A major event of my youth was reading Norman Ford’s book, How to Travel Without Being Rich. I had assumed, like most Americans, that foreign travel involved expensive transport, luxury hotels, and three-star restaurants. Travel was something you did when you were old and wealthy.

Not so, explained Ford patiently. Everybody in the world travels, often at extremely low cost. Europeans tour Europe, Arabs criss-cross the Middle East, Indians roam about India. They take trains and buses, freighters and charter flights. They stay in “native” hotels and eat at the indigenous equivalent of Denny’s. There is a great, thriving infrastructure dedicated to serving local tourists who have limited funds. Traveling this way you can cross Asia, from Singapore to Istanbul, for less than $300. Granted you will get into some grubby situations; but you will survive without damage and will see life in the lands you visit in a way that Hilton-to-Hilton travelers never do.

So as soon as I had a breathing space in my life, I went around the world on $2,000. I did India by train, the Middle East by bus, and Europe by motor scooter. The travel bug entered my system and never left. Eventually I went around the world four times, backpacked Africa, hitch-hiked Australia, and lived for a year in Provençe.

One major trip took place just before I launched The Ecphorizer, and another while it was being published. It was natural for me to record some of the high points of these experiences. Later I added a few accounts of earlier travel, reconstructed from my notebooks. Here they all are, as they originally appeared in the magazine.