This is a dare with Backpacking with Brock!

This is a dare from yours truly…  Get in touch.  Email me if you are coming to Ecuador and have a question.  That´s the bet and there is beer involved!

If you keep reading this blog past just glimpsing at the posts and clicking on the links, you will find information about some really cool people who I have met here who are doing good things. 

Some offer alternative travel options for the Galapagos, others offer expert advice and services that benefit social causes..  Some are way ahead of the game and are starting schools for street kids.

There´s information about volunteering in hostels as well.  If you have a few months and want to spend it talking to fellow travellers, this might be the gig for you.

Or if your really into doing something to benefit Ecuador while you travel, you might want to think hard about Project DCR-

Daring is the word for the people behind the project.  They started it from the ground and have been making progress where others failed for a year.  If you have a minute read the two posts about it, what they need, and how you can help.

I write about all of these people and projects because they get over-looked and I want to let people know about them so they can use their services and subsequently support the people I know here.

Somehow this next statement keep getting over looked by the good people who read this blog as well.. “If you need more information or want to get in touch with the people behind the things that I write about, email me at savvytravellerecuador@gmail.com“.

That´s the dare.. Actually email me with your questions, ideas for your time here, if you are coming and want to grab a beer, or just to let me know that you want to help out or need to get in touch with one of the people I mention. 

Chances are I can help, can point you toward someone who knows the subject well, or just give you a fellow travellers point of view.. Go on then, you know you want to!

I´ll buy you a beer if I can´t help or find you someone who can!

While on the subject of dares, I recently interviewed Brock from Backpacking with Brock about the dares he takes from readers. 

Brock is on a round the world trip and one of the ways that he keeps the trip going is by taking dares and then making videos of them that he puts on his website to prove that he completed them.  More about this from Brock himself!

1. From working and living in Ecuador, I have met a lot of people travelling who make a little extra money in a variety of ways.. At the hostel where I worked I met two guys who held poker tournaments where ever they went and were pretty much always up.  Others made jewelry and sold it.  A very creative person also made wallets out of wine boxes and sold them for a dollar.  You propose to accept bets from others over your website, backpack with Brock!  What gave you the idea?

The idea of Bet Brock actually came from fellow traveler and blogger – Dave from gobackpacking.com. Through is trip around the world you could Dare him to do stuff – swim with sharks, get someone’s number on a beach, eat a strange food, etc. I thought this was a fantastic way to get viewers involved and after speaking with Dave, I created ‘Bet Brock.’

2. How does it work? 

The concept is really simple. Anyone who checks out the site can leave me a bet on the site with some sort of monetary compensation – ideally appropriate to the intensity of the bet. Then, I make an effort to complete the bet and film it. If I am successful and post the video my site – they send me the promised money.

I should also mention that through my website, viewers can make a donation to this adventure. If they give $5, I will send them a personalized, self-made postcard from the country of their choice. This, along with the Bet Brock money goes towards upkeep of the site, internet access and paying off the computer I purchased to edit my videos.

3.From checking out the bets that you’ve been asked to do on your site, some of them are pretty extreme.  What’s the most creative thing someone has asked you to do?  The most shocking?

It’s difficult to pick which bet is the most creative or shocking as almost all of them are pretty ‘out there’. Perhaps the most shocking would go to the bet made by Dave himself from GoBackpacking, and my friends Ted and Sam who bet me to not only swallow the beating heart of a Cobra but proceed to eat the entire snake.  The most creative may go to Matthew who has bet me to rent a car in Cuba, drive to an abandoned hotel and pick up a hitchhiker along the way. We’ll see. The grossest would likely be that of Julius who has bet me to drink a glass of cow blood in Kenya.

4.Your currently on a trip around the world.  How has it been so far?  Any surprises as far as budgeting, what you expected, or with the cultures you’ve visited?

As I write this I am about 7 ½ months into my trip around the world, with about 4 months to go. There really are not enough words to describe how spectacular this experience has been. Not only have I learned amazing things about the people and cultures I have met along the way, but I have learned a great deal about myself, my strengths, weakness and what I want to do with this great thing we are given called ‘life.’ In terms of budgeting, I created a rough spreadsheet before I left of how much I could spend on food, accommodation, transport and experience. So far, I’ve surprisingly managed to stick to that budget pretty well. Vietnam was cheaper than I expected, while India was more expensive. And as for cultures, most of my expectations were spot on. The one major exception to that however would be India. It was much harsher and frustrating then I ever imagined. My two months there were possibly the most difficult months in my life.

5.I’ve found that when I travel from Ecuador to other countries in south America or even inside Ecuador I meet people who I first encountered in Ecuador.  It’s a pretty tight knit group once you get going.  Do you meet a lot of people doing similar trips to yours?  So they affect your plans and where you decide to go?  How did you plan for your trip?

When it comes to meeting other travellers on the road and how those relationships develop, I’ve found it differs greatly depending on where you are. Those who I have met in Asia had quite different priorities, traveling styles and so on than those I have met in Europe. In Asia, things seemed to always be so flexible. The ability to buy a very cheap bus or train ticket, for say, later that afternoon, meant if you met someone and liked where they were going you could join them without hassle. I found myself traveling for a few days or weeks with someone and even meeting up with them in multiple countries. Ash from Whales and I met in Laos, then again in Hong Kong and China.

When it comes to planning my trip itinerary, I guess it has been roughly in two ways. Before leaving, I made rough idea of the countries I wanted to visit and when. I would move from East to West, always being in summer and timing things out so I could meet with friends and family along the way. From there, as I traveled, I spoke with other travelers, bloggers and friends to make a more solid itinerary. If someone I met had been somewhere fantastic and I could swing it, then I have. This has taken me to Cambodia, Tibet, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic, none of which I had originally planned to visit. Before leaving home my trip slogan was:

‘6 continents, 24 countries, 1 year.’

I am only 7 ½ months in and I am currently on route to country #27. Clearly, plans change.    

6.What’s left on your bucketlist for this trip?  Scratched anything off so far?

My bucket list for this trip has seen a number of things checked off. I visited Tibet, a place that I was very curious about. I rode an elephant in Thailand, trekked on the Great Wall of China and to Mount Everest Base Camp, I survived India (which was added to the bucket a few days after arriving in the country), visited Auschwitz in Poland, drank a lot of wine in Italy and even convinced my mother to join me and my aunt for a 16 day whirlwind tour in Central Europe. That said, the bucket list still has a few things in it. I hope to experience the Great Migration in Kenya this October, I want to drink wine and eat a baguette by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, lay under the sun on the beaches in Rio Di Jenerio, Brazil, but probably the biggest thing in my bucket list is walking through the arrivals gate at Pearson International Airport in Toronto to the faces and hugs of my friends and family. Not because I’m homesick (that’s only happened a total of 2 days in over 7 months might I add) but because it will mean that this dream will have come true. That I will have stepped foot in 30+ countries, experienced cultures, food, met amazing people and all because I made it happen for myself, which I’ve learnt is probably the most difficult part – telling yourself “I ‘can’ do this’. There’s also the added bonus that I got to take everyone along with me in video through Backpack with Brock.

http://www.backpackwithbrock.com/blog/category/have-a-say-in-this-wild-adventure/bets-completed/

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