LivingTheDream's Guestbook



14th September 2010

What surprises me is your talent to catch a beautiful moment on a pic, do you hold the cam nonstop in your hands (or around your neck? Prob not...), how do you do that! I love your pictures! Keep enjoying central America!
12th September 2010

Hi-luxing
I think the verb 'to hi-lux' contains a hyphen.
8th September 2010
 First place for the award 'Shortest hot pants in Taipei'

Mmmm, legs
very good
8th September 2010

Really, it 's a strange felling for your reader's blog ;-) as for me I'll be miss about you treveller notes weekly i recieve news about you trevel ;-) I wish you successful to make a break for you tourney and meet with your parents and friends!!!!
8th September 2010

travelling costa rica
hi ben, ich wollt euch wissen lassen, dass ich grad in montezuma bin, die plaene hatten sich kurzfristig geaendert. hatte leider auch keine e-mail um dir / euch zu schreiben. wo seid ihr? in costa rica? lasst was von euch hoeren :) viele gruesse, julia
6th September 2010

Hey Ben
I was just updating some back blogs and uploading some pics, I'm in Costa rica now my 3rd month..and was looking at recent blogs about Nicaragua and came accross yours, I just HAD to write you and say THANK YOU for your spiel on religion and volunteering!!!!!!! I am the same exact way! it's truly terrible what these missionaries and "volunteers" do to vulnerable people, anyways Just thought that was great what you wrote!! P.S. be ready for american prices here in costa rica ( except for lodging, cabs and cigs lol) I CANNOT wait to leave lol!! happy trips man, add me if you would like as costa rica was my rest period from the states before I start my travels... Greg
5th September 2010

Nationality
those are DEFINATELY fat chics from the states ( southern most likely)
4th September 2010

A near and dear blog to my heart and mind...
Hi Ben...as stated, a blog from you that is near and dear to my heart and mind as I also walked the very same streets as you (at least for the most part) in Nicaragua. I have an almost identical picture of the cathedral, was actually on the roof of Iglesia la Merced, walked the streets of SJDS - didn't make it to Ometepe, however. And, yes, it is such a difference in sights when you leave the square to the less pretty streets. I too walked those streets beyond the square in Granada Your perspective on "pay-for-volunteering" is an interesting one and, to be honest, a perspective I hadn't thought about. I realized there are volunteers who pay for the privilege, but the angle of whether it actually takes jobs from locals is what I hadn't thought of. The question I'd throw out there generally (and don't know the answer) is this: is the volunteer actually taking a job from a local, or did that job really not exist anyway without the volunteer going there with his/her cash? If the job would have otherwise existed and now the volunteer is now "taking it" then it poses a big dilemma regardless of whatever good intention may have been behind it. If the job didn't really exist because there was no money or ability to make it happen without the volunteer, then it would seem to do more good than bad. Does the cash they pay (hopefully) bring some investment into the local economy to cause the job's existence to occur, and hopefully bring other economic development? That would seem to be the bigger questions I can think of offhand. As far as the religious missionaries, I might take some exception that generally people should not be "pushing" a belief. I would agree that the execution of a mission is too often not well-thought, but the probably easy answer to whether it is appropriate (in my humble opinion) would be this: if I see Ben (or anyone else) engaging in drugs or alcohol that will eventually cause great harm to themselves, would I not have some obligation to point it out in the name of being a generally caring individual - even if one thinks it should be only their own concern and nobody elses? Admittedly, if someone insists on engaging in a destructive behavior I cannot truly stop them from harming themselves but I feel I need to propose an alternative. I once heard that either the Pope or a Catholic priest suggested Christianity (and I suppose most religion) should always be there to PROPOSE, though never to IMPOSE. Admittedly, that ideal is not always practiced but my hope for these missionaries to Nicaragua and elsewhere. Keep in mind I say these thoughts in a libertarian viewpoint - I would say on some level, yes, we should live and let live. I just always hope that people will care enough to try to stop someone's destructive behavior and this is my hope that this is the vein of thought ultimately behind the missions. There is the big question, however, why do some of the churches feel the need to travel thousands of miles to evangelize? In most or all American (in my case) cities, there's plenty of unchurched and troubled individuals down the street to care for... Okay, enough philosophizing. Your blogs are always great to see. I still someday want to live my own dream and do the RTW trip. Time and money...those two intertwining obstacles...
2nd September 2010

To come back on your last point, hiluxing doesn't come with rip off practises? I would assume that one would say, hop on and as soon as you hop off that they'd say, that's than 50USD my friend. I feared these practises in Asia all too often! About the Volunteering, I totally share your opinion on that front. A friend of mine paid 5000 euros to give English lessons for 4 months in China. This excluded living expenses (room was included but he needed to share). Imagine you would arrange this by yourself. let's say 1500 euros for the ticket. 100 euros to get to some rural area, which leaves 3400 euro to spend on anything. You'd prob get a good deal as you're teaching English to local children. And then you apply for jobs in holland and everyone is impressed by your volunteering work. They even have more chances to be invited for an job interview than I have.... I got turned down once because I hadn't done such a thing!
1st September 2010

Voluntourism
In most cases "jobs" are invented for volunteers willing to pay for the experience, rather than them actually taking "jobs" from locals. This is massive industry along with NGO┬┤s and development in general. After all The "Third World" "needs" "developing". With "all" "civilizations" "expertise" and "resources" it is "our responsibility" to "help" "them"! Latin America has slipped from New World to Third World... Shoddy workmanship...
1st September 2010

Been there, done that
Hello, been there, done that, very cool! Don't miss a tour on the rio san juan until San Juan del Sur on the other side. And then to Costa Rica by boat ...
1st September 2010

Another interesting and eye opening blog entry. Thank you. Since I will be following in your footsteps in 1 months time, I find this useful. Though, I myself am considering doing some volunteer work while there, I will not be paying any money to do it, and I most certainly won't be spreading any religious bullshit about. The most I am hoping for is to work on a farm in exchange for board and lodging. While Nicaragua is far down the line on my route, your previous entries have been good reading too. I hope you don't have any rip-off incidents in Costa Rica and enjoy your travels! You know what, I bet we bump into each other! See you then. Jonny
25th August 2010
Healthy patriotism or foreigner-phobia?

frankly I would have been okay if it was only 98% Kiwi owned but its nice of them to go the extra mile :D. There is patriotism and then there is xenophobia
23rd August 2010

The Dubliners
Hey man, I enjoy reading your blog. How do you do the panoramic photo at the top of each entry? Lots people seem to have it but I am clueless. Thanks.
23rd August 2010

none
you have very interesting observations about latin american countries. good luck on the rest of your trip.
22nd August 2010

Going Home
I'll miss you blogs when you go home but you've got some amazing memories from Living The Dream! This Dream may continue....Best wishes, Dawn
21st August 2010

beautiful lands beautiful people
WOULDNT IT BE GREAT TO BE ABLE TO FREELY ROME FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY AND FROM LAND TO LAND WITH NO THREAT OF VIOLENCE OR HURT... MAYBE ON DAY THAT WILL EXIST... POEPLE WILL NOT LIVE IN FEAR ON THERE WILL BE KNOW CRIME OR VIOLENCE:) :) ;)
20th August 2010

every journey must come to an end I suppose, but what a journey it was!!!. Will make sure to savour your final blogs.
20th August 2010

Living the dream
You are really living the dream. Amazing!
20th August 2010

Coming Home
Dear Ben, I am sorry to read this! Of course a wedding is always a good reason to come back home but I have to admit that I will miss your blog. Yes I will ! I hoped that we could meet us next Febr. in Peru. What a pitty ! I hope that we stay in contact when you are back in Germany. Walter
20th August 2010

Totally understand. It was also a BIG deal for us to book our ticket after 14 months on the road. Enjoy the last months. When you're back in Europe, you're always welcome in NL.
20th August 2010

Hi
Hi Ben, sorry- was traveling and forgot to answer your last email. Well, we back in Zurich. Ja dieser Flug zurueck war fuer uns auch hart (von HKG nach San Fran), wir sollten uns unbedingt mal sehen, wenndu woeder in Europa bist. ich bin oefter in Muenchen (Family) wuerde gerne mal ein Bierchen zusammen trinken. Und ja geiler Tarvelblock und save travel! Florian
19th August 2010

You are so negative!
Maybe you should have done some research before traveling to Belize because it sounds to me like you are disappointed by what you have experienced so far. It also seems, just because it's a third world country, that you expected to pay dirt cheap money for someone to give you a tour of beautiful sites you will experience nowhere else on this planet. I'm sorry you are so disappointed by the prices you have to pay in order to enjoy your vacation. Belize has a lot to offer, but it's what you choose to make of it. I don't appreciate your negative view on Belize but to each his own and hopefully tourists aren't deterred by your point of view. Cheers! A very proud Belizean American

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