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Travel Safety Hub Defined

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What is a traveler’s safety hub?

CARTAGENA, Colombia- A safety hub is a place that a traveler has been to before where they know they can live well, cheap, make money, re-provision gear, and balance their affairs for the road ahead. It is a place where you know the lay of the land so well that you can just drop in and have what you need and want almost on call. It is my impression that each traveler has four or five such places around the world that they return to in times of crisis, hardship, or for the simple enjoyment of being in a place they know they’ve mastered.

Sometimes in travel your finances do not look so sure, your gear is in shambles, your emotionally on the rocks, and you are faced with a choice of going off into virgin territory — where you are not sure you will be able to make a living — or retreating to a place that you know is a sure bet for financial and emotional re-stabilization. This is a normal part of the travel process, and will happen to most working travelers at many points throughout their journey.

What is a hub?

  1. The central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axle, and from which the spokes radiate.
  2. A place or thing that forms the effective center of an activity, region, or network.

A traveler's hub is like the center of a wagon wheel in a particular region of the world

My strategy

I explore new places when I have a ready store of funds, I go to the places I’ve mastered when my pockets feel a little light.

What a traveler needs

  1. Good, cheap accommodation
  2. Good, cheap food and a way to cook for themselves
  3. Work, a way to make money
  4. Entertainment, things to do
  5. Good weather
  6. Good company

A travel safety hub will meet all of these requirements in full, and act as the center of a wheel — a base of operations, a recuperation point — for a traveler as they move through the world.

Have safety hub in each region of the world

Ideally, a traveler will have a safety hub in each region of the world, spread evenly over the globe so if a fast retreat is ever needed it can be done within 24 seat hours.

Wade Shepard’s travel safety hubs

  • Hangzhou, China
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Darjeeling, India
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Suchitoto, El Salvador
  • Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal
  • Livingston, Guatemala
  • San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
  • Mexico City, Mexico

Having these safety hubs speckling the globe makes the long term travel experience far more affordable, liveable, doable.

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Filed under: Travel Strategy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap