Sinking to new lows: according to the scales at the train station in Prachuap, Khiri Khan, Thailand, I am now the proud owner of 75kg (165#) of pure love and affection, or a loss of some 5# per month for the last 5-6 months that I’ve been traveling continuously. At that rate I figure I’ll evaporate, transcending this earthly plane, in less than three years. But it doesn’t work that way, of course. And that’s nowhere near the 143# I came home with in 1978, in my first long stretch of continuous travel, after some ten Latin American countries in almost four months. That’s hard to imagine. Still it points out a major difference between traveling independently (some call it ‘backpacking’) and (group) touring. When ‘touring’ you gain weight; when ‘traveling’ you lose it. Hardie’s Diet Tours anyone? $100/day, not including flights, but including food (warning: you won’t be eating much)…

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