THIS PROJECT- What's it all about?

From humble beginnings, this project has grown into a fully fledged 'round the world' expedition. Numerous businesses have chipped in with free or discounted products and services, and readers have been making small personal contributions via an online PayPal system. One very generous reader from Canada even sent me a laptop computer, which I will use to update this website regularly as I travel. To date, I have received over a thousand invitations from people all over the world, to visit and spend a night or two in their homes. This is really going to be an experience you will want to share!

UPDATE MAY 2006, MADRID, SPAIN The best laid plans of mice and men, they say. Well, if you've been following my journey for the last three years, you'll know that not everything has gone according to plan. The projected itinerary that is outlined on this page was never meant to be followed precisely, but I could never have known what surprises lay in store for me. If you want to see where I am now, go to my journal page or use the 'search journal' function to find out about all the adventures you've missed out on...

*Click on the map for a rough! itinerary.
*Click here for detailed country maps.

Since this project's conception in late 2002, I have encountered many obstacles, not the least of which was the frustrating delay in selling my car. This not only had me stuck in Brisbane without any income, but left me facing less favourable climatic conditions for the far northern sector of my travels. While I had hoped to complete the overland trip through Asia in time to reach Russia and Alaska midsummer, that is now no longer possible. Travelling with a small backpack, and relying on hitchhiking as my mode of transport, can you imagine how much less practical it would be to cross Canada and northern United States during winter? So...

The route has been reversed, and extended!

Originally an overland journey from Bali to New York City, I will now actually begin the trip in North America, and complete it when I reach the magical island of Bali, about eighteen months later...via the UK, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Trans Siberian Railway! Read on...

The first leg was the flight from my hometown of Brisbane, to the US - beginning in the mysterious frozen wilderness of Alaska. From there I hitchhiked down through Canada and around the US - visiting some of the many people who had invited me to spend a night in their homes. Along the way I climbed Mt. McKinley *well, we drove past it at least*, kayaked past icebergs, won a fortune in Las Vegas, rode around in the back of a police car in Toledo, and generally made a nuisance of myself. All the time, thousands of readers were sharing in my adventures, and in the lives of the people I meet on the road.

.Viva Las Vegas The spectacular azure water of 8000 foot deep Crater Lake, in Oregon. Accommodations in Indian teepees or a log cabin, on Vashon Island

The aim was to make it to the Arctic Circle in Alaska, in time for the summer solstice, but I was a little late for that. I finally got started on July 2nd, 2003, still in time to experience twenty-four hours of daylight in Northern Alaska. Fascinated with this huge, frozen wilderness ever since doing a project on the Alaskan Pipeline in High School, I have never before had the opportunity to make it that far. It's a long way from anywhere, you know! I was determined to at least put one foot across the Arctic Circle, and on July 22nd, I posted a photo in my journal to prove it!

There were loads of places I'd wanted to visit around Canada and the States, and just as many that I was keen to re-visit. I had many old friends scattered around the country, and invitations from over 300 new friends. If you haven't already, you too can take part in this project, and invite me to visit your town, recommend some places that you would like to hear about, or set me a challenge. My itinerary is very flexible, and provided I have enough support, there are very few time constraints on this project.

By November, I'd weaved my way across North America, once again staying with a wide variety of hosts- forest rangers, self-employed businesspeople, pot smoking students, retired preachers, farmers, actors ...you name it! Then I followed the birds south to Florida for a last burst of sunshine before...

.Badlands, South Dakota Canoeing through a swamp in Louisianna Getting into a tiny tiny bit of trouble in tijuana, Mexico

Working the winter away in England, where I once more tried to come to terms with warm beer and cold pork pies. When the indigestion subsided, I crossed the channel to Europe; and caught some much needed sunshine in Morocco for a while.

Then it was across Eastern Europe to Russia, and from there... well, you'll just have to check out my journal. Not everything has worked out exactly as planned, but everything has certainly worked out!!

.Sugar cane juice for sale at the night markets in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Yummy! Click here for full size pic and corresponding travel story A very literal translation into English, of a Japanese fire safety sign. Click here for more photos from Japan What, you can’t urinate on the footpath outside a restaurant in the Phillipines. Gee, that’s a bit tough! Click for more photos from Thailand and the Phillipines

.Surfboards for hire on Kuta Beach This volcano near Kintamani in Central Bali cracked into life just as I was walking along the outer rim After hearing the stories of other travellers, I'd advise you NOT to carry bananas into the monkey forest at Ubud

This worldwide trek will end in Kuta Beach, Bali, where it originally was to begin, at the site of the recent horrific bombings. Bali has been a favourite holiday destination of mine over the past few years. The people are friendly and love to laugh, the weather is warm, prices are low (a hotel room for a few dollars, a cooked breakfast for a dollar, a 'genuine' Rolex for ten dollars!), and life there is very relaxed. I can't imagine what it will be like to stand in front of what used to be two bustling, noisy nightclubs. Perhaps by then, the Sari Club and Paddy's will be rebuilt!

.John Lennon, Andy Boy, Fast Eddide- take your pick. They've all got a great range of Rolex, Seiko, and Tag Heuer watches for less than one percent of the original price Suzi, my favourite waitress, in my favourite restaurant, just off PoppiesII, Kuta Beach, just fifty meters from the bomb attack I was welcomed to this Balinese cremation, not such a sombre affair as it is in my country

To view a slide show of Bali, please visit my Not So Savage Files

I love to travel, and people love to hear about travel. That is what this venture is based on. With your support, I plan to update this website regularly as I travel. I will be keeping a running journal on-line, and will include photos of the amazing places I travel, and the people I meet along the way. You can follow my adventures, just as if you were there with me. You can submit your own travel story, or post your favourite travel photo, or join in a variety of competitions and quizzes that I will be running along the way. There will be a messageboard, where you can post a message, promote your business, or add a link to your website. If you are interested to follow this project as it unfolds, you must understand that I do not have the resources to fund it alone. I will need your help. Although I will largely be hitchhiking, and living as cheaply as possible, travel is becoming more and more expensive, and also the added costs of running and updating this website, will have to be met somehow. If you can help in even a very small way, please click here. A huge thank you to all those who have helped. I hope you enjoy following my travels, and perhaps I will meet some of you along the way?

You can make a contribution on-line via safe and secure pay-pal by clicking the button below, or send your contribution, with your details, to Stephen Savage, PO Box 121, Clayfield, Q 4011, Australia

The Not So Savage Files / competitions & quizzes / favourite books / links / 101 ways you can help / thankyou