Boarding Pass – Jennifer Neves

Last month Jennifer Neves published her first book, Backpack Like You Mean It. After spending 6 months traveling South East Asia, rather than jumping back into the 9-5 world, she decided to start her own publishing company – Mad Dash Publishing – where she could write travel book with the purpose to entertain readers about the trip (click here for an excerpt on Amazon!). Follow more of Jennifer’s adventures on her blog. Thanks, Jenny! –Anne

Tiger Monestery

Home town:
I grew up on a farm in Freedom, Maine.

Where you live now:
Olympia, Washington with my muse, Nathan, and a couple of goats.

Backpack Like You Mean It

Last trip taken:
I spent six months last year backpacking through South East Asia. One month each in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Two months In Vietnam.
Water buffalo, Cambodia

Next trip on deck:
I would love to visit Machu Picchu. As soon as my bank account reaches critical mass, I’ll be buying a ticket.
Ngorongoro Crater

One place you would go back to again and again:
I could take safaris through East Africa a hundred times and never tire. Having lions camped out beneath your jeep is something you can’t quite imagine until it happens.
Snow leopard on safari

Place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
For beginners, I would suggest Thailand. Locals are unlikely to show anything but kindness and hospitality. For someone a little more daring, I would suggest Northern Cambodia.
Ankor Wat, Cambodia

Preferred method of transportation:
Anything with two wheels! In South East Asia I rode mostly mopeds and motorcycles, and in Africa I stuck to bicycles. Fresh air, mobility, and quick fixes when things go wrong make two wheels better than four.

Place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Maybe it’s the idea of bumping into a hobbit, but I can’t get New Zealand out of my head. I would love to do some hiking and backpacking in the shire.

Place you’d never go back:
I can’t think of a single place I wouldn’t return if a plane ticket was presented to me. That said, I don’t ever need to go back to Phuket Island. Too many tourists wearing zebra print speedos, sizzling in the sun.

Most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
While in Cambodia, I rented a bicycle and rode over three hundred miles through the jungle, staying with locals who were willing to let a mud caked, stinky traveler crash on their stilt house floors. I finished the trip with a self guided tour through Angkor Wat.

How do you prepare for a trip?
The two V’s. Vaccination and visas. I don’t plan hotels stays or transport, and I don’t make up itineraries. I get my shots, and I make sure my paperwork is in order. Everything else falls into place along the way.
Cambodia rice fields

How do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I have always kept a journal, but more recently, I have begun to maintain a travel blog for friends and family at home. My South East Asian trip was chronicled on Posting pictures is a good way to prove you’re still alive, and to keep people interested in your adventures.

What is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I’m one of those creepy women who takes pictures of other women’s children. While traveling, I love to snap shots of little ones covered in dirt, dancing naked in the rain, watching me watch them, or playing with their friends.

On average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
I probably average five hundred pictures a month while on the road.
Halong Bay

What’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
I’m big on waterproof. Doesn’t sound very ‘designer’ to have a rubber journal, but trust me, when fifty percent of your days are spent in the rain, waterproofing is a luxury. I always travel with dry bags. The more the merrier and buoyant is better. I love moleskin journals, ultra fine point pens, and a camera with decent zoom and a reasonable price tag.

What do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I write! My most recent trip resulted in a full length travel/humor book about the many misadventures I faced along the way. It took about six months to get everything together.
Favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I’m a sucker for clothes. I buy something I love from every country I visit. It makes for a unique wardrobe, and serves to remind me of the places I’ve been even when my day to day life starts to drag.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve eaten while traveling?
Tarantula. I don’t think I’ll ever have a hankering for a second serving. Spicy and hairy.

South East Asian travel blog:
Photos from South East Asia
website: Mad Dash Publishing
book (by Jenny): Backpack Like You Mean It available on Amazon, May 2012
on facebook
twitter: @maddashpublish

Boarding Pass is a weekly column looking at the creative ways people travel.

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