A Word of Caution


Magun's Compass
Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others

It can never be stressed enough...


When travelling, keep your belongings close to you at all times. Closer even.

Crowded train and bus-stations are perfect locations for the opportunist thief, waiting to pounce on those distracted by all the confusion.

It only takes a fragment of a second for your concentration to wander, your belongings to disappear, and your nightmare to begin.

The police are plenty, yet seem powerless when they can't understand a word you say. You are irate; you have lost everything, and in return they offer you a blank stare.

They ask for your ticket, and try to escort you to your bus. But your missing bag has your ticket in it; along with your passport, photographic equipment, return flight tickets, and the largest part of your travelling funds.

You have no identity, and no reason to continue. If the ground could open up, it certainly wouldn't help.

In a police room, at the Guangzhou bus-station another thief is groveling on the floor, hand-cuffed to a table leg. A good fistful of money is in front of the cigarette-smoking, senior officer who is dealing with him.

A younger police officer, in creased fatigues, shouts at the suspect and repeatedly slaps the shaking peasant around the face.

Whether this scenario occurs to you at the beginning of an adventure, or nearer the end, is of little consolation. At the beginning you will have more funds, but later you will treasure the notes, and images recorded; worthless to the casual crook, but irreplaceable to the traveller.


Replacing your papers is never easy either.


Flexibility is required. A plan is made, but everything is subject to change. Then comes the reality of it all.

[China in '88]

[Getting An Identity Back]

Asia Index.

Nomadic Gatherings - Travels in Asia and Australia

Travel on trains and buses in Asia, then jump into cars with complete strangers in Australia and New Zealand as Michel introduces you to a collection of characters that bring Nomadic Gatherings to life.

If you can't afford to buy a copy of Nomadic Gatherings, the chapters are slowly being made available online - for free.

You may even decide that it really is worth having a hard copy in your hands; a useful read for those long bus journeys being written about, and for endless waits at ferry ports.

Nomadic Gatherings - Online Chapters.

Find out more about Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and The Americas.
Magun's Compass

Originally Hosted on Geocities - in 1996

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