Stewart's Travels

1988 USA (New York to San Francisco)

I went on an organised tour with American Adventures. We were 7 young people from 6 different countries and our crazy hippy driver/guide Dan. We cruised in our van to almost all the major sights in the USA.... NY, DC, white-water rafting in the Smokie Mountains, New Orleans, watched a baseball game in the Houston Astrodome, waterskied in Del Rio, popped over the border to Mexico, visited the worlds biggest caves Carlsbad Caverns, visited the ancient Indian cliff Dwellings of Mesa Verde, took a picnic in a speedboat on Lake Powell, hiked down the Grand Canyon ,gambled in Las Vegas, visited Disneyland and Venice Beach in L.A. and then took the Green Tortoise Bus upto San Francisco before flying back to England.

1989-90 Round the World

After I graduated I had the opportunity to do take part in the student work exchange program, where american students come to work in the UK and UK students go to work in the USA. I ended up in Philadelphia where I lived in a big fraternity house at the University. I was lucky as all the American students had gone to the beach for the summer so there were lot's of student jobs. I started door to door canvassing for enviromental group PENN PIRG ,but only did one day as I was sceptical about the politics behind it. I managed to find some as work a guinea pig testing sun screen. Apparently I have type one skin the most sensitive; so each morning I would cycle 2 blocks to the lab and then back to have a shower and breakfast (Iwas never in the building more than 3 minutes). Next I started training as a photocopier telesales-person, but didn't continue as I thought the ethics of the company was questionable. A Beatles photograph exhibition flew into town for two weeks , so I ended up helping out there. For the rest of the time I worked as a market researcher going around the city interviewing people about a real estate project. I had to fit in a few extra-jobs cook/waiter/barman at weddings, helping some-one move, renovation and stock taking. I fininished up working for a week as a guinea pig in a study comparing schizophrenics with non-schizophrenics like me (I know they proved it) .. brain scans , CBF, MRI etc

At the end of the summer I travelled up to Boston and to Martha's Vineyard. Then I got a drive-away to Chicago (it would have been better and cheaper to fly).

In Chicago I booked a tour across Canada with Go Canada a similar tour to one I had done across the US. Whilst I was waiting I did one days office work theen 14 days building scenary.

The tour across Canada began in Toronto and included Niagra, Hamilton, Algoquin National Park, Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa. Then we took the train to Banff (3000Km away)........... 60 hours on one train.

After the tour I cleaned the King of Afghanistans carpets in Victoria. I went down to Seattle where there was a great Youth Hostel. I did a couple of weeks of casual jobs such as being an election observer, being at with the ballot box all day and verifying there was no cheating.

New Zealand (kind people), Australia : working selling plastic bags, hitching in the desert, putting my arm inside a giant clam, and South Asia : staying with a man and his 4 wives, hitching in a giant police lorry, trekking the tribes and opium dens with my own personal guide

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