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Thank you very much for writing.
To answer your questions:
1. I am from the USA. Grew up in the countryside between Rochester and Buffalo, NY. Left when I was 18, only been back on visits ever since. Though I try to pass through home at least every year.
2. Living like I do is pretty good. Though I work a lot (more than the usual traveler haha) - writing, website stuff, doing archaeology, teaching English for brief intervals (never a long time) when my funds get a little low, and other projects to make up the money to keep going. There are tons of temp jobs that you can do while traveling or to make money for traveling. I have grown to enjoy these projects, these travel work jobs. They always change, always grow, and always provide me with the money I need to keep traveling.
3. I make the money to travel from the projects that I mentioned above and sometimes I am able to get scholarships for independent university study on the Road.
4. Yes, couchsurfing is a great resource.
5. Necessities for the Road? Nothing. haha. Naw, leaving with a very good pair of boots I think is a good idea. A good backpack if you want to walk or hike a lot I have found to also be wise. I learned hard lessons by not bringing quality specimins of these two pieces of travel gear with me. I think everything else can just be purchased on the way.
Ben, keep reading the Harry Franck, he is a funny guy and can teach you many lessons for traveling. Have you read Vagabond Journey? I think it is his best. ... raw, young, funny .. . his first book.
Are you going traveling soon? Get out here, man, you will love it!
Thanks for writing.
Maybe someday we will cross paths.
My name is Ben, and I came across your blog because I was looking up Harry Franck on google. I started reading and got very interested, and then decided that if you would allow, I'd love to ask you a few questions. I'll write them out here, and then if you decide you'd like to answer them, you have the option.
Where are you from?
Dude, How is living life like you live it? it looks awesome, I would love to have your current perspective.
How do you come up with money to go where you go?
Have you heard of couchsurfing.com?
What are the things you would consider necessities for life on the road?
I hope you'll be down to talk with me, I know you must be a busy man, so I won't take it personal if you don't (beside the fact that we have never met).