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frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about goneliving.com and my trip around the world!

    who are you?

  • Howdy, I'm Andy Volk! Until February 2006, I was a long-term employee of Yahoo! (where I managed Yahoo! Video's Search and Video Player products). I decided to leave my job (and my home, and everything else) in order to pursue a one-year trip around the world.
  • when does your trip finish?

  • I plan to be done with the trip around February/March 2007. However, the length of the trip may be shorter or longer depending on if i decide to make any changes during the trip. Right now I don't plan to make any changes to the length of the trip.
  • why are you doing this?

  • Years ago I met a pair of Americans who were backpacking their way around the world. The idea stuck in my head and I slowly came to realize that I'd like to take that kind of trip as well. Plus it lets me see a lot of destinations that I'd been putting off seeing, like the Pyramids in Egypt.
  • are you travelling solo?

  • I'm mostly travelling by myself, however I am travelling with friends during different segments of the trip. (For example, the first two months of the trip I travelled together with my good friend Jean.) In addition, there's the usual meet-other-travellers-and-head-off-with-them experience that happens on a fairly regular basis.
  • is it expensive?

  • Quite expensive. Now before my fellow budget travellers rise up and reject this statement, let me explain. The cost of this trip isn't necessarily massively financial -- in the book Vagabonding, Rolf Potts describes many ways to travel on an extremely low budget, and i'm definitely a backpacker / budget traveller for most of this trip. However, there are other significant costs involved: the personal cost of being away from your friends and loved ones for a long time, the opportunity cost of leaving your current job and not being able to accept new job offers, and all the other things that come with taking a break from your life at home for a year.
  • is it worth it?

  • Absolutely.
  • where did the name "gone living" come from?

  • My good friend Jess had the quote "Gone Living. Be back next week." on a page of Burning Man photos, where she'd seen the phrase "Gone Living" on on a sign. Since I thought that sounded like a good name for what I'm doing for a year, I appropriated the phrase for my own usage, and the name for this website/project was born.
  • how do you get updated information while travelling?

  • Besides talking with fellow backpackers / budget travellers and reading message boards posted in hostels/guesthouses (when available), i use the lonely planet thorn tree message boards, which are AMAZING for the sheer wealth of current information on travel. In addition, if you don't see what you need on the site, if you ask the question you are almost guaranteed to get several replies. For more information on travel within India, I also recommend the IndiaMike community website.

    what are your favorite places?

  • Ah, this is a favorite question that many people ask. It's all been an excellent journey, but here are a few favorites from the trip so far:
  • The Gili Islands, Indonesia
  • Moscow, Russia
  • The Empire Hotel and Jerudong Park, Brunei
  • how can i get in touch with you?

  • You can leave comments on any blog post on the site, or you can contact me directly via email. My email address is myfirstname@goneliving.com (replace "myfirstname" with my actual first name: andy).