keep up as best as possible. I think I will. Life SHOULD become simpler. I think.

    And thank you so very much for the kind words on Book 2. Put that on Amazon!

    International touring…I haven’t even left the country! 🙂

    Elsa,

    LONG time no see! I thought you were gone for good! Welcome back!!!

    Yes, Google does collect info, but I would use the spreadsheets only for inventory purposes. I need actual accounting software because I don’t know how to really format spreadsheets. You’re right though, should ask my server what apps they might have that would fit the bill. I really do need this to be done. It’s rather important.

    Sam,

    I will email you. Thank you.

    Julia,

    So you recommend waiting till I get in the UK before buying the card? There are many places online that offer them too. The better deals are in-country as opposed to pre-ordering?

    Thank you all!

    XX

  6. Wow! I’m green with envy. You are doing something that I always wished I could. But, with the choices I made in my life, that option is no longer available due to my responsibilities to others. I’m sorry I never had the guts to make an appointment with you when you were working in Dallas. I looked at your website hundreds of times but never made the call. You have such a wonderful outlook on life and I’m glad I get to follow along. You will do well on your journey and have a lot of fun. Play up Texas. Europeans are always intrigued by our state. If you go to Italy, watch out for the pigeons. They cramp all over the place. That’s my brothers memory of his trip there. Continue to blog. You have a lot of supporters here and we all just want you to keep yourself safe.

  7. For Eurailpass information chek out http://www.ricksteves.com Read or watch everything he puts out commercially. Please come through Dallas.

    Too bad about Iceland. I almost emigrated there in the 70s. It is such a progressive country.

    Please come through Dallas.

  8. Greg,

    Thank you! I’m certainly at the point of life where I don’t have any major responsibilities tying me to one locale, so I’m taking advantage of it. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t.

    I’ll be in Dallas at the end of April. One of the things I’m going to do is a photo shoot with the skyline in the background. I know the show “Dallas” is popular worldwide and I’m capitalizing on that! I will watch out for pigeons. Might get a small umbrella. 🙂

    Randy,

    Yes, Dallas trip being planned. You’ll get an email! 😉

    I’m all over Rick Steves, though right now I’m just chewing through his packing info. My mother and grandmother have been fans of his show for years. I’m trying to figure out ways of NOT packing guidebooks though. Guess I’m going to have to do the Kindle thing. Sigh. I really don’t want to support the non-book idea.

    I was looking forward to seeing Iceland myself. I’ve read such amazing things about the country. Sigh.

    XX

  9. Have lots of fun, its been over 15 years since I have toured Europe, it would be fun to be able to do it again. Be sure to visit the coffee houses in Amsterdam if you can, that is a very interesting experience.

  10. I’v always travelled without guidebooks and relied on the information that I could get where I was. Tourist information and the locals.
    Certainly I’ve missed some important sights. But it has given me lots of spontaneous meetings with local people.
    If you prefer to do some planning, just write down the towns and keywords or store them on your laptop or online. And acquire the detailed information locally.
    The question is also how much gear you want to carry / can carry.
    Have you got my email some days ago?

  11. Robert,

    Oh yes, I love Amsterdam. For more reasons than the coffee houses, actually. But while there, I WILL induldge! Healthier than drinking, I think.

    Jay,

    Behind on my emails, as usual. But I have given a LOT of thought as to what I’ll be carrying. Trust me!

    With the Internet, one almost doesn’t need guidebooks. As long as my new laptop can connect anywhere, I’ll be very good to go. Mostly I need info on sleeping and eating. Everything else will be a matter of networking. And since I have no schedule, I can stay as long as I want!

    XX

  12. Amanda, let me know if your photographer has to cancel. I’ve got to be in Dallas at the end of April for a CE class for my regular job, but I am a photographer on the side. I’ve got portfolios on modelmayhem and onemodelplace. Dallas is a really cool place to shoot. I had forgotten how big “Dallas” still is in Europe. Stay safe and have a wonderful time.

  13. Greg,

    Thanks for the offer. I will keep that in mind. But my photographer is a good friend and I doubt she’ll cancel on me! We’ve discussed the shoot already and she has some good ideas.

    I’m going to have a little fun with this “Dallas” theme. Maybe a little corny, but why not? I think it will appeal to a certain man — one with a sense of humor!

    But please email a link to your portfolios, I’m curious!

    XX

  14. I’ve traveled through Europe (well UK, Germany, Luxembourg and France) and it’s a blast. You are definitely going to have a lot of fun and meet lots of great people. But you don’t need me to tell you that 🙂 The real reason I was going to post was because of the Kindle thing. I am a HUGE reader and have always loved the feel of real books and having them around. That being said I have to say that I LOVE my Kindle ( I have the first version). It is by far the best thing a person can have in your situation. Not only can you download your travel guides to it (much easier than lugging them around), you have instant access to download more books if you need them. Plus I think reading goes by a lot faster on the Kindle. The only drawback I could see is with your travel guides as the Kindle does not have color pictures, only those in gray. Ok, well I think I may have just officially become a spokesperson for the Kindle. Sorry about that. 🙂 I hope you have lots of fun and definitely keep all us readers posted about your fabulous time in Europe! (So very very jealous right now :p)

  15. Amanda,

    I am shocked that you would indulge in the pleasures of that immoral plant. Don’t you know what that leads to? Cocaine, heroin, crack, prostitu…oh wait… I’m only kidding of course. I wasn’t event thinking of enjoying their product but rather just the experience of seeing the choices on the menu and the people partaking in the open with no fear. But I would indulge too if I was there again, and I agree with you, I think it is not as bad as drinking.

    Robert.

  16. Shawna,

    Thank you for the Kindle comments. I was thinking that since K2 is out, I could get K1 quite a bit cheaper, but wasn’t sure if it was all that great. But…you gave a great review! And I don’t mind the lack of color photos, I’ll be seeing these things for real anyway.

    Yes, I’m going to have fun! Otherwise I’m coming back home.

    Robert,

    Laughing. The only thing that immoral plant has led to is an over-indulgence of cookies and a desire to return to Amsterdam. Tour around during the day, have a smoke at night, go to bed and have good dreams!

    Amsterdam does have a lot to see and do and I like the city itself, though frankly the best trip was in winter when it was snowing and there were less annoying tourists. 😉

    XX

  17. Amanda,

    Sounds like you are going to have fun, and when you are in Amsterdam be sure to have a puff for me. 😉

    Robert

  18. Good luck with your travels… and have fun!!! You’re doing what most people only dream of doing…..
    Would love for our paths to cross someday……
    Hugs…….

  19. Ernie,

    Thank you! It’s something I’ve dreamed of doing too — which is why I’m doing it!

    You never know, we may meet someday. Though I don’t do as much US traveling as I once did.

    XX

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