Scholarship For Travel

Scholarship For Travel

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Scholarship For Travel

Answer: Where to go for Travel Scholarship

Hello Tyler,

Wow man, I am really glad that you wrote to me with this question! There are a lot of places that you can travel to on a $20,000 scholarship. So the stipulations of the award is that this rich fellow will give you money to travel the world for a minimum of 9 months, but you cannot be a part of any organization, cannot go on any tours, cannot travel on the beaten track, and must wander solo, correct? This is an awesome opportunity, and it is my impression that this rich fellow has definitely traveled before.

I thought about your question of where you should propose to travel and I came up with the route laid out in the below map: 

Map of Muslim World

At this time in human history I would say that us Americans should travel in the Muslim world to get a true impression of how the people really are and how they really feel towards the West. So I say start traveling in Albania - a European Muslim country - then take the fast road through Macedonia and Greece to Istanbul, as I feel that this will give you a good impression of the transition from West to East. Turkey will probably give you a good warm up to the Middle East (I don't know how much or where you have traveled before, so forgive me if I am being overly simplistic) and it is easy to get down to Syria. From Syria I say go to Jordan (most travelers tend to fall in love with Jordan), and then cross the Suez to Egypt. I say get out of Egypt quick and just use it to contrast between heavily touristy Islamic countries with those that are less visited by Westerners. From Egypt I would say fly to Tunisia and do a little loop down into the desert and then travel overland to Algiers. Then fly to Morocco because it is in the way and it is a good place to chill out for a while before crossing the Sahara to Mauritania and Senegal. From Senegal there is a train that will take you to Bamako, Mali where you can take a boat up to Timbuktu for the fun of it. From here you can go down through Burkina Faso (one of the least developed countries on the planet) to Togo and then you can finish up in Anglicized Ghana. Leaving the USA and traveling this route will give you a good impression of how cultures and religion shift from Europe to the Middle East to North Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa. This route also alternates places of severe remoteness with severe tourism. It is my impression that this path will also be interesting because all of the regions that you will travel through have been having mutual interaction and influencing each other for thousands of years.

It seems like some good travel to me.  

This is where I will probably be going right after I am all finished up in Brooklyn, and I think that it is a timely region of the world to travel. Very little is really known about Islam in the West and it is my impression that Muslim countries offer a vast repertoire of deep experience and knowledge to the traveler. Muslims in non-touristy regions tend to be very friendly and many have a culturally ingrained notion of offering hospitality to travelers. I cannot even count the number of people who say that the people of Syria, Jordan, and Iran are amongst the friendliest in the world, and from the looks on their faces I know that they mean it.

It seems to me that many people in Muslim countries know of the harsh reputation that Islam has in the world and will be more than willing to prove to you that this is generally false. It has also been my experience that many people in Islamic countries are willing to share their culture and religion with foreigners. To cross the divide into the Islamic world is to inherently push culture up against culture and to come out with a learning experience that no book or university can touch.

I would recommend focusing the theme of your proposal around being an American  traveling in the Muslim world to discover with your own flesh and bones what this "cultural conflict" is really made of. From here, it is my impression that this perceived conflict is more or less a battle of cultural fringes that is perpetuated through a media farce. I assume that most of the people of Islamic countries will NOT take you as an intruder, an infidel, or as an enemy. I say go there and find out what happens. Make your own body a litmus test to discover the real depths of this "conflict."

I feel strongly that a person must experience a people, place, and culture for themselves at the grassroots level to really know what is going on. I have grown to regard the media as being completely irrelevant in regards to world issues.

Also, Islamic countries tend to be incredibly safe to travel in. Islamic law is sometimes harsh, and, in the words of Andy the Hobotraveler, "they killed all of the criminals so there aren't any left." To a small extent I believe this to be true, but I think this is mainly because Islamic society is very tight, solid, and closely knit. A strong community does not need to be policed. You probably have a better chance of being killed in Argentina than traveling through most of the countries that I outline above (though watch out for Algeria, and the sub-Saharan Africa countries a little haha).

What I stated above is my own proposed plan of travel that I will probably undertake this January. I share this with you because I figure that if this is the route that I choose for myself it is probably the route that I think is the best to travel right now haha.

I also really love that this "scholarship" that you are applying for deems it necessary for you to take a break from university. I think there is nothing better for a student to do.     

Thanks for writing!

Walk Slow,


(If any of this information helps you - or if you just appreciate me trying - please tell a friend about Thanks!)

Question: Where should I propose to travel for a scholarship?

Hey Wade,

My name is Taylor and I would like to ask your advice. My school has
a rather bizarre scholarship that is funded by a man who clearly has
too much money. The scholarship is this: you get $20,000 to travel
the world for a minimum of 9 months. There is a small catch, as there
always is. You must travel alone and cannot participate in any
organized program or organization (ie studying abroad, tours,
traveling w/ friends). To get the scholarship you must submit your
proposal of where you intend to wander. Additionally, candidates who
have plans that include traveling in Western Europe, Australia, and
New Zealand will almost certainly not be awarded the scholarship.
Basically, the scholarship says it is designed to make you go out of
your comfort zone to remote places alone so that you can learn about
the world on a deeper level, which is left intentionally vague by the
scholarship foundation. Anyway, I intend on applying for the
scholarship and I was wondering if you had any suggestions based on
your extensive travels (I would join you for a hot dog but I am from
Seattle and currently in Buenos Aires studying abroad). In terms of
places, I'm not scared to push my comfort zone and the only
restriction is that I would like to avoid places where I might die.
Let me know if you have any suggestions and safe travels.


Scholarship For Travel

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