Name: Nik vWurzbach
City, Country: Düsseldorf, Germany
Sent: 5.12 PM - 11/15 2002

Hi Ramon,
cool thing! You are a real modern global nomad. Please stay save and show the world that human beings are not so bad at all. Your courage is great.
Good luck.
Nik v. Wurzbach


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: Kuala Terengganu
Sent: 6.30 PM - 11/14 2002

Hi Ramon!

It's nice to see a new and improved site after months of wondering what happened to you. I hope your back gets better and that your health will keep improving since you quit smoking.

Take care and enjoy!

Sharlini


Name: Leonard Stephen Ondu Majakil
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Sent: 12.39 PM - 11/5 2002

Sorry, me a neanderthal dragging everyone into different posting. Bret, a post is better than no post. May I repeat what has been written somewhere in www. related to lmsfad.com author. Yes indeed and I believed, he says life is about communication, understanding and respect. If you don't communicate, you can't understand them. If you don't understand them, you can't respect them.
Why spent trillions and trillions on seconds(time) or whatever resources on space explorations and communication development with alien beings when we can't even be in rhythm and tempo with your fellow humankind in your own backyard.
My belief is that lmsfad.com is just about that. To communicate, understand as well as respect our nearest neighbours (you and me). Californian orange juice is incomparable or irreplaceable but me a surviving native of Dusun tribe still and forever prefer the polluted Borneo mineral water. Why? There is no way to survive the situation here, too. Might as well be in the exodus. I believe that there are millions similar to Ramon daily routine except on a different mode selection. In actual fact, if you are in 'an island life'(by Micheal Franks), you have no way out except collect all those empty mineral bottles with caps and tied them altogether and sail out but still you are in this home planet earth. The next and always the best thing is still what Ramon has said on communication, understanding and respect.

Indeed and I believe that as Tom Spence of Brimsmead predicts that BIG THINGS will keep on happening to RAMON. Yes, he is the author and advocate of lmsfad. He doesn't have to be graduated to be a journalist as he knows the story at the horizon. My opinion is that, if Ramon is ok, everyone is ok too and vice versa, because his life is made up of all of us.
Lots of Love,
LSOM always.


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 2.09 PM - 10/28 2002

hello! after quite a month, I can now get a connession to this website (last week I tried, but there wasn't anything). the new design is nice, easy to be read 'cause it looks like the old one. I've read the lines you've dropped on the front page, ramon, and is nice to see that you go on with your "usual" life. I thought that I'd missed lots of thinghs & reports in this month but looks like it isn't. I'd like to send a greet to all the "old" writers here, I've just read the messages on this board.
ciao, donatella


Name: Diane,
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 4.06 PM - 10/26 2002

Its just as well you have a sense of humour, Ramon! Cyber beggar? Out of curiosity I paid a visit to some of those other sites and believe me, you're not in the same league. The difference is that you treat your "benefactors" with respect. Those journos need to do their homework.


Name: Rahul Mehra
City, Country: jaipur, India
Sent: 6.17 AM - 10/26 2002

I see your site great !!!


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.51 AM - 10/25 2002

Brian,

Interesting thought regarding the name of Ramon's book. Perhaps a forum discussion with ideas? It needs to be .... unique......like the project, but, will a book with a title "letmestayforaday.com" catch buyers, or will they think it's just another "dot com" book? ;-)

Then again, Ramon's pic on the front with a backpack will help. :-)

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.30 AM - 10/24 2002

Hey hey hey! It's the same good ol' Ramon, with a brand new funky website!

Ramon, this new look site is great. I've started exploring, and will eventually get to try all the things. Funny, just this morning en route to work, I was wondering what you were up to, and when next you will set foot into the great wilderness of the world.

It's good that you've started on the other part of your project - The Book. Any ideas on a title yet? I s'pose it could simply be "Letmestayforaday.com". Or do you have other ideas?

Will the book "bare all" in terms of specific things that happened that you excluded from the daily reports? Will the people's names be included...? All the details? I remember your comments at my place about the "freeloader" accusations from the press... :-)

Ramon, you keep working as hard as we know. Enjoy the travel break, and the company of your friends.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.05 AM - 10/24 2002

Ramon,

You probably already know this, but photos are not available.

RAMON:
Yep, saw that after uploading everything, but didn't have the time to work it out at that moment (had to go to work again, hehe). Now everything should be working. Minor bugs could still be here and there.
I'll also recreate that 'click here for the visitor's book'-link. ;-)


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.56 AM - 10/24 2002

Hi Ramon and all,

Missed you, wondered what happened. As I was reading about the huge bill you received from your provider, I thought I was going to have to open PayPal again! :-) Glad to see you got it sorted. But I WAS ready to fire up PayPal for ya! :-)

I like the new page design. Took me a bit to find the "Visitors" link, as I was so used to seeing MessageBoard and Forum in the left side menu. I have not tried the new message links, but read some. Pretty cool!!!!!!

Just one request. Hehehe, you know me, I am not shy! :-) Can you add back the link here that lets one open the message board full screen? The one where it said "If you don't see the messages, click "here"." The little separate box and scrolling on the main message board is kind of difficult to review sometimes. And my mouse scroll wheel gets real confused as to where I am located with multiple scroll bars (3 currently on screen). Me and my mouse are dizzy trying to find where we are. :-)

Sounds like you are busy working for a while to pay the rent and daily expenses. But, good fun "working" also. Enjoy your time bartending and DJ'ing, it sounds great and well deserved. I gather you'll be home through the New Year at least, since you have a gig booked. We want reports though, just 'cause you are home, you are not off the hook, hahaha!

Enjoy!!
Regards,
Joan


Name: Evamaria
City, Country: Netherlands
Sent: 9.03 PM - 10/23 2002

I am glad to see Ramon's site again and hope that the messageboard will soon come back to life.
My best wishes for your back, your book and other plans!
Evamaria


Name: Anne
City, Country: Trang,Thailand
Sent: 1.36 PM - 10/14 2002

hello, ur trip sounds fun hope u enjoy it!!
i hope sometimes i'll get that like u ;-)
xxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx
Bye Bye


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis
Sent: 6.53 AM - 10/13 2002

I can't see them either. But I can see Aug. 31 pix fine.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.53 AM - 10/13 2002

Just wondering if anyone else is having trouble getting the Sept 1 pictures from daily reports? I am not getting any displayed.

Thanks,
Joan


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA, USA
Sent: 6.48 PM - 10/11 2002

It's a message board! That means you leave a message to all who read the board. It's very much like a chat except you aren't in real time with the other people. I'm with Joan on this one. What harm was there trying to lead someone else away from the board and into the forum where they can continue an ongoing conversation. Sorry LSOM if you didn't get that post.

Bret


Name: Gert M.
City, Country: Belgium
Sent: 11.41 AM - 10/11 2002

I think Ramon or his backup team has good reasons to keep the messageboard proper by deleting posts and simple responses. Probably it has nothing to do with other readers OR the project if "A" is posting messages to say hello again to "B" and "C". This ain't a chatbox.
Thanks Ramon.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.32 AM - 10/11 2002

OK, I am stepping away now, as I see too many posts deleted for whatever reason.

I'll keep checking for Ramons travels, but can't participate here any longer because posts are just randomly deleted, including simple responses such as I posted welcoming Cynthia/Beth here.

The threads are being lost, as are the posts and "communications", thus, I am leaving for now, until Ramon and his Backup team want to change this to a moderated board BEFORE things are posted, versus letting things be posted and then disappear.

If you want a censored/moderated board, do that, no problem. But don't allow things to be posted and then delete them.

Joan


Name: Charles
City, Country: San Diego, California
Sent: 12.11 AM - 10/10 2002

I have a confession to make as well. I'm really "Charley, San Diego." :-) ;o)


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis
Sent: 11.02 PM - 10/9 2002

That's good to know, Cynthia. Welcome back with your true identity. Honesty is good even when inconvenient.


Name: Cynthia
City, Country: USA
Sent: 10.52 PM - 10/9 2002

I see everyone is here, Brian, Margaret, Bret, Joan, Charles. I have a confession to make. I'm really "Beth, Anytown USA" I felt I had worn out my real name on this message board.
Hi everybody!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.15 AM - 10/9 2002

Hi all

Hey, why the bun-fight? The last about 20 or so posts reflect society at large, and through it we can understand why we have wars. It is through lack of respect.

All those who are criticising Ramon, or anyone else, please, stop. Reflect on what you are saying. Reflect on what Ramon is doing.

We all have some form of daily activity. It might be filing invoices, it might be driving trucks, maybe managing a company. Or, it could be showing those who want to learn exactly how kind and benevolent the world can be, by travelling around the world and reporting the findings and adventures on the internet.

Whatever it is, we all do something.

If you are jealous then you need to take a hard look at yourself, and decide what you can do to fix yourself. Let Ramon be. He is working damn hard at this, and like Joan and others have said, he needs a break, just like everyone else does.

Yes, it is hard, but my mother brought me up under the maxim of "If you've got nothing nice to say, then keep your mouth shut!". It works. No-one is perfect, and the sooner we accept that, and have respect for each other, the sooner we will live in peace.

Ramon, you keep going, dude. Those who matter are right there with you. The critical folk will hopefully learn one day that their criticism achieves nothing other than tarnishing their name.

Sala kahle.

Brian


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.16 AM - 10/9 2002

To All, New and Old,

Yes, Ramon does edit messages here as well as the Forum. Actually, they are not "edited", they are deleted if inappropriate in the opinion of Ramon or his backup team. I've come to accept that, since this is a unique site, not like a chat room or a Newsgroup. Even though the Forum was designed (I thought) for more off topic things, it still is prone to deletions. I've had a post or two "deleted" there.

So, we should all just think of these services for a Message Board and a Forum as "moderated". I.E., censored. No problem, it's the nature of the site. Sometimes I have had entries zapped, but hey, it's a moderated group. If it was a total free for all like unmoderated internet newsgroups, it could become really a "world wide mess" and potentiall quite nasty. So though I don't agree with some of the edits, I respect the right of Ramon and his team to manage this site, their site. I just move on, still loving the project and everything about it, and all the work it takes to make this happen.

Keep on truckin' Ramon. And I hope you find a new clothing sponsor.

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis
Sent: 12.18 AM - 10/9 2002

To Beth:
I admire Ramon in many ways; I'm generally an appreciative person and think his project and outlook are inspiring. I also criticize him from time to time (maybe I like playing devil's advocate!), and in fact have had messages deleted. I don't mind. His job is to keep his website clear and effective. He also doesn't need to defend himself against nay-sayers any more than he already does; things have a way of all coming out in the wash. Anyway, I do appreciate this website, the project, and also participation by readers such as you, Bret, Joan, et al.

Like everyone else, I look forward to Round 2, whenever it begins. Meanwhile I still like looking at old pictures in the daily reports, etc.


Name: Beth again
City, Country: Anytown, USA
Sent: 11.37 PM - 10/8 2002

Margaret, you are truly Ramon's champion. Do you wish that Ramon would defend himself more against the nay-sayers?


Name: LSOM
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Sent: 4.33 PM - 10/8 2002

I would like a rest if I am tired of anything polluting my very soul. Where? Quiet atmosphere and with fresh air. Live for working or work for living - neither, Ramon. It supposed to be a free world but look - birds are for the wide sky and they are still being caged. It's only the tip of an ice berg. Working is a slavery trade if there isn't any interest in the welfare of the human race or mankind. Even in the airforce, if it is meant to destroy others, is also a slave of the political gimmick or propaganda set out to entice human to one direction in life but the end product is always set to enrich those who think they are powerful, educated, better off or you name it. Hacking? - well, prevention is better than cure. See what I meant. To be good, be punctual(in updating). Show the world the beauty, the goodness as well as the truth about not wasting even a second of your life. As I mentioned earlier, I would take a rest if I am tired. Every breath of your life is a blessing. I am not here to add insult to any quarter injury but my personal opinion and experience.
Yes, hacking is not a good work for living neither do DELETING people opinions, views, perspectives, ideas which are meant for sharing amongst us.
Mr. Ramon, this website is also my site. Thanks as I can post messages which I think are constructive. Yes, definitely it is a free world if there isn't any toll in life.
To Airforce - spiritual warfare? (I can see you), I am one of the generous guys who will sent you tons and tons of Borneo water buffoloes' shit.

Thanks Ramon and please do forget the CHALLENGE for the time being.
JOY,
LSOM always.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 6.26 AM - 10/8 2002

John,

Don't know that you are a true follower, because if you were you would know that Ramon does indeed deserve his break. In addition, though I was awaiting the last reports from Australia, I understood that Ramon only posted some pics and was just taking a break before writing those reports. He said he would write them and I trust he will, he's just a tad behind. No big deal.

Give him a break. I know sometimes I cannot even keep up with my work and little daily life emails, let alone the reports Ramon has commmitted to writing, and has fulled that committment 95% of the time. So we are missing the last reports, we'll survive. Consider the VCR screwed up, and we'll just have to wait for the next installment. :-) It's a great novel, continuing saga. I'm hangin' on for the next chapter for sure!

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 6.14 AM - 10/8 2002

I get 160 hrs, 20 days (4 weeks) plus 10 holidays a year, so that's 30 days, 6 weeks. :-) And if vacation is not used, I can carry over to a limit of 240 hrs the next year, 30 days. Meaning I could have 7 weeks vacation not including the 10 holidays time off. :-)

Ramon, I work for a living, I don't live to work. It pays the bills. I like my job, but would not shed any tears if I no longer had to work! :-) Anyone have the upcoming winning lottery numbers?
Hehehe!

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Ted
City, Country: Adelaide Australia
Sent: 6.11 AM - 10/8 2002

I'm with you John, we were promised closure of the last trip and it didn't happen. Ramon's credibility is on the line here. Start a job...finish it.

Ted


Name: Beth
City, Country: Anytown, USA
Sent: 12.58 AM - 10/8 2002

Wow, I get 18 days after 13 years on the job. I need to move to London

RAMON:
But do we all live for working or work for living?


Name: Charles
City, Country: San Diego, California
Sent: 10.06 PM - 10/7 2002

Karen, do you seriously get 25 days of annual leave per year? If so, I need to move to London. I'm lucky if I get 13 days off a year.


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis
Sent: 3.57 PM - 10/7 2002

OK John, where may we read about all that you have learned in your travels around the world? Ramon is a journalist by trade. A communicator. How about you? Not being sarcastic; I am truly interested in your travels, too, if you have a forum whereby we may read about them.
Thanks.


Name: John
City, Country: London
Sent: 1.48 PM - 10/7 2002

PS QUOTE from Ramon himself!!!'Next week another update. See ya!' posted 14 Sept, It is now 07 October, that's a long week Ramon.....

RAMON: Good one John! But it doesn't mean I am lazy at all. I just happen to have a life in The Netherlands too. And am I happy with that! New quote: Updates will be published when they are ready.


Name: John
City, Country: London
Sent: 1.43 PM - 10/7 2002

No it wasn't a joke. And i am not jealous, i travelled for 3 years around the world but worked hard during that time to pay for my travels, in banks, offices, shops, pubs, fruit picking etc. I must hand it to ramon for coming up with such a unique idea however, it seems to me that he is running from reality, wasn't it his intent to travel for 5 years non stop?? Maybe i read it wrong. It is so easy for him to ride on the back of the media, I have not read one report whereby he is really roughing it and when things get any bit tough he seems to complain, is he always tired?????? Or the other option is to fly home. What he doing now? He hasn't written a report for weeks, leave the readers wait until he decides to take off again.. SAD!!!! I won't be waiting around to see what happens next.............Ciao

RAMON
If I would be totally honest, I would start EVERY report with the words "I am so tired", but wouldn't that be getting very boring? So I don't.
John, sure you watch some TV. See my project as a TV-show on the Internet. One season it's ON and one season it's OFF. And of course you get a cliffhanger and then you have to wait untill the next series.
And yes, certain things I have said in the beginning have changed. I never expected this project to be able to get that big. Blame it on my own big mouth (I hope to grow up when I get old).
And, you don't have to sit and wait and visit this website at the moment, just submit to the newsletter and I'll email you if there is any news.
Good day.


Name: Karen
City, Country: London
Sent: 10.02 PM - 10/6 2002

John in London: think you might want to reconsider your statement after reading the rest of the website as I think Ramon has bene doing very well over the last 1,5 years and deserves a break (don't we all live our 25 days annual leave, even after only working 40 hours a week, unlike Ramon who is on the road 24/7 when he is travelling!).

RAMON:
Oh, just ignore John. Enough people visit my site without enough knowledge of what is going on Exactly and write it off in emails or on this board. It just tells us all enough about those kind of people, doesn't it?


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis
Sent: 3.24 AM - 10/5 2002

John in London . . is it a joke? Ramon lives one of the most real lives of anyone I know! He earns his keep and his way. Must be a joke.


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 4.29 PM - 10/4 2002

Poor John, he's just jealous. :) It's too bad that Ramon is at home, we miss him!

:)


Name: John
City, Country: London
Sent: 3.47 PM - 10/4 2002

Ramon, i think you are pathetic, you bum your way around the world and keep flying home for a bit of TLC, who pays for your flights home???? You should get a job and get a life........Try living in the real world!


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.22 AM - 10/1 2002

Hi Ramon,

I hope you are enjoying your time off. And relaxing, etc. with your parents, family and friends. Any hints on where you will go next, or when? Just curious.

Hope all is well with you.
Cheers,
Joan

P.S. I am not into this Forum debate, it is too stressful! :-) I'll back off from that, just want to enjoy your site and travels and people, etc.


Name: Kyleigh
City, Country: Perth Australia
Sent: 10.33 AM - 9/17 2002

Just something small - it isn't 'small-puppy' syndrome, it is 'tall poppy'. Poppy as in the small red flower. The theory is that when one person gets ahead, rises above the other poppies in the field, the others cut him down. It can be a sad reality in OZ, but thankfully it is not everyone who does this!


Name: Gerhard
City, Country: Fortaleza, Brasil
Sent: 9.56 AM - 9/17 2002

Hi Ramon!,

Nice interview at radio 1 in Holland last Monday evening. I've heard it by internet. It was nice to hear you travel statement.

Keep travelling!

Greetings,

Joris.
(volgend jaar januari weer Alkmaar)


Name: Sarah
City, Country: Perth Australia
Sent: 3.37 AM - 9/16 2002

Hi Ramon,

Just letting you know on your daily update for the 14th of September you were saying something about "small puppy syndrome". Its actually called "Tall Poppy Syndrome" but you got the idea right.

See YA


Name: Margaret S.
City, Country: Minneapolis area, USA
Sent: 8.23 PM - 9/14 2002

Thank you, Ramon, for the Ketchup song. It's great! A nice way to share a little bit of what's going on where you are now, home sweet home.
Welcome home!


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 8.03 PM - 9/14 2002

hello ramon, I've just read the latest report. just a joke: during my holiday, my boyfriend and me were surrounded on the beach by french, english.. and of course there were german people too. my boyfriend joked sayin' that germanic tongues sounds like chewing stones (no offence for any german or northern european!!), so now I was just wonderig how funny could be a netherlander singing the impossible "asereje"...

RAMON:
Actually, the song "Asereje" is sung by the three Spanish (!) sisters with the surname Tomate, so their groupname is Ketchup. As asereje is their major hit in Europe, the song is also easily called The Ketchup Song, because our Spanish isn't that great. The rest of the language in the song is English and something fantasy. The song is about songs you don't understand.


ps: to cynthia from colorado. excuse me if I take the liberty of intervening in this point between you & ramon. no doubt that some of the pictures are out of place (the one on the tower, the one with the underfed child), anyway I've been following this site so far and I've never found anything made with the aim of offend no one else (at the contrary, I've often noticed here tolerance). -dona


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 7.09 PM - 9/13 2002

great most of the pictures! :D congrats to the artists!
:) donatella


Name: Cronan
City, Country: Dublin, Ireland
Sent: 12.14 PM - 9/13 2002

Hey Ramon,
I know you are now on a bit of a holiday, but are you going to finish your australian reports?
Missing everything since 28th Aug, it is like the last few pages of a book being torn out....want to get to the end.
I have been following the reports from Day 1 and hate missing out.
Have a good break,
C.

RAMON:
You are absolutely right, Cronan. I am back home, have time and can do what I want, so I taking lots of breaths around here. But don't worry, the reports are really coming up soon.

Tomorrow there is even an update coming up from my first week back home!


Name: Thorsten
City, Country: Krefeld, Germany
Sent: 5.45 PM - 9/11 2002

All the best for your trip. In 1997 I tried out to go to Spain without money. It worked!!!!
Now I am in Egypt and I am going to go back to Germany, again without anything. If I have had a flat, I would invite you. Hope to meet you in any time Thorsten


Name: Juut
City, Country: Groningen, NL
Sent: 4.44 PM - 9/11 2002

Heee Ramon! Still doing great! Take care and lots of love!!
Judith de Groot


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.21 AM - 9/11 2002

Ramon,

I just logged on to say "Bless you all as we remember the tragedy of Sept 11, 2001." Thank you for your memorial picture and words here as well.

Peace on Earth! Bless you all! May we never forget!
Joan


Name: H-Alien
City, Country: Netherlands
Sent: 1.58 PM - 9/9 2002

Don't forget to run around among the cows while you're back home...it's a must ;)


Name: James
City, Country: Arnold, CA, USA
Sent: 6.56 AM - 9/9 2002

Ramon,
Welcome back or welcome to there. Sounds like in all events the other side is coming up. I have truly enjoyed these past many months since first beginning to follow and share with others your travels. Hopefully you'll rest mind and body, and then, when the itch to go needs to be scratched again, you''l begin again to enlighten us all. But if that's not for awhile, I 'll continue to surf for other interesting web loggers.
Besides meeting new people, I think I'll miss the sunsets most.
J


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.12 AM - 9/9 2002

Hi Ramon

Welcome home! Don't hassle too much about your Romanian cretin, he probably does not represent the rest of that country's population. Also, you can think of it as a lesson in life. The benefits of which will be a stronger website, a new skill acquired in the securing of websites and their servers, and you'll be a brilliant chef with all those cakes. (Or you'll keep a bakery in business for a while!)

You keep strong, Ramon. Get a physio to attend to your back, and relax until you and your back are ready for more travels.

All the best, Ramon, we're all right behind you.

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: Roger
City, Country: East Lansing USA
Sent: 6.07 AM - 9/9 2002

Ramon.... what a great website and concept. I've started my own website these last months... in fact next year, I'm giving up on my career to travel full time... but I don't know that I could do the travel without a budget thing. But if you have some pointers or places that I need to see, let me know. Here's my website: http://www.thisworldtraveler.com
Roger


Name: Joan
City, Country: Ipswich England
Sent: 4.18 PM - 9/8 2002

Hi Ramon Its a terrible thing to happen to you , but dont worry , its not the end of the world. You will be back after a good rest ,relating your adventures in the next country. Keeping us on the edge of our seats, and making us laugh at the things you get up to. Make the most of this break and being with your family, and return refreshed because we cant wait to hear more about these wonderful countries and nice people that you meet.
All the best Joan


Name: hanneng
City, Country: Singapore
Sent: 2.35 PM - 9/8 2002

I am glad that letmestayforaday.com is back online now. Ramon, tt's good to take this opportunity to fix-up some security bugs, and revamp the sites.

Keep us posted, and we following you.
Best of luck.


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 7.00 AM - 9/8 2002

What do you think Ramon? Is airforce for real? If so I do admire that he is owning up to his irresposibility. We shall see in the coming days airforce how everyone feels. I would suggest if people want to discuss this further, we take it to the forum.

Sala kahle

Bret


Name: airforce
City, Country: romania
Sent: 7.12 PM - 9/7 2002

As you can see my friends...
I am not afraid to reveal my true identity ..
I will provide you with my real name and adress ...
As i said .. i`m willing to eaven go to prison for my actions ..
I am not afraid of this .. But in this country if u do only good things u are prosecuted .. g33z .. my mother died when i was 14 ... my old man is 70 years old ..
and u guys judge me so hard ..
I made a mistake ... as i can see it will be solved .. all that i can say is yes i am sorry about this .. and no i dont live my life through a computer .. g33z .. i cant eaven afford one ..the are too expensive for my pocket ...But think of what i could of done if i had a PC ... and dont think bad!
I`m gonna mail everyone i hacked ... or i am about to .. and tell`em whats wrong with they`re servers ..
If anywone wants to eaven consider that i desirve a chance in this gawd damned "moral" world .. mail me at airforce@undernet.sh
btw ... my real name is Peter Pavel Eugen and i am located in Romania!

I am sorry ... and i appoligise to all of you:((


Name: Jasper van Dijk
City, Country: Netherlands
Sent: 12.31 AM - 9/7 2002

Hi Remon,

What a mess... getting hacked, I don't know why those stupid guys (or girls) want to do that? let them think of a better way to get some attention...

Hope you get some rest back home, and wach your back.

regards, Jasper


Name: inge dietz
City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Sent: 11.35 PM - 9/6 2002

Hallo Ramon, for many month I enjoyed your reports. hopefully you are back soon.
Best wishes inge


Name: Acadia
City, Country: USA
Sent: 9.18 PM - 9/6 2002

Glad you are home safe and well, Ramon. The rest will do you good. I am looking forward to what will come next.

So sorry about the site SNAFU here. As the saying goes "It takes all kinds".


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 6.46 PM - 9/6 2002

Ramon, good to hear you had a safe journey home. Enjoy the rest, your deserve it. Looking forward to the updates once things get straightened out.

Airforce, if your apologies are sincere, then they should directed not only to Ramon, but to all of us that come hear daily to enjoy Ramons travels. You really need to sit back and reflect on your moral standards. I think you know what is right and wrong, but your enthusiasm for what you have learned has been skewed. H-Alien is right, use your talents in a more meaningful way.


Name: Karen
City, Country: London, UK
Sent: 5.00 PM - 9/6 2002

Enjoy the stroopwafels, pannekoeken met stroop, Wieckse Witte etcetera!


Name: hariette
City, Country: the netherlands
Sent: 4.11 PM - 9/6 2002

welkom thuis Ramon!


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 3.33 PM - 9/6 2002

I would say that all of these postings, rantings, and etc is exactly what the hacker wants. Maybe the only way this hacker can live is thru his/her computer and cannot make it in real society. Don't give him the satisfaction anymore of acknowledgement; for that is what he needs. Let's talk about physics or the pilot strike in France..or just Ramon in general. :) Worthy subjects.


Name: No1
City, Country: usa
Sent: 2.21 PM - 9/6 2002

what happened to my last message?

Anyway, once AGAIN, good luck Ramon.

RJ


Name: Ramon's mother
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 1.25 PM - 9/6 2002

Nevertheless hacking he is now home safe. May be for a short period but we are glad he is with us.


Name: H-Alien
City, Country: Netherlands
Sent: 12.56 PM - 9/6 2002

in short you have 2 categories

1) point and go "uuuuh a weakness"
2) strengthen that weakness

right now you belong to category 1, while to accomplish your goal as you stated being in category 2 would be far more logical.


Name: H-Alien
City, Country: Rotterdam
Sent: 12.51 PM - 9/6 2002

Airforce that somebody makes it easy for you to brake in, is not a valid argument to actually go ahead with the brake-in, it's your own choice you broke in, you're responsible no one else, simple methodolgy.

And the choice of your "victim" is pretty low if you ask me, Ramon travelling around the entire world, hardly ever at home, working on a unique project was a extremely easy target, and what do you gain? is this website of major importance? does "the society" notice this hack? nope only a small group of people who happened to follow Ramon's life, wow what a major difference you made.

Easy target, nothing to gain, wouldn't you rather show your expertise as a security advisor and make sure that people like you can not hack sites. From your reasoning I conclude that what you are trying to accomplish is a safer environment on the internet. Now instead of pointing out those weaknesses, why don't you go and really make a difference, really go for what you are trying to accomplish, why don't you use your expertise as a security advisor and strengthen the weaknesses instead of pointing out, that's a far more honourable job, it will do you good :)


Name: Leo
City, Country: from Holland
Sent: 10.34 AM - 9/6 2002

What an %*$hole that Airforce dude, just now yo're travelling to Holland...


Name: Ang
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 5.58 AM - 9/6 2002

Well said ToolkiT.. and I'll add my own opinion if I may.. You have to laugh when Mr Hacker says in a previous message he didnt want to "destroy ones dreams" HA!! Its going to take more than a hacked website to destroy dreams.. especially the dreams of someone like Ramon.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ramon at the 'Make a Wish Foundation' charity night. The money that was raised will make even more dreams possible for some sick kids. What a great way to end his visit to Australia. I asked Ramon if HE could have one wish granted, what would it be? The answer was nothing less than what I expected "I would wish that I could make a wish every day" What a answer! and what a night!
I want to say Hi to all the Dutchies I met that night at the Pumphouse, and also to the guys from 'Dutch Online Promotions' who helped organise it all. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.. :)


Name: ToolkiT
Sent: 2.13 AM - 9/6 2002

'Airforce'

Your logic makes no sense at all:"the only ones that are guilty are the "experts" that configured the server my friend.. wich themselves should be blamed for this shit ..
"
Thats like saying I have no responsebility of wrecking a car because I hotwired it and ran it into a tree, but hey the guy didnt lock the boot and I could get in the though the backdoor....
Or I can't be blamed for torching the place because I got in through a window that was left slightly open...
Because something has a weak spot in its security (or no security at all for that matter) does not give you the right to get in...
That you live in a poor country does not change that 1 bit. Non of this gives you the right to break the law..

How about using your skills for something constructive? If you are such a Unix/security expert go find a job using those skills...dont use it to trash other peoples machines...
Trust me that will backfire on you...

"I never judged anywone my entire life .."
Yes you did, you Judged, sentenced and executed Ramon because of the security loophole on his server...

"I also could of mailed Ramon.. and i have right after i /hack the server! "
Why AFTER you hacked his system??? you could send him an email before you broke the law..

"I wanted a legit shell at the server" the only 'legit' way to get that is to contact Ramon and ask him for one... if you would have emailed him instead of hacking him he may have offered you a (unpaid) 'job' as his security advisor... which would look very good on your resume increasing your chances in the real world...

Hacking a server of somebody who's on the road all the time and can't keep up with every security exploid is not the biggest achievement as a hacker, but thats off topic...

As for my Unix skills, you dont know me so you cant judge my Unix skills at all...

Please realize that hacking in this way is a destructive way of life, use your skills and energy for something positive...

p.s. using a spellchecker, you 'l33t' talk makes you sound like a scriptkiddie...


Name: Brian B
City, Country: Raleigh, NC
Sent: 6.52 PM - 9/5 2002

Ramon, hope this server mess doesn't cause you too much worry. At least it came at the end of your Australian trek instead of in the middle of it. Have a relaxing break.

Brian B


Name: airforce
City, Country: nowhere
Sent: 6.23 PM - 9/5 2002

To Tollkit,

scriptkiddie my friend??
u have no ideea what i can do ...what harm i could do to so manny servers in this gawd damned world ..
after all i donno why the heck i am condemned for this shit ..
the only ones that are guilty are the "experts" that configured the server my friend.. wich themselves should be blamed for this shit ..
and about what i used to hack this server .. is something that i made myself ..
btw .. u call u`reself a guy that knows shit right??
why couldn`t you prevent this to happen??
ha??
tell me ... all of you ..
Ask ramon .. nothing was erased... nothing was damaged by me ..
My only mistake was makin` a psy on the server... a psy that was heavily flooded ... thats all ..
So dont "scriptkiddie" my friend .. when u have no ideea what unix means ..
One more time .. i tell to all of you !
Do not judge me too hard .. i have my guilt, but i have to live with that ..u have no phukin` ideea how bad i feel for doing this ..
so dont lecture me about what good or bad .. u dont have this right!
i live from this shitty internet, i worked so hard to get here ..
I know stuff that u guys will never know .. becouse knowledge is power in our days ..
But i live in a country where i cant eaven afford a PC .. Dont talk to me about what is wrong or right when u guys dont eaven give a shit ...
I have done wrong to Ramon .. and i know that ... it is my mistake and i am willing to accept the consequences!
So dont judge me!
I never judged anywone my entire life ..

P.S.: and yes .. i can be a guys friend ... but what chance do i have??
I also could of mailed Ramon.. and i have right after i /hack the server!
You can ask him!
I wanted a legit shell at the server .. g33z ppl ... think before u say something!


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 3.06 PM - 9/5 2002

hello ramon, after all the mess with the hacker (smart people everywhere...) I'd like to wish you a good relaxing and funny time at your own home. stay well!
ciao, donatella
ps: also a greet to all the readers who often write on here (the so-called "supporters") - ciao* dona


Name: Menno
City, Country: Beaumaris VIC Australia
Sent: 11.29 AM - 9/5 2002

Hey Ramon,

We crossed paths between Europe and Australia! I just returned from Holland this morning, only to find that I can't read your post-Tassie reports at the moment. Bugger....

Anyway, I reckon you must be happy now to be able to "recharge your batteries" for a while, after all those travels, faces, life stories and having to adapt in your daily role as guest. No place like home....

I have a deep respect for what you achieved and the way you achieved it, *your* way! And I am glad to be part of that little community that helped make it possible.

Regards,

Menno

"The way to stay sane is to be crazy now and then...."



Name: Ron from Dutch On-Line
City, Country: Sydney
Sent: 10.44 AM - 9/5 2002

Ramon,

Thanks for visiting Oz
I think raising $675 for the make a wish foundation is a good amount
Hope you enjoyed the whole country
Sally from Make a wish in Sydney send your info on the the Dutch Make a wish foundation
The charity night was nice and relaxing
But do come back we have so many bitterballen, frikandellen en Grolsch beer left over.

Have a safe trip home

From

Ron Ellen Bradley and all those nice people at the Let me stay for a day charity night

PS Did you leave the Novotel mini bar on your last night as is or will I get a bill haha

as you would say .......Its Good Night from Sydney ..........


Name: Perth Sales - McCaffertys & Greyhound Pioneer
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 8.57 AM - 9/5 2002

Hi Ramon,

Firstly, I must say how saddened I was to hear about this 'airforce' character and what occured with your web page.

Secondly, ditto for what Brian B - North Carolina says.

I hope your Charity night was a success. The kids at 'Make A Wish' will no doubt be wishing for more 'stars' like Ramon. "when you wish upon a star..."

Safe journeys on your way home.

By the time you get home you will probably need a holiday.

Nice to have met you and maybe we will meet again someday.

Kind Regards
From All The Team At McCaffertys and Greyhound Pioneer.


Name: Marc Howard
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 7.36 AM - 9/5 2002

Hi Ramon,

All the best for your coming journeys!
Was great to meet someone that has such a confidence in their own ability to achieve your goals even in such a inhospitible place as the Australian Outback.
Will send you through a few cards soon!







Name: KlergyC
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 7.04 AM - 9/5 2002

Hey Dude. Sorry Some Di**Head Fu**ed Your Site Up. Hope Your Up Soon.

Safe Travels...


Name: Ramon Stoppelenburg
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 4.54 AM - 9/5 2002

From the postings below you might be able to understand what happened with the original content of this website. Hopefully the backup will be up and running again after the coming weekend.

At the moment I am about to board the plane from Sydney to Hong Kong and to arrive in The Netherlands again on Friday.

See ya back on the real website soon. ;-)

Ramon


Name: ToolkiT
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 2.06 AM - 9/5 2002

To Airforce, who posted below:

With friends like that who needs enemies? :/
If you wanted to 'to show you was that you`re server is vulnerable' you could have emailed him telling him what the weak spot was...
To me you are a cracker not a hacker... probably not even that, just a scriptkiddie...

If you are a man you expose your identity and face the concequeses of you actions... you really put Ramon in a shitty situation by your wanna be hacking...


Name: Jo Neller
City, Country: Erina, NSW, Australia
Sent: 11.54 PM - 9/4 2002

Ramon

Have a safe trip home. Thank you for your support and advice when you stayed at my place. I have given Graham the flick. He was definately not worth the trouble. I have been going out with a lovely gentleman for 5 days. His name is Gary. He treats me well and with respect. It has taken four since my divorce and I'm really happy. Thank you once again. I hope all your dreams come true. I hope you and Irena can patch things up. Life is too short. Your living your dream and I have learnt alot from your stay. My motto in life now is to be happy and live life to the fullest. Hopefully we can catch up in the future. I'm going to Europe next year. Thanks again. Have a safe trip.
Jo


Name: stefan purucker
City, Country: vienna, austria
Sent: 10.43 PM - 9/4 2002

well, you have been here already, i guess.
so it´s hard to invite you again.
but we look at your route. keep on going.
a brilliant idea, but how do you feel meeting all
these people every day?
how many families have you met?
wish you all the best!

RAMON:
Hey Stefan, lots of questions, less time right now. I have only stayed one day in Austria until now, so I will certainly come back there again ... one day...


Name: Aila Karppinen
City, Country: Sweden
Sent: 7.32 PM - 9/4 2002

Hi Ramon!Thank You for your ansver,it was nice to here from You?Are You still in Australia??My favorite place on Earth(one of favorites.)You are a wery speciall person,and brave, for doing what many people are dreaming about,to travel around our Beautiful Planet!Hope to here from You.God Bless on Your Journey!


Name: airforce
City, Country: nowhere
Sent: 7.18 PM - 9/4 2002

Hi Ramon ...
I`m the ####### that is responsable for messing up you`re page ...
All that i can say is that i am sorry ..
I never got to "hacking" thinking that i would destroy one`s dream...
All that i ever wanted to show you was that you`re server is vulnerable ..
And if it wasn`t me .. it could of been someonelse who might of screw`d up the whole server ..
I am trouly sorry for this shit ..
All i wanted was to be friends ..
G33z ...


Name: Fiona
City, Country: Adelaide
Sent: 2.33 PM - 9/4 2002

Hi Ramon!

I just logged on to wish you a safe journey home!

Happy travelling!


Fiona, Wayne, Imogen and Jasper (report #400!)


Name: Nancy
City, Country: Leiden,Netherlands
Sent: 2.29 PM - 9/4 2002

Voor ramon, zodat je weer een beetje kunt wennen:O)
Home sweet home- peter gabriel
Met this girl called Josephine and took her up on my machine,
We had a little fun, and now we got a little one.
Had to get married, being chased out of town.
Found ourselves a place to live, we put all our money down.

Called it Home Sweet Home, Home Sweet Home,
Eleven floors up in a tower block, happy just to have a home.
I've gone and changed the lock on our home.

Nothing really worked out right; things got broke, they stayed that way.
None of our friends came round at night, little Sam got no place to play.
"We've got to get out of here, Bill," she said,
"I've been telling you all the while,"
When I came home from work that night,
She'd jumped out the window with our child.

From our Home Sweet Home, Home Sweet Home.
Just a place to take a rest, just a place to make a nest.
We call it home.

When the insurance money came through,
It seemed dirty, didn't know what to do.
Took out the cash, went down to the casino,
Down on the wheel on a double,
And I won, yes I won, like I never won before.
Bought myself a country house with an antique carved oak door.

It was Home Sweet Home, Home Sweet Home.
Just a place to lay our head, think of all the things we said
About in our Home Sweet Home.




Name: Willem
City, Country: Nimy-mons, Belgium
Sent: 2.05 PM - 9/4 2002

Keep it up Ramon!!!
Regards, Willem


Name: Brian B
City, Country: Raleigh, NC
Sent: 1.59 PM - 9/4 2002

Ramon, sorry about the internet troubles, hope they will be cleared up before you leave Australia. Good luck with letmestayforaday.com Charity Night. What a great way to give something back to the Australian people for helping you along in your travels. Just think, 16 months ago when you started your journey, did you ever dream it would come this far. I think you probably did. I don't know how long you can keep this up, but if you spend 6 months in all of the countries you have invites in, it would take you 35 years, haha (i realize you won't stay 6 months in each country).

Good luck with the charity night and have a safe trip home. One bit of advice, try and finish up the Australian reports before you get to Zwolle (on the plane or something), because I have a feeling you won't feel like writing reports once you are back home (I don't blame you I wouldn't either, what with all that Grolsch beer you speak so fondly of).

Thank you Ramon for opening our eyes to parts of the world that many of us will never see.

good luck.

Brian B
North Carolina


Name: Anne
City, Country: Melbourne Australia
Sent: 1.31 PM - 9/4 2002

I hope the memories of your time in Australia will stay with you always. Stay safe as you continue your travels.


Name: Sherry
City, Country: Glebe
Sent: 6.03 AM - 9/4 2002

Hey dude? How are your knee's? haha!
Had lots of fun with you at the bar and
Glebe Village Backpackers!
Catch you on the flip side!
Ciao
Sherry:)


Name: Alexandra
City, Country: Adelaide, Australia
Sent: 2.48 PM - 9/2 2002

Wishing you all thebest for your travels back home!! Take care
- Alex :):)


Name: Jamie
City, Country: Naperville, IL USA
Sent: 7.58 PM - 8/30 2002

Hi Ramon, how all is well with you..
...just a quick note to Brian..
...I am afraid I am not in your hometown, but here in the US. I should have been clearer when I said I was "currently in Durban", as I meant that is as far as I got reading Ramon's reports.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 5.58 AM - 8/30 2002

Hi Ramon

Just a short note to wish you well with your party in Sydney. It's good that you are raising funds for charity. Hey, all the Sydney folk, you guys have to go! I don't want any excuses, you have to support Ramon in that party.

Jamie, from Naperville, Il, I see that you are "currently in Durban". Is that in the reports, or physically? If physically, then welcome to my home. Perhaps we can get together for a drink. If in the reports, then happy reading!

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: Renee
City, Country: Currently Delft, Netherlands
Sent: 8.52 AM - 8/29 2002

Hoe gaat het! This is Renee from Ramons Brisbane & Mooloolaba stay (and we also ran into each other on Magnetic).

Just thought I'd say hello from your own country Ramon! You know how I love the Dutch - well I kept in touch with a guy I met on Fraser Island 18mnths ago & he flew to London to see me when I got back from Canada. We've been a couple since and are very happy! :) He loves Aussie girls and I love Dutch guys so it's a great match, not to mention a lot more in common and he is the most wonderful boyfriend in the world :) So now I'm staying-for-a-month with him, and he will be with me in the UK in September for a week and we're working out beyond that, but he's been planning on living in Australia since I met him so hopefully we'll both end up there in about 2004. Meanwhile I'm trying to learn Dutch and it's rather difficult! Have also just learnt to ride a bike, been for a cruise up a canal and am eating lots of cheese. So I can now totally associate with you having to learn all new things in your travels as now I'm doing it all in your own country!

Anyway wanted to wish you good luck returning back home and enjoy your break :) Doei.


Name: James
City, Country: Arnold, California, USA
Sent: 10.19 PM - 8/28 2002

Sorry, but I want to weigh in back with the comments on world awareness. There is an international newspaper printed in the US and many other countries called the Christian Science Monitor. Yes it does originate from a religious group, but 98% of its content is international news and comment. It is widely read. Take a look it has opened up my view of the world. Especially since it tries to focus and the people and the issues, not the sensationalism of the news.
Continue on, keep em' flowing
J


Name: Jamie
City, Country: Naperville, IL, USA
Sent: 5.31 PM - 8/28 2002

Ramon,
you are an inspiration to us all. I have been reading your site from day one (currently in Durban, South Africa)... your insite into people is truely amazing.

Safe Travels.

Jamie


Name: Bart
City, Country: Belgium
Sent: 3.19 PM - 8/28 2002

The name of the Dutch guy who "discovered" New- Amsterdam (New York) was Peter Stuyvesant


Name: ...
City, Country: ...
Sent: 7.41 PM - 8/27 2002

Careful Robert,

Manhattan was not "discovered" by the Dutch. Natives had been living there for countless generations. Some of the Dutch and the Puritans attempted to exterminate the Natives, and many were captured and sold as slaves. Not the prettiest chapter in American history.

(Not trying to alienate anyone or start any arguments on the actions of people hundreds of years ago - I just don't like the "discovered" claims!)

RAMON:
Thanks ... But what is wrong with a simple name for you?


Name: Linda
City, Country: Hobart, Tasmania
Sent: 1.23 AM - 8/27 2002

I just noticed one of the comments in Ramon's report on his arrival in Melbourne. Thanks for sticking up for us Tasmanians, Hamish!

Linda


Name: lazystudent.co.uk
City, Country: UK
Sent: 12.29 AM - 8/27 2002

Ramon

Its always great to see that you are doing well we keep checking and everythings running really smooth. Australia sounds and looks great from the pictures you you have taken. We also like the write ups on the day to day events.

Your doing fantastic.

Talk to you soon.

lazystudent


Name: Craig & Lauren
City, Country: Bendigo, Australia
Sent: 9.08 AM - 8/26 2002

Ramon,

Lauren and I want to thank you for including us in what must be an amazing experience for you. It is truly astounding what a little hospitality from one person at a time can accomplish; and for someone to have the courage to take that leap of faith and make it work is fantastic. We wish you luck in the rest of your travels and hopefully one day we will get to Zwolle and visit you (if you are home that is...lol)

Anyway, thank you again. You were the perfect houseguest and most welcome to stay if you are in Bendigo again.

Good luck!

Craig & Lauren


Name: Robert
City, Country: Indiana, USA
Sent: 2.54 AM - 8/26 2002

Ramon,

I was just thinking, New York City, ie., Manhattan,
was discovered by a Dutchman. His name escapes me,
at the moment, but you may know his name. Now, in
NYC and in other US cities 50 years ago, we had pay
toilets in hotels and other establishments. It, also,
occurs to me that another Dutchman invented the "Limbo" to enter these pay toilets. Are you
related to this guy?


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 12.49 PM - 8/25 2002

Lew,

Aptly put.


Name: Lew Bretz
City, Country: Elephant Pass Tasmania, OZ
Sent: 3.49 AM - 8/25 2002

Hi Ramon,
I'm glad you're caught up with your diary and that your minor storm over Tasmania got cleared up.

For the group, though, or those who read about his night at Elephant Pass...

there were a few misremembered details in Ramon's
posting, mostly not errors that would concern anyone. But I'm shocked, Ramon, absolutely shocked, that you could suggest I'd ever drive anything manufactured by Honda! ;-)

But for any Americans I should clarify what I meant in reported comments on parochialism in the US and elsewhere. If Ramon didn't grasp it all, I
may be the guilty party. I not only did the explaining in what was, for Ramon, a foreign language, I was also pouring his wine!

I certainly admit that half of the US is indifferent to almost everything happening overseas that doesn't directly concern them. But it's arguable that almost everywhere else half the people, at least, aren't much
different.

Half of them, after all, have below average IQs and education levels. You can get through university, even, without having studied social issues in
depth past age 16. And how much did any of us understand at 16?

Although I don't speak Dutch, I've got enough language background to follow the news in several European languages from France to Russia. I've often detected the same parochialism in these European channels, which we can watch in Australia thanks to its ethnic media network, SBS. It's always interesting for me as an American to see how they handle US-related
stories and which ones they find of interest. It often says more about them than about America.

Even in an outward looking culture, which Holland has been for 5 or more centuries and Australia is since its British trading network ended, local stuff is what
viewers generally want. I just now listened to Australia's ABC radio news this morning--the ABC is our equivalent of Britain's BBC or Canada's
CBC--and nearly all its stories were irrelevant to anyone outside its minority listening audience--irrelevant even to most of Australia, to say nothing of the wider world.

I'll save the list of stories in case Ramon, as a longtime student of journalism, is interested--they'd probably bore anyone else. But the list shows how, in today's complex world, we all tend to drastically scale down our attention span, and look for some connection between a story and our lives; if there's no obvious link, we don't have much patience for it and our minds move on.

Media proprietors hate that. We are not their customers, we are their PRODUCT. The advertisers who want our attention are their real clients.

I hope this wasn't too wordy, but looking back on it the topic it seems to warrant this much attention; maybe someone else could put it simpler without dumbing it down. And perhaps some others tracking Ramon have some views on this too? I know he's busy mulling over such stuff and hopefully he'll share his conclusions with us when they're "ripe".

cheers and best of luck on your return trip Ramon,
Lew

RAMON:
I could not have said these things better. Lew, you keep amazing me. You really must have been a great teacher at the schools you taught, because I keep learning new sorts of insights from you.
Blame it on my age, I'd say, but hopefully I keep learning all these new things along the road. As I am, a student of life.
Thanks, Lew!


Name: Anne
City, Country: Cairns, Australia
Sent: 3.39 AM - 8/25 2002

Dear Ramon,
How Vickie could think you are anything but a gentleman, I don't know. You certainly did not leave our house in a mess either! We cannot force others to do what WE want just for our own satisfaction. You happily joined in our family's activities and outings, but if you had declined through tiredness or a wish to update your travels we would have honoured that.....indeed your final day was just that ...catching up.
To Ramon's mother...you can be proud of your son...he is a perfect guest.
Enjoy your break back in Holland.
All the best,
Love Anne and the crew.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.49 AM - 8/25 2002

Hi Ramon,

I had to comment on your report of Aug 21 where you begin with "When I woke up this morning my hostess Linda had left a note in the kitchen with the instructions how I can survive for breakfast or lunch."

I know this has happened to you at other host/hostess homes as well. I believe it is a testament to your web site, your integrity, your reporting expertise, your photos, etc. which allows people to not only let a "stranger" into their home, but to also leave him ALONE in their home when they go off to work. Amazing trust and faith in you. For people to leave you in their home, where your could "in theory" rip them off or invade their private things, mess with their possessions, etc. - but then again, you'd be easy to track down as your travels are not secret! :-)

I just think it is really a testament to you and your idea and your web site that allows people who invite you, and allows you as well, to have an implicit trust in one another. Really refreshing.

P.S. Loved the hermit crab races. But I think they could do a better job of painting those shells to match some F1, CART, IRL, NASCAR or AUSCAR cars! :-) How about a "Schumi" crab or a "Castroneves" crab or an "Andretti" crab or a "Gordon" crab or an "Earnhardt" crab? ;-) Just to name a few. (OK, I admit it, I am a car racing fan!)

"Weather is here, wish you were beautiful!" :-)
Happy trails.
Joan


Name: Kevin
City, Country: Zimbabwe
Sent: 10.56 PM - 8/24 2002

Ramon,
This is my first visit to your site, and man I'm impressed- such an original idea. I see you get around a fair bit, and have even ventured to such EXOTIC locations as South Africa. If you get the chance maybe you like to venture a little further north next time, so come up and see us!
Stay well, and enjoy your travels.
PS Enjoyed reading about the Zimbabwean you met between Pembleton and Perth (21.07.02)


Name: took
City, Country: thailand
Sent: 2.11 PM - 8/24 2002

I am took , thai woman. i am a little officer in independent organization , work about develop's work with poor people and community in thai.

Frist, i am sorry ,i want to tell you that " i cannot use English languange well , sometime it's very bad " ok! I will try...
i knew you from Future magazine , after i read your story already , made me interested !

Do you know Thailand? Thailand has many placeS are nice , and the people are kind [almost tourist knew that]
but there is one more corner , many person never see , "it is real thai life corner" There are many people are poor in thai , they are very diffecult.They don't have some food / house and every things ...The life is without chance and hope.it is empty

i knew that you travel a lot and see many things in the word . you can write and link a lot imformation and the sponsor's company .
i think that , if you need make good thing in your one life and for the other people are in the same world . you can do , it is very easy for you.

if you take thier story [poor people] when you travel in every country , write and link together . you may doubt that "what will happen with this doing?" and "what are you receive ?" i can answer you that "i don't know and you cannot receive any thing ."

but one thing i believe , you will feel good and hope that , sometime there is some one think like me and you and want to help them . I need to see help's network [help and help and help] i think that , it is a good way for human in the same word.

i don't request you do it , just want to do the thing which i think that " make my life has value , i have only one life . i don't need to think and do for only myself. i don't know about impact of my develop 's work. i don't have money or knowledge a lot for help them. but one thing which i alway try to do. it is try to think and do good thing with the people are around me and every time , if i have a chance.

now you have big chance already, you have big contact in the word . you are become known and " you have power for do good thing and build value in your life " . i believe that!

if you come thailand , i welcome to bring you to see diffecult life , one life's corner which nobody interest!

THANK YOU ALOT FOR YOUR READING MY . i still do this thing . although , you will do or not

let's visit thai! you can see new thing ...


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.22 AM - 8/24 2002

Vicki Curtis, the oddball in Tassie. That you are. Not more more to be said there!

Hey C.L. Robbins, the picture of a Cowboys T-shirt does NOT mean the Cowgirl thugs are liked around the world. :-) Dallas Cowboys are "worthy"? ;-) Worthy of jail time perhaps.
Hehehehe.

Joan


Name: C. L. Robbins
City, Country: Dallas, TX USA
Sent: 10.43 PM - 8/23 2002

I really enjoy reading your journal entries and seeing your pictures. I am a Dallas Cowboy fan. You can imagine the surprise in your "Calendar Contest" picture from Australia, seeing an AIKMAN #8 shirt. The "worthy" Cowboys are liked around the world!!


Name: Marieke
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 4.46 PM - 8/23 2002

Well frmo what I read in your postings, I think Vicky has some kind of mental disorder. ADHD (Hyperactivity disorder) might be a possibility. That means you react in an extremely impulsive way and do lots of things you regret later on. You react on emotions in a very primal way: impulsively. And later you regret what you have said/done because you migth not even really mean it.

From reading the posts I do not get the impression Vicky is a nasty woman or anything. After all, she seemed over the moon with having Ramon. I think it went a little different form what she expected and that was a change in her 'plan' and she did not really know how to cope with that.


Name: Vicki Curtis
City, Country: Hobart Tasmania
Sent: 2.37 PM - 8/23 2002

Hey guys - please dont bag me anymore. I truly am sorry. There are things I cant say publicly - but there's a reason why I am 'different'. Please welcome me guys. I've made a huge mistake. Im sure Ramon will forgive me when he reads his email about what happened.


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 2.04 PM - 8/23 2002

hello ramon, I've just read your 2 latest report, the mailinglist made me quite curious about that fuss with the hostess in hobart. I'd like to tell you what is obviously plain: it can happen to meet on your route unpleasant people (the problem is that you can't realise it before accepting the invitation...); probably the more you go on --> the more you become "famous" --> the more you risk to meet people or media that want to use you and your experience as a kind of fenomeno (or a rag doll, as you wrote). I'm generally speaking, don't want to judge wickie - you know, the report of the aug.19th is a little disqiueting in its irony... (did you have a premonition?) I mean, it sounds like that wasn't much feeling from the start with the lady.

probably the best thing is speaking clearly to her and making clear about your opinions once again, then you'll have made all the possible: it's up to her to understand.
go on right your own way, this is your project. best wishes :)
ciao, donatella


Name: Alexandra
City, Country: adelaide
Sent: 1.56 PM - 8/23 2002

RAMON ROX!


Name: Fiona
City, Country: Adelaide
Sent: 1.55 PM - 8/23 2002

Hey Ramon!

I hope you don't think all Anlgican priest's wives are wacky! Remember when you stayed with us and we had dinner at a table with a glass of wine! You were the perfect house guest and we would have you again in a flash! Imogen still asks where you are so I have been showing her the pictures on the site!

Those of us on the mainland always say Tesweigans have 2 heads!


Name: Vicki Curtis
City, Country: Hobart Tasmania
Sent: 1.44 PM - 8/23 2002

Hi this is Vicki Curtis the oddball from Tassie.
This is my public apology to Ramon for causing him so much grief. I have written him a long email and I hope that he finds it in his heart to forgive me after reading what I have to say to him. I have wasted a precious opportunity in like. Maybe Ramon will publicly accept me back to this site?

Vicki Curtis the 'different' one in Tasy.


Name: Sue
City, Country: Hong Kong
Sent: 1.34 PM - 8/23 2002

Glad to hear Ramon had a great day biking in the Tamar Valley, also that he went to my home town (George Town) as a lot of visitors find it a bit out of the way. By the way, the bridge is called the "Batman Bridge" after a John Batman, a busranger who used to hideout in the area, I believe. Unless they have changed the name sometime in the last 20 years!
It really is great to see all the pictures from Tasmania, thanks!


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 11.18 AM - 8/23 2002

Sounds like you met up with a good one in Lew. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during your long conversation.

Whatever happens with this Vicky person happens. You know who you are and what you are. Perhaps she had the wrong expectations of your visit. Maybe she figures her road to fame is by being the anti-Ramon.
Sad.


Name: Gail
City, Country: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Sent: 1.19 AM - 8/23 2002

Hi everybody,

I can't believe that a person can invite someone to stay with them as a guest, knowing that they have no money, transport or other means by which to make life easier, and then say to the media that they "used" them during the stay!
This particular host must be one stressed out bunny!

Cheers and keep on cranking, Ramon!


Name: Belinda
City, Country: Hobart Tasmania
Sent: 10.42 AM - 8/22 2002

Hi Ramon
There was a lady on the radio down here this morning giving you some bad rap. Apparently she's having it published in the local rag. I just want you to know that I am sticking up for you. I think that you are great. Keep up your great stories.

RAMON:
This lady you mentioned is my ex-host Vickie Curtis who invited me to stay at her place in Hobart last Monday. Appearantle she did not enjoy it that much, because she called the Mercury newspaper as soon as she dropped me off in the city centre the next day.
The newspaper contacted me about it and she stated to them that I left her home in a mess, I was uncommunicative, ungrateful and that I "used" her.
"I wish to confirm the view that this guy is a free loader," she had said to the newspaper. "Maybe my expectations were too high ... I expected a polite housetrained young man with a mature outlook ... instead I got the opposite."
The newspaper decided not to run a story about it because they had their own reservations about Ms Curtis' claims, and her right to make them as _ after all _ she did volunteer her home and hospitality.
Then it seems that Ms Curtis jumped to the phone to call the radio station and then brag about me and how terrible I seem to have been.

What fascinates me the most is that Ms Curtis NEVER has contacted me about the things that bothered her. I will extend my opinions this all in the report of August 21, coming up soon.

Until now I have not heard anything from the lady personally. So maybe she does kick on media attention, as you will find out in my report of August 19 too.
I'll give her a call myself to clear things out and to hear for the first time what I seem to have done wrong and will include the results in the report of August 21.


Name: Lew Bretz
City, Country: Elephant Pass TAS Australia
Sent: 9.54 AM - 8/22 2002

Hi Ramon,

Still having trouble with your GMX addresses--mine keep 'bouncing'--but I managed to get in touch with the Mercury reporter in Hobart. No story is being run, apparently. For more info phone me at
(613)63 7222 63 cheers, Lew


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.07 AM - 8/22 2002

Hey Ramon

Linda's account of your supper has me laughing. Not to be rude, but because I've had exactly the same experience. Thai green curry is wonderful, if not too hot. But then, "too" is a relative term, and some people have leather-lining in their gut. :-)

Ramon, I hope the after-effects were not too bad. Can you taste again? :-)

Just kidding. You keep well, and continue with that great reporting.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Linda
City, Country: Hobart, Tas
Sent: 2.40 AM - 8/22 2002

Hi Brian

Actually, I discovered that Ramon only *thinks* he's had a hot curry before! I asked if he like hot curries, then picked up some thai green chicken curry and beef rendang. i'm afraid it nearly blew his head off. and he didn't believe me when i told him it was no hotter than usual. We've got tough stomachs here in Tasmania!

Anyway, I made up for it with some cooling mango sorbet, so things settled down. Sorry again, Ramon!

Linda


Name: Fat Flapper
City, Country: Launceston now Cairns
Sent: 2.00 AM - 8/22 2002

G'DAY RAMON, HOW THE BUM RECOVERED FROM THE BIKE RIDE?
THAT GREEN STUFF IS CALLED "MIDOURI" AND IT WILL KILL A
BROWN DOG. ANYWAY I GOT THAT JOB AND I'M ABOUT TO FLY TO THE GULF OF CARPENTARIA, KARUMBA, SO I'LL CATCH U LATER. FAT FLAP THE BIKER.


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 10.58 PM - 8/21 2002

Yup, nice pic for the desktop.

Thanks.


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 3.49 PM - 8/21 2002

Ramon, Thanks for the gorgeous sunset picture. Passed it to friends, to everyone at work, and family. They all love it.
:)


Name: panya
City, Country: Thailand
Sent: 3.42 PM - 8/21 2002

Hello.......
well come to Thailand


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.25 AM - 8/21 2002

Hi Linda

What did you feed Ramon last night? Cooked pumpkin? Or chicken with apricots? He prefers not to eat these things, I discovered last year. Don't feel too bad, no-one eats everything.

Ramon, it was odd to see you in the snow in that pic, we also have winter here, but it's 27 degrees and sunny today.

Keep strong, Ramon, it's only about two weeks and you'll be resting (read drinking) with Munk and Gerben again. And it will be a well-deserved rest.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Linda
City, Country: Hobart, Tasmania, Aust
Sent: 5.49 AM - 8/21 2002

Hello

Well, if Qantas hasn't done its usual trick of delaying flights to and from Hobart, Ramon should be almost back in Melbourne by now. I dropped him at the airport after a much too brief visit to Tasmania - he could have spent the whole six months here, and still not be finished! At least he got to go up the mountain, like every tourist in Hobart - the snow was just a lucky bonus. And believe what I'm sure he'll say in his report - it was FREEZING up there!!

It was a bit unreal finally meeting him after following the exploits on this site, but, Ramon, you're doing it well. I can understand you being a bit impatient to get home for that hard-earned rest. Of course, once you're there you'll just want to head off again, I'll bet. There's no cure for itchy feet - especially not after an experience like this.

Sorry for poisoning you with dinner last night, but just remember - everything is bigger and hotter in Australia!

Stay well.
Linda


Name: Bella
City, Country: Townsville Australia
Sent: 7.45 AM - 8/20 2002

Hi all. Need to set things right about Bootmen. It starred Adam Garcia not Andy. Adam is Australian and much younger. Regards to you Ramon. I have been following your journey daily. Hope you have a well deserved rest when you leave our shores.


Name: Gail
City, Country: Launceston, Tasmania
Sent: 5.57 AM - 8/20 2002

Hi Ramon,

Forgot to ask, how is Kimbal's work holding out?


Name: Gail, Phillip, Heidi & Mel
City, Country: Launceston, Tasmania
Sent: 5.52 AM - 8/20 2002

Hello everybody.
We have just had the pleasure of hosting Ramon for a couple of days and now our life has returned to normal (more hectic than while he was here!).

At least we were able to have a rest while he caught up on the mountains, and I say again, mountains of email/website/photo duties to be attended to.

Ramon's "travellers life" is certainly not all fun and games, more like bad backs, dirty clothes, overwhelming correspondence, media circus after circus, and an occasional quiet moment when not playing "Guest"!

We found him to be a true wit, all the time mindful of his guest role, and although he probably may never pass this way again, we would certainly love to see him again.

Happy Trails, Ramon.....


Sent: 4.38 AM - 8/20 2002


Name: Cynthia
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 1.51 AM - 8/20 2002

Andy Garcia is Australian?

RAMON:
No,
he is from Cuba.


Name: Rob
City, Country: UK / NZ
Sent: 7.54 PM - 8/18 2002

Hi Ramon,

You might find my web organisation useful on your travels. It lists places where you can help out at places like farms in exchange for a bed and meals.

It's called Help Exchange, find it at www.helpx.net


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.54 AM - 8/18 2002

Hi Ramon,

I wanted to again commend you on such great stories and photos. I've spent the last few hours catching up on your travelogue and photos. But then I had to search back to March reports, when you visited the Newcastle area of the West Central Coast. Why? Because this afternoon on T.V. I watched a really good movie. "Bootmen", filmed and located in Newcaste steel mills. I seemed to have recalled you had visited the area so I had to go back and find them.

Great Aussie movie staring the Aussie Andy Garcia, good story, and excellent music and dancing, if anyone wants to catch it. I never heard of it before today when it aired on an HBO cable channel. The dancing really is incredible!!

Some web links, hope they don't get nixed. :-) Just passing info about a neat movie about a place where Ramon has visited.

http://www.foxsearchlight.com/production/bootmenwed.html

http://www.boxoff.com/issues/aug00/bootmen.html

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Maria
City, Country: Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Sent: 12.10 PM - 8/17 2002

I am in loved in traveling and i admire people who travel a lot. But....you fascinate me complitely!!! You are young, you travel a lot and don't spend alot of money! Your idea about "invitation" is perfect!!
I'm jelous:))) Just kiding!
Good luck and have some fun for all of us!
Greetings from Yugoslavia!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 10.38 AM - 8/17 2002

Thank you, Ramon.

I am genuinely honoured.
Really.

Brian


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.36 AM - 8/17 2002

Ramon,

You are a tickler and a tease lately. :-)

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Ramon
City, Country: Tasmania at the moment
Sent: 3.37 AM - 8/17 2002

To explain the message below for those who missed it. Just for a day or two this messageboard was renamed into the Brianboard (of course caused by the many contributions of South African Brian). Of course that was just a temporary joke!
In September there will be some major changes on this website and I can already reveal to you all that the "Board of Supporters" as how the frequest messagers call themself, will get their OWN thing... I'll keep you posted!


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.26 PM - 8/16 2002

Brian, the Brianboard does have a nice ring to it. I like it. :-)

Sala kahle!
Joan


Name: Message
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 4.38 PM - 8/16 2002

Ramon?!

Huh? What the...! Brianboard?! Ramon, I'm at a loss for words. I'm flattered, I think. Jeez, it's wierd.

Is this a hint that I'm here too often? Or is this for someone else? Is there something particular that I should say? I'm quite flabberghasted, and gobsmacked!

At first I thought you'd managed to use the IP address to identify us, and personalise the board. Then I saw what Joan and Donatella had to say, and, well, I really did have eyes like saucers!

Ramon, you are clearly in a more relaxed mode now, after the last week or so in the Wayward bus, and now in Taz. It's great. Who gave you this idea? What in the world inspired it?

Anyway, what I really did intend to say, is that it's good, no, it's wonderful, that you went to Todd's school as a live specimen for his "show and tell". He must have been bubbling with pride and excitement. That was a really kind thing to do. You should also be full of pride. The reports will be an absloute must-read for all.

You have shown, yet again, that you are a genuinely considerate person. You have returned the favour to your hosts in a way that cannot really be measured, but surely will be appreciated and remembered. There is immense value in what you did, even if was only for ten minutes. Well done. Really.

Well, ..., that still boggles the mind. Brianboard!

Have a good time in Taz, Ramon, and try to avoid getting bitten by a 'Devil.

Hamba kahle.

Message


Name: sijmen
City, Country: utrecht, netherlands
Sent: 3.10 PM - 8/16 2002

I discovered your page because it's practically next to mine on the "reisverhalen-australie.pagina.nl"
I did a traineeship in Brisbane for 5 months and it was funny to read about the similiraties.
eating cheap pasta in one of the bassment malls and I also did a sandsurfing trip with the same tourguide as you ("Barry"). You are getting more famous, while I travel Europe I've met one who told me about the site.




Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 10.42 AM - 8/16 2002

my congrats for the message.. ops.. brianboard idea! it made me smile!! :D
ciao, dona


Sent: 10.02 AM - 8/16 2002

Ramon
Don't forget to visit the Dutch Pub in Melbourne
Jongeren Borrel Avond
1ste Donderdag van de maand
The Lambs go barrrr
Owner Marc Bayle
135 Greeves Street
Fitzroy
tel: 03 84150511

Just tell him Ron send you

See you soon in Sydney for the party night

Ron
Dutch On-Line Sydney
www.dutch.net.au


Name: John
City, Country: Costa Mesa, Ca USA
Sent: 6.27 AM - 8/16 2002

I've been trying to keep upwith your travels, I really enjoy going over the emails. The time it must take to prepare them. It takes me so long just to go through one with all the photos and all. If and when you get to CA, you'll be put up for as long as you need, not to mention Disneyland, oh I mean the beach! Keep up the good work. I always look forward to your updates.
John


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.56 AM - 8/16 2002

Brianboard??????


Name: Ellery Kuhn
City, Country: Sacramento, California, USA
Sent: 1.42 AM - 8/16 2002

Enjoyed seeing photos and reading about our close friend, Louis down under with you on the Waywardbus. You should know that Louis is quite the traveler himself and, yes, he does probably snore respectfully.


Name: LSOM
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Sent: 6.06 PM - 8/15 2002

Hi Ramon,
Thanks! Its great to learn something good about Australia this 6 months.
Love to emulate a living legend. Mind teaching me to smoke a cigeratte and drink alcohol. (different country=different brand=different taste) Whats a life? I hope I can be gentle and patience as you. Take care. I 'll be around.
As always, LSOM.


Name: David & Sue
City, Country: Langwarrin, Victoria
Sent: 7.14 AM - 8/15 2002

Hi one and all. Sue & I have just got back from dropping Ramon off at Melbourne Airport, for his flight to Tassie, after having had the pleasure of his company for the past 24 hours.

Firstly, to anyone contemplating the thought of "inviting" Ramon to stayforaday....Do it!
Even if he has too many invites for a particular city to stay with them all. At least it gives Ramon the choice and also shows him that his "Project" is still alive and kicking. (I may be off the mark, but my interpretation of his project is to show that there still is good will and kindness throughout this planet. Dispite what some narrow-minded people might think!!)
We had the honor of having Ramon spend a night with us and our four sons(aged 4 up to 9). While the boys are a tad too young to understand and appreciate the magnitude of what Ramon has done, and continues to do, they will remember him as someone who took the time to acknowledge them as individuals and take the time out to make THEM feel special. After all the youngsters of today are the future of tomorrow and I know that Ramon's short visit will never be forgotten by the older three!!(The 4 y.o had just recieved a spiderman dress-up costume and his only real interest in Ramon was showing him how he could cover him in imaginary spiderwebs!!)

My oldest son Todd had asked me to ask Ramon if he could take Ramon to school as his "show and tell"! Some of these "knockers" should perhaps try taking into account what Ramon had experienced in the last few weeks in regards to negativity from the odd writer and his own feelings, (how tired and emotional would you be after nearly 6 months of travelling the way he is!!! CUT THE GUY SOME SLACK!!!!!!!I witnessed first hand as he spent hours updating his website, sorting out photo's and captions, replying to emails etc....... More like hard work then a holiday to me!!)
Anyway I asked Ramon if he would mind doing this for my son and he didn't hesitate to say yes. The look of joy on my sons face as he got to introduce Ramon to his teacher and classmates will be with me forever. To see the way Ramon spoke to and fielded questions from 25-30 nine year olds was amazing. Due to having to get Ramon to a photo shoot and to the airport he could only speak to the children for 10 minutes but let me tell you that he has probably inspired at least half of these kids to realise anything really is possible!
Ramon informed me after he left the room that that was the first time he had been in an Australian classroom. It really is a shame that it will probably be his last as he leaves our shores in a few weeks.
He jokingly said he could go on the "school circuit" talking to children......Ramon is a real peoples person and he is living proof that "Anything is possible"!

You are a living legend Ramon!

I hope one day that our paths may cross again.

Until that time

Take care, Don't change & Thank You.

David, Sue (& the tribe, Todd 9, Jarrod 6, Bailey 6, Joshua 4)


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.30 AM - 8/15 2002

Hi Greg

As you may know, and Ramon does know, South Africa is a country of many cultures. One of the "tribes" / cultures/ whatever is Zulu. This is one of the three most spoken languages in SA.

"Sala kahle" is Zulu for "stay well". "Hamba kahle" is Zulu for "go well". "Well" can read "safely". It is polite in the Zulu culture to say this to people when you part ways, or finish chatting.

I am white English, but I use these expressions sometimes to show respect.

For reference, the only (I think) black family that hosted Ramon in South Africa (Stellenbosch) was a Xhosa family, I believe. They are from the same historical root as the Zulus.

Interestingly, most of the so-called "black on black" violence that you may hear about is between Zulus and Xhosas. Our government (ANC) is predominantly Xhosa, hence the intense rivalry with the IFP, who are Zulu.

Ramon, did you pick up any of this while you were here? I hope that you did, since it might help with the ROW understanding how we live in a country that is represented in the international media as being so terrible. But then, with your wonderful reports, anyone who followed you thru SA will appreciate the truth about our incredible country.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Greg
City, Country: Pemberton, WA
Sent: 2.16 AM - 8/15 2002

Ok, Brian, spill the beans...

What the heck does 'Sala kahle' mean?


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 11.21 PM - 8/14 2002

MJ gives Cynthia a prize-we live in a great city!
I think this website is a prize..
:)


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.28 AM - 8/14 2002

Hi Ramon,

I have a request for you to consider for your page. When reading your reports, at the end you have "Back to index >>". Would you consider adding a "Next" option, so when reading a bunch, we can just go the next report versus back to the index each time? Sometimes you update many days at once and it would be very convenient to just select "Next". Also, sometimes I find myself going back to an old place of interest and just want to keep going to the next report. For example, if I am reading reports from last March, I want the next report. By going back to the index the page is back to August and I have to scroll down to March, and remember the last day I was reading. It may even be nice to have a "Previous" button while you are at it, which goes to the day before the one you are reading. ;-)

Looking forward to your travels in Tasmania.

Thanks,
Joan

RAMON:
If somebody knows how to jump from one report (or database I.D.#) with a link at the bottom of every report, please tell me, because I haven't figured that out myself.

The same thing goes for the longer and longer long index page. I should be creating some extra pages there, instead of making one big list, but I don't know how to do that yet as it is all created by the database.

If you know want to go from one report to the next or previous one, try to change the report/?id=# with 1 up or down. That might help you skip the index, but might not always work.


Name: cynthia
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 11.49 PM - 8/13 2002

P.S. I guessed correctly to your next destination...Tasmania. Do I get some kind of prize?


Name: cynthia
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 11.40 PM - 8/13 2002

Hi Ramon, I just saw the article in Frommers. This is the first I've heard outside this web site. You're getting around..Not quite celebrity status here yet but it's a beginning. Someone showed it to me and asked "is this the Dutch boy you've been following?" and I was sitting in front of the PC with your site on it. It was a thrilling coincidence. I agree with Brian B. and this is the closest I've been to a place without being there in person...Seeing it through your eyes, ears, nose, etc...


Name: Lisa C
City, Country: F.B. USA
Sent: 9.16 PM - 8/13 2002

I have just joined your group ! You are going around the world on invitations? I think this is a wonderfull thing! I Imagine, that you will write a book on all your travels, and perhaps even a trillogy, or a series! I have sent you my e-mail address in the send you a personal message link, and hope to hear from you soon, your welcome to stay with me for the day!, and I can give you a grand tour! giant redwoods, the pacific ocean,
the pygmy forrest, estuary area, guarrentees you will see ALOT of wildlife!, and I can show you where you can get fresh tuna, salmon, and everything else from the ocean,
right off the boats! now - THAT IS FRESH! (well you must eat while traveling the globe)
Lol ,are you a vegitarian? the vegies are just as fresh here,right out of the ground, fresh from the farm! Thank you, Lisa C.


Name: Brian B
City, Country: NC, USA
Sent: 2.32 PM - 8/13 2002

I think they got the 9 cents a day by taking the $35 you spent on the domain name and dividing by the total number of days you have been on the road, ~ 400. $35 / 400 = ~ $0.09

Anyway, looking forward to reading about your last 25 days in Australia. I have learned so much about that country that I would not have known if not for your project. You make it possible for those of us who sit behind a desk all day to travel right along with you. thank you for that.

Good luck.

Brian B


Name: Munk
Sent: 1.23 PM - 8/13 2002

Hey Mones, time to get used to coming over to Zwolle for a while, Flying Horse bar's opened again, my washing machine burned so I'm using yours :) and we've got mice. Can you scare them away when you get back?

RAMON: You are using my washingmachine?!! Okay, just don't touch those wires at the back when he's splashing around that water, hehe... I have 23 days to go today, so I'll be back in September, don't worry. Those mice can be the pets of my new housemate, don't harm them. Wait for me!


Name: Nada Ross
City, Country: Gold Coast, Queensland
Sent: 3.58 AM - 8/13 2002

Hey Ramon,
I really look forward to your reports on your travels and I have missed them this past few days. The last one I received was 3rd Aug.
Yesterday I looked up the daily reports on your menu and I noticed that there have been others. Have I been removed from your list or is this the new format for keeping up with you?
Your pictures of the SA coastline are just great.
Keep smiling.....God bless you......Nada


Name: Acadia
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.14 AM - 8/13 2002

Now you have my curiosity piqued. How did the Japanese woman find out, and what happened then?
I'll be on pins and needles until the story gets posted.

Too bad that the magazine did not get their facts straight before writing the article. The truth is interesting enough.


Name: Acadia
City, Country: USA
Sent: 11.05 AM - 8/12 2002

You can clearly see in your postings that there is far less stress during this last week or so. Good.

I have to wonder about your jacket, too. Perhaps some of these people have seen your site/TV/newpaper exposure and are being courteous by not plying you with questions.

I hope before you posted these fine peoples pictures to your website you let them know that's what you'd be doing.

One last thing. I wonder if the article about the 9 cents a day was taking into account the money you have been given by your hosts (which you note the amount of in your postings), not just money you've spent of your own (which was for your domain name).

RAMON:
1) RE The article: I have absolutely no idea where Frommers Budget Travel magazine got the idea of 9$ a day, because there has never been a 9$ a day thing during my project. It is made up, they could have contacted me about the real fact! Waywardbus helped me out with some money, otherwise I wouldn't have anything to eat and sometime people shout me a ticket for a bus or tram... For myself, I have absolutely no cent in my pockets.

2) RE The Jacket: yes, indeed, like Joan also noticed (below), I was wearing my letmestayforaday-logo-printed-on-the-arm winter jacket during my trip. I only had to wear it in the evening or at the beginning of the day and when we were out of the bus, I guess people have more attention to what we see outside that to what is printed on my jacket. Believe me, up to the last 30 mins of the tour, nobody knew who I was or what I did (and treated me like that). Until that Japanese lady found out....


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.10 AM - 8/12 2002

Hi Ramon,

Great stories and pics of the latest travels, as usual. I note that you are pleased you are somewhat "anonymous" on the Wayward Bus tour. But I also noted in your pics "Walking along the lagoon in the Coorong Reserve..." and in the inset in the "On our way to our first destination to stay for the night, we stopped at this huge sand dune." pic, that your were wearing your "let-me-stay-for-a-day.com" jacket. Did no one on the tour pick up on that and ask about it? Just curious! ;-)

Cheers,
Joan


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 9.10 PM - 8/10 2002

hello ramon, how are you on the island? you lucky... well, I ain't updated about your latest news (I came back yesterday from my 2-week-holiday: rain, rain, rain..), so I think I'll spend my next days reading the reports - everything is good to avoid the books on my desk ;)
I took a glance only at the forum (thanks bret for answering) and at this messageboard, as well (to Menno from leiden - cfr. aug,5th - sorry, I didn't have the internet in those days otherwise I would have tried to translate the lines from www.mediamente.rai.it, but Phoebe did a great job. about www.pulsorock.com, I've taken a look but sorry, I can't speak a word in spanish).
reading the other messages, I've noticed you were quite bored about repetitive and silly questions you're expected to answer; I can imagine the situation. be patient as much as you can, ramon. I'll read the reports. go on well!
ciao, donatella


Name: Tricia
City, Country: York, PA, USA
Sent: 4.48 PM - 8/9 2002

Ramon--
I just got my new "Budget Travel" Magazine, published by Frommers, and there's a little article about your travels and website in it. I was pretty excited, since I've been "following" you for quite a while and telling all of my friends about your travels.

They talked about how you really know how to travel on a budget--- something like 9 cents a day!

Best of luck!
Tricia

RAMON:
Hi Tricia! I have just read a scan of that article that a very friendly person sent me by email. The headline indeed is: 'The Earth in 9$ a day' and with the article mentions nothing about me spending money (I DON'T HAVE ANY!) this headline is indeed a bit odd. Maybe somebody can ask those folks at Frommers/Nomads about that ;-)


Name: donelle
City, Country: Perth, Western Australia
Sent: 11.51 AM - 8/8 2002

Ramon, Thankyou for staying with us when you were in Perth, (July 9, 2002). I loved having you here, sharing time with you. Madeleine loved having someone new to play Play-dough with. Brendan I and both appreciated the conversations about literature.
I miss you - after looking forward to you coming for almost a year, spending 24 hours with you was just not enough!!!
I hope you come to Perth again when your LetMeStayForADay travels are over. Then you can stay for more that one day!
Take care, be well, and enjoy yourself. I'll see you next time.
donelle


Name: Patty
City, Country: Brisbane
Sent: 7.40 AM - 8/8 2002

G'day Brian, yes, four photo albums, not counting the 300 digital photos we took (so I like photos, ok? Get over it!) :)
I went back and read the reports of Ramons stay with you, so now I can "see" you in my mind. Seriously, Africa is such an amazing place, we loved it so much! I just wish I had the foresight to contact you before we went, ah, such is life.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 7.00 AM - 8/7 2002

Hi Patty in Brisbane

Thanks for your message. I hope it was four albums, not just four photos! ;-)

Seriously, though, it's good that we can put our sporting rivalry aside (you are in the Bi-Nations with NZ, we are in the try-Nations...) and bring the world closer together.

But then, Ramon is seeding all of this. Hey Ramon, did anyone ever tell you that you are achieving a huge amount more than you may realise? It's true. You are doing an incredible job.

sala kahle, each of you

Brian


Name: Allen Bettis
City, Country: Spring, Texas U.S.A.
Sent: 11.07 PM - 8/6 2002

Hey Ramon!
I enjoyed reading your report about Kangaroo Island. I enjoyed your pictures also. I know you are looking forward to a well deserved break on September 3.

I can't wait till you come to Spring, Texas. If you need any assistance getting here let me know.


Name: Natasha Berger
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 6.31 PM - 8/6 2002

Compliments for Margot for that story in the Cairns Post as posted on the front page of your website. Loved that radio piece of you in Perth. Opening eyes and mind!
Have fun on the road to Melbourne, dude!


Name: Brian B
City, Country: NC, USA
Sent: 4.35 PM - 8/6 2002

Ramon, it sounds like your break back home will arrive just in time. Enjoy your last month down under.

RAMON:
Yes, it does indeed.
Thanks.


Name: chris
City, Country: cairns
Sent: 11.35 AM - 8/6 2002

I think it does not matter, what the cheese country of the world is. I just found it very nice of Rod to offer cheese and bratwurst...and helping out to get a visa for the USA!

...and I am European also.

Cheers
Chris

RAMON:
Oh yes, I hope you have noticed that emoticon too.


Name: Greg
City, Country: Pemberton, Western Australia
Sent: 4.14 AM - 8/6 2002

I might just buy into this debate a little.

If you have had Ramon to stay with you, you will realise the enormous stress he carries with him everyday. He can't really relax - he's in the middle of a fairly significant project that has a certain momentum - and he knows better than anyone does what it takes to maintain this momentum. Even when he's 'relaxing', he's still working on his plans: reading emails/invites, worrying about his next lift, sponsors, columns in newspapers back home, is his mobile charged up enough, what is the public thinking, how should he construct his project in the coming months... etc. etc! On top of that, of course, he still has to be a person and a guest. But, he has to do this everyday, because his 'work' is not a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 job. He can't leave his work at the office. I even wonder whether he sleeps very well most nights, because his body and mind and pretty stressed and fatigued. Plus he is pushing himself to the max, as is his nature. No wonder some back troubles have caught up with him!

A couple of years ago, I traveled through SE Asia for 6 months with my wife. It was tough going sometimes, but even we got tired of being on the road everyday. We took a couple of small breaks, but somedays were just tough! And we had the BIG difference of being able to share the workload associated with constantly travelling, finding accommodation, food and transport. Let alone being bothered to enjoy the moments in between! Ramon rarely has the luxury of 'taking a day off' - each guest expects (and deserves, however) their due respect and reward for their donation towards Ramon's project. The difficulty, I believe, lies in the 'daily' and 'ongoing' nature of the project. Staying only for a day is perhaps fine for a few months or even up to a year if someone is superhuman, but Ramon's project has been going on longer than that. Is the nature of the project sustainable for so long? Ramon has had some small 'breaks' of sorts (e.g. a pretty isolated couple of days in the resort in N. Queensland), which I don't think he enjoyed much at all - he is a people person, a citizen of the world. So just 'getting away from it all' probably won't do it for him. I'm sure most of his hosts try to make it as comfortable for him as possible, but this won't take away most of the things he still has to do/organise/worry about. The stress is constant (sure, with peaks and troughs), and no wonder he is fatigued.

Another difficulty is that there is little point in travelling just for the sake of it. If an increasing amount of time is spent looking after the basic needs of a journey, leaving little time or energy to actually enjoy it (and let's face it, he's been through/to some pretty amazing places where we'd all love to go - some would say he owes it to himself and all those who can't travel to enjoy it), then it's time to call it quits for a while. Take stock. Think about something else than letmestayforaday.com. That’s probably the only real way to take a break and get his mind off things. Destress. Be at home. Chill out. But this is Ramons call - it’s his project, and he knows himself best. Nobody has the right to tell him what he should or shouldn't to (except perhaps his Mum - where is Mrs Stoppelenburg telling him to come home?) - all we can do is provide some advice, encouragement and support. And not give him a hard time. Ramon is well aware of his public responsibilities and duties - this is exactly one of the things that stresses him out. Nobody should think they can 'rescue' him by offering him a break, because it just isn't possible at the moment. He's not even the type of person to take such a break/'get away from it all'. Better for him to rally for the last month, do his best, get home and then sleep for a month (with the phone off the hook!)

Hope this helps.


Name: cynthia
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 1.06 AM - 8/6 2002

Hello Ramon,
For those questions that are so repetitive...you may have some down-pat answers that you repeat over and over again. Not so unusual, shorten your answers to "I've been to Europe and Australia and South Africa." I'm twenty(something)years old." I remember following an author on his book tour and in articles and talk-shows, he had the same answers, said them the same way over and over and over again. And he made them sound like they were new answers each time...it was his job...I don't think the e-mail sending one day in advance is such a good idea as when I have Ramon over, I might have a friend or two over who haven't been following his travels and THEY will be the ones to ask those questions. Am I expected to brief them before Ramon's visit? (Please, don't ask Ramon obvious questions because he's tired of answering them) That's just not natural.
Ramon, my advise, take some time for you (Ramon-time) and don't expect people to not ask the same questions, you have no control over this, grin and bear it and make your answers fresh like it's the first time you heard the question.....think of it as a performance, then as the time goes on, you can answer more thoughtful questions and get to know your hosts. But take time for yourself, no one is a performer 24/7.
Your pal,
Cynthia


Name: Rod Nelson
City, Country: Sheboygan, WI 53081
Sent: 12.57 AM - 8/6 2002

Do you need assistance in getting a Visa for USA, How can I help? I know a couple of congressmen, Petri and Sensenbrenner, Here in Sheboygan I wii feed you our world famous Johnsonville Bratwurst, and Sheboygan WI is the Cheese capitol of the World.

Best, Rod

RAMON:
It is still strange how people can call a particular city the cheese capital of the world, while The Netherlands/Holland is the cheese country of the world? And the Bratwurst is not world famous, it is just a typical German saucage. As a EUROPEAN I Just had to correct that Rod ;-)


Name: www.pattycam.net
City, Country: Brissy Again
Sent: 12.42 AM - 8/6 2002

Message to Brian from South Africa!!! My family just spent three glorious weeks in your country, and yesterday I managed to put the photos in albums (all four of them!) Feeling a little homesick for those incredible mountains and people...can't wait to go back.


Name: Patty
City, Country: Brisbane
Sent: 12.38 AM - 8/6 2002

Ramon, you need a big hug and about one week of silence...no questions, no silly comments, just your own company and some rest and relaxation!
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Ramon}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Consider yourself hugged, and hope your back gets better soon.


Name: Rachael Cass
City, Country: Sunshine Coast AU
Sent: 12.19 AM - 8/6 2002

hi,
I"d just likt to sympathise with you. i host many many MANY backpackers all the time to date i'v had 15 and i completely understand....1 night is not enough time to spend with 1 family full of awe and inpiration of what you are trying to acomplish, my small apartment has housed 3 canadians and 2 germans at one time, and the reason they come here, because it's relaxing.
that and they run out of money but they are always welcome here free of charge to regroup and regather on there next plans....they love it here...i work in a cafe so i bring them home lunch and becasue i don't charge they are more than happy to babydit my wee one. the fact is id on't bombard them, you can't, they have seen so much and would love to tell you all about it, but need time and the stories come out on there own, but 24 hours is not enough, i don't knwo how you do it Ramon?, so many places for such little time, my BP's have stayed for up to 4 months, they see everything and have a well deserved holiday on their...well...holiday :)
so if you are fortunate to have Ramon stay for a day...just be there for him, let him take in the area as he is on little time and know you have givin' him the bext experience he can get from your area, not chain him to the kitchen table and a good grilling, have fun, BP's are great and if treated with respect remain great friends. :)


Name: Leon
City, Country: Enschede, NL
Sent: 12.23 PM - 8/5 2002

Plz keep the digicam from Micheal! That one makes way better pic's....

RAMON:
Michael will be very honoured by these compliments. Unfortunately I still have my own cammie and he kept his one (way more expensive than mine either). His digi-photos were made with a bigger resolution than mine and resized to my regular web size. My own camera has a lower resolution and has the size ready for immediate upload to the web. That's the little difference.


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 12.11 PM - 8/5 2002

Michael Offe's picture looked great!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.31 AM - 8/5 2002

Hi Ramon

You are quite right, answering inane questions is frustrating, and shows a lack of genuine interest on the part of the host. These are the folk who want their mugshot on the net, and are using your site as the means of achieving this.

But Ramon, don't worry too much. When you came here, I was filled with questions too. Many of them never got out, unfortunately. None of the were "obvious", as I look at your site at about four times a week.

You are doing extremely well, and in only four weeks you will have a break for as long as you want. So far, you have displayed the sort of tolerance that is synonymous with the Dutch, this under a hectic timetable and a lot of stress. Well done.

Perhaps a few days relaxing in a cabin or a tent would be a good idea, doing nothing other than sleeping, walking, and possibly catching up on reports. But keeping away from inquisitive people.

Whatever you decide, and can get sponsorship for, we will be right behind you, supporting you all the way.

Sala kahle, Ramon

Brian


Name: Phoebe Maxwell
City, Country: Adelaide, Australia
Sent: 5.28 AM - 8/5 2002

Hi Ramon,
I saw on your message board that you needed a couple of articles translated so here's the Italian one for you (found on www.mediamente.rai.it/quotidiano/news/formazione.asp)
I trust you're enjoying yourself in Littlehampton... Hope you got enough sleep the other night after Kangaroo Island. The offer's still on to take you ice-skating at Mt Thebarton if you're in Adelaide and have a few hours free.
A presto,
Phoebe

Let me stay for a day
Ramon, a 25 year old Dutch student and aspiring journalist, has a great passion - to travel. But like many people his age he has little money in his pocket. So, how does he go about it? By creating an Internet site to ask for hospitality. Thus let-me-stay-for-a-day.com was born. Through his website Ramon collects hospitality offers and organises his trip - strictly hitchhiking!! This is how he got to his 36th day of travel. Present stop: England. If you want his next stop to be your place, you only have to log on to the website and fill in the card that you find there. In exchange, Ramon will recount the details of his stay, up-dating his site between one stop and the next. An idea that perhaps other students with a limited budget can adopt, now that summer holidays are in sight, and thus start a new e-business. For the moment you only gain a place to sleep, but then who knows!


Name: Wendy
City, Country: Adelaide South Australia
Sent: 3.56 AM - 8/5 2002

Ramon, I do understand and I am sorry if my comments were a bit harsh. I too enjoyed having you stay with us and being a part of your travel adventure. I guess it was a shock to hear your comments, but I should not have taken them so personally. I can understand your frustration and hope you manage to overcome the problem. As it is, I am glad you shared some stories with us. Troy now has great plans I feel he may not have considered possible before he heard what you were doing. Keep your chin up and remember you stars!!! (Which this week said "More talk on travel!")


Name: Marie
City, Country: Springton, South Australia
Sent: 2.16 AM - 8/5 2002

Hey Ramon, just heard you on PowerFM this morning. Love your website! Finally something interesting on the web, you got me hooked now.
I heard you are fully booked already, otherwise I'd invite you to stay at my place in Springton. Have fun on the Wayward bus to Melbourne!


Name: Menno
City, Country: Leiden, Netherlands
Sent: 1.54 AM - 8/5 2002

Donatella, wanna help us with some translations?
http://www.pulsorock.com/foro/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25469 http://www.mediamente.rai.it/quotidiano/news/formazione.asp


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver, CO United States
Sent: 6.58 AM - 8/4 2002

Well, here is my 2 cents. Basically, Ramon has a job that he does every single day. It's a little bit different than what we all have, but still a job. It can get tedious. Everyone wants to change certain aspects of what they do for a living. Let him express his opinions, let him say what he needs to say, for we all know this helps you continue. If you didn't have co-workers to gossip with, would you be able to keep sane sometimes? It just so happens that the people that visit this website are the co-workers and the managers. If they hadn't read Ramon's reports of his visit, they would have never have known how he felt. Maybe this is the time when he needs to vent to his "co-workers" to be mentally and physically ABLE to travel to the next place. I would tell Ramon, "tell us what you want to say and don't worry" and to the people he stays with, "don't take it personally". Life is too short to worry about what someone else thinks of you. Rest my Beloved mother 7/3/02.

Just some thoughts,

MJ


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 7.31 PM - 8/3 2002

Hi Ramon,

Thanks for the response, that makes perfect sense. I can understand your frustration with the small and obvious questions. That would certainly become tedious. And as you say, people who invite you, or journalists seeking an interview, would surely already know the basics about your travels, name :-), etc. Heck, I even sought to hear your voice by listening to the interview recordings here at your site. ;-)

I hope you are feeling much better. Be well, stay safe, happy trails to you.
Hugs [] [] []
Joan


Name: Wendy
City, Country: Adelaide, South Australia
Sent: 7.38 AM - 8/3 2002

I must say we felt a little hurt that our interest in your travels was not so welcome! We thought we had offered you rest from a busy schedule, providing a place to catch up on some rest and rehab. With all the TV exposure, radio interviews and news paper stories many of your hosts would be excited to have someone staying with them who did have some kind of 'celebrity status' (understandable), but others were offering it in the true spirit of your adventure. We wanted nothing more than to get to know you a little, offering the hand of friendship. I hope that is what you felt, as we never set out to be an annoyance!
We wish you luck in your continuing journey and hope your back is soon strong enough to carry you further.
PS: Hope you enjoyed K.I.

RAMON:
Sorry Wendy for making you feel that I meant it personally to you, but I felt rather welcome at your place, just like I reported about it. My remarks about my health and certain disencouragements a guest where more of a global view.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.50 AM - 8/3 2002

Well, I have been following Ramon from Day 1, and should he arrive at my home, I would still have tons of questions I think. So I am not sure what else one would expect. ?? One welcomes a world "internet traveler" in to their home, and just says "Hi, how are ya? Here's your room and bed, let me know when you leave!" ?

I think the inquires and inquisitiveness comes with the "job". It is only "natural" that each host would be full of questions I would think.

That being said Ramon, I can certainly understand your weiriness and impatience at times with the same old bloody questions over and over again. "Understand" in the sense I have not been in the situation, I can only "guess" your feelings.

But I think you need to think of yourself as a corporate executive who meets with clients one on one when given the opportunity. The corporate/company message is clear in emails and out on the web site, but when one on one, it's a whole different perspective. "Clients" (hosts) will ask about the vision, where we have been, where we are going. It's the one on one, personal contact, personal conversation that is important. Not what they have read.

I don't think you will be able to get away from that Ramon. You are a "foreign" guest, invited via the internet, and your hosts are only going to natually want to engage in what seems to you as repetitive conversation. To you, it is the same old record. To them, it is a brand new day/evening of having Ramon in their home.

Cheers,
Joan

RAMON:
It is of course inevitable that people ask me questions, that was not what the fuss is suddenly all about. It's more about people asking me questions that are clearly answered on the first page of my website. For example: if a journalist calls me and asks me to spell my name, I know he has not eiven read the first page of my site. What an example of bad journalism, too!

I rather have questions that are related with my travels as an overview, like how I experienced South Africa as a country, in stead of questions of 'so, where have you all been' or 'have you been to the US yet?'.

I hope you understand this view.


Name: Jeannine
City, Country: Karlsruhe, Germany
Sent: 9.38 PM - 8/2 2002

Hi Ramon!

Just take some time for yourself, think about waht your idea was meant to be and what it is right now and if this is still your dream. Think of what you can do that your situation becomes your dream.

I´m sure you´re going to make your way!!!


Name: Cynthia
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 4.49 PM - 8/2 2002

Ditto, you need time to reflect, get some Ramon-time in.


Name: Marc
City, Country: Dresden, Germany
Sent: 4.48 PM - 8/2 2002

What is people are to lazy to read that email that arrives just a few days before Ramon actually is standing on their door step? How long would the document be? And isn't all the information already available on this website? The front page answers mosts questions and the Frequently Asked Questions top it all up. Any better ideas for Ramon?


Name: Jennifer
City, Country: Portland, USA
Sent: 4.39 PM - 8/2 2002

Hi Ramon,
I think that you ought to draft an email with a short history of your travels and your basic information, age etc.. You could send the same email to each host before arriving. In this email you could also list the reasons you are travelling and the point of the website. Maybe this way you could skip explaining these things each time.


Name: Andrea
City, Country: Milano - Italy
Sent: 4.28 PM - 8/2 2002

hi Ramon i read your message on 2 august i would likle to tell you that i subscribed for let you stay to me not for have my photo on your site but because i like your idea and then i am used to let stay friends at my home. So please don't be paranoic: you travel too much !!! :-)) Andrea


Name: Max
City, Country: Leucadia, California
Sent: 4.25 PM - 8/2 2002

Hi Ramon, Maybe this is just the price of successfully traveling for free?? :) But I think John (below) had a great suggestion: email your hosts a little bio, link to your website, background info, pics, etc. (like you no doubt do for your radio / TV hosts). If that's not convenient, maybe a little photo album / scrap book (with captions?) that maybe your support team could put together for you? And I think John's idea about setting people's expectations about your need for time to do you reports etc. is also a good one. After all, you *are* working (for that newspaper back home), not just wandering! Lastly, Evie's right on too: get some time for yourself -- even if it's just a day or two. I can't imagine being "on stage" 24-hours-a-day 7-days-a-week like you've been doing without going completely bonkers. Time for a well-deserved rest. And yes, I'm a little selfish in saying all this because I really enjoy reading your reports and seeing your photos. It's my daily early morning vicarious mini-vacation :)

Best regards,

- Max


Name: John
City, Country: Portland, USA
Sent: 3.07 PM - 8/2 2002

Ramon,
I could tell by your last email that you are growing weary of the same questions over and over. What I suggest that you do is compose 1 email for your host families that answers all of these questions in advance. Tell them what *you* expect and send it to them the day before or the week before you are to arrive at their house. If you do this, then you will not have to be faced with the same 'ol same 'ol every time. Tell them that you need a little time to collect your thoughts and to answer your email and so forth.

Best wishes and good travels,
John


Name: Evie Fieseler
City, Country: Florida
Sent: 2.58 PM - 8/2 2002

Ramon, hoi alweer, hi again. All I can say is that if I were you, I would by now absolutely NEED some time totally alone, just to recapture _me_ in all of this. I know you're a very outgoing person who loves people very much, but still. Consider finding somebody to sponsor a week for you to be alone in a tent or something. Or (I'm serious) find a monestary and take a silent retreat for a weekend or even a week. Your feelings are all normal! You just need to touch base with your inner self for awhile, and you will be fine.

Evie, wishing you well

RAMON:
Hehe, that big break was more planned in September, not now yet. But indeed, I'll take things a bit more easier. My medicine man in the backup team tells me I should go for a hike or do some swimming.
We'll see...


Name: Fiona
City, Country: Adelaide, Australia
Sent: 1.33 PM - 8/2 2002

Hi Ramon!

I suppose I'll put my hand up as one of those hosts who hadn't read all you reports as closely as she should have! I have although this week gone back and read most of the reports for the last 6 weeks or so! (The computer pools have been quiet at uni so I have been able to do some secret browsing!)

Your reports are just wonderful! I love the way you describe the people you meet and the places you have been. You are very witty and I love the humour! I will miss the detail you give them as you 'slacken them off', but I do understand! I hope your back is better soon!


take care,

Fiona


Name: Dave
City, Country: Houston, TX USA
Sent: 1.29 PM - 8/2 2002

Ramon... I know your back pain and I hope you are feeling better soon. Enjoy Australia, it is a wonderful place!


Name: joan
City, Country: ipswich england
Sent: 11.09 AM - 8/1 2002

Hi Ramon I am one of those little old people (70 yrs), who you mention occasionally. Although I have a few aches and pains and my memory is far from what it was,my mind still feels the same as anyone half that age. Im only teasing you Ramon. I came across your site, on the internet somewhere, a couple of months after you started and was very interested, thought it was a wonderful idea. I read those then my computer gave up. I was without it a long time. It was May this year before I got back to you and I have had all these months to catch up on your travels. I have read every line since then and am right up to date. I still have to go back to look through all those photos though. I thoroughly enjoy reading all your stories. It is good to have something on the net to get really interested in. I also enjoy reading all those messages on the message boards. Thank you Ramone and everyone else
Good Luck Joan


Name: Hardik Patel
City, Country: Chennai (aka Madras) India
Sent: 1.08 PM - 7/31 2002

Hey Ramon, its great to see what you are doing right now. You act as an inspiration to people like me to do something in life which is exciting. Way to go Ramon. By the way, can you lemme know as to when you are gonna come to India. While you are in India, please feel free to accept my invitation which I sent you a couple of months back. Hope you have a splendid journey ahead of you. Looking forward to meeting you.

Regards,
Hardik..


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.24 AM - 7/29 2002

Hi Ramon

Well done on chirping in the comedy show. No matter what the comedians say, they love a mild heckler. It gives them material. And you, being a visitor, were the ideal material for a good comedian.

I do the same thing here, coz I'm originally from Cape Town. South Africans not from Cape Town are jealous of the place, so they poke fun at us. When a comedian askes if there is anyone from out of town, I tell them, and they raise the roof.

So well done, you did well. Happy trails, and it seems you might get a bit of time to go to Taz after all. Hope you do.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Fiona
City, Country: Adelaide, Australia
Sent: 4.08 AM - 7/29 2002

I finally got Ramon to Triple M this morning for his radio gig!

It was fantastic sharing an evening with Ramon, even if we didn't convert him to AFL!

Best of luck with your Adventures Ramon and if you ever do head back to Adelaide and need a place to sleep, please ask! I'll make sure we ditch the sofa bed though- sorry for the bar in the back!

And for everyone else, Ramon is the perfect houseguest!


Fiona


Name: Wendy, George and Troy
City, Country: Adelaide, South Australia
Sent: 5.40 AM - 7/28 2002

Ramon arrived safely in Adelaide on Friday. Enjoyed a night out being the centre of attention at the Comedy Club where he gave as good as he got! (He was the main topic of one comedian who didn't know Ramon was sitting front centre!) After a late night night he returned to the backpackers hostel for a good (?) nights sleep. I met Ramon next morning at the Beehive Corner in Adelaide, went for a stroll along North Terrace before returning home to local suburb Rostrevor for lunch and a nap. Ramon had brought the good weather again so we all went for a walk to the local Morialta Falls (where his Adelaide pic was taken). Unfortunately the fine weather disappeared over night and it has rained off and on since! Off to new hosts today in good spirits, ready for the media attention coming through the week.


Name: Allen
City, Country: Santa Cruz, California
Sent: 8.44 PM - 7/27 2002

I do miss the friendly souls of Australia. Wonderful people. What a great idea you had in doing what you are doing. When do you think you'll start your journey through the United States? Hope you have a year or so.

Take care and be safe.
Allen


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 3.54 PM - 7/27 2002

About Pat Welsh's comments that what Ramon is doing is nothing new: I think it's true that many people have hitchhiked around or whatever, but has anyone else ever shared their adventures with so many people AS THEY HAPPEN the way Ramon is doing? Some people have traveled and written a book, or given a few media interviews (such as a guy from some European country who is now swimming the entire length of the Mississippi River.) But what is unique about Ramon's adventures is all the stories and pictures of real people far away from us all that we can enjoy very soon after they happen via his photos especially, week after week. Sometimes I get annoyed with Ramon for some reason but this adventure is not all about just him; it's about all the people and places he encounters and then SHARES WITH THE WORLD right away. It's community building on a grand scale. But you're right that many travelers have experienced goodwill from their hosts throughout history. We ought to ask Bedouins to share some of their folklore with us about hospitality from strangers. I bet they have a lot of stories about it.

Enjoy the journey, everyone.


Name: Coralie
City, Country: England
Sent: 3.41 PM - 7/26 2002

Hi Ramon - wow you really are seeing a lot of this world , who have thought it - I remember seeing your name in our paper all that time before you set off , now look at you ??? You are also showing the world that there are a lot of good people in the this world of ours - ...keep up the good work -
Hugs
Coralie


Name: Alexandra
City, Country: Adelaide, Australia
Sent: 2.45 PM - 7/26 2002

Hoi! I am a huge fan of Dutch people :) I think this site is really cool! A friend from Holland recently back packjed around Australia. perhaps we could catch up?
Doei! Alexandra :)


Name: Pat Welsh
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 12.36 AM - 7/26 2002

Well done lad hope you are going well on your travles although what you are doing is nothing new, ask any CB user who as travled they did the same and stay with radio friends I .y self have had ofers to stay in different parts of the world , keep it up i think it s great,
Pat


Name: Gus Campbell
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 11.50 AM - 7/25 2002

Hi Ramon, I see you are nearly in Adelaide, the home of Australias best wines, best women (arguably) and the dryest state in the dryest continent in the world. Sounds inviting doesn't it especially if you love nice big round juicy morsels in your mouth (i'm talking about grapes of course). I look forward to having you to stay for a day if you make it to the Adelaide Hills Ramon, i will endeavour to get you to wherever you need/want to go with as much media coverage as you require while you stay in South Australia.
Kind Regards
Gus Campbell


Name: Vanessa and Darrell Nattrass
City, Country: BOULDER
Sent: 10.39 AM - 7/24 2002

The offer to come and Stay in Boulder is, of course, still open.
Don't miss the Goldfields, you'll regret it!!
Have sent you an email with info. on FREE TRAIN TRIP TO BOULDER.
Adelaide can wait. Plenty of transport from the Goldfields over to the East.
COME SEE THE GOLDMINING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!
Vannessa and Darrell Nattrass.
METROPOLE HOTEL,


Name: Greg James
City, Country: (Now) Perth, Australia
Sent: 9.47 AM - 7/24 2002

Just dropped Ramon at Perth bus station to set off to Adelaide. He's in for a long three day journey, and so he'll be looking forward to a nice massage when he arrives. Ladies...? I think he might be a bit hungry too!

Disclaimer: I was forced by Ramon to write this message.


Name: Maureen
City, Country: Denmark, WA
Sent: 7.36 AM - 7/24 2002

Farewell Ramon -Hope your trip to Adelaide is full of adventure for you. It looks as though you will be leaving in the rain :( Did you have a guinness or two when typing your Denmark report mate #;-) Can you alter my web page address to http://www.members.iinet.net.au/~kcbrown/ Thanks for the link to the Yorkshire Posts too. Anyone from Yorkshire out there should take a look at the link. A great place to visit. Have a safe journey. Maureen, Kevin and Bella.


Name: Greg James
City, Country: Pemberton, Western Australia
Sent: 2.44 AM - 7/24 2002

I guess because Ramon stayedwithusforfivedays.com, there was quite a collection of stories to tell. But because he was also taking a break (or wasitbecausehedidn’tlikeus.com? or ishejustalazybum.com?), not all of those made it into his reports. Let me fill in some of the details a little…

The cute little girl with red hair? That’s Josiene, our beautiful daughter. If any Hollywood producer, advertising agency executive, or world class fashion magazine editor is reading this post and wishes for a Nicole Kidman child double, ‘face of …’ star, or downright sassy lady-of-the-world, then giveusabellrightnow!.com. By the way, she is great at collecting chicken eggs.

The little boy with the killer smile? That’s Jasper, our son-of-mischief-and-fun-and-cuteness. Ditto above, except he’s still learning to collect the eggs…

The rooster? The rooster was an illegal immigrant who escaped from out of the neighbour’s chookyard. And we ALL KNOW WHAT WE AUSTRALIANS THINK OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, don’t we! In his own yard, other bigger roosters were giving him a hard time, so he became kingofthekids on the outside, terrorizing the chickens up and down the back laneway, leaping into their cages for a casual rape, and waking up Jasper at 5:30am by cock-a-doodle-dooing outside his window, neverminding what would happen when there was a full moon. The clincher was when he attacked our poor old bantam rooster in the middle of our lawn, who is well past his prime, but living out his days in a life of idle luxury in our chook pen. The bantam (‘Pake’ is his name) was nearly pecked to death, except that Minke came out of the back door of our house just in time. Enough became enough! Our other neighbour (Murray, as featured in one of the photos) had been hanging around for weeks waiting for his chance, hanging out his shed window with a ‘wind shooter’ (in Dutchlish), um, air rifle. Then, whilst Minke was out and only Ramon was home, he snuck through the gate in the side fence between our homes, slunk down our yard commando-style (through all the duck-poo), and POW! The Rooster was an ex-Rooster. He was first transferred to a bucket in Murrays’ shed, and now resides in the forest on the other side of the road. Suchislifeinthecountry.com! Ramon didn’t get the chance to take the obligatory photos.

The train? Pemberton received some unwelcome bad publicity a couple of weeks ago when Australia’s Public Liability Insurance crisis finally caught up with the town’s steam train and tram (amongst others) and the State newspaper ran a negative story on it. Things looked grim, but the owner, who is a train buff, at great personal expense, has managed to broker another deal that will allow him to operate again! Joy, joy, the weekend morning ‘toot-tooting’ and romantic coal-smoke drifting across town as the train puffs out of town is back again, much to Jasper’s delight! The rest of the state of WA thinks it’s great too – the paper ran a small follow-up article. So, Pemberton is NOT dying – it’s a great little place, so comeandvisitusinPemberton.com!

The cat? Ramon and Siepie had a bit of a relationship going on. Siepie went into Ramon’s room each night and went to sleep on his bed. When he didn’t come (he was working on his reports), and so she came out to get him. One night, THREE TIMES!!! Then we didn’t see either of them until about 10am next morning. Check out the love in their eyes in the photos!

Siepie is now missing Ramon terribly. The first night after he left, she sat on top of the fridge all night and just stayed there. She missed her bedtime companion. Minke has finally managed to coax her down.

Letmewashyourdishesforaday.com. It wasn’t all fun and games for Ramon – we did finally manage to drag him off his computer and wash a few dishes. He even carted a wheelbarrowload of gravel for me! Still, I guess he did have a pretty cushy time. He even informs me he is a master chef, although most of his guests never get to see it or know about it … oops, sorry Ramon, did I just sell you out?????!!!!!

I’m sure there are a few more tid-bits, but I’ll leaveitatthatfornow.com

Cheers!

RAMON:
What can I say...
Thanks Greg!


Name: Brian B
City, Country: Garner, NC, USA
Sent: 3.44 PM - 7/22 2002

Ramon, I know the days in Pemberton must have been relaxing. Especially since you stayed with a Dutch family.

I just read in
the forum that you will be taking a break in Holland again after leaving Australia. I'm anxious to discover what part of the world you'll open our eyes to next.

RAMON:
Well, Brian, that's all up to anybody who wants to sponsor me in getting somewhere
:-)


Name: Danielle
City, Country: Canada
Sent: 3.33 PM - 7/22 2002

Hi Ramon! My names Danielle and I just wanted to let you know I think what you're doing is so cool!! My mom always follows where you go on your website. We just registered our house for when you come to Canada! We're also friends with Karin and Tom Spence, who's house you just stayed in while you were in Australia!


Name: Maureen
City, Country: Denmark, WA
Sent: 2.43 PM - 7/22 2002


Hi Ramon, It was great having you stay with us. We wish you could have stayed a little longer though. Hope all goes well with the rest of your journey. Keep smiling. Maureen and Kevin.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.21 AM - 7/22 2002

Hi Ramon, Joan, and Emma, and everyone...

Joan, thanks for your comment. Have you heard that world class Ozzie comedian Kevin Bloody Wilson go on about how people sound so different? It is worth a listen, if you can handle a bit of dirty humour.

Emma, thanks for your comments as well. Ramon is indeed a wonderful person, and the more people that can tell the world that thru their own experiences, the better for Ramon, and untimately the better for all of us.

Ramon, if you need a break, then ask to stay another night. You don't have to be shy, we understand, it's incredibly hard work you are doing.

One more thing, Bret from California says hi to everyone. He is happy that
the forum is still there. Speaking of which, I'm off to see what's new there...

Sala kahle to all

Brian


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.29 AM - 7/21 2002

Brian,

I know what you mean about accents. I love hearing various accents from different countries, that is why I was anxious to hear Ramon's voice. My mother is British, so I am obviously quite familiar with that accent since I visit Britain often.

Aussies I hear often with the stars in TV and movies. South Africans less often. However, I am a car racing fan, and watch Thomas Schecter, South African, in the IRL (Indy Racing League), and have even chatted with him at the Indy 500.

I have also been fortunate to visit Brazil and loved hearing the Brazilian Portuguese language (a truly Romance sounding language, much softer on the ears than Spanish I believe), and I loved their accents when speaking in English.

As I am sure is true in many countries, there are accents and dialects in the USA. Sometimes I have trouble understanding the "Southerners" (Southeast USA) accent when speaking English.

I grew up in New Jersey, USA, which has a distinct accent in the Southern part of the state. Then I lived in Boston, Massachusetts for several years, which has a whole different accent. People in Boston jokingly made fun of my New "Joisey" accent! Hmmph! :-) I now have a mixed mongrel accent, living in the Southwestern USA.

Cultures, languages and accents are interesting!!
I love the world we live in - 'cause it's the only one we have! :-)

Peace to all on Earth, someday, I pray!

Keep on truckin' Ramon!

Regards And Hugs to all,
Joan
[] [] []


Name: Maria
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 5.52 PM - 7/20 2002

Emma, I love your comment on the forum. It seems you and Ramon both were pretty impressed by his visit at your place :-)


Name: Anne
City, Country: Armadale: Perth : W.A.
Sent: 4.47 PM - 7/19 2002

Hey Ramon,

Have u already left Perth??
What about the invitation to stay with us?
I s'pose you have had 100's of invites to stay with people, but we were looking forward to meeting you in person and having 'you-stay-for-a-day!!!
Never mind, mischien een andere keer!!
Enjoy yor trip across the Nullabor wen u do it!! We did it 6 months ago and we LOVED it!!!!

If u get the chance ... Albany is a GREAT spot as well!!!!!

Regards, Anne B.


Name: Emma
City, Country: Peppermint Grove, Western Australia
Sent: 1.29 PM - 7/19 2002

Hello to all of Ramon's supporters and followers...

thought I should come on here and say hi, as Ramon mentioned there were a couple of messages about me/us!

Firstly let me assure you that Ramon was not in the best of health on the extra night he stayed with me. It wasn't so much sickness, more sheer exhaustion and fatigue! The poor guy just needed a break from the whole "Hi, who are you? where have you been? where did you get the idea..." etc etc. He fitted into my family immediately, and within an hour I felt like I'd known him for years. We 'clicked' immediately and had long conversations about just about everything! When he told me how exhausted and drained he was, I offered him to stay another night- after all it was a different house so it wasn't exactly breaking the rules of his project!

I couldn't believe the comment from one poster that Ramon didn't want to go from 'upper-class' to 'lower class'!!! I have never read such rubbish! You are talking about a guy who was quite happy to sleep in the back of a car? You think a suburb's reputation is really going to matter to this guy? He shared stories of staying in tiny shacks in Africa, made of tyres, rubbish and street litter. Any house would be a palace compared to this. Ramon is not travelling easily, or in much style- could you live out of a backpack travelling daily for over 16 months??

I thoroughly enjoyed Ramon's company, and look forward to seeing him again. If any of you reading this have not yet invited him to stay- don't hesitate at all! Invite this warm, funny, adventurous man into your life.

~Em


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Afrcia
Sent: 6.30 AM - 7/19 2002

Hi Ramon

Now THAT is something worth putting on a video clip, a walking fish! I've never seen or even heard of such a creature.

The closest thing to it is the Mudskipper, but I really don't have much more on it. It does not really walk, sort of waddles along on its pectoral fins out of water.

How does Jaimes' fish walk? Does it also use its pectoral fins? Are they adapted only for walking? Feet? Toes? Or do they get used in the more conventional sense while the fish swims? Does it swim?

Jaimes, how about putting a little story about your strange creature on the messageboard, so that we can learn about it? It sounds quite facinating. What made you get it? How long does it live? What does it eat (presumably not the other fish in the tank...)?

Ramon, these are the little things that must surely make your journey special. Little things about people, what they do, what they have, or don't have, little interesting titbits about the human behind the person.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.10 AM - 7/18 2002

Hi all

Matt in Oz, don't feel bad, mate. Your internet industry is apparently much better than ours here in SA. Also, Ramon's ISP have to allow him that extra storage space for huge video files. The messageboard already has a limit in size, and the forum was interrupted...

But yes, it is indeed a brilliant idea, Margaret.

Ramon, as usual, my sincerest wishes are with you. Keep strong, and continue with the accurate journalism.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: matt
City, Country: cessnock australia
Sent: 4.11 AM - 7/18 2002

Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 4.25 AM - 7/18 2002
Just a few comments today:
(2) Why doesn't someone give Ramon a digital videocam and have him post a few digital video clips as well as still photos? Has that possibility been explored by anyone? (Would you do that if someone gave you one?)

Margaret in australia we have stupid download limits and slow internet even our broadband so even if ramon had a digital camera he wouldnt be able to upload video because of our slow boring internet and dumb download limits these are all because a company here telstra wants to earn more money (www.telstra.com)


Name: Chris Egan
City, Country: Mandurah, Western Australia
Sent: 3.42 AM - 7/18 2002

Great website. Ive taken an interest from when you visited Karratha as that is my old home town and you have been going to all the places i have been. Many western australians know about him as he was featured on the news and on radio. Hope the trip goes well
bye


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 7.25 PM - 7/17 2002

Just a few comments today:

(1) Like Joan, I listened to your voice interviews (Canada, BBC) for the first time today, too. They are great!

(2) Why doesn't someone give Ramon a digital videocam and have him post a few digital video clips as well as still photos? Has that possibility been explored by anyone? (Would you do that if someone gave you one?)

(3) I often play Hearts (a card game) on www.flipside.com, and fairly often end up playing with Australians. I always ask them if they know about your project or are following your website, and invariably they say NO. I always tell them to take a look at it. This tells me that you are not yet a household word in Australia. But maybe that will change by the time your visa is up.

Well, stay safe and grateful as always.


Name: Kylie
City, Country: Morley, Western Australia
Sent: 2.31 PM - 7/17 2002

Hi Ramon,
You may have cut your own throat (have you got offers for travel over east?) with your comments towards Lizs' father like that knowing full well how many people read your daily reports.

I tell people about what your doing and the first thing they say is "freeloader" then when they think about it, they are actually envious and wonder why they didn't think of it themselves., they then say "good on him". Being judgemental sucks and I think you owe Liz and her family an apoligy.

Happy Travels,
Kylie


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.17 AM - 7/17 2002

Ramon,

Thanks for the links to the voice interviews. I am embarrassed to say I had not visited that area of your web page after all this time! :-( I loved the interviews, and yes, now I have heard your voice!
Thanks again!

Joan


Name: dragan
City, Country: banjaluka, bosnia and herzegovina
Sent: 2.40 AM - 7/17 2002

hi ramon, i followed your trip last year , glad to see you are still on the road,you are wellcome here too, good luck!!


Name: Cynthia
City, Country: Colorado, USA
Sent: 11.16 PM - 7/16 2002

Hi Everyone and Ramon,
I agree with Margaret in Minneapolis, many gruff people have a soft inside. What would Liz and her father think when they read your report, Ramon, misunderstood I suspect? I enjoy your descriptions of people but not the hasty judgements, as it doesn't make interesting reading.
I find the older I get the more interest I have in figuring people out, and a certain joy when I can't. I can relate with all age groups, more so than when I was a young buck, or buckess in my case.

So Ramon, how do you go about romancing Emma when you're on the road? Remember, be attentive. She may respond well with this and you have the ability to be quite creative.


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 7.43 PM - 7/16 2002

Well, your story remains interesting, no matter what.

Thanks as always for your stories and photos!!!

HOWEVER: I know you don't need me to say this but I've got to say it anyway: I am disappointed by the way you bad-mouthed Liz's father. (1) Some people are gruff and overdirect by nature, and it doesn't mean they aren't good people necessarily. They may just be of a different sort; sometimes they are people of whom it was originally said that "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS>" Think of all the smooth-talking people who will deceive you, rip you off, etc. Your description reminded me of ways my father often communicated . . . people had to spend time with him and empathize to get the full benefit of his inner goodness sometimes. But he was a rock of stability and responsibility. I wonder if you had any chance to ask Liz about her father's character?? (2) He didn't invite you into his home!! His daughter did. Why should he have to make small talk if it doesn't come naturally to him? I just can't see writing what you did for millions of people to read when you were actually the one infringing on his turf without his invitation . . . and your knowledge of him as a person was so limited.

I tell myself you are growing up as you go through your adventures. If you really do travel another 5-10 years, it'll be good to observe the maturation process do its work.

Again, I apologize for this message that sounds like criticism. I just can't NOT speak up for folks like my father was. Look at their total lives, not just their charm or lack of it, before making your appraisals. And show respect for people's parents.

Thanks for reading this.


Name: wendy
City, Country: narrogin, australia
Sent: 6.45 AM - 7/16 2002

Ramon, I've been really interested/entertained by your adventures. I am curious though, the other day when you didn't move from upper class (leafy private) Peppermint Grove to lower class (housing estate) Girrawheen, were you really ill. I hope so, I'd be disappointed if you weren't allowing yourself to experience all on offer. Wendy

RAMON:
No that is really a strange comment! How can I already figure out the differences between rich and poor in a big city of Perth within one week? And than, have I ever cared about differences? All I ask is help in food and a place to sleep, so anything goes. A posh hotel in Norway or a mudhut in South Africa: I won't complain!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.31 AM - 7/16 2002

Hi Ramon

It has certainly been a week or two of adventure, and perhaps some mental torment. Having to sleep in a car, having no water in a desert, flies, strange winging tourists, and even losing your Spits contract. And then, not being with your dad on his 60th.

Well, I am glad that you are well. But then, having met you, I knew, and expected, that you would weather well. you are far too strong to let these things bother you.

Keep going, Ramon, you are doing an incredible job, and no-one can ever deny that.

Joan, as for what Ramon sounds like, well, he has a "typical" (can I use that word?) Dutch accent, and speaks English surprisingly well. I really hope that he has not picked up that Ozzie twang with all the Ozzie slang, if you know what I mean. One should try to retain one's cultural features.

But hearing Ramon with a touch of Oz would be rather amusing, especially if you don't expect it. Actually, I've met some wonderful people from Scandinavia, and I s'pose it applies to any country where English is not the dominant language, who have American accents. But then, they learnt English from watching American movies. Ramon learnt English by learning English, so his accent is genuinely Dutch.

Also, accents sound different depending on where you live. While in London, I met up with a Texan, a New Yorker, and two chaps from South Dakota. They all thought I was Ozzie! (Quite a few people from outside SA think that.) And my Belgian friend says I have a British accent. So, what does anyone sound like? Well, like anything in life, it depends on your outlook.

Once again, Ramon, keep that strong outlook, and speak exactly as you want to.

Hamba kahle.

Brian


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.08 AM - 7/16 2002

Ramon,

Excellent points about the TV idea. I stand corrected. I agree, this is an internet project, and TV following you and into people's homes would ruin the intimacy of the visits. Bad idea. Keep on doing what you do the best! :-) Yuor ideas and your approach is the best.

Regards,
Joan


Name: Mike W.
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 10.52 PM - 7/15 2002

Good theat you employer has kept you on after all, have they perhaps realised that they may have some financial/copyright claim on you if you publish your story in some form in the future or am I just being cinical?
Also do you ever worry that some less scruplious travelers may try to copy you but for different and exploititive reasons? (i.e. JUST to save money, sponge off others but without giving anything back? I note that you always give credit/publicity to people/organisations as far as possibe who help you out.
Anyway keep on going. I've adopted your tactics on reporting my frequent travels to friends and collegues on a daily (if possible) basis on my last trip with good success and intend doing same on my next trip to South America in September. Fortunately there are a Hell of a lot of Internet Cafes out there...


Name: Jeannie D
City, Country: in France
Sent: 10.07 PM - 7/15 2002

Hi .... don't know if you remember but before you set off in the first place I sent you a short note wishing you luck and just a tiny bit of motherly advice : NEVER wear your cap in anyone's house !!! enough said -

and if SHE should be the right one this time, I wish you all the best.
Bye JD


Name: Tammy
City, Country: Sonora CA, USA
Sent: 7.18 PM - 7/15 2002

Dear Ramon: Do I detect a little love connection between you and Emma? Your eyes were sparekling for her it seems. Or does you heart still hold a space for Ireen?
Just curious?
Tammy


Name: Arnold Timmerman
City, Country: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sent: 6.35 PM - 7/15 2002

Hi Ramon,

Thank God Sp!ts decided to prolong their deal with you. Only short-sighted fools in journalistic Holland would not come up with a creative solution for the slight inconvenience they signed for in the first place: missing one of your columns because there is no way you could be on line.
I'm glad that people send you emails criticising your honest and clear reactions to some situations you encounter travelling the world. It gives me the opportunity to tell you what a great challenge you chose. Reading your stories it's clear that you feel the luckiest guy in the world since you've been fulfilling your dream. Actually, being lucky doesn't have anything to do with all the good things (and bad things) that happen. You chose to travel in a unique way. You chose life. Because of that, things, people and fortune come to you. If other people wanna experience that kind of blessing, they should choose life as well, in whatever way.
Leaving the tour you were offered and going for a beggar's life for 4000 kilometres takes guts (one for the record: beggars can't be choosers? no way! beggars cán be choosers!) Some people say that was not according to your original plan, but who cares? People roll through their lives, never taking a chance, telling their friends their job is okay when in fact they don't even remember why they applied for it in the first place. Worse: they woudn't be able to point out why they dón't like what they're doing. You made your move right away and told everybody why, straight up. Cheers for that.
And, no one in this world is better off being thanked for everything, being approached with a smile all the time. People think it's a condition for universal love. In short, when people invite you, and you accept, both wishes are fulfilled. Everyone happy. End of story.
I hope you will enjoy all the ups and downs on your travels and that you will share those highlights with us in all honesty. Be grateful to yourself. You're the one who made it possible for so many people to appreciate the stories you live.
Take care, buddy.

Arnold




Name: Marty
City, Country: Raleigh, NC - USA
Sent: 3.48 PM - 7/15 2002

Ramon,

Been following you off and on for a while now. Too bad that Spits didn't need your columns ay more, but I wish you would be more reasonable about the way you reflect on stuff like that. After all, they can hardly be held responsible for your affairs in Holland while you travel the world.

I have noticed before how you tend to get a bit whiny when things aren't going your way, and that's too bad. Try not to be so critical all the time of other people (i.e. British travelers on a tour that was offered (!) to you). After all, you've come this far, haven't you? I really don't think you have THAT much to complain about, considering all the support you have received to this point. Yet, you frequently come across as pretty negative and judgmental, to the point of being cynical about things other people would consider a blessing to experience....

Just take things as they come your way, and be grateful. And a bit more gracious, maybe?

Keep it up,

Marty


Name: paul (lazystudent.co.uk)
City, Country: UK
Sent: 12.18 PM - 7/15 2002

Hi Ramon

We still follow your travels, its amazing how far you have got. We are in the middle of building a new site for lazystudent and we have just put your site at the top of the travel journals section.

What a fantastic idea you had it seems so long ago now, I'm sure we will get to meet up sometime in the future.

Take care and travel well

Its Ok to dream

regards

Paul lazystudent team


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.35 AM - 7/15 2002

p.s.

As I spin my Earth globe in my office, and review where you have been thus far, I estimate you have another 10-15 yrs to go! :-) At least! :-) I am sure you won't do this for another 15 yrs, but maybe 5-7, before you settle down. But who knows, this could be your calling for life, like many travelers. I am hoping that a video camera crew catches up with you soon, and you are on the way to a Travel Channel series. I watch the Travel Channel religiously, and there are video traveler series from many years ago, such as the old Lonely Planet 30 min segments.

How about it Travel Channel, National Geographic??? We would like to see the videos of Ramons real life travels, staying in peoples homes who invite him to stay!! I think these journeys are worthy of video now, for future series! We are enjoying a great series here in your reports and digital photos, but I think it is time for video, and a future video TV series! Time is being lost, we need the video! Crikey!!!!!! It's time to make this a TV Series for the future!

Or is this just my vision?

Cheers,
Joan

RAMON:
I will keep on travelling as long as I enjoy it and as long as it is made possible for me thanks to ordinary people on the internet and sponsors. I might have some breaks during my travels, but that might only be to get some rest.
Television is welcome to film me, but I will NOT EVER let them travel with me and let TV stay with the same people I visit. Imagine when I get to your place with an entire camera crew: would you be yourself? Would you have the same talks with me as without the camera(s)? Definitely not.

Where would a TV-crew sleep? In the same house like me? Are the hosts expected to cook for them too? Whoever would film me about my NO-BUDGET travels and have their tv-crew pay for hotels and motels for these nights is rather fooling himself very much.

This is an internet project and will always be an internet project. If people want to film travellers that travel like me, buy the
TV-format for the Letmestayforaday-TV Show or movie-rights of my stories, because I don't want to have my travels being "Controlled" by TV. TV can only be an instrument, just like radio and newspapers, to be used to promote the project.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.28 AM - 7/15 2002

Hi All,

Ramon, enjoying your travels as usual. I was following on my globe in my office today as I read the recent stories. I found most of the recent places on it. Fun!

Something occurred to me today. We know lots about you :-), and your travels, etc. I was wondering what you "sound" like? Would you consider a voice greeting on your web page? I'd love to hear your voice, speaking English (since your site is English - but of course a message in Dutch would be great to hear as well.)

Just a thought. I "see" you and "read" you daily. Hmm, what does Ramon "sound" like? :-)

Not that you need this advice now, but a tip I had heard from my cousin from England who travels the world. If you get to a not so good/safe area of the world where you travel by bus or train at night, he locks his backpack to his seat/bed/himself, so it is not stolen while he is sleeping. Also has little locks on all zippered compartments. He learned this from backpackers hostels as he traveled the world in the last few years, perhaps you have already heard of this tip.

Take care, hope to "hear" from you soon!
Regards,
Joan

RAMON:
About hearing my voice, there are some sound bites available on the media-about-page, like the interview the
Canadian Arthur Black had with me for CBC radio when I was in South Africa, or one of the early ones like BBC Five Live before I actually departed (nervous and bad English haha).
Ludo had lots of audiofiles on his "Where Is Ramon" website, but unfortunately he couldn't update those map-pages anymore. I hope to upload those Mp3-files to the Letmestayforaday-server pretty soon.

I know all about those backpackers that seal everything they own, with their fears of everything getting stolen. I haven't been to countries yet, where that occurs, and I don't had any of that mind set in the countries I have visited and I'll never have that in Australia. Maybe it's a thought for Asia, but I don't want to have ANY stereotypical thoughts yet. I'll see when I get there.


Name: Jan en Joke Stoppelenburg
Sent: 9.22 PM - 7/14 2002

I would like to thank everybody who sent me a birthday wish. They all gave me a support and heartened us for missing Ramon.
We also got shy of all glorifying words about Ramon. We don't hope Ramon read them too because he got too big for his boots now already ;-))
We hope everybody will enjoy his adventures, stories and pictures.

And Ramon, take care and safe travels


Name: Rene Mak
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 6.05 AM - 7/14 2002

Any Interstate truckers out there, that can give this guy a ride across to the other side of the country?

RAMON:
The chance will be big that somebody would give me a lift when I start hitchhiking along the road. Problem is the distance, it might take 3 days to get there and would anybody take on a hitchhiker WITHOUT ANY MONEY along for a ride? Would a truckie help me out with something to eat?


Name: Randall
City, Country: Huntington Beach, California USA
Sent: 11.22 PM - 7/12 2002

Sorry about the earlier post. You'll get here if you get here, and I hope to be here if and when you do.

Continued Happy Travels.


Name: Nada Ross
City, Country: Gold Coast, Queensland
Sent: 9.56 PM - 7/11 2002

Dear Ramon,
I was feeling kind of sorry for you for a while there, sleeping in the cold at the back of a car and having to wait for hours on lonely roads waiting for a lift but HEY what an adventure it turned out for you and our anticipation at waiting to find out the next day what you will get up to and who will pick you up and where. It was a unique experience you will never forget.
You would have missed out on Karatha and their wonderful hospitality, the fruit stall etc etc.
I dont think you will see much from the plane nor meet the local folk that way and I for one will miss your adventures of the rest of the West Australian coast.
boo hoo but blessings come in different disguises so you never know whats around the next cloud.
Your photos are just great of the outback and depict the true colours and life there. Keep well
Blessings to you..........Nada


Name: Randall
City, Country: Huntington Beach, (Southern) California
Sent: 7.07 PM - 7/11 2002

It's a lot of fun to read of your travels and adventures, and I look forward to your reports. When do you (or do you at all) plan on making it to the US?

By the way... I had wished to send your father a birthday greeting, and regret that I missed the day to do it. Please send him good wishes from Sunny Southern California!


Name: Michael Offe
City, Country: South Australia.
Sent: 3.45 PM - 7/11 2002

Happy Birthday Jan!
All the best from South Australia!

You have a very intelligent son, and he came up with a brilliant concept for his world tour.

We are looking forward to Ramon's visit in the next month or so.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Offe,
South Australia.


Name: Karen
City, Country: London, UK
Sent: 10.41 AM - 7/11 2002

I would love to send your dad an emial but his mailbox is not accepting mail from my yahoo account.

But if he reads this: happy birthday Jan!
Enjoy!


Name: anna
City, Country: the netherlands
Sent: 10.47 AM - 7/10 2002

Is Perth your last place to stay in Australia or are you also going to South Australia and Victoria?

RAMON:
Of course I'll be going there too! My Australian tourist visa is valid until September 4.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.34 AM - 7/10 2002

Heya Brian,

Hey, stop seeing me smiling! :-) Yea, I guess Ramon did not even like Daniela enough to hitch a ride with her. Must have been a really bad overall experience. Oh well.

Chris R. - true, travel distances are a matter of perspective. I grew up in the Northeastern USA (New Jersey and then Massachusetts) and a 4 hr trip was a big deal. I now live in the Southwest USA and 3-4 hrs is no big deal. It's all a matter of perspective as to the landscape where one lives. Miles and miles of nothing is common here when leaving the city. The next main city is 2 hrs away - 2 hrs of straight highway, of nothing in between besides some mountains and fields.

Ramon, I am wondering what the speed limit is on these highways you are traveling lately? Here the speedlimits on the Federal Interstate Highways are usually 75 mph. 55-65 mph around cities, main exit areas. What is the speed limit on the roads you are traveling these days? You always report the mileage/kilometers to your destination. How about the speed limits (if they exist)? Thanks.

Best wishes to you all. What a great group we are forming!!!! Someday, after Ramon's travels are over, we'll have to somehow plan a huge reunion of all the followers and supporters! WOW, wouldn't that be fantastic!!!!!?? I vote for Hawaii reunion! :-)

Joan


Name: Chris R.
City, Country: Austin, Texas USA
Sent: 8.01 PM - 7/9 2002

Hey Ramon,

I just have to chuckle at how amazed you are at the distances in the Outback! I'm reminding myself it's because you are a European, where everything is so much settled and countries are so much smaller that you have just had no chance to see such a thing before. I myself just shrug and think it looks a lot like a lot of places here in the US. Wait'll you get here and drive for hours across West Texas sagebrush country, or maybe Kansas cornfields or even the emptiness of Nebraska. The worst is Nevada, where everything is just brown, brown as far as you can see, no cactus, no bushes, no nothing, just brown for hours and hours and hours .... lol! Well, I'm sure you'll see soon enough. For now, thanks for the pix! It looks great to me! :-)


Name: Ron
City, Country: Sydney Oz
Sent: 10.43 AM - 7/9 2002

Hi Ramon,

Keep on trucking enjoy the wild life
I forgot to give you an emergency bottle of Hennesy Cognac
for those lonely cold desert nights
But Ill keep the bottle of Hennesy Cognac closed until you get back to sydney
Have fun mate see u in Sydney.....

C U

Ron

Dutch On-Line
Sydney

www.dutch.net.au


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.02 AM - 7/9 2002

Hi Joan

Just a reference to your comments about Daniela going to Broome and then to Perth. I guess that Ramon was not, well, swept away by Daniela!

Ok, that was feeble, but at least it brought a smile to your face! And don't try to hide it, I can see from here... ;-)

Ramon, you keep on going, bud. And keep that book in mind, I'd love to read it. Methinks it's going to be more of a twenty volume encyclopedia. Irrespective of how you get there, you still get there, and it is these experiences that enrich you, and give us the facinating articles.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Nada Ross
City, Country: Gold Coast, Australia
Sent: 5.00 AM - 7/9 2002

Dear Ramon
I have been following your reports for the past few months after seeing you on our TV news and offering you accommodation which sadly you didnt get a chance to use.
I look forward to your emails with anticipation and am re-living your adventures in the outback, which we have, as a family done a few years ago. Thank you for all the photos of our huge amazingly beautiful country.
You are an inspiration to freeloading and travel.
Remain adventurous and follow your heart.....
God bless you..........Nada


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.48 AM - 7/9 2002

Ramon,

Thanks for the return of the message board versus the forum format.
Much better!!!!!!

Joan


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 4.40 AM - 7/9 2002

Ramon,

Great travel diaries and pics, as usual. I love it!!!! Some comments and observations:

Judging from the pics, I doubt those ladies on the tour were 65, as you guessed. I would think in their 50's just like the British couple.

I think you were too hard on them, but not being there myself, it is hard to say. It just came across as you being not open to the age difference. After all, they are nearly the same age as your parents! :-)

I have to think that if they signed up for a trip like this, they would expect the "roughing it" aspect, but also would feel free to say probably innocent things like "Brrrrrrrr, it's damn cold", or "I sure miss the local Pub!". :-) And even say things like ""Perfect. I like it when things are easy." regarding some of the hikes/trails. I give them immense credit for signing up for a camping trip like this.
I am 51, and remember what it was like to hike the mountains of New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) when I was in my 20's. I remember the sweat and satisfaction climbing Mt. Washington during all seasons - even in Winter, to ski/slide down the bowl area. Today, I like adventures, but also like the easier trails yet want to enjoy the nature. People get older ya know. :-) I cannot keep up with a person in their 20's today, and would never profess I could. Nor would I sign up for such a trip myself now. Give me the nice hotel room! :-)
I thought perhaps you would continue on a bit and keep Daniela company! "Daniela is not going to do the full 24-days trip to Perth. She gets off after the first 11 days in Broome. She has planned to drive the distance from Broome to Perth by herself in a car of her own." I thought this was a perfect opportunity and was expecting you to report that you continued on to Broome, and then drove to Perth with Daniella. Guess I guessed that wrong!
Agreed though, perhaps you would have had more fun with a group your age. Sorry that did not work out for you, but also sorry you had to leave the tour. I hope you did not miss out on too much.

Funny, I could not help when reading your report about getting frustrated (impatient) waiting on the others to return after a hike...."He needs a ciggie"! I thought "Chill out Ramon, sit down and have a cig!".

Then, low and behold, when you were given some money the first thing you bought was a pack of cigarettes! See, I just KNEW you needed a ciggie!!!!!!! :-) I laughed and laughed, and being a smoker myself, I knew the feeling!!!!!!

On June 30th you wrote: "I crawled out of my tent this morning at 5.30 in the morning and said "What a beautiful day!" in my utmost British accent. Four grumpy old individuals looked at me and totally disagreed with that. The cold of the morning was the conversation topic of the entire morning.'"
On July 1st you wrote: "Because after the sun had set, the coldness set in immediately....." "I am kind of prepared for the cold"...."my backup team and my friends at home gave me advice on how to survive a cold night like this in a car."..."I would be fine. I would be okay. I would just think about that warm shower I had this night, and about how the campfires from the previous days glowed in my face and kept me warm out there and I would think about how hot it will be during the day and I would just forget how cold it is."
Stop f**king whining about the cold!!!! :-) Not only did those British ladies go on about it, so did you! :-)

Ramon, as always, thanks for the adventures, your stories, your honesty and sincerity, and your most excellent photos. You continue to be an inspiration for travelers (and tourists). And as always, thanks to your hosts/hostesses, and all the sponsors! It is a marvelous adventure which you are sharing with the world! Indeed those of us who are following you have learned an encyclopedia of information about the places you have visited - actually, quite better than an encyclopdia, as you not only tell us the informational data (thanks for all the links in your daily updates about the places you visit!), you also tell us about the every day living experiences - things we often cannot find in an encyclopedia! You are a world guide in more ways than just reporting on places. You are reporting on PEOPLE! Most wonderful!

I just had to make my observations. You know me, I follow every thread and update. :-) I have been wondering ever since your first announcement as to why you left the tour. Now we all know, you just needed a ciggie! :-) j/k Like I said, not being there, not being you, we cannot know the exact feelings, but I think you relayed your feelings well. You just wanted some more down to earth, and preferably, closer to your age, companions, on that tour. No harm, no foul, as they say.

Keep on traveling, be open, be safe!
Cheers,
Joan


Name: Trevie
City, Country: Amersham, BUCKS
Sent: 11.55 PM - 7/8 2002

http://www.dingosanctuary.org/dingo.html

I have found this web site all about Dingos...

This will answer your questions..

Trevie


Name: Cynthia H
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 11.06 PM - 7/8 2002

I forgot to ask another question, anyone can help me with and that is this: I heard that the dingo is the only land carnivore and it is not native to Australia. Is this right?


Name: Chris R.
City, Country: Austin, Texas USA
Sent: 8.35 PM - 7/8 2002

Hi Ramon,

I just want to say I agree with Cynthia from Denver that it is not all older folks who act that way! I am a 52 year old grandma and I LOVE camping and adventure - the rougher the better. You won't catch me in too many fancy luxury hotels that's for sure. I have a daughter-in-law from Lima, Peru. She is only 32 and complains all the time about everything. So it's the person, not the age. I bet you'll be a cool old geezer yourself when you get to be your dad's age, right? (wink)

Keep on truckin'. There are LOTS of us, older folks included, who are having a wonderful time vicariously enjoying your adventures. I just wish I could be helping you out when you got stuck. I've been there too, and know what that's like.

Oh yes, and I also did send birthday wishes to your dad, and told him he should be very proud of his son!


Name: Cynthia H
City, Country: Denver USA
Sent: 7.59 PM - 7/8 2002

Hi Ramon,
I'm twenty years older than you and I think I'm very tolerable and open minded, I don't think you should blame the age difference as I take offense at that. We're not all like the British ladies. I eat with my hands all the time. I also wanted to ask about the wildlife... I was under the impression that there was an abundance of fauna yet as I recall, you've seen crocs and snakes and flies and dead kangaroos...anything else? Also explain the difference between a traveler and a tourist as I thought you were both.
I feel sorry for Dave, maybe you should have stayed with the tour as a comrade for Dave the tour operator. Anyway, I sent B-Day greetings to your Dad. I enjoy IMMENSELY your journey and your website.


Name: Trevie
City, Country: Amersham,BUCKS
Sent: 6.35 PM - 7/8 2002

Hi Ramon, I see you are having trouble with those Brits, I feel so ashamed that british people cant shut up and stop whinging for five minutes and enjoy what they have or where they are.. On Holiday. If there isnt a kitchen sink, British people are the first to moan. I feel more annoyed about it than I should, as I am not actually there. Its really winds me up..errrr


Name: Diane
City, Country: Exmouth
Sent: 6.19 AM - 7/8 2002

Like Nomi (below), I also discovered your website from a yahoo group and I have been following your exploits on a daily basis. Sorry about your "friendly welcome" to WA. I enjoy your photos and very unique and honest style of writing. What a pity you missed out on Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef. All the best as you tour the rest of WA.


Name: qin ying ran
City, Country: china
Sent: 2.57 PM - 7/7 2002

hi. mmmmmmm, seems you visit many country, but u never think to come to china ever once. why??

RAMON:
It is always fascinating that people know what I think... I only think about visiting ANY country when I am very near that country at that particular moment or when a sponsor might be able to get me there. I have, for example, absolutely NO reason NOT to visit China. I'll get there when I get there...


Name: Nomi
City, Country: Tel-Aviv, Israel
Sent: 1.43 PM - 7/7 2002

G'day

Sounds like you're having a pretty incredible trip. I just got turned on to your website through a forum on yahoo groups. I'm an Ozzie myself but, I've been based in Israel for the past 8 years. I'm all for travelling around the world, I just don't do it in one go. I spent a year in the States, which I recommend....particularly, New Orleans, Arizona, Boston and Seattle....a few of my favourites. I'm about to take off again and travel for a couple of months before landing in Vancouver for a year. Who knows, maybe we'll meet on the road somewhere.

Enjoy and keep up the good work of promoting travel and showing everyone how small this world really is.

Nomi


Name: Eddy
City, Country: Bunbury Western Australia
Sent: 8.16 AM - 7/7 2002

you are on your way to the greatest place on earth ,Bunbury Western Australia home of the imfamous Hash House Harriers with over 1000 recorded runs & of course the drinking of the mighty amber fluid .WE run & drink every Wednesday at 6pm .If you want a good laugh & of couse a drink or three you should be there .More imfo from the Big Blue Building when you arrive in Bunbury (another famous landmark )on on !!!

RAMON:
Hi Eddy, I am not unfamiliar with the Hash House Harriers. My parents joined that group of runners/drinkers when we lived in Indonesia in my early years. Then back in The Netherlands there are several HHH's and of course we joined up there to do an annual Indonesia reunion Hash. I remember the last one I did a few years ago and I couldn't really drink that much beer yet. I bet I'll run better now, but I just don't have a place to stay in Bunburry yet...


Name: John
City, Country: Portsmouth
Sent: 11.46 PM - 7/6 2002

Did you get an get out of free jail card?

RAMON: I got one of those passes with which I can get in and out whenever I please- isn't that great?


Name: Trevie
City, Country: Amersham, BUCKS
Sent: 11.43 PM - 7/6 2002

In your reports about the Kakadu National Park you says there are six seasons, You have only stated five of them, what was the Six season. Please could you also state all the months they fall,

cheers as I couldn't quite work it out.

RAMON:
You are the first! What a good way to test my readers, huh? ;-) At this link you can read an Introduction to Kakadu which thoroughly explains the 6 seasons.


Name: Clayton Mohekey
City, Country: Busselton -- Western Australia
Sent: 11.29 AM - 7/6 2002

Hi ya good to see that you have made it this far.
What ever you do dont go back east with out seeing what the sovth west has to offer.
You will find great wine and warm homes.
Hope to catch up with you down here.


Name: dennis rivers
City, Country: kingston england
Sent: 11.14 AM - 7/6 2002

like what ur doin m8 keep it up. i would like to to do some thing like that to some day as well.any way got to go now cya ltr bbbyyyee


Name: dbk Tom
City, Country: NZ
Sent: 5.55 AM - 7/6 2002

great reports those from the Kakadu National Park.
Beautyfull photos


Name: Cheryle Robbins
City, Country: Dallas, TX USA
Sent: 4.41 PM - 7/5 2002

Do you know when you would be visiting the US continent?

RAMON:
No. Please read the FAQ.


Name: Melanie
City, Country: Karratha, Western Australia
Sent: 10.55 AM - 7/5 2002

Just saw you on TV. Hope you had enough places to stay here, otherwise you could've crashed here. Sorry I didn't know what you were doing.


Name: annemarie
City, Country: zwolle, The Netherlands
Sent: 8.01 AM - 7/5 2002

You did'nt know that hitchhiking is forbidden in Australia??

RAMON:
I did some research about that before heading to Australia. The Australian law says "thy shall not stand in road", which actually means that I'd be not allowed to hitchhike ON the road. Most hitchhikers are smart enough to stand next to the road, otherwise they'll become roadkill like all the kangaroos and cows I have seen along the road...

Hitchhiking is prohibited when practices on busy highways or at certain dangerous spots. Of course I always have to keep in mind that a possible lift has to be able to stop at a safe place, withouth disturbing other drivers.

Just don't wave at police cars...


Name: Gerben
City, Country: Zzzwolle, Holland
Sent: 8.47 PM - 7/4 2002

Good God! So they've finally got you. About time. How much did you pay for that picture ;-) Hope all is well. Don't worry about me Ramon, I'll be in France for a year or so (short holiday). Let me know if you want to crash. I've got some great wines.


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 6.36 PM - 7/4 2002

disturbing traffic on the highway?? ramon, firstly I've thought it was a joke. I'm sorry for what's happening over there. I hope things to turn into good very quickly.
buona fortuna, donatella


Name: acadia
City, Country: MAine, USA
Sent: 3.03 PM - 7/4 2002

Back-up Team - Have you gotten Ramon out of Jail yet? What is he going to do now?


Name: Ramon Stoppelenburg
City, Country: Port Hedland, Australia (at this moment)
Sent: 2.38 AM - 7/4 2002

Well...
There you had a messageboard and I changed it into a forum. There you had the external forum and the boys out there decided to quit their service; no more forum.

Here is the messageboard again, for you pleasure of simple posting, reading and scrolling!


Name: Natalie Lam
City, Country: Hong Kong , China
Sent: 7.22 AM - 7/1 2002

Hi guy,
From the time you plan to have the "free trip" I read your website and daily report. A year past already, when will you stop teh travel ? Do you miss your family?

Actually I wanna to know your nationality.

Best Wishes !!


Name: tapperij De Joffer
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 1.26 PM - 6/20 2002

Great site, also your column in the HSK which we follow every edition.
When youre back to your roots we invite you for free drinks all night long to tell us your adventures.
Good luck,and lot of greetings. Remco&Jan


Name: Munk
Hometown: Zwolle, Netherlands
Sent: 9.10 AM - 6/18 2002

Lily, wouldn't it have been less rude to send your comment to Ramon's e-mail address instead of this guestbook for all to see?

RAMON:
Oh Munk, you should have seen her busy. She kept on going on this messageboard, so I removed messages that were simply inappropiate for this page. Then she started to call that censorship by email ("people like u always do...u can't bear for people to see the truth.....in my line of work, that is called censorship") and calls me a coward in the next one ("i will be more than happy to tell people myself......i have my own resources"). I am happy I did not stay with this person after all!


Name: Munk
Sent: 9.10 AM - 6/18 2002

Lily, wouldn't it have been less rude to send your comment to Ramon's e-mail address instead of this guestbook for all to see?


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.30 AM - 6/18 2002

Hi all

Jeez! I go away for a long weekend of hot air ballooning, and a volcano erupts! Well, two volcanos!

Firstly, to Lynn, I think that Bret and the others have said it quite clearly. Do not judge another until you have checked out his intentions! You really do not have any right to say what you said.

Ramon has stayed in many countries, and with many people, myself included, and the vast majority of these people were delighted to host him, and sad to see him leave.

Lynn, you clearly do not know Ramon, so let me tell you about him. Ramon is a kind, gentle, and decent young man who has a spirit of adventure and a heart of kindness that is hard to find elsewhere. He has utmost respect for his hosts, and is quite open about virtually every topic of discussion. He does not expect anything more than a place to sleep, and a meal. These are the requests he makes on this website, and you invite him subject to that. Even months later, I still feel immensely honoured to have hosted him.

Secondly, to Lily in Darwin, you are being very hard on Ramon. Again, to relate to my personal experience with Ramon, he handled the situation quite acceptabley with me. He called me on a Friday afternoon, if my memory serves me correctly, and said that he would be in Durban on the following Monday. I was so happy to hear from him. We made the arrangements, and I collected him from his previous host on the Monday after work.

Now Lily, if you had visited Ramon,s website at least once in the last month or so, you would have realised where Ramon was, and you could surely have figured out where he is headed. I'm sure you are clever enough to figure out that he was heading towards you. Then, keep your phone close by, and listen to your voice messages.

Please people, do not ridicule Ramon. He is a tremendous gentleman, and he has a huge task in this project. If you really want to help, then do so. But if you just want your mug shot on the net, and insist on complaining all the time, then perhaps this is not for you.

Ramon, keep strong, dude, and don't let these palookas put you down. You are doing great, and you have many supporters out here. Keep going.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Emma Rohrlach
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 4.52 AM - 6/18 2002

Ramon, I have to recommend that from Darwin you continue around the north west coast and make your way down to Perth. Stop in Broome and go to the beach, then see if someone invites you to the mining towns, like Newman or Paraburdoo. Say hi to the dolphins at Monkey Mia, snorkel the ningaloo reef and say hi to some whale sharks... See the amazing wave rock, and the pinnacles... come through Perth and stay with me- see Cottesloe Beach (its better than bondi, and don't let any sydney people tell you otherwise!).

I also noticed someone mentioned the Barossa Valley in SA, definitely go there if you get a chance! Amazing place full of old german heritage, good food and great wine!

Good luck with all your journeys, and thanks for telling the world how wonderful Australians are!


Name: Joop Mul
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 3.19 AM - 6/18 2002

What a shame that I did not see this earlier. How typically Dutch. What a nice challenge. Just jealous. Would have liked to have been of assistance when you were in Sydney.
Joop Mul (born in Gouda) 46 years in Oz.


Name: Melissa
City, Country: London, England
Sent: 7.11 PM - 6/17 2002

Well, I'm only 16, but it's people like you who have convinced me that I am going to travel as much as possible while I'm still in my youth, despite my old fashioned family who think that I should settle down right away. I don't think I'm brave enough to do it all for free though... anyway, thanks for the inspiration. When you get around to writing that book (I'm a hopeful author-to-be too), I'll be the first in line to buy it.
Happy adventures!


Name: Sharyn Brown
City, Country: Townsville, Australia
Sent: 1.05 PM - 6/17 2002

Ramon,

Just a quick note to say thanx for coming to visit. As you may have guessed, we love having visitors and meeting new people and it was great to meet you. If you ever come back this way (in the next 50 years or so...) feel free to call in again! I would like to say it might not be as hectic, but I doubt that, as its always chaos.

I hope you enjoyed your short stay (except for the bacon!) and the bus trip wasn't too bad for you!

Enjoy the outback and the rest of your fabulous adventure! Will keep track of you.


Name: Lily Morgan
City, Country: Darwin, Australia
Sent: 1.00 PM - 6/17 2002

g'day,

i initially offered accomodation to you in darwin...some months ago

i have had no response from you, either via email, letter or phone and consider this to be extremely rude and displaying a distinct lack of manners

i received a message on my mobile ph this morning, and upon checking your site note that you plan to be in darwin this evening!

do you really expect me to drop everything and welcome you into my home at such short notice?????

i think not!!!!!!!

invitation withdrawn!!!!!!!

RAMON:
Dear Lily,

If you have invited me through my website, you have probably received an email to confirm your invite. This letter also told you that I would contact you at least a week before I would get near you.

Please understand I have over 3300 invites from 68 countries, the website gets over a million visitors per week and with the life I am living on the road and with people EVERY DAY I just can't send emails to everybody who has invited me. "I will contact you" is what my autoresponding email clearly said.

I have called your phonenumber 6 times since last week, even way back in Townsville and left a message on Saturday afternoon. When I arrived today in Darwin I simply asked you to contact me, because I wasn't getting any possible contact with you at all.

Just look at it through my perspective, I have absolutely no reason to be rude or anything like that to anybody who has invited me over.

If we would get in contact any other way after your email to me, I would politely have asked when it would be possible for YOU to have me over. You are never asked to drop whatever you do and to welcome me TODAY. It's even up to you to say "sorry Ramon, can't do" and I will thank you after all.


Name: Suzie
City, Country: Wembley, England
Sent: 11.02 AM - 6/17 2002

Read about you in a British Magazine. Just wanted to say Good Luck with your travels.


Name: Carol
City, Country: Northern Ireland
Sent: 10.00 AM - 6/17 2002

Is it just me or does anybody else reckon that the guy who gave Ramon a lift from Tully to Townsville is really Osama Bin Laden? The yanks are wasting time in the Afghan caves - they're not even in the right hemisphere- OBL is alive and well and picking up hitch hikers down under.


Name: Lupe
City, Country: Rosario, Argentina
Sent: 7.51 PM - 6/16 2002

Dear Lynn,
Shame on you...
The world is like this because it is filled with people who won´t do a thing for anybody else but them...
It is no surprise for me to find that this message was written by an north american (a country which doesn´t even have a name of their own) -they suck south america´s blood but won´t give theirs to no one-
My country is suffering a lot for the FMI and the world bank won´t give us any help. I consider they are very unloyal... for when they needed to lend their money to someone so as not to reduce its costs, they made arrangements with our military governments so that they would accept it at very high risks -obviously for the generations that would come next-
Dear Ramon,
I hope we can soon have you here despite the terible situation the country is in. We ARGENTINIANS -and I dare say it in the plural form- welcome you arms wide open.


Name: ian
City, Country: wakefield england
Sent: 7.39 PM - 6/16 2002

Just read about you in british magazine.Iwish i had the bottle to do it .All the best Ramon.your doing what most of us dream of doing.


Name: Alex
City, Country: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sent: 6.50 PM - 6/16 2002

I read about your expedition in a British newspapers' magazine. I think what you are doing is so cool and it has really inspired me. I will be following your journey with pleasure. :)

Alex


Name: Balinder
City, Country: London, England
Sent: 5.19 PM - 6/16 2002

I read about your site and your expedition in a British newspaper- had to visit it and see what it was all about. You are my hero. When I grow up I wanna be just like you.


Name: Nicci your Noosa Friend
City, Country: Bristol, UK
Sent: 1.23 PM - 6/16 2002

Hi Ramon, Still following your journey mate, Han and I got the photos developed from skinny dipping in Noosa, there is a full frontal of u but luckily Han only caught a piccie of my bum!

She thanks u for calling her Laura as she can remain anonymous! Can't believe u told the world about our frolicks in the sea but it was all good fun - Han will email u the photos soon, I think they are a bit naked for the message board!
Take it easy, we are now home in the UK where it is definitely too cold for skinny dipping!!


Name: acadia
City, Country: Maine. USA
Sent: 11.19 AM - 6/16 2002

Lynn,
You misunderstand Ramon's journey. It is not to get whatever he can for nothing. It is to spread friendship and inform the rest of us along the way of what and who he encounters. Please take the time to read his site and check out the rest of the Daily Reports, see for yourself.

Ramon,
Thank you for responding to me. I understand that there many countries out there and the US is only one of them. But I maintain that everytime you mention the USA in your reports it is in a negative way. That is a shame. I look forward to what you have to say once, and if, you actually get here. I hope people come through and you see a side to this country that will change your outlook. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy your reports from places afar, that I have only dreamed of visiting.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.43 AM - 6/16 2002

Bret and Lynn,

Bret, thanks for your response to Lynn. I think Lynn perhaps just "stopped in" and did not take the time to learn about Ramon's project. The USA's problem with foreigners is related to illegals, not legitimate travelers, which Ramon is.

Lynn, true, there is a heightened "sensitivity" to illegal folks in the States these days, but that is not by any means obstructing usual tourism and travelers. (Though the questions and document checking may now take longer when going through Customs than in the past!) I doubt Ramon would have any problems entering the States and staying here during his project, with all the proper VISA documents, which I am sure his support team researches and takes care of.

The "freeloaders" are indeed a problem here - the "ilegal aliens" who enter without proper credentials. It is a problem, but not Ramon's problem, and I do not think he will have any problems, nor would he be considered a "freeloader" in the sense of the illegals who enter. Not even close.

Thanks for visiting us Lynn, but please read up on Ramon's humaritarian and peace loving project before making judgements. We are all often rushed to judgement - myself included at times - but in my heart I know where Ramon's heart is, and the general purpose of his travels.

He is a good man and will be welcomed in the USA!! Not as a freeloader, but as a good will ambassador visiting people from all walks of life in the USA!!!!

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 2.12 AM - 6/16 2002

Lynn, Lynn, Lynn!

You should really wake up and start reading message boards and looking at web sites before you make such ridiculous remarks. Your an embarrassment to us in the USA. Then again Lynn, you might be one of those who are just trying to get a "rise" out of your remark, to spark some (more) controversy. We've been through this already, and are well aware that Ramon is far from a freeloader. I'm willing to bet he works harder than you do. How do I know this? I read the message board and learn? Every time I come here I learn! Enough said.

Alessa, from Dusseldorf,

I don't think visiting the USA is anymore interesting than anywhere else in the world. It just seems to be the most recent discussion right now. Ramons agenda as I see it, is whoever will sponsor him to the next country where he has a fair amount of invites is where he will go. If he has a round trip from the Netherlands to Australia, and ends up back in the Netherlands. He'll make the best of it and tour around Europe until his project takes him else where. Ramons like a river, he goes with the flow and the least resistance. Makes perfect sense to me. I hope he get's to Dussuldorf as well as Japan, and everywhere else as far as I'm concerned. It's a win, win situation for us who enjoy his journey. Keep on trucking Ramon.

RAMON:
I have a return flight to The Netherlands, but I doubt if I will use it as New Zealand and Southeast Asia is just around the corner. If I go back to the Netherlands, it might take a while before a sponsor would fly me to the other side of the world again...


Name: Tamara & David
City, Country: Kewarra Beach, Cairns Australia
Sent: 11.37 PM - 6/15 2002

Good luck Ramon with the rest of your tour of Australia. If you are here in May 2003, drop in for our wedding!


Name: Lynn
City, Country: Providence, USA
Sent: 9.55 PM - 6/15 2002

Fellow Americans, stop and think before requesting Ramon to visit the states.
We have enough FREELOADERS here already.
Why add another one to the pot.

RAMON:

Just another fine example of No Understanding = No Respect....
What a nice world we live in, don't we?


Name: annemarie
City, Country: zwolle, netherlands
Sent: 5.31 PM - 6/15 2002

when do you think you'll go to south australia? I recommend you barossa valley!


Name: Coralie
City, Country: England
Sent: 11.49 AM - 6/15 2002

Hi Ramon
your really doing great , we are just looking at last years holiday video in Jersey , and we are laughing at the times we were saying , "Well soon we will se Ramon!" oh dear !
please say a prayer that ....."England wil win at football against Denmark!"

take care of yourself.
loads of hugs
Coralie


Name: Nina
City, Country: Panama
Sent: 2.52 AM - 6/15 2002

Ramon, congratulations to you on completing a year and one month of your project. Thanks to you, the hosts, sponsors, and the back up crew for allowing everyone to enjoy your travel. Great team work! I wish you the best through out your second year. Your reports are very informative, and what makes them even more enjoyable to read is your great sense of humor.
I hope that you will soon make it over to this side of the world. North, Central and South America are waiting for your visit. Great diversity and exciting places to see. I am sure that once you are over on this side, you will receive plenty more offers to stay for a day. There are still a lot of wonderful places I would like to see over on the other side where you are, so take your time if you must.
Stay safe, happy, and keep going.
Nina


Name: michael
City, Country: germany
Sent: 6.47 PM - 6/14 2002

jealousy...!

good luck!


Name: Sarah
City, Country: Canada
Sent: 3.21 PM - 6/14 2002

Hi Ramon

Glad to hear your travels are going well. Just been reminiscing about North Stradbroke Island just off the coast of Brisbane. How's your all over tan going ?!?

Good luck for the rest of your journey mate.


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 12.13 PM - 6/14 2002

I just wanted to add my best regards to Ludo. I hope his poor health is a temporary situation.


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 10.30 AM - 6/14 2002

My husband has hitchhiked from Maine to Florida, and has motocycled from Maine to California all alone. He did both these things with little money and a backpack. I have known many people who have backpacked all over the US including the Appalatian Trail. I'm not sure where Mark has gotten his information (possibly bad experiences himself?) but things aren't like that all over. There is a series of great articles in a magazine called People, Places and Plants that follow a man's bike journey across the US, including both good and not go good.

Ramon it seems that you are willing to give up on us here with out giving this country a chance. The world view of the US is a dim one, I know that, but we have great people here too, just like any other place.

RAMON:
Arcadia, no where I am sayting that I am not going to visit the US. For me it is JUST one of the 68 (!) countries, please keep that in mind.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.20 AM - 6/14 2002

Hi Ramon

It's facinating to see the time and temperature readings where you are. I log on in the mornings SA time (GMT+2hrs), and I watch the temperature drop from 28 down to about 26 or so.

This happens while the sun rises here, and we go from about 18 up towards 26 or so later in the day. This just puts the whole scenario into perspective, the sun really does set in Oz as it rises here. You are on the other end of the world.

Look after yourself over there, Ramon, and be good (or at least be good at it).

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Sharyn
City, Country: Townsville, Aust.
Sent: 3.48 AM - 6/14 2002

Well Ramon is now safely aboard his bus bound for Cloncurry and Outback Australia. We had a great time with Ramon the short time he stayed with us. Loads of funny and fascinating stories to listen to. If you get the chance and you haven't already, invite him to stay, you won't regret it!
Ramon, take care with the rest of you amazing journey and stay safe.
:)


Name: Linda
City, Country: Dallas, Texas
Sent: 7.35 PM - 6/13 2002

Hi,

It's really neat what your doing. If you ever get to the USA I'd volunteer to let you stay with me for a day! Good luck with your travels and don't get into trouble. Be careful and keep the updates coming. I think what your doing is really neat!


Name: Shawn
City, Country: Toronto
Sent: 6.42 PM - 6/13 2002

Don't you worry Ramon, Canada will do just as well as the Dutch (and the Australians) in the World Cup this year. :)


Name: Crystal
City, Country: Calgary, Canada
Sent: 6.25 PM - 6/13 2002

Hi Ramon,

I just finished reading your story in the Calgary Sun, and I ran upstairs to check out your website. And I have got to say Wow! I wish I had thought of it! I am actually slowing starting to travel, however at the moment it is limited to Canada....Do you have any plans on coming here?? You should it is a wonderful country. Well good luck on your many adventures I looked for to checking them all out now.... :)







Name: Janice
City, Country: Ohio, USA
Sent: 4.34 PM - 6/13 2002

Ramon, Hitchhiking is done in the US all of the time. You just cannot do it on major freeways and Interstate roadways. You must wait at an on ramp or off ramp to catch a ride. Also, have never heard of anyone being arrested for not having any cash in their pocket. If that were true half of America would be in jail. They only arrest you if you remain in one place for an extended period of time and then rather than arrest you they take you to a homeless shelter where they provide you with room and board until you can get back on your feet. Where do some people get their information?


Name: wolf
City, Country: houston texas
Sent: 7.49 PM - 6/12 2002

the note from mark about hitchhiking and vagrancy . yes hitchhiking is illegal on state and federal highways, but local roads are not enforced mostly .
Vagrancy - can be avoided with proper id's and 20 us$ in pocket beside most police forces don't need the hassles of hassling someone .As for the fear factors TV is American's IDOL GOD and does more harm than good here in the states . Am looking forward to you visit here.


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 11.42 PM - 6/11 2002

HI Ramon!

I look forward to your wonderful pictures...everyday!

:)
MJ


Name: alessa
City, Country: düsseldorf, germany
Sent: 9.37 PM - 6/11 2002

hy, this is so amazing, my first thought: why haven´t i got this great idea? it´s the genius who gets the ideas, you know! i hope your able to travel far more and not to mention that my doors are open, but i guess düsseldorf is not that far interesting and much to near to your home!?
just one thought to this america-discussion: why should it be more interesting to visit the US than any other country? i believe on the "all-praised" equality, so i don´t believe the americans being much "friendlier", you know,it´s a great place to see, and there are a lot of nice people, but where´s the difference to japan, you see. Otherwise, doesn´t we know the US from europe? ;)No reason not to go there and find the truth as far as possible!
Enjoy your trip, good luck, alessa


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.17 AM - 6/11 2002

Hi All,

I think Ramon will see once he arrives that the United States is a great place to visit. I recommend he make his first stop the previous site of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, and then go out to the USA from there. I believe you will have a most excellent trip Ramon, in the land of the free, home of the brave! :-)

Regards,
Joan


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 4.57 AM - 6/11 2002

About Brian-(from South Africa)'s suggestion that you try to get invitations to Alaska, as a matter of fact, Peter Jenkins who wrote WALK ACROSS AMERICA in the '70s recently wrote a book about discovering Alaska!!! At his ripe old age he is still looking for, and finding, adventure and open hearts and homes. I'll try to get the title and send it to you, even if you don't have time for reading. You're doing the traveling now, but he's a good example of someone who has also done the post-adventure writing very successfully. Hey, I can't wait til you ARE in the U.S. I can imagine all kinds of 'bad' and 'good' things that you will encounter but most of all, I want Americans to meet someone like you.


Name: Cynthia Holdeman
City, Country: Colorado, USA
Sent: 2.05 AM - 6/11 2002

Hi Ramon,
About traveling the US, I've been a traveler all my life and love to visit but always return to my beautiful homeland, many times without money. The more I travel, the more I appreciate the freedom we have here in the US. There are good people everywhere and we've signed up to assist you in your travels here. Traveling anywhere you must make adjustments but you'll find you will have many options. I do agree though, Americans watch too much TV and unfortunetely rely only on that form of information. Maybe you can travel Canada and just say you were in the US. Just kidding you Canadians. Really, just kidding.


Name: Shanon Graham
City, Country: Texas, USA
Sent: 12.52 AM - 6/11 2002

I hope you don't become a victim of Mark's propaganda about not being able to travel "freely" in the US. He did you a disservice. I've lived and traveled around the world and America is far from a "controlled Fear Factory". Come and see for yourself!


Name: Sara and Anna
City, Country: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Sent: 6.45 PM - 6/10 2002

Hey Ramon,
This has to be the best idea ever!!! Brilliant! So cool that you got so far by people´s "charity"... We want to be like you, can we stay with you for a day (or more)??
Greetz from Maastricht

RAMON:
You are welcome to stay at my place, you just have to wait until I get back home.


Name: Bob
City, Country: Indiana, USA
Sent: 5.27 PM - 6/10 2002

Mark, the American ex-patriate, apparently, has an axe
to grind. Even though certain highways and areas have
laws against hitch-hiking, when I was a college student, many years ago, I hitch-hiked from Florida to New York (over 1,000 miles). It is possible, today, if you do not stick your thumb out in front of the police. Also, I am 56 years old, and I have never heard of anyone being arrested for not owning a dollar bill.


Name: Bas Dekker
City, Country: Haarlem, Holland
Sent: 2.25 PM - 6/10 2002

Hi Ramon! I enjoy your reports every single time, and the pics make it very easy to travel along with you. I don't know if you ever think of this, but: you're not as alone as it may seem....! But I was wondering, if you will be able to live in 1 place (Holland probably) after all this, because you're such a metropolitan. How do you see this?

And secondly; isn't it sometimes tough to stay happy to people you have to stay with for a few days (when you're really tired after a long, hot journey)? Because I can imagine this... Alright, lots of luck mate! And keep it up, I'm still very amazed by your clever idea of travelling and finding sponsors.....


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.23 AM - 6/10 2002

Hi Ramon

Yep, Margaret said it well. You can carry money and not spend it. They have a loop-hole in the law, and you can use it. In any case, if the likes of Margaret are keen to invite you over (and Bret and Joan too, I hope!), then they should allow you to go.

You are marketing the countries you visit through their citizens' hospitality and friendliness. That can only be good for tourism in any country.

So, go for it. Obviously don't be naughty (Ramon? Naughty? No way, it's impossible...), and try to get some TV coverage before you go. That way, your presence and intentions will be known by the time you get there. Oh, and try to go to Alaska. (Hint to Alaskans --> invite Ramon!) That should be very interesting. A tad cold, perhaps, but interesting too. Imagine flying from village to village.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 5.10 AM - 6/10 2002

Interesting conversation you had with ex-pat Mark. Ex-pats tend to be negative, I found when I spent significant periods of time in Mexico and Japan. But remember the book I recommend to you, WALK ACROSS AMERICA? It's from the '70s but I would recommend that you take a look at it or other stories about all kinds of people who have walked, biked, canoed, etc., cross-country here. It may be illegal to hitchhike in the traditional way in a lot of places, but that doesn't stop you from going to university campuses and posting notices on ride boards . . . or getting radio talk show gigs to get the word out so as to get brigades of people who will give you rides for the asking . . . or hanging out at farmer's markets asking people how to get to point B without paying. People will probably give you bus passes, etc., once they learn who you are and what you're up to. About traveling without a budget, just get a credit card somehow and carry it in your pocket along with your $25. Doesn't mean you have to use it -- but you can show anyone who asks that you have the means to get yourself out of trouble if need be. They may want to be sure you won't sleep under a bridge or something. The point is: don't be so negative, Mark! Ramon specializes in finding goodness and finding his way around carefully. He's already famous because of his AP article back in April, so even if he gets in trouble, he must have plenty of people who would come and vouch for him. I do wonder how you would get a visa to get in the country without money! But your ingenuity should pay off. About post-9/11 "fear," some have it, some don't. Choose who you hang with as carefully as always. Consider yourself an ambassador of peace and trust, as your website seems to indicate that you are. I'll bet you'll meet some really special people once you get here, but certainly, things will be different that you may have expected and you might have to put a lot more thought into some aspects of what you're doing than in other European countries. I will say, though, that Australia sounds like shangri-la in more ways than one, especially in the areas of trust and hospitality! Look for the good and find it here as everywhere else! That's your job after all.


Name: Malcolm Hill
City, Country: Mission Beach, Australia
Sent: 2.45 PM - 6/9 2002

Ramon. Thanks for staying with us.
I hope you get the chance to come back to stay another night with us so I can take you fishing again as the old outboard motor is on and running fine now, also the fishing has been very good with us catching some nice Barramundi.


Name: julie
City, Country: Perth Australia
Sent: 2.08 AM - 6/9 2002

Ramon,best of luck and good wishes foryour travels. YOu must be learning heaps how us Aussies live!!
Has anyone invited you to PErth in Western Australia yet?
Take care
Julie


Name: niamh
City, Country: Ireland
Sent: 11.16 AM - 6/7 2002

Hi Ramon, it's such a small world i was just looking at your website and as it turns out i was on Magnetic Island at the same time, for the full moon party isnt that strange, i was staying at Maggies on the beach front, they wouldn't let us go to the beach party at cocunuts unless you were staying there, i am now in Sydney and heading for Bangkok on Sunday pity we didn't meet up you could have bought me a pint or 10.....


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.21 AM - 6/7 2002

Hi Ramon

Your idea has taken off, it seems. You are an inspiration to others all over the world. Like Donatella, for instance.

Donatella, I love your idea. That is brilliant, really it is. The only snag is that I respect Ramon, and copying his idea would be too simple. I'd need a new idea. Although, immitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 1.20 PM - 6/6 2002

hello brian, why not to create a "let-me-fly-for-a-night" to get the united kingdom? ;)
ciao, donatella


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.00 AM - 6/6 2002

Hi Sylvia

Good to see you again. It's ben a while. I do like your suggestion about Raine's party. The only problem is that you can drive there in a few hours, it's an overnight flight for me. Anyone got a spare ticket...?

:-)

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: Sylvia (ex host)
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 8.15 PM - 6/5 2002

Hi there Raine

If Ramon can't make it to your party could the rest of us please come and represent Ramon???????


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.03 AM - 6/4 2002

Hi Dawn and Malcolm (host from a few days ago)

Please don't feel too bad that Ramon doesn't like pumpkin, it's all my fault. I served it to him when he was at my old place last year, and we jointly discovered that there is something that Ramon does not eat. Cooked pumpkin!

So, it's really my fault. I'm sure your cooking is great. Actually, I love roast pumpkin ;-)

And Dawn, even if Ramon does not eat everything, he truly does appreciate your efforts. He is a very grateful person.

Ramon, you keep on travelling, dude, and go carefully on those rolling shoes.

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: dbk Tom
City, Country: NZ
Sent: 10.33 PM - 6/3 2002

laptop,
it's the old plug and pray storie Ramon.
good luck with it


Name: Jo Ann
City, Country: The Woodlands, Texas
Sent: 2.17 PM - 6/3 2002

I too read the article about you in The Houston Chronicle, how exciting your life must be now. Thanks to the internet, things like what you are doing are possible. Make Texas a "must see" on your journeys!


Name: Cal Earley
City, Country: Houston,Tx.USA
Sent: 10.44 PM - 6/2 2002

I read your article in the Houston Chronicle today, and was very interested in the the info provided. Hope all is going well with you, and good luck on your adventure. This type of travel has always interested me,as I would like to have done the same many years ago, as I am now 62 years old. GOOD LUCK FROM TEXAS


Name: Raine Thurston
City, Country: U.K
Sent: 9.45 PM - 6/2 2002

Hey Ramon

You stayed with Evan & Myself in Battersea, London. We have moved since and were just letting you know. I have requested the pleasure of your company again. Address supplied in the invites bit. The other thing is we are having a party. You are invited to that too but alas....I think you will not make it. It is going to be a monster too. The last one we had there were naked people in the pool!!! Me included. I was very drunk.....fortunately, so was everyone else. Anyway...if you can get here it is on 22nd June. We have about 200 invited so far. We live right in the middle of the woods so the scope for a massive party is huge. The bouncy castle, trampoline and bucking bronco ride is already booked. The pool will be at a great 300 degrees and the party will be pumping. We hope you can make it.

Hope youre having a great time. Love Raine....Pea.


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: KT, Malaysia
Sent: 2.58 PM - 6/2 2002

Hey Ramon,

I wish I could lay claim to sending you those skate shoes, darn. Anyway, it actually fits? What size are you? Whoever decided to send you those shoes was brilliant! Or a total fool if it ever breaks. Be very gentle with it, will you? No skating on rough, rocky surfaces.

Take care and keep safe, Ramon.

Sharlini


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 10.55 AM - 6/2 2002

Ramon,
It's great that companies are coming around to sponsor you. I'm sure they are seeing that a small donation can add great profits to their products. I hope through the coming weeks you put those skate shoes through a thorough workout and give us your honest opinion. They aren't cheap, that's for sure. If you haven't heard it from your mom YET! You be careful with those skates young man! hahaha Keep on truckin'

Sala kahle

Bret


Name: Brianna and friends
City, Country: Cairns, Australia
Sent: 9.08 AM - 6/2 2002

Hey dude,
Cairns is not boring. Everyone had just gone back to work and school after lunch when you arrived. You'll see when you return. It's a great place. How are your skating shoes? If you grow out of them Bryony has first choice okay? Bye.


Name: dbk Tom
City, Country: NZ
Sent: 6.28 AM - 6/2 2002

Great shoes Ramon


Name: Roland
City, Country: Germany; Sindelfingen
Sent: 10.40 AM - 6/1 2002

Hallo Ramon, greetings from Germany. We hope you have always a god trip.

If you want to visite us, it is no problem. We live in south germany, near the blackforest and not far from austria and swizzerland.
Have a good time!


Name: amélie poulain
City, Country: Paris
Sent: 9.04 AM - 6/1 2002

Hi ramon!!! i think ,what you are doing is great! i dream about you every night. i would like a man like you... you're the best of the world for me. i would like travelling all over the world too. my dream would be to see you. i hope ,you will come back in france in order to see you. france is a very nice country ,believe me... france is waiting you anymore. you're our hero!for ramon hip hip hip...HOURA!!!


Name: Anne
City, Country: Cairns, Australia
Sent: 9.09 PM - 5/31 2002

Hope you got back to Townsville safely. The whole family really enjoyed your visit. Hope you enjoyed the BBQ. See you on your return.


Name: moi
City, Country: france
Sent: 10.16 AM - 5/31 2002

I like you Ramon


Name: Paul Perkins
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 10.04 AM - 5/31 2002

You are one smart tim tam


Name: Edwina
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 8.54 PM - 5/30 2002

Great Idea what you do...
i want to travel round the world with a friend of mine, but we don´t have any good idea how to finance it so far... got any extra idea you just couldn´t realise cause you had so much else to do so far?
Well, good luck for the rest of your trip!


Name: Rosemary Robertson
City, Country: Tallong Park Australia
Sent: 1.06 PM - 5/29 2002

I guess some people may call you all sorts of names.....I CALL YOU A GENIUS. I hope you are enjoying your travels and meeting lots of interesting people.If I were you I would stay up north where the weather is great, my temp here is 0-12 but still beautiful.We have lots of wombats & other wildlife as its country, and we live on 3 acres. Good luck with the rest of your travels Ramon, if you would ever like to brace the cold, feel free to 'stay for a day'. Regards Rosemary Robertson....See ya Mate !!!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.27 AM - 5/28 2002

Hi Ramon

You lucky bugger! Getting on a jetski! Hey, I've wanted to do that for years, and still have not managed. Oh well, can't do everything hey!

Ramon, it's a pity that you could not stay a few days at your hosts in South Africa like you are doing now. There is so much that you missed here. I'm sure your hosts would have shown you other things, I certainly would have.

Oh well, I guess you'll just have to come back here! During or after your project, it's your choice, but please come back here. You are welcome at my new place when you are in Durbs.

At least from my side, the suggestions that I made of things to do are still open for you.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Lene
City, Country: Hasselt, Belgium
Sent: 7.53 PM - 5/27 2002

Hi neighbour from the north ;)! First I want to compliment you for this great site!!

Further, I just want to say that you make MY dream come true! I've been dreaming for years to pack my backpack and to leave to meet the world :)! Unfortunally I don't have the guts to leave because I'm only 19, a girl and very broke! And I'm afraid that it's impossible to realise without all the sponsors and help you get!

I just hope I will put enough courage out of your trip so I can try to catch up with you one day..

Keep up the good work! I'm sure it's all worth it!

Groetjes Lene


Name: Cronan
City, Country: Dublin, Ireland
Sent: 1.01 PM - 5/24 2002

Are Australians the most Hospitable people in the world???
Following your travels from Day One, I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the level of generosity and friendliness that you have been shown by everyone that you have met in Australia. More so than any country that you have visited and especially my own country that used to be known for the friendliness of its welcome, but of late has become a country of self interested, selfish and greedy people.
I have travelled a little over the years but was unsure of undertaking a trip to Australia, not any more, if your experiences are anything to go by I will start planning my trip immediately.
God on ya Oz!! Keep it up.


Name: Julie
City, Country: Berlin, Germany
Sent: 11.11 AM - 5/24 2002

Hi Ramon! You lucky guy are on Magnetic! I have been there last year as well after I was voted off a German game adaption like "Survivor". Magnetic is a really chilling place - enjoy it! Have you been to the "open air" cinema yet? *smile* If you ever return to Europe, you are heartly welcome here in Berlin! :-) Kindest Regards
Julie


Name: Carol
City, Country: Co. Down, N. Ireland
Sent: 10.24 AM - 5/24 2002

Hi Again Ramon,
I'm just gobsmacked at the beautiful homes of Julie, Norm and Val in Townsville and Magnetic Island. Sitting here in my home office looking out at the 5th successive day of rain in what's supposed to be a Irish Summer I'm seriously thinking of holidaying in that part of the world next year. You should be sponsored by the Australian tourist Board Ramon, you are doing a very good job of selling the place. Your recent hosts seem to be really nice and what a wonderful lifestyle they appear to have.
Once again, if anyone in that neck of the woods ever fancies a house swap in Ireland, you can see where we live by going to the daily reports for 10/11 July 2001.
Enjoy what looks like paradise Ramon.
Carol


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.32 AM - 5/24 2002

Hi Ramon

Hey man, I am so sorry to hear about your break-up with Irena. You two seemed so close. But I think that you are right, about long distance relationships. They don't always work, but hey, you gotta try.

I know it's a cliche, but remember this. If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, they are yours forever. If they don't, then they were never yours to start with.

I am hoping that this is true, because Belgium is far away from here...

But Ramon, on the brighter side, I really do like your daily quote at the top of your home page. Those are really clever. I don't know where you get them from, but I'm sure journalists have things like that stored away, just waiting to be taken out and put to good use. If you are up to offers, I can send you one or two that you can evaluate.

Keep well, and remember, life is what you make of it.


RAMON:
All inspiring quotes are welcome! Just send them in and I might add them to the front page!


Name: Shawn
City, Country: Toronto, Canada
Sent: 7.46 PM - 5/23 2002

Sorry to hear about the break-up with Irena, but it sounds like it's for the best. Keep your spirits up and your heart open!


Name: Carol Fitzpatrick
City, Country: co. Down, N. Ireland
Sent: 10.00 AM - 5/23 2002

Hi Ramon,
You may remember staying with us last July in Northern Ireland. I've been dipping in and out of your website ever since. Never having been Down Under, I must say I'm really impressed with How Australia is presented. Townsville looks like a lovely place and Darren and his wife seem like a cool couple. Perhaps your hosts should form a club as we are probably all fairly like minded trusting individuals and set up a house swapping network. Anyone fancy Ireland?
Carol.

RAMON:
Well, Carol, you might try your luck at the HospitalityClub or at Travelhoo


Name: Carlos García
City, Country: Puerto Montt, Chile
Sent: 3.56 AM - 5/21 2002

Dear Ramón:
I always wanted to do what you are doing now.
Have a nice stay everywhere you go. We, people on the Web will be your shadow., and many of these shadows will have a friendly arm to help you. I also have one for you in this so far Southamerica.


Name: Jef
City, Country: Hasselt, Belgium
Sent: 9.16 PM - 5/20 2002

Great "job" Ramon! I wish I had the guts some 30 years ago (I'm 51 now)!


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 6.47 PM - 5/20 2002

lately it's been a little stand-still on this website, and perhaps it's useful to ramon to get a bit reloaded. I've read that the new laptop is coming today or tomorrow, and I'm happy for ramon; I think he deserves the friendly support he received, mainly as a kind of "thank you" for the effort he's making.
that's all.. I send you a greet, and also to all the others! :)
ciao, donatella


Name: Marcella
City, Country: Zwolle, The Netherlands
Sent: 2.29 PM - 5/19 2002

Hi Ramon!!
Try to get in contact through this way. Nice picutures man!! First time for me to go through your whole website. It's enormous, but a great job!!
Take care and keep in touch!! Greetings, Marcella


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 3.16 PM - 5/18 2002

Ramon, ever since I started reading your tales of travel, I've been thinking of a book published in 1979 called "Walk Across America" by a man named Peter Jenkins who did just that -- walked across the U.S. The book was a best seller! Someday you might enjoy taking a look at it. I would mail it to you if there were any way to know where you'd be in a couple of weeks!


Name: Colleen M.
City, Country: Phoenix, United States
Sent: 1.44 PM - 5/18 2002

Hi I guess your name is Ramon? I don't even know who you are. I guess your going to Australia. That's cool keep your head up and keep whoever is paying:) You look good. I just saw a picture of you. I'm 17, a junior in High School. Oh I look real good too so it's all good:) email me back if you even can or if you even get this colleeny@onewebsite.com. Bye:)


Name: Tommy
City, Country: Thailand
Sent: 2.10 AM - 5/18 2002

I am Tommy from Thailand. Sent you a mail but I guess there is something wrong with my laptop so I am not sure you recieved it. Just want to say that you're the coolest guy I've know in this many years. Don't pay attention to the journalists and the newspapers.Most of them have only hands to write but don't have any brain cells.Hope you're fine and succeed your adventures.


Name: jasper Knot
City, Country: MUTTABURRA, AUSTRALIA
Sent: 4.28 PM - 5/17 2002

ramon got ripped on fraser island, it's one of the greatest places in australia. but NOT the resorts.and it is safe to walk in the rain forest, thats the best place.....and ramon, accuracy mate..there are lots of places to buy fuel and groceries on fraser.


Name: ace
City, Country: Mount Isa, Australia
Sent: 3.48 PM - 5/17 2002

Well Done Ramon...

wish i had thought of doing it (freeloading around the globe) instead of working.

have fun...ace


Name: LSOM
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Sent: 9.32 AM - 5/17 2002

To whom it may concern,

The author of this celebrated site is not chicken hearted, idiocy goes global on your kind of existence
only. Keep on the safe tracking Ramon.


Name: Darren Scott-Sommer
City, Country: Townsville, Australia
Sent: 3.23 AM - 5/17 2002

Ramon has just finnished his stay at my place with my wife and I where he's been since monday night. We had a great time with him but we realised how exhausted he was so we just let him hang around the house and catch up on some sleep.... he seems to have a bit more energy now. He has been a little stressed in the past week because he hasn't been able to get full access to his web-site. He has a laptop coming any time now but he had a few problems getting it. Anyway, he'll be back in full swing once it gets here and I'm sure his reports will be back to normal. Thanks for visiting Ramon, and we'll see you again when we stay at your house one day.
see Ya....
Darren


Name: Priscilla
City, Country: Dallas, Texas, USA
Sent: 12.47 AM - 5/17 2002

I have really enjoyed your journal. I'm reading it in chronogical order and I'm up to June 17. I like the way you write about the people you stay with and the things you do. The pictures you take are great. I also like your translations. They're funny. I live in Dallas, Tx and work in the network control area of Parkland Hospital. I'm sure you've heard of Parkland Hospital, where President Kennedy died after he was
shot by Lee Harvey Oswald. I think you're a very adventurous young man to take off on your own on a trip like this. I admire your courage. I guess we could compare you to a modern day Lewis and Clark, exploring new frontiers in hitchhiking. I'm taking heed of your gentle advice that brevity is appreciated so won't run on. I wish you good luck in your travels and that all your adventures be happy ones.


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: KT, Malaysia
Sent: 5.25 PM - 5/16 2002

Right you are, MJ! I know that if Ramon ever makes it here, I'll make sure I stay offline for a couple of weeks to keep the bill down. =)

As for that guy Mick and the sponge statement. I do believe that was meant for the "Anti SpongeBob SquarePants" site. The sight of that cartoon character does look a bit sickening, if you ask me. *eg*

Oh! I read an interesting German proverb the other day: "The heaviest baggage for a traveller is an empty purse".

Take care and safe travels, Ramon!

Sharlini


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 3.43 PM - 5/16 2002

Hello all, I also think it is up to the hosts to say, "Please only stay on this long, here is what it will cost us to have you stay online, etc." Remembering how every country or even state is with long distance charges, internet charges, etc would be difficult to do...
Just my two cents...
:)

MJ


Name: Glenn Watson
City, Country: Noosa, Qld
Sent: 3.28 AM - 5/16 2002

We recently hosted Ramon (Apr 18 and then again by may parents on Apr 21) and had a great time with him. ( even taught him how to fish and feed Dolphins by hand) I was however a little dissapointed to find that he had left an internet phone bill on my parents phone account of $30.00.

Ramon, you need to remember that not all calls are local and that if it is Long Distance and not local that remaing connected all night (even when asleep) will cost big dollars. I was a little dissapointed more because my parents are retired and it was me who suggested that they help Ramon out for the night as he was stuck for a place to stay and a meal. Ramon, never forget that it is your hosts that are doing you the favour...not the other way around.

Continue to enjoy your journey and stay safe.

Regards, Glenn.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 4.03 PM - 5/15 2002

Hi Munk

Your response about the sponges was brilliant! It would be hard to beat that chirp! Witty, accurate, clever, the works!

Ramon, you have a cool friend.

Sala kahle

Brian


Sent: 1.47 PM - 5/15 2002

Ramon, It's Journo Jim. I've been following your trails with interest, and was very intrigued by your reaction to the Fortuyn assassination. I was in the paper newsroom when I heard about it, and remember thinking at the time that it would be interesting to hear what you had to say about it. Unfortunately, you were and are on the other side of the world. To make matters worse, you then go and lose your laptop, the one way you have to talk to us all. Glad you got everything sorted out in the end, and I'm sure I join with evweryone in wishing thanks to everyone who contributed to keeping you in business.
Now, if we could only spread that sort of energy around a bit more, we might have less cases like Mr Fortuyn's tragic death.
Incidentally, I love Holland - it's a rich culture with a long tradition of adopting other cutlures into its melting pot. Fortuyn's views do not represent me or even those of the vast majority of Dutch people. nevertheless, killing causes only more killing, as we have learnt to our cost in my native Northern Ireland. I hope that the Dutch people will respond in the proper fashion to this tragedy, and gather together in a show of compassion and dignity and respect for all during the forthcoming election.


Name: Munk
Sent: 12.43 PM - 5/15 2002

Mick, no one told you not to eat sponges? Everybody knows they make you sick.


Name: Mick
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 9.28 AM - 5/15 2002

You're a sponge.... you make me sick


Name: Murray Clarke
City, Country: London, Ontario, Canada
Sent: 7.54 PM - 5/14 2002

Good day, eh? Ramon, I came across your site from my ISP WebSite "http://www.broadband.rogers.com" or "http://www.hispeed.rogers.com" you pick, they are the same.
Well I must say that reading some of your messageboard postings, you've be come very popular in this small world of ours. When I was about your age I much did the same, only across Canada though. I was very pleased to see that someone else is doing it, but on a much larger scale.
<<<<< EXCELLENT JOB !!!!!! >>>>> To you and to your guests keep smiling and let the sun shine upon your face. I wish that the world would wake up someday; to learn as much as possible that you want yourself to allow in, to help others see the light. No matter what thier believes are, with that to say good luck on your journeys... Sorry I wasn't able to help you, I'm finacially strapped too.

Your Sincerly;
Murray


Name: Steve Mosby
City, Country: Leeds, UK
Sent: 7.15 PM - 5/13 2002

Best of luck! Keep going!


Name: Therése Hammar
City, Country: Malmo/Sweden
Sent: 12.00 PM - 5/13 2002

I read about you in yesterdays newspaper here in Sweden. I think your idea is wonderful and i hope you will have a joyful trip around the world. Good luck too you. Sorry about you hade problem to find places in Sweden to stay in...good luck.


Sent: 7.18 AM - 5/13 2002

(anonymous message deleted)


Name: Chris & Maz
City, Country: HAMILTON ISLAND
Sent: 2.25 AM - 5/13 2002

Good luck with the rest of the trip mate. Thanks for visiting us at Hamilton Island.We hope that you enjoyed yourself as much as we enjoyed meeting you!! All the guys & girls at the Island Bar & Bohemes say a big HELLO & goodluck too.I don't know why some people refer to you as freeloader, from what I saw over the past 3 days, everything was offered to you. You didn't ask. Like I said before you left - you are welcome back at our place ANY TIME mate. Just drop us a line. Take care Ramon, hope to see you again !!!!!!!


Name: Pit
City, Country: Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Sent: 1.15 PM - 5/11 2002

My opinion about you trying to get in the Australian Big Brother House: don't go there. Your self-potrayal on the net is kind and sympathic, and you shouldn't present yourself in such a bullshit of exhibitionism (physical and psycological), voyeurism an commerce.


Name: Mischa
City, Country: Zwolle, the Netherlands
Sent: 11.05 PM - 5/10 2002

Hi Ramon!
Just a quick note from Zwolle. Everything is going as usual here. In case you might wonder if you are missing something; you aren't. I really enjoy your daily reports, but I am also looking forward to the day that you can tell us about your adventures in person. I guess I won't be living in Zwolle by then though, as at july 1st I will be moving to Nijmegen. Of course, I'm happy to see you whenever you decide to take a break at our beautiful "hanzestad bij de ijssel."
Cheers,
Mischa


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 10.53 PM - 5/10 2002

Ramon, I too think it was great of you to not give up on the guy. Most people would've just let it be. It's always a tender moment when one is trying to help another, whether one is treading too much into anothers pesonal pride. Fortunately you didn't give up and neither did he. What a great reward it must of been to see his face with excitement. Hopefully he will take another step and learn how to swim to help himself explore even more of what's out there. Here's to you you Ramon. []! (big hug). Happy trails.

Sala kahle

Bret


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 3.02 PM - 5/10 2002

Ramon, well done on getting that guy to go into the sea. Who knows, he may have suffered a loss or injury in the sea and had a phobia. You would have cured him! That's a wonderful way to use human power. We all have this power, and so few of us use it in this sort of way.

Well done, Ramon. I hope he remembers you.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Matthew
City, Country: Adelaide, Australia
Sent: 12.06 PM - 5/10 2002

Mate you are a Bloody Riper. Your an insperation to allo of us. I hope you get in the big bro house.


Name: Dbk Tom
City, Country: N.Z
Sent: 6.53 AM - 5/10 2002

I've just been reading your latest report.
I'was quite impressed what you did for this pommy guy.
It must have been amazing.
Thanks for that Ramon,you made my day.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.13 AM - 5/8 2002

Hi there, Adam (Ramon's host on 27 April)

It seems that you and I have the same idea about domestic life. Clean only when you should, cook the basics (remember, Ramon reported that I am a lousy cook, and it's true!), and bung all leftovers in the freezer! Mate, I know how it is! At least you served Ramon something that is universally acceptable, I didn't... :-( Although Ramon's diplomatic approach was, well, interesting.

It's such an eye-opener to see honest reports about how people live. Often, when you go to visit someone, they clean up and make everything nice, and cook up a great meal. It's cool to know that there are others out there like me. We invite people over and they must see exactly how we are. Adam, good on ya!

Sala kahle

Brian

PS. Ramon, I read your reply to my earlier posting. Yes, I understand and accept your comments. Thanks.


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 11.05 PM - 5/7 2002

Yes Joerg....sometimes even on this messageboard.


Name: Joerg Habermann
City, Country: Orlando-Florida, USA
Sent: 9.49 PM - 5/7 2002

Dearest Ramon,
You are my only true hero, man. You are not like other freeloaders, NO, you are cadging the whole damn world. And you make the people loving and sponsoring you for that. See, idiocy really goes global!!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.33 AM - 5/7 2002

Hi all

Ramon, I can understand how the Dutch people must feel about the assasination in Netherlands. No matter what a person thinks, it is wrong to kill him. That is the fundemental behind freedom of speech.

Having said that, I can also understand the situation, although I know nothing of Dutch politics. You see, I live in South Africa. We have merciless killings every day. Some victims are high profile figures, others are police, others are just ordinary citizens, rich and poor alike. Just this weekend, a 38 year old policeman was shot dead about 7km from my place.

I'm not sure how much of this you picked up while here in SA, but this is the norm. The sad part is that there is no single cause. You can't blame poverty.

This weekend I stayed in a traditional Zulu village without electricity or running water. These people are poor, but are happy and respectful.

Ramon, criminal-minded lunatics live all over the world. There is always someone wanting to kill another. It is our job to smother these idiots, and let peace and respect shine though.

The fact is that, even in SA, it is only a few percent of the population that behaves like this, most of us are decent people.

I'm sure that Netherlands has an even lower percentage of the population like this. My undersanding of your country is that you are polite and respectful, and always allow the other person freedom of thought and speech. Certainly, you showed me that when you were here.

I empathise with the Dutch people, as this is a tragedy in any country, and more so in Netherlands. But your country will survive. I'm sure of that.

Sala kahle

Brian

RAMON:
Thanks Brian, for your rationalisation. However I think you can not compare the situation in South Africa with any other countries. I don't want to compare the situation in the Netherlands with other countries either. We must understand the differences in cultures, even if we speak about Africa, America, Europe or Australia. However we all have MacDonald's, Coca Cola and MTV, there are independent differences in every country.
In the Netherlands you can't just buy a gun, guns are prohibited. Dutch don't have to defend ourselves with guns, therefor we have the police. Since the start of the Dutch democracy, most Dutch political leaders travel without bodyguards, often using public transport.
It is for the very first time in our long-going democracy of this small country called The Netherlands that a politician is assasinated in broad daylight.
And that is why it strikes me this hard. Because it has never happened before and it is just so unreal for The Netherlands.


Name: jane
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 3.37 AM - 5/7 2002

Strange, this is not true Australian standard for u to wait so long for a new laptop. Usually we would have one right on your 'footpath' immediatley.
Come all the big guys out there, help Ramon to get his Laptop a bit quicker ................Channel 9 where are u ??????


Name: RAMON
Sent: 3.35 AM - 5/7 2002

FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE NETHERLANDS IT MIGHT NOT BE EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT A BIG THING THIS LATEST EVENT IN THE NETHERLANDS MEANS TO ME.

IT IS THE END OF A FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I FEEL SORROWS AND AM IN DISBELIEF THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN IN MY MUCH BELOVED COUNTRY.

[ PHOTOS ]


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, Holland
Sent: 3.16 AM - 5/7 2002

It's a black day for my country.
I agree with Ramon, my vote is for somebody else.. but this a big shock for our country (and Europe)
Where to go from here?

Keep traveling save Ramon!


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.22 AM - 5/7 2002

I learn now from your current position display that in australia is deep morning.. so have a nice day (here is 1:30 am.. it's REALLY time to go sleeping!).
bye :) dona


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.12 AM - 5/7 2002

hello ramon, I came back home now from my boyfriend' and while driving I listened to the radio about what happened in your country.. I don't know much about it yet, but anyway it's really serious and unfair, though Fortuyn's ideas are (in my opinion) disagreeable.

why europe seems to be moving towards the "right wing"? hasn't the past taught enough? ..I know, this is another story.. but I was also thinkin' about general elections in france yesterday.. and also here in italy we've got a centre-right government with a chief that makes laws "custom-made" for his (and others businessmen) properties.. let's it go..
ciao, donatella


Name: Mischa
City, Country: Zwolle, The Netherlands
Sent: 11.43 PM - 5/6 2002

Hi Ramon! How is the new laptop coming along? Holland is in state of shock at the moment; it appears that the elections are going to be postphoned (just for your information) And oh, it still rains over here...
Could we visit you? Please?


Name: RAMON STOPPELENBURG
City, Country: CURRENTLY IN AUSTRALIA
Sent: 7.08 PM - 5/6 2002

LAST NIGHT AFTER PUBLISHING THE LATEST REPORT ON THIS WEBSITE I GOT SHOCKED WHEN I HEARD THE NEWS THAT A DUTCH RIGHT-WING POLITICIAN BY THE NAME OF PIM FORTUYN IS SHOT DOWN.

JUST 5 MINUTES BEFORE I LOGGED OFF THE WEB AFTER LISTENING TO LIVE RADIO FROM THE NETHERLANDS THROUGH THE INTERNET WHERE MISTER FORTUYN HAD A TWO HOUR TALK. SHOWING THE HUMAN BEHIND HIM.

THE MOMENT I WALKED TO THE BED, THAT MAN GOT SHOT. AND HOWEVER HIS IDEAS AND POLICIES IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS IN THE NETHERLANDS WOULD NEVER GET MY VOTE, I KNOW IT IS W R O N G TO KILL BECAUSE OF SOME DISAGREEMENTS.

SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAS NEVER EVER HAPPENED IN THE NETHERLANDS.

CNN.COM: "Dutch rightist Fortuyn shot dead"


Name: Henri W.
City, Country: London, Ont., Canada
Sent: 3.08 PM - 5/6 2002

To Brian from Durban SA: Thanks very much for your explanations. Very interesting. 11 official languages..wow. Keep on trucking Ramon.


Name: Lars Vinther Schmidt
City, Country: Copenhagen, Denmark
Sent: 11.17 AM - 5/6 2002

Hi Ramon!
Seems you're still going strong, eh? Glad to see that. Lucky you...that's an amazing collection of pictures you've got by now...wonderfull !!!
Keep cool, best wishes,
Lars.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.42 AM - 5/6 2002

Hi all

An interesting collection of postings, (Ronald MacDonald???). To Henry from Ontario, sala kahle means stay well, and hamba kahle means go well. Those are the meanings of the expressions, and also the word-for-word translations. The language is Zulu, one of the 11 official languages in SA, and the biggest home language in SA (I think).

The majority of people in SA speak Zulu, Xhosa (similar to Zulu), Afrikaans, and English. Afrikaans was formed from English, Dutch (it's main ingredient), French, German, Portuguese, and others.

I can't speak much Zulu, I know a few words. If you want, I can tell you what I onow, but not on Ramon's website. That's not the purpose.

Ramon, I hope that your new laptop is on its way, and that you have some means of retrieving at least some of your records from the hard disk.

Keep on travelling, Ramon, the laptop thing is one of those things that is sent to test us. I'm sure that you will forge ahead regardless.

Sala kahle everyone

Brian


Name: paula
City, Country: berlin, germany
Sent: 5.37 AM - 5/6 2002

I just noticed, you look like Ronald MacDonald.

RAMON:
Fortunately I was just in time in getting a hair cut last weekend. My current hosts Merv and Trish say I now look like Woody Harrelson with very very short hair... Hmmpfff!


Name: Henri W.
City, Country: London, Ont. Canada
Sent: 3.34 AM - 5/6 2002

Hi Joan,

I truly like your stile! What insight...what comon sense...more than anything else, my comments were mainly meant as a compliment to you. Yes, Ramon is quite a guy and utterly unique. I am looking forward to his arrival in "the great white North"...someday, and will hopefully have the oportunity to meet him and give him a tour of the awesome "Niagara Falls". Did you hear that Ramon..? By tomorrow you should have enough $ to buy a laptop. good luck. Regards to you Joan. H.W.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.26 AM - 5/5 2002

Hi Henri W.

I would agree with you that Ramon has probably met some self-centered "Americans", and mouthy Americans, and has also formed opinions from TV. I have done the same. There are without a doubt obnoxious folks, but they are everywhere. (He just loves CNN - NOT! :-) )

This is fine, we all naturally form opinions based on experiences we have and based on the news media and coverage we read and see as well. We have to absorb info, filter info, and make our own opinions.

I have grown very fond of Ramon as a person and a man, and enjoy his travels and honest commentary very much. I don't always agree with his impressions of Amercians, but what a boring world if we all agreed on everything. Life is complex. Don't want this to get into a major issue/discussion though. :-) It was just an observation of my readings. He is obviously a great guy from my impression in following his trip for a year now.

I am glad he likes pizza, since I don't cook, I'll be calling Pizza Hut if he ever makes it to my house. :-) I am also a master at frozen microwave meals, hehehe. On the other hand, I make a 'mean' tuna casserole! And I do believe he likes tuna! Also, he'll need a couple of days at my place at least, for me to show him all the places I want to go.

I believe when Ramon begins his LMSFAD travels in the USA he will have all kinds of experiences. It's a big country, lots of diversity. Probably some good experiences, probably some bad. But he'll hopefully have a blast. And there are many folks anxious to see him here.

Ramon, you are getting close to being able to order that Dell laptop now - the donations are coming in. Way to go!!

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Henri W.
City, Country: London, Ont. Canada
Sent: 6.05 PM - 5/4 2002

To Joan from the USA: I enjoyed your post from 4/30/02. Obviously Ramon hasn't met any normal, open-minded, down-to-earth, tolerant etc. etc. "USA-American" such as yourself or his opinion of "Americans" would differ significantly. He may have met a few "mouthy" tourist from the USA on a bus or whatever..but that is, needless to say, not sufficient exposure to stereotype an entire nation. Without actually knowing Ramon, it's difficult to speculate as to what he really thinks of Americans...his comments were most likely made in jest...or funny-sarcastic....and let's not forget he is young and likely somewhat naive....in that he may not realize what he says on his site may be taken more seriously than what it was meant to be. I doubt very much that he dislikes a particular "people" for no apparent reason....I dobt that he would be doing what he is doing if he were that way inclined. Do you agree, Joan? Well, Ramon, yes? no? H.W.


Name: Henri W.
City, Country: London, Ont. Canada
Sent: 5.44 PM - 5/4 2002

Brian from Durban , South Africa I have a question for you: What does "Hamba Kahle" and "Sala Kahle" mean...and in what language? (Africaans perhaps?). By the way I enjoy reading your posts. You appear to be one of Ramon's biggest fans and are on a "virtual trip" alongside with him. Good luck to you. H.W.


Name: Parvin
City, Country: Berlin,Germany
Sent: 2.16 PM - 5/4 2002

Hi Ramon,

I read about your history in a magazine called "stern", keep on moving, you live the dream of many peoples.Good luck Parvin


Name: Chris
City, Country: Hilversum, The Netherlands
Sent: 8.43 AM - 5/4 2002

Hoi Ramon,

I heard about your travels before, but right now I'm digging through your site and I'm stunned. Still going strong after 1 year. Neat! It's really beautiful and both brave what you're doing, respect. I visited different people in Denmark and Sweden who I met on the internet a few years ago during my holidays, but this goes a huge step further. Have fun during your travels and good luck.

Chris.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.57 AM - 5/4 2002

Hi Ramon,

Sorry to hear about the demise of the laptop. What an unfortunate thing. Too bad travelers insurance did not cover this. Oh well. I have sent you a donation. Get a Dell Dude! :-)

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Geoff
City, Country: Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
Sent: 7.16 PM - 5/3 2002

Ramon,

Sorry about the laptop. I sent a donation to you via PayPay. Hope you get enough $$$$$$$$$$$

Keep up your trek.


Name: Lupe
City, Country: Rosario, Argentina
Sent: 7.12 PM - 5/3 2002

Sorry Ramon, but I cannot help you with your lap-top, you see, things here in Argentina are a bit complicated and our money has been kept form us in the banks..Did you know anything about this??? We are waiting for you anyway... Beautiful things to see here, eh!!!


Name: Gabriel
City, Country: Netherlands
Sent: 9.56 AM - 5/3 2002

It will be interested to see if the Board of Supporters helps Ramon out with a small donation for a new laptop too. Haven't seen their names yet on the front page, hehe.


Name: Sylvia (past host)
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 11.58 PM - 5/2 2002

Hi Ramon

MANY BELATED CONGRATULATIONS ON ONE YEAR OF ADVENTURES!

In a couple of weeks time it will have been ten months since you stayed here with us! Where has the time gone?

I have been away and have missed my daily dose of your fascinating website! I will now begin to catch up on what I have been missing and hope that everything is going well for you.

Lots of love to you Ramon, to your Mum and Dad and the lovely Irena, Keep Safe!!

Lots of love

Sylvia and Family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Name: Birgit
City, Country: Champaign, Illinois, USA
Sent: 7.55 PM - 5/2 2002

Sorry to hear that you don't much care for the people in the US. I just moved here from Germany in 1997, and I sometimes get upset the same way you do about the USA, their self-centered attitude, and their opinions of the rest of the world. I have listened to conversations like you have on that tour bus, and I do agree that the US needs to learn more about the rest of the world.
I understand where you are coming from, but I am doing my best here to make all my new friends, neighbors, and relatives understand that there is a beautiful world out there that they need to know about. You are lucky enough to get to see some wonderful places, and meet great people personally.
I work at a very large University here in Champaign, and if you would ever get to meet the people here, you would (hopefully) revise your opinion about the US, and actually realize what a wonderful place this is, with so many great and friendly people.
Good luck, I did submit an invitation, and I hope I will get to meet you sometime in the future.


Name: Bob
City, Country: Naples, FL USA
Sent: 6.28 PM - 5/2 2002

So glad to hear Great Keppel Island is still offering camping. I camped there back in 1981. What a fantastic time!! I will never forget those beautiful sunsets. The sun setting behind those coastal mountains, warm water lapping at my feet and cold beer in hand.


Name: Marieke
City, Country: Den Haag
Sent: 5.33 PM - 5/2 2002

Yeah Man, congratulations. After a year, my jealousy has sort of eased and now I can say I am enjoying your stories.
KIDDING!! I am still jealous:o)

Sorry that you are celebrating your 1-year aniversary with a broken laptop:o(


Name: Gerben
Sent: 1.54 PM - 5/2 2002

Congrats Mones, One year. Who would have thought? We miss you! We're gonna have a few beers on your expense, if you don't mind...

p.s. on account of the backuppers: thanx for the pat Bret


Name: LSOM
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Sent: 9.32 AM - 5/2 2002

Ramon,

It has always been a CULTURE for celebration upon completing a year. I look at it differently, its not how far or fast you go but following the path conveying that positive message is a priority. Anyway, all the very best in your undertakings. Nothing is good, beautiful or truthful than FREEDOM.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 7.05 AM - 5/2 2002

I'm back! I forgot to say something.

Ramon, who cares if they call you a freeloader? Way back in England a few centuries ago, a famous man once wrote "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." That was William Shakespeare, in Romeo and Juliet (Act II, Scene 2, lines 43 and 44, the "balcony scene", to be precise).

They can call you what they like, we know who you are, and we know that you are to be admired. It takes great courage to do this, and you are a role model to us all.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.57 AM - 5/2 2002

Hi all

Here I am! Yep, they've all said it Ramon, but I'll say it anyway. Well done, dude! You have achieved a huge amount in one year, and you can be incredibly proud of this. We salute you! My appologies for not getting on yesterday, circumstances just did not allow...

Sorry to hear about your laptop. Hey, all those PC guys and dolls out there in Queensland, come on, offer to repair Ramon's laptop, and protect his reports. You'll get free coverage on this incredible website! Ramon, how about trying to get a CD writer, and then backing up each week's reports and posting the CD's home. Come on, postal authorities, you can sponsor that!

Just a thought, use it, don't use it.

Munk, you can have another beer for me as well, pleeeeeze! Thanks man!

sala kahle

Brian


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 10.33 PM - 5/1 2002

Ramon
Thanks for sticking it out for the year and teaching us all about the world we live in. I think MJ summed it all up how I feel. Thanks MJ! And to Joan who put the icing on the cake. Here's to you Joan[]. Now where is that Brian character. It's just not complete without him. Oh! and Munk? could you go back out and drink another one for Ramon for me? I work at nights so it's kind of hard to get out. haha

Let's not forget the BACKUP Crew! Give yourself a generous pat on the back. (Joan we need a symbol for that one)

To as many years as you want to take this Ramon. CHEERS! Take care as always. Happy Trails.

Sala kahle

Bret


Name: Daria
City, Country: Pisa Italy
Sent: 9.04 PM - 5/1 2002

Hi Ramon
I would be into your eyes to see all the place you have been.. I envy you very much !Good luck for every thing !
bye Daria


Name: Renee
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 9.49 AM - 5/1 2002

hi Ramon,
took me exactly a year to find out about your project. Just finished reading an artice about you in the german magazine Stern, on May 1st 2002, mayday in europe.
couldnt wait to log on to your website and been reading it now for the last hour or so, very fascinating.
From now on i will include the site in my daily reading.
good luck for your further travels!!!


Name: Munk
Sent: 9.11 AM - 5/1 2002

Happy one year anniversary, Ramon. We drank one for you yesterdaynight/this morning. And totally missed the last train back home.


Name: Peter Deveraux
City, Country: Hervey Bay, Australia
Sent: 8.28 AM - 5/1 2002

Hi Ramon, today I placed all three of your reports about Hervey Bay in a time capsule that will be opened in about 25 years. Let's hope "You Are Wronge" Resort has fallen into the ocean by then...LOL... Sorry about the flat tire... Keep smiling... Peter


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 7.05 AM - 5/1 2002

Ramon,

I want to also congratulate you on the one year anniversary of your project, travels, adventures, etc. It's been a great experience for me and thousands of other readers all around the world. Very addictive and very educational. I am bummed when I don't receive an email update that there is a new report online, hahaha.

I think you have incredible energy and patience and stamina to do what you do, being a "stranger in a strange land", being a guest at your hosts/hostesses homes, and then staying up late to write reports, not only for your site, but to answer emails, and write reports for your local newspapers. Indeed, a very hard job. And your pictures, always fabulous, are so great, especially since you accompany all with explanations.

I know it will be some time before you get to the States, and once here, it could take a year or more to travel around. I look forward to it, and trust you will get to big cities, little cities, remote places, the "heartlands" (center of the country), farms, rich places, poor places, diverse places, etc. etc. It will be fun to read your reports, and probably educational for all - US citizens as well as the rest of your readers. I know from reading all your reports and following your travels this whole time that you are a very honest man, and I do appreciate that very much.

I think your committment to this project is excellent, and I am glad you are still going! Again, congratulations on 1 year anniversary of "freeloading"! Hehehe! You're doing a great ambassador job.

Best reagrds to you and all,
Joan


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver, Colorado USA
Sent: 3.09 AM - 5/1 2002

Congratulations on your one year, RS!!!
I first read about you in wired.com last year and have been following ever since. Following your travels has been extremely pleasureable. I have learned more from you about the world than I ever could have in a book, or from the news (aside from traveling myself). In the process, I've learned about myself as well. I hope others have had this same experience. I respect how you have always maintained your sense of self and how you have not changed your opinions to those that might be easier for others to hear. Thank you for making your journey public and thanks for everything else.
:)
MJ


Name: Dixie Amerongen
City, Country: London, Ontario, Canada
Sent: 1.57 AM - 5/1 2002

Dag Ramon

I heard about your adventures from a co-worker today and then read the article about you in our local paper. What a fantastic adventure. I have travelled to Europe 4 times but that is nothing compared to your travels. The last time I was in Nederlands, I met someone who was travelling around the world but he had money coming from home to support him. To depend on other people like you're doing has to involve a lot of trust on your part and I'm sure you're learning that there are a lot of good people in the world despite some of the stupid things that have been happening in the world. If you're ever in Ontario, Canada, would love to meet you for a boreltje. My co-worker has already invited you to stay with him so I won't extend an invitation but would still love to meet you.

Stay safe
Dixie


Name: Sandra & Alex
City, Country: Tannum Sands, Australia
Sent: 1.30 AM - 5/1 2002

Hi Ramon,
hope the party at Great Keppel was all you wanted it to be, would have loved to be there.
It was our pleasure to host you and you are a great ambassador for your generation and your country,
All the best Sandra & Alex


Name: J&J Stoppelenburg
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 11.50 PM - 4/30 2002

Hi Ramon,
Congratulations with this first(?) year. We are very proud that you made it sofar. Thanks to all hosts, visiters and sponsors. In fact you made this site a succes and made the dream of Ramon came true.
Be carefull and xxx
Dad and Mum


Name: Wendy Jervis and Colin Reynolds
City, Country: Sheffield
Sent: 11.35 PM - 4/30 2002

Congratulations on your first year Ramon, we both wish you continued success. How time has flown since you stayed a couple of nights with us!

XXX


Name: Jeanine
City, Country: Grahamstown, South Africa
Sent: 10.44 PM - 4/30 2002

Hi Ramon,
Congratulations on a great achievement, not only for you personally but by uniting so many people from all over the world who share in your experiences through your website.
I think that all your hosts would agree that you have touched each and everyone's heart in a special way. Brian, Sylvia and Peter you agree not?
Keep up the good work and we are looking forward in sharing the next year with you!
Take care and well done :-)


Name: Acadia
City, Country: USA
Sent: 10.09 PM - 4/30 2002

I do believe that Ramon has been to the US. If my memory serves me he did not have good things to say about where he was staying then, somewhere in the west? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ramon's opinions do not differ that much from many eurpoeans I have been fortunate enough to know. He lets his bias show. Any why not? This is his site after all. I do have to say that I think we, as a people, are very self-centered, but not quite the brainless dolts portrayed in his log.

Ramon may come to the US, then maybe not. We shall see what opportunities arise. If and when he does will his opinion of the citizens here change? Who knows? Hopefully it will become a bit more broad, at the very least.


Name: Guy Leger
City, Country: St-Anicet (Montreal) Québec
Sent: 7.43 PM - 4/30 2002

Hi Ramon, it's always a pleasure to surf on your website. Thank you very much to let us travel with you! You are an example for all young people. Hope to see you in Montreal. French Canadian are so welcoming, friendly! When will you be in Quebec?
let the good time roll...
Guy


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 7.32 PM - 4/30 2002

hello ramon, hope you can read this wishing message. this has been your first year around the world, and I'd like to congratulate for your resolution. your trip becomes more and more interesting, and also this messageboard increases. I think you've already hit the mark (and such a mark!), you can be proud of what you've done. in this moment I'm in a hurry and I drop these lines in advance because tomorrow I won't use the pc. also a greet to all the supporters of this board, the "old" and the new ones.
my best wishes - ciao! donatella


Name: Dave Askren
City, Country: Houston, TX USA
Sent: 2.20 PM - 4/30 2002

Ramon... Happy Koninginnedag! ;-)


Name: Michelle
City, Country: Central Coast, NSW Australia
Sent: 1.34 PM - 4/30 2002

Hoi Ramon, I've had an absolute ball following your travels on your website and must say you're an inspiraton to all have-been and wanna-be travellers alike. Would have loved to have met you when you were in Erina, but I unfortunately I let that chance go by...
I am an Aussie girl of Dutch herritage and have visited family and friends in the Netherlands on many occasions. But what I miss most about living in Oz is meeting up with other Dutch people and the typical Dutch "gezelligheid" or hospitality. I know they're around, but they're so hard to find 'cos they assimilate so well!!
I'd really like to get into contact with other cloggers whom live on or close to the Central Coast of New South Wales. I'm trying to organise a "borreltjes avond" (or "drinks night" for those non Dutch speakers) and am searching for ways to get expressions of interest from Dutchies in the area.
I have placed an ad in the classifieds of the www.myseafm.com website as a way for them to contact me. I am hoping that this message to you may be a way of reaching some of those people whom may be interested in getting in touch with other like minded people on the Central Coast. I hope you don't mind me using your website to get the message across, and naturally, if this night gets off the ground, we'd love to have a guest appearance from you! But I guess that would mean back-tracking hey!!!
In the mean time, I look forward to your next adventures.

Stay cool,
Michelle.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 12.29 PM - 4/30 2002

Hi all

Without wanting to take sides, I must defend Ramon. It is quite normal for ones opinions on any matter to be based on what that person knows about that matter at the time.

Ramon has travelled more extensively than most of his loyal supporters, and through this he has met more people than most of his supporters (myself included). It is only fair that he has the right to comment on what he has seen.

Through my limited travels, I have also met some people who are a negative reflection on a particular country, city, or region (or even race, religion, etc). I have also formed conclusions on these places, cultures, etc based on what I have seen in the people that I have met.

And, I have often been proven wrong!

Perhaps the only Americans that Ramon has met have been in some way strange. Perhaps he has not met any Americans who are like Joan and Bret. Hopefully he will meet such people, including Joan and Bret specifically.

After that, the facts available to him will be more balanced, more complete, and more representative of the USA. If Ramon still speaks negatively about America, then we can criticise.

However, having met Ramon personally, I have full faith that he will be absolutely fair in whatever he says, obviously based on the information available to him at the time.

But then, this is just my opinion, and perhaps I am wrong. No-one is perfect.

Ramon, keep strong, and keep on bringing us that wonderful journalism that you have so far. May your second year in this immense project be even better than your first year. I will support you until the end!

Kind regards, and hamba kahle

Brian


Name: ant lau
City, Country: hong kong
Sent: 11.49 AM - 4/30 2002

Valerie(s. california): i noticed what Ramon said about US travellers too. but i don't think he feel ill
about americans. perhaps(just perhaps)it reflects people's resentment to domination of world affairs by
the US gov't. some wellcome it,others resent it.


Name: ant lau
City, Country: hong kong
Sent: 9.54 AM - 4/30 2002

Joan(USA): i love Ramon's travelogues. i've been
following them since he planned his project. i don't
mean to blame him or say harsh things about him.i think everyones got depressed moments now and then. Ramon seems to be able to get over his quite easily.


Name: Valerie
City, Country: Southern California
Sent: 7.03 AM - 4/30 2002

Well, your story has reached me here in Southern California! I read about you in the news paper today. Your story is such an amazing one, and I am extremely jealous I must say... I am so inspired by your courage and I commend you on your determination to get to the White House. (I honestly think that you'll make it there!)
I am very sorry to read that you have such a poor vision of the U.S. but hopefully when you arrive here the people that you stay with will show you the true American spirit.
I hope that you will make it to California, we have an insanely beautiful coastline! I would certainly love to see your take on California's beauty. My prayers will be with you for more safe travels, and good luck!!!
---Val---


Name: Valerie
Sent: 6.41 AM - 4/30 2002


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 6.40 AM - 4/30 2002

ant.lau,

I would agree with you that perhaps Ramon was a bit insensitive to the folks visiting the resort, and was unduly "stressed" that there was not a party atmosphere while he was there. Had I been him (which I am not of course) I think I would have enjoyed a night to veg out quietly on this island paradise. Quiet dinner (though unfortunately it seems the food was not so good) and quiet night in my room.

As for previous post which was removed, where someone commented on Ramon's observations of Americans on the bus, I will say that as a USA supporter of Ramon and his travels, and a long time supporter, be forwarned, he is very openly anti-"American", meaning anti-USA (not anti-North America or Anti-South America. Just anti-USA.) He clearly thinks we are all self centered and have no clue about the rest of the world. But that's, as his says "just his opinion". Sometime in his travels he will probably get to experience the USA and THEN he can make his opinions validated. Until then, he will probably be anti-America (USA). :-) But.....we still love to follow his travels.

Read his diaries, there is not one good thing about USA. It's all negative whenever the topic arises. But, there are many of us still following and supporting his project, because we know that someday he will be here. And he may even get a stay at the White House. Who knows. I hope he gets that wish personally, it would be awesome!

Regards, []
Joan


Name: ant.lau
City, Country: hong kong
Sent: 6.01 AM - 4/30 2002

i understand people love the company of those of their own age. nothing wrong with that. but it would be kind of you if you hide your disgust towards old
folks and teenage students instead of openly express
it on your web site.


Name: Brian
City, Country: ?Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.09 AM - 4/29 2002

Hi Ramon

From an exhilirating flight and kart race to a depressed stay at a strange resort. Wow! Oh well, life must have bad things, in order for us to apreciate the good things!

As for the flying, I can tell you that there is a law regarding drinking and flying. In SA, and I believe all over the world, there is a twelve hour bottle-to-throttle rule:- no booze within twelve hours of taking command of an aircraft. Since you were flying around midday, your pilot was probably clear. But hey, if he feels sick, it is better to land. He did the responsible thing.

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: Kathleen and Richard Hijnen-White
City, Country: Calgary
Sent: 3.53 AM - 4/29 2002

Hey how goes it? Your travels remind me of when I was in Australia and had the pleasure of spending 4 months in Noosa. Is Steve's backpackers still there? Richard, Dylan and I have had a great winter skiing but are now sick of the snow. Dylan has mastered the blue runs so that makes us really happy. Hope you make it up to Darwin. I worked in Kakadu National Park for 6 months and you would love it. We read your travel plans often and hope youstay safe and healthy. Would love to see you in Calgary. Kathleen


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area
Sent: 10.40 PM - 4/28 2002

Maybe April 25th wasn't your favorite day so far, but I just had to tell you that your best photo so far is found on that day's collection: a bright blue sunny sky plus water underneath. It's my new screen saver!


Name: Johanna
City, Country: Brisbane..Australia
Sent: 2.24 PM - 4/28 2002

Wow...what an amazing experience you are having...if you ever feel like you have had enough...I will be only too happy to take over..hehe..I saw a story on Brisbane Extra about you and your travels..its taken me a while to find the site...i am bookmarking it and look forward to reading more about your travels....wishing you a safe trip,full of memorable experiences and most importantly ...may you make many friends...i am sure you have already.


Name: Liz
City, Country: Toowoomba, Aus
Sent: 1.24 PM - 4/28 2002

G'day Ramon,
Have been reading about your experiences around my home patch - South East Queensland - great to see Aus from your eyes!
If you ever make it near Toowoomba, please feel free to stay with us!
Regards
Liz


Name: Linda Mace
City, Country: USA
Sent: 12.47 PM - 4/28 2002

Ramon, surely you must buy souvenirs??
Mind you - you are a man - so I guess that it is totally possible.
Have a great trip - hope you get to the White House.

RAMON:
Hi Linda, I have no money, so how can I buy souvenirs? Secondly, if I should buy souvenirs as I travel around the world, I would need an extra house whenever I get back? So I rather keep them where they are. Third: I am not a tourist...


Name: Tan
City, Country: Dallas
Sent: 4.18 AM - 4/28 2002

Hi Ramon,
FYI, your Project reached Dallas, I just read about it on the Dallas Morning News. I read your Barcelona reports, it's a great city to fall in love.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.26 AM - 4/28 2002

Hi All,

Ramon, I just spent my entire Saturday afternoon reading the last 5 reports, from April 19 to April 24th. Absolutely fabulous reporting and pictures. Again I commend you on your travels and sharing this fantastic idea and journey with the world. I have learned so much about places I have never known about, and probably won't visit in my lifetime. But your personal travels really bring a special touch to learning about the places, versus just reading about them in a book. And your hosts and the places you stay are really interesting. It's wonderful they agree to share their personal life with you as well.

Again, thank you, thanks to your support team, and all your supporters. Also, thanks for the hyperlinks you include in your daily reports.

Safe and happy travels, perhaps we'll meet if/when you get to the USA.
Joan


Name: Henri Wettstein
City, Country: London, Ontario, Canada
Sent: 6.01 PM - 4/27 2002

Hello Ramon,
What you are doing is absolutely brilliant....I left Switzerland over 30 years ago to travel the world and ended up in Canada. As you stated somewhere on your Website...travelling is the best education anyone could get..I agree. Is Canada in your plans anytime soon? If so when? I would love to have you stay at my house... and hear about your adventures in person.


Name: MARILYN
City, Country: NOOSA; AUSTRALIA
Sent: 2.13 PM - 4/27 2002

Hi RAMON, What a busy t ime you are having,do hope you will get invites from the beautiful KIMBERLEY REGION OF AUSTRALIA, perhapes someone up Darwin way could arrange it, come on Darwin see what you can do.


Name: Julie
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 4.53 PM - 4/26 2002

What a fantastic experience you must be having, and what an original idea! I hope your travels are filled with fun, friendship and laughter. Onya maaaaaate :)


Name: carlos
City, Country: brisbane, australia
Sent: 3.43 PM - 4/26 2002

You are a legend Ramon. Hope you travel for a long time.


Name: Peter Devereaux
City, Country: Hervey Bay, Australia
Sent: 11.48 AM - 4/26 2002

If you are a first time visitor to Ramon's site, let me help you... He has just this evening left for Bundaberg on his way north to Cairns. He is a faaaabulous house guest, a wonderful racenteur (storyteller), great company, clean, loves dogs, and very easy to entertain and keep amused.... I would recommend you to invite him to stay over at your place... He is welcome to stay here again if he comes back this way and I look forward to reading his daily reports for a few years yet... Good bye and thanks Ramon... Peter


Name: Linda en Elsje
City, Country: Nijmegen, Holland
Sent: 9.07 AM - 4/26 2002

We just want to tell you that we thinks it´s
fantastic how your project developed and we are
a bit jealous, sitting at our office desk, knowing
you are travelling the world, the things you see,
the people you meet... enjoy and very best wishes !!


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: K.T, Malaysia
Sent: 8.48 AM - 4/26 2002

Hi Ramon!

Have you heard kookaburras since you've been in Australia? Hmmm, reminds me of that song we used to sing in school:

"Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry, merry king of the Bush is he,
Laugh, kookaburra laugh,
Kookaburra, gay you life must be!"

=)
Safe travels, Ramon!

Sharlini


Name: Linda Bos
City, Country: Ouderkerk aan den IJssel
Sent: 8.13 PM - 4/25 2002

Hi Ramon,

I didn't visit your site for a while and heard that you where in Australia and I would just like to say have a great time there and al the best.

greetings from the niece of your old neighbour tante adri


Name: Simon Troy
City, Country: Adelaide, South Australia
Sent: 11.46 AM - 4/25 2002

Hey Ramon! We saw you on TV the other night with the croc hunter. I was wondering why didn't you get in there for a wrestle? Also, how long before you get to South Australia? We have sent an invite to you, and we hope you can visit us. Enjoy your time in Qld! S.T.W.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.00 AM - 4/24 2002

Hi Ramon

Yep, they're all quite right, that croc day was incredible! The man's a legend. (You have competition!)

Thanks mate!


Name: Cynta
City, Country: Adelaide - Australia
Sent: 4.15 AM - 4/24 2002

Hi Ramon,

I just recently heard of you on the Aussie news...it's quite unique what you are doing, I was just wondering where you get the money for the airfares?

RAMON:
Cynta, this website gets so many visitors every day, that companies love to help me out with a little sponsoring. As you can see, Tunafish and Book-A-Tour.com are responsible for the flight tickets to Australia lately.


Name: Martina
City, Country: Berlin - Germany
Sent: 11.49 PM - 4/23 2002

Hey Ramon!
I just heard the best thing ever! Is it true that you ask voluntary fees from the media who interviews you and you forward the money to a school in South Africa??? If so. Man! "Crikey!"

RAMON:
Martina, you got that one right. It doesn't always work, but some media do. Like the German magazine STERN, they offered a 200 EURO fee for an interview and that money goes straight to the elementary school in Mpande, South Africa (see the reports about Mpande). It's just a little thing I can do and I know the money will be well spend.


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.00 PM - 4/23 2002

Ramon, that Steve Irwin report was awesome! Steve is great! I've heard him on morning radio here, and he is exactly the same as on tv. I hope his success runs long, because it couldn't happen to a better person.

As for your success Ramon, we don't want you to shoot up too quickly. Being a celebrity opens allot of doors, but it tends to mess with ones personality. Just remember who your dear friends are and always stay in touch. Of course this sounds ridiculous, until that celebrity train starts gaining momentum. Stay the course Ramon, and things will fall into place.

Donatella, glad to hear you safe. Always good to hear from you, as it's always good to hear from the "Board of Supporters" :-) [] (thanks Joan for that one) Take care all

Sala kahle

Bret


Name: Paul Perkins
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 6.17 PM - 4/23 2002

I got lost in thought it was unfamiliar territory, lucky for me I found your site. Because I am back on track --- brilliant concept congratulations on your innovative, inspiring, ingenuity.


Name: Paul Perkins
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 6.17 PM - 4/23 2002

I got lost in thought it was unfamiliar territory, lucky for me I found your site. Because I am back on track --- brilliant concept congratulations on your innovative, inspiring, ingenuity.


Name: Emma Williamson
City, Country: Geraldton, Australia
Sent: 2.27 PM - 4/23 2002

only just recently have i heard about your travels, and i think its just amazing. all i have ever wanted to do its travel, and im sure just like yours did my time will come. as i'm only 16 travelling isnt exactally easy to do. some day i dream of reaching the far corners of the earth, especailly morroco. I'm simply at a lost for words as to what to say, other that i think what your doing is amazing and some day i hope to follow in your footsteps


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.28 PM - 4/23 2002

hello brian, I'm safe and sound! you're right.. lately the ladies we've all been "absconding". of course, I kept on visiting this site almost everyday and reading the messageboard, but I didn't write a line just because..I hadn't anything to write about.. :)
what happened here (in milan) last thursday was really dreadful, of course because the first thought came to new york-sept 11th. but this hasn't anything to do with that, it's "only" an accident (not clear yet whether malicious - that's what I personally think - or not). the PIRELLI building is near the main train station, and I live more than 2 km far from there. here, we've only heard a big noise, as if it were a thud (you don't think to a bomb on first thought) or something like that. but they soon realised that the plane was relly little and the pilot wasn't a terrorist at all.. and, in a certain way, this is a solace. last saturday I went there for the first time to see the "disaster".. you stay there without saying a word because it's strange to think how the place has changed in less than 2 minutes.. fortunately, the offices weren't crowded ("only" 2 victims) and the damage ain't so wide.
as it's said, let's try and have positive thoughts!
thanks for the message!
ciao, donatella


Name: Mark
City, Country: St Clair, Australia
Sent: 12.03 PM - 4/23 2002

Love the idea!! I should do this one day. Let me say, I will be back! Ver' interesting life you have, so 1 day I might have to come and see u in person!!!


Name: Jonathan Tu
City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Sent: 10.11 AM - 4/23 2002

I saw you on A current Affair this evening in the interview with the croc hunter !~!


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 9.02 AM - 4/23 2002

Hi Brian

I am still here! I am looking forward to reading Ramon's report with Steve Irwin as I think he is an amazing character. I have to go to work now, so will look in later.

Cheers everyone xx


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.03 AM - 4/23 2002

Hi all

Airline food? Some people collect stamps, coins, medals, glasses, shells, and lots of other interesting things. But pictures of airline food? Joan, I take it you've seen this website. Does the food look appealing, or plastic, like all other airline food?

This chap must have a lot of money to go flying about all over to take photos of airline food. I'm really curious, what is interesting there?

Oh well, different strokes, I s'pose. We should respect each other. All the best to this chap.

It's nice to see Joan and Sylvia back regularly again, you ladies have been quiet recently. Hey, does anyone know what happened to Donatella? Last I heard, there was a plane that crashed into a tall building in Milan, and I hope that Donatella was not in there.

Cheers all, for now. Ramon, keep smiling, dude!

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: Marilyn
City, Country: Noosa... Qld
Sent: 1.40 AM - 4/23 2002

Dear Ramon , Congratulations on your great trip and may it have the rewards you desire. AXES to the Sunshine Coast Daily , The word Freeloader means arriving and staying without an invitation. Quiet different from what you are doing. They have a poor knowledge,of what you are doing. Having hosted students without financial gain from all over the world,the reward is in the opportunity of being able the share a meal your home , town and country and to see the appreciation on the receivers face. Ramon you have many more fun times ahead, travel in safety and never forget the word" thankyou".


Name: James H Pemberton
City, Country: Belton, Texas USA
Sent: 10.49 PM - 4/22 2002

Ramon. You are welcome to visit me at my home in central Texas,for a day or longer if you like. I am retired, have transportation, live alone on a small acreage about 40 miles south east of Crawford (Texas White House).


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 9.06 PM - 4/21 2002

Hi Ramon

I can see that you are still having a great time down in Oz. I am looking forward to reading your report with Steve Irwin, who I think is absolutely brilliant. I have watched him many times on TV handling huge crocs which he usually sits on and also poisonous snakes. The guy is so fearless and entertaining.

I recently bought a new Mk 2 Renault Cliosport 172 and I was wondering if they have them down in Oz! Has anyone who reads this website got one?

Bye for now

Love Sylvia & Family xxx


Name: Patrick
City, Country: Roma, Italy
Sent: 8.55 AM - 4/21 2002

Hallo Ramon,
I must say pretty inventive of you there. I have been travelling myself aswell now the last 2 1/2 years. I am also from the Netherlands. But am doing it, the hard way as they say, working and saving to go further.
I do not know how long I will be here, but at least untill the end of July before moving on. I saw the list of invitations that you got, so if I was you...well Italy is nice but some of the invitations I would rather go to. But anyway, here is my invitation for the eternal city...

Good luck and keep up the good work.
Ciao
Patrick


Name: Christina
City, Country: Federal Way, USA
Sent: 6.57 PM - 4/20 2002

Hey Ramon! I just read about your project and I think it's pretty gutsy. But keep on going, I wish I had the courage to do what you're doing. And by the way, how did you get the name Ramon? It sounds more Latin or Spanish than German. Okay that's all for now. Take care and be safe!


Name: Margaret
City, Country: Minneapolis area, USA
Sent: 5.56 PM - 4/20 2002

Ramon, visiting your website is my new favorite thing to do first when I sit down to do anything at the computer. Your descriptions are fantastic! You give us a window into many wonderful (or at least interesting) places and people and ways of living. Your slightly wry sense of humor gives it a personal touch.

I wanted you to know that I enjoy the photos, and sometimes copy my favorite ones (usually landscapes) onto my computer to use as screensavers, etc.!

I can't wait til you get to the USA. I feel sure you'll be invited to talk on the late night talk shows, etc. If you get to Minnesota, maybe our governor (Jesse Ventura) will invite you on his radio talk show.

Anyway, keep living the good life. I agree with many others that you are NOT a freeloader; you are giving back plenty through your unique way of making a living: sharing and reporting in a most creative way. I love your maps, website links, and much more.

You don't say if you're a Christian or not, but so much of what you're doing sounds a lot like the way Jesus encouraged many to live: simply, humbly, unencumbered, gratefully.

Waiting for your arrival in Minnesota whenever you get here!


Name: Addie
City, Country: GEELONG, VIC. Australia
Sent: 12.57 PM - 4/20 2002

Formerly from Holland myself, I think this is the best way to see the world. Save travelling, and hope to catch you, when you're down here. Saw an article about you and your website in the Herald Sun .Good luck!!


Name: Phaedra
City, Country: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sent: 5.15 PM - 4/19 2002

Found out about you when I read a posting in the elevator at work! Funny how that works! What you are doing just confirms my suspicions that most of the people in the world are decent and honest. Best of luck in your travels and see you when you make it to Canada!


Name: elma van leeuwen
City, Country: the netherlands
Sent: 3.39 PM - 4/18 2002

Hi Ramon,

This is so cool what you are doing.
I wish I would have thought about it but ye.
I read every report on your site and it is nice to read your stories. I also went to australia and you see a lot things back at your pictures.

I almost get home sick.
well it is not my home bit it feels like it.

Keep on going and good luck


Name: John
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 12.21 PM - 4/18 2002

that is one smart man let me tell u i just read thru the whole site and he's brilliant especially for his ages what a concept


Name: juraine
City, Country: Laem Chabang, Chonburi, Thailand
Sent: 7.23 AM - 4/18 2002

Hi! read about your adventure on the TRAVEL section of the local English daily. what a neat idea!

hope you have a safe journey. tried to submit my invitation but something wrong with the link. anyway, if you're ever in Thailand, you're invited to some seafood here and a place for the night. i'm just about 2 hours from the capital, Bangkok, and half an hour from the famous Thai beach resort, Pattaya.

CHEERS!!!


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 6.27 AM - 4/18 2002

Welcome back Brian.

I have a neat word document of "emoticons" if I could figure out a way to add here.
And since we can't share email addys, how do we do that if anyone wants it? Want to post it Ramon? I'll send to you, you decide. :-) []

Cheers,
Joan


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.13 AM - 4/18 2002

Jeez! I go away for one day training, and when I get back, there is this plethora of information about sand mining on an Ozzie island! Thanks Joan, I'll check out those sites a little later. And, we have an "emoticon" for a hug, ---> "[]". Cool, I've never seen that one before.

Munk, I thought your one-liner was brilliant! Really funny, I can understand why you and Ramon get along so well.

Ramon, keep up the great journalism. There are lots more treasures out there, just longing to get into your reports.

Sala kahle to each of you.

Brian


Name: Daniel Schmitt
City, Country: Narita, Japan
Sent: 3.26 AM - 4/18 2002

Ramon,
I think what you're doing is great. If you get the chance to come to Japan, I live near the airport, so you are more than welcome to stay with me. I work at a high school, so if you wanted to meet the kids, I think they'd love to hear about what you're doing. The world cup will start soon, so I hope you can come. Best of luck!


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.59 AM - 4/18 2002

Hey Bret, thanks for the virtual hug, always appreciated. :-) Here's one back at ya []!

Joan


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 10.05 PM - 4/17 2002

Joan, give yourself a hug for me. Brian asks a question, and you respond with a wealth of info. Thanks for the informative links. Now I know this doesn't satisfy Brians inquisitive mind on how the sand is shipped put on Hawaiian beaches, but given some time we'll find out through this board. By the way. To all those who are new to this message board, I consider Joan high ranking in the "Board of Supporters" at this site. Hugs again to you Joan.

Sala kahle

Bret


Name: Jeanine
City, Country: Grahamstown, South Africa
Sent: 9.59 PM - 4/17 2002

Good one Munk :-)


Name: Vanessa
City, Country: Oxford, UK
Sent: 9.32 PM - 4/17 2002

Met Etienne the other day and was totally blown away when he said he was your brother! Why build data warehouses when you can be travelling the world!

Have been addicted to this site from the start. Hope you continue to have a good time!

Lots of love Vanessa


Name: Ann
City, Country: Sacramento, California, USA
Sent: 6.20 PM - 4/17 2002

Wow, I thought I had an adventurous youth by working on cruise ships. However, there are many places I've never seen, including Europe and Australia. If only I'd thought of this back then!

Good for you for doing something like this when you are young. You'll remember it for a lifetime. I'm glad you are getting the press too.

If you make it to my town, I'd be glad to put you up. You can learn about dull, suburban California life. :-)


Name: mark johnston
City, Country: Dublin Ireland
Sent: 4.41 PM - 4/17 2002

what a great idea and fair play to you for having the balls to pull it off! wishing you safe journey on your travells and hit me back and let me know who puts out the cat in the white house!!!
slan leat..........Mark.


Name: Alli
City, Country: Devonport,Tasmania, Australia
Sent: 1.34 PM - 4/17 2002

My sister told me about a really cool guy who was travelling around the world by thumb, & I should check out his web site. I think what you are doing is very inspiring, I'm sorry I can't offer you a place to stay, do hope you manage to get to tassie, It's one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. I think so anyway, Good Luck and safe travels.


Name: Munk
Sent: 9.22 AM - 4/17 2002

No, you don't. It's full of silly comments by persons like me.


Name: Maria Perkins
City, Country: Japan
Sent: 3.56 AM - 4/17 2002

I want to read the message board.


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.06 AM - 4/17 2002

Brian and all,

You got me wondering about this "sand mining", so I found some web sites for our continuing education as we travel the world with Ramon:

http://www.consrutile.com.au/

http://people.hws.edu/mitchell/oz/Stradbroke96.html

http://www.amcs.org.au/periodic/mbbnews/htm/1999_07Jul.htm

Very interesting stuff. Thanks again Ramon, and all your hosts and hostesses, for allowing us to share in your travels.

Best regards,
Joan


Name: Maria
City, Country: Payson, Utah USA
Sent: 10.22 PM - 4/16 2002

You told Karran, from Victoria BC, to wait on her career and travel now. I wholeheartedly agree!!! I am 37 years old, married, college educated, have three children, own a business, etc., and even though I AM happy with my life at this point, doing something like you are doing would be wonderful, but is simply not an option for me now. Life's responsibilities cannot be ignored, but if you can just put them off for a short time and create a wonderful experience for yourself while you still have the freedom to do so, THEN DO IT!! You (and Karran) are both still young...what will it hurt to spend some time seeing the world now? I think it will serve to enrich all areas of your life in the future. I think what you are doing is inspiring. Someday, I hope my husband and I can go around the way you are right now. Best of luck to you, and stay safe!


Name: Nina
City, Country: Cairo, Egypt
Sent: 6.57 PM - 4/16 2002

Why try to put me off with all the rules and patronising language? Some of us usually wanna say something nice..anyways i thinks its great that u get to travel around the world on the invitaion of others, but if my sister handnt read off a lettle column on u from B! [brit. magazine] i would never heard about u or ur website, maybe ur could advertise more, since u know so much on computers and stuff.
enjoy ur life.


Name: Coralie spencer
City, Country: England
Sent: 5.47 PM - 4/16 2002

Hi Ramon
just having a look to see how you are doing ...and WOW...very well, it seems ...Great to read of all these travels ...Keep enjoying it all ..My sister Rene, has only weeks to live , and says to tell you "ENJOY" so I have ....each day is brilliant ! You are our eyes and our learning !
loads of hugs
Coralie


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.51 AM - 4/16 2002

Hi Ramon

I'm back again, having just read your report about the sand from the island's mines. That story seems to be too far fetched to be true. It seems so strange, so absurd, almost impossible.

What minerals do they mine there?

There are many tones of sand on just one beach, and I'm sure Hawaii has many beaches, each requiring their tons of sand. And they fight a losing battle, as the sea continuously washes away the sand.

It must be a strange sight indeed; ships offloading sand into a truck, which then drives to the beach and just dumps it there. Or do the ships offload directly from the sea with long pipes?

Hey man, this is facinating stuff. I'm very curious to know more about this. I don't suppose they tell you this in the travel brochures for Hawaii.

Bret, you have an enquiring mind, what do you think?

Ramon, please ask a bit more about this, I'm sure that others are also keen to know more.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Janet
City, Country: Westwood, USA
Sent: 10.17 PM - 4/15 2002

Howdy: Read about you in the Boston Sunday
Globe yesterday. It being April 15th
what do you do about filing your taxes?
Have fun.

RAMON:Jane, I don't have to fill them out. Someway they are probably in my mailbox at home, but how can I fill them out?


Name: sherina
City, Country: kl, malaysia
Sent: 2.35 PM - 4/15 2002

just a note to david from brisbane, australia and anyone who would like to get a journal going on their website while travelling - there's some fairly simple scripts that you can install and whenever you're at any computer with an internet connection can update your website with easily. i've seen many people doing that already. blogger, anyone? ;-)

also, if you bring along a digital camera on your travels, don't forget the driver installation disc, and perhaps a few blank cds. most places would allow you to install your driver and hey also burn your pics onto your cd. if you're lucky they might already have a memory card ready and you'd be more than set to go.

best of luck! ;-)


Name: Etienne
City, Country: The Hague, Netherlands
Sent: 8.16 AM - 4/15 2002

Hi little bother,

I received your foto's from Stratbroke Island. Awesome ! I think I better plan my holidays in one of those cottages with a sea-view ! (By the way , you should wash your feet more often ,hahaha)

See Yah !


Name: Leonard Stephen Ondu Majakil
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Sent: 8.09 AM - 4/15 2002

Dear Sir Ramon Stoppelenburg,

Indeed, the best thing in life is FREE or FREEDOM. I would spend my last night in any White House if it makes the HOME PLANET a safe peaceful EARTH. Yes, I wish inviting you to your White House would send a very positive message. You deserve the best Ramon. You know exactly that you are not a freeloader. I hope we are in the same track but of different modes. Time and Space will tell. Bye now.

A weak mind and a weak heart? Never.
LSOM.


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 6.32 AM - 4/15 2002

Well Brian I have to thank you for that last post. Your too kind. But let's not mislead everyone. We all know you have some of the best posts, with valued information and insight.

Nancy if you happen to visit the "Board" again, I'd like to know what California paper you read about Ramon. I need to get a copy.

Ramon, since your mailing list went who knows where, I went back to your main page to see what I missed. You updated to a great picture of you sitting having a drink. I really like that shot. Just says it like it is. "I'm a nice guy traveling around the world on peoples generosity". It works for me. So, who took the pic?

Hamba kahle

Bret


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.08 AM - 4/15 2002

Hi all

Well, Nancy must be new here. There is someone from California that posts messages here. It is Bret. And not just any messages, but some of the most positive and inspiring messages that we will find.

Nancy, visit Ramon's messageboard more often,and you will "meet" some of the world's best people, Bret included. He and I, along with people all over the world, are the unofficial (well, Ramon didn't say no...) Board of Supporters for lms4ad.

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: melissa
City, Country: New zealand
Sent: 4.30 AM - 4/15 2002

What a cool idea


Name: Nancy
City, Country: California,
Sent: 1.08 AM - 4/15 2002

I have not seen many people write to you from sunny California. Sounds like a great trip. I read about you today in the paper. Good luck to you.


Name: June
City, Country: Vancouver,Canada
Sent: 12.09 AM - 4/15 2002

What a great adventure!!! I just saw and article about you in our local paper and hope you can visit Canada soon. Have fun!!!!


Name: mary
City, Country: Thunder Bay, Ont Canada
Sent: 8.43 PM - 4/13 2002

Just read about your travels in the local newspaper and had to check out your website. Congratulations - you are doing things that everybody else just thinks of doing. It takes guts - good for you - have fun!!


Name: Nick Koster
City, Country: Hatzic, British Columbia, Canada
Sent: 8.41 PM - 4/13 2002

As a fellow Dutchman, (albeit somewhat older) I had the traveling bug and traveled to my native Holland (and the rest of Europe, Greece, italy, Spain)4 times in my younger days. I already e-mailed you our invitation to stay at our place. Have a great, long, happy and healthy trip. Hope to see you sometime. I haven't read through your entire website, yet, but will do so. It looks very good so far.


Name: Terry
City, Country: Thunder Bay, Ontario, CANADA
Sent: 6.39 PM - 4/13 2002

That is the coolest idea i've ever heard of. Interested in a traveling partner? Just wondering. Keep it up, i'm rootin for ya.


Name: Angel
City, Country: Mount Gambier S. Aust.
Sent: 12.28 PM - 4/13 2002

Your concept of free travelling is very clever.
I was wondering if you could help or anyone else?
I need to know of wheelchair accessable accommodation
in holland that is cheap.
Or is there any where I can turn to for a register of such accommodation?
Most places overseas are 'A' class and not affordable on a pension.


Name: AK
City, Country: Mülheim in Germany
Sent: 10.28 AM - 4/13 2002

This Page is very beautiful, my Historyteacher says to our class, that he have seen you and he has speak with you, is this really right?

AK


Name: Andy
City, Country: Tilburg
Sent: 9.33 AM - 4/13 2002

It is a petty that I haven't seen this site before. I am trying to help Ramon for some free airtravel tickets in Australia. If i would have know before I could try to let him fly back in First Class on one of my survey trips. He would like this. I am still working on those issues. I will keep you informed here.


Name: Dale
City, Country: Victoria , Canada
Sent: 4.39 AM - 4/13 2002

Awesome! And I'm jealous!As a 50 year older I have that wanderlust again. Did lots of travelling in my 20s,and after raising a family, i am ready to go.Besides being unique, your site is informative and fun. Thanks alot. Hope you make it to the West Coast of Canada!


Name: Jenna
City, Country: Dublin, Ireland
Sent: 12.48 AM - 4/13 2002

Hi I saw your picture in the newspaper and i came to your site. Just wanna say i think you're so cool because of everything you've accomplised!! GOOD LUCK!!!


Name: Plummer
City, Country: Miami, USA
Sent: 2.44 PM - 4/12 2002

My freshman classes (in high school) have been reading the newspaper in Miami for current events and one of my students came across an article all about you. I have shared this article with all of my freshman classes because it's such a unique story. We'd like to thank you for providing us with such an interesting article for our current events project. They all say "wazzaaa" and they look forward to keeping up with your future adventures.
Thank you!
Ms. Plummer


Name: Annmarie
City, Country: Brisbane
Sent: 1.20 PM - 4/12 2002

Saw your story in the Quest newspaper and was truly inspired by your website. It's a great way to see the world. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Australia.


Name: Robert
City, Country: San Salvatore Monf., Italy
Sent: 10.00 AM - 4/12 2002

My mother was born in Ingham, in north Queensland, and I never had been in Australia. With your photographies and your daily report I can travel in places that I wish to visit from much time. Thanks.


Name: Rachel
City, Country: Taipei, Taiwan
Sent: 8.11 AM - 4/12 2002

Although I can't let you stay my house, I really hope you can go to Taipei. You can go to Taiwan, because people is very nice!


Name: Am
City, Country: Melbourne
Sent: 7.12 AM - 4/12 2002

Foxmill, don't be so harsh, Ramon is none of those things. However I do fear if he visits the big brother house he will certainly find them there!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.11 AM - 4/12 2002

Hi all

Yep, Sylvia and Bret are right. Irena, tell us your thoughts about your man's activities. Nothing personal, of course, just the general stuff. It would be really interesting to hear what you think, since this must affect you in a way that can't really be understood by others. Except Ramon's close friends, like Munk and Gerben and the other Barcelona gang.

The Board of Supporters is waiting with antici...pAtion to hear from you!

Ramon, what do you think about this? You are obviously in contact with your lovely lady, so she is fully aware of what's happening, and you know how she feels. Are these suggestions an invasion of your privacy? Would you prefer if the status quo was retained?

Hamba kahle, Ramon

Brian


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.04 PM - 4/11 2002

You're right Sylvia. It would be nice to hear from Irene. So, Irene if you do have access to the net, and happen to scim over this message board. HI! Drop us a line or two. Would love to hear how and what you're doing in the Army. Take Care.

Sala Kahle

Bret


Name: Heather
City, Country: Arizona, USA
Sent: 9.16 PM - 4/11 2002

Dear Ramon,
I think what you have done is wonderful. I think you are showing the world not to be so afraid and to keep on traveling and seeing the world. There are a lot of awsome people out there and I hope you touch many.
You are welcome to stay in Arizona with my family.
Good Luck and God Bless


Name: mirjam
City, Country: holland
Sent: 8.42 PM - 4/11 2002

It was nice to see that because I showed my friend Irene an article about you on planet news, that you stayed at her house in Brisbane :-)
good luck with your travels and if you need a last stop on your way back ............your welcome in Amersfoort


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 2.27 PM - 4/11 2002

Hi Ramon

I was wondering whether your lovely girlfriend Irena back in Holland might post a message here sometime! Does she have access to the internet where she is at the moment?

Regards

Sylvia


Name: Morgan
City, Country: Victoria, BC, Canada
Sent: 8.07 AM - 4/11 2002

Ramon....oh the things you can find on the internet! I find your experiences amazing - not just because of the pure excitement of your travels and extent of your experiences, but because of the human kindness that has made it possible. It must feel great to have so much good cheer surround your trip. Good luck and good travels in the future.


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 11.24 PM - 4/10 2002

Hey Sam from Wapello, do you have the link from the Des Moines register? I'm originally from iowa.
:)
MJ


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 8.25 PM - 4/10 2002

hello ramon, reading your latest report I've had a sudden idea: instead of those terrific (and not so educational) killing-pc games, why don't you recommend the kids the old & beloved pac-man?
I know.. it could sound like prehistory...
ciao, donatella


Name: David
City, Country: Lancaster,PA USA
Sent: 10.53 PM - 4/9 2002

Read about u in the Lancaster Sunday News on 4/7/02. Reminded me of '79 when in US Navy in Guam...met a couple of guys traveling 'around the world in 80 days' via PanAm...provided them shelter in the barracks and treated them to dinner at the island supper club where I worked part-time...very interesting! Best of luck in your travels...I will be checking your progress!


Name: Lucia
City, Country: Grinnell, USA
Sent: 6.36 PM - 4/9 2002

Like Sam from Wapello, Iowa, USA, I saw you in the Des Moines Register last weekend. Come to Iowa and stay with us on the farm!


Name: David
City, Country: Brisbane, Australia
Sent: 10.59 AM - 4/9 2002

You're my hero, dude!
The one goal (dream, if you like) that I've always had is to travel as much of the world as I possibly can.

As I'm coming to the end of my schooling, my plans for travelling have come to a head. I'm going to start out by packpacking around Europe.

Just the other day I was thinking if it would be possible for me to somehow update my website for my friends and family back home while I'm abroad. I thought about a laptop but scrapped the idea thinking that it was unworkable. The next day I read the article about you.

I've copped a fair bit of crap from people for being so single minded about wanting to travel...as if it isn't worth the effort. I'm definately going to do it. You've also reinspired me, and I really look up to what you're doing.

Thanks so much man. =)


Name: Maria
City, Country: Munich, Germany
Sent: 8.32 AM - 4/9 2002

To foxmill: lack of fantasy an enthusiasm is not a great sign of cleverness. Ramon doesn't force anyone to invite him or puts anyone in a compromising situation.
So if you don't like what he's doing: do not invite him!

To Ramon: I think it is really courageous and inspiring what you're doing. I just hope that the whole media-hype will allow you to meet REAL people in the future. After all that's what makes your daily reports so unique and interesting. :-)
Good Luck


Name: Karran
City, Country: Victoria BC, USA
Sent: 8.21 AM - 4/9 2002

I came across your picture and a small bit of information on the GlobeandMail.com website. Then, I visited your website: www.letmestayforaday.com

Wow, 14 different countries since May 1, 2001. While reading your website, I grew feelings of desire for travel, interest in your project as well as curious about your thoughts on where you are today in your life.

The last part of the above paragraph may seem somewhat confusing to you. Let me clarify; when you look at your life to date, what do you think about and did you see yourself being where you are today 5 year ago?

Do you travel alone? Do you become lonely? Do you ever go home? – Where do you consider your home to be? I am the same age as you, and am therefore feel somewhat compelled to compare your life to date with mine. I have been pondering the idea of picking up and traveling for quite some time now. Once finished with University I choose to become focused on my career in order to create a base for myself. I do not regret this decision, but now find myself anxious to explore the emotions and intelligence of the world.

RAMON:
My thoughts? Well, as my reports are written within a few hours, I can't really write deep emotions. It will be something for my book I'd like to write later. I think I am doing very good. I am meeting so many people, sharing so much stories with them and I explore a world that is still unexplored in my mind. Because how many people in our world trust other people to be their friend or just a guest for a day? Most of us just live this urban life where the only people you meet are your family, friends and colleagues. That's mostly it.

I just need to share with the world that there are so many people out there that are so friendly and nice -you can hardly believe it!- and we can learn A LOT from them. Honestly I feel I have learnt more than any university can teach me and I love it.

As you can read on my site, I do travel alone. Just to find out how I can handle myself in all kinds of situation, without a side help to talk to when times is hard. And it's what people want. Lots of people online would love it when I am in an uncontrollable situation, it's almost like on reality-tv.

But I am not a lonely person at all. Put me in room 492 on the 4th floor of a city hotel for a week, then I get lonely. Not when I constantly meet people and get inspired and share my things with them.

I had a break last Christmas, as you can read in my reports, when I met my girlfriend Irena in Barcelona. From that point I spent two months at home, relaxing and preparing for Australia. Home is where my heart is and I feel good with that. It can be anywhere, I just need to be happy.

My vote for you: get out and go for that carreer later in life. The world is big enough and honestly, it doesn't cost that much. Just a flight might be, but when you are in another culture, another country and you have to adjust yourself to all those differences that there might be, just feel it glow inside. You'll love it!

Hope this clears things up for you!

Ramon.


Name: foxmill
City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Sent: 2.16 AM - 4/9 2002

Bet you've learnt some new Aussie words like - bludger, scab, bot. Don't believe that US $35 is all you spent. Don't you count it if someone else pays for you! Bit misleading i feel

RAMON:
Bet you need to learn some other words too, like: hospitality and friendlyness. I, me myself have not spent any more money than 35US$ during my travels, for the domainname of this website.
Next to that: all I officially ask is a share in some food and a place to sleep. I am not asking more and people don't have to spend unnecessary money on me ;-)
In return I DO write daily reports and publish photographs of my visits on my website (which you probably haven't seen). So I kind of work my way around the 'other way'. If you still see that as being a bludger, scab or bot, there might be something wrong with your mentality.


Name: Kari
City, Country: Fort Wayne, IN
Sent: 12.18 AM - 4/9 2002

I saw an article about you that Mike Corder did from the Associated Press. This is seems like a great idea. They used to talk about backpacking across Europe back in the 60's. You just made it better. Hope you come to America. I also hope you get to stay at the WHite House. Have fun... and be safe.


Name: kerry
City, Country: ontario, canada
Sent: 5.54 PM - 4/8 2002

Ramon!
You know how sometimes people have an idea that kinda makes you think, "wow, I wish I'd thought of that first"... this is one of those projects... good for you! safe travels!


Name: Alex
City, Country: Detroit, USA
Sent: 5.30 PM - 4/8 2002

Fantastic idea Ramon! I'm looking forward to following your adventures - vicarious experience for myself ;) If you're ever in Motown, you're more than welcome to come and stay. All the best!! - Cheers, Alex


Name: Dave Foki
City, Country: Brisbane, Australia
Sent: 5.23 PM - 4/8 2002

Gidday mate, bloody awesome idea you have there. Good on ya for having the balls to go through with it. Im a kiwi(NZ'er) living here in Brisbane. Pissed that I didn't get a chance to meet ya. Do you have many contacts in NZ to stay with? Let me know if you dont. Anyway, good on ya mate and hope you have a fantastic time.


Name: Marilyn
City, Country: Queensland Aust
Sent: 1.23 PM - 4/8 2002

I would like to congratulate you on coming to Aust and having the guts to push through the slackness of the normal person who hasnt a adventuroous bone in their body. Good on you mate!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.40 AM - 4/8 2002

Oops! Sorry, I forgot to put the details in that previous posting. What was that about the monday morning mind...?

(A genuine mistake, by the way, and a sincere appology!)


Sent: 6.38 AM - 4/8 2002

Mmmmm, a nickname for Ramon...

Let's see, with all that Ramon is doing, including the competition with Nat. Geo., I'll think about it. Gotta find something that expresses the spirit, the power, the driving force that keeps Ramon going.

It's Monday morning after a toug weekend, so the mind is in neutral. more later.

keep well, each of you out there.

Brian


Name: jann crawford
City, Country: tweed heads ----gold coast--- AUSTRALIA
Sent: 9.28 PM - 4/7 2002

Hi Ramon just heard you on the ABC radio from one traveller to another "Go for it " enjoy our beautiful country and take home great memories. Jann


Name: Katie Stoner
City, Country: Fort Wayne, United States
Sent: 7.06 PM - 4/7 2002

Ramon... I just wanted to write and commend you on your adventurous and wonderful attitude towards the world. It isnt everyday that we the people, see a strong willed person going towards their goals and overseeing alot of the hate and terrorism in our everyday life. You seem to have you mind set on what you want to do with your life. I thing that you will go far in doing whatever it is that you may decide to do with it. Again I commend you and congratulate you on your adventures.


Name: HOWARD
City, Country: MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA. USA
Sent: 6.21 PM - 4/7 2002

CONGRATS ON YOUR CREATIVITY. A GREAT WEB SITE AND INTERESTING TOO

HOWARD


Name: Sam
City, Country: Wapello, USA
Sent: 6.13 PM - 4/7 2002

Just read the article about your journey in the Des Moines Register today. Sounds like you have had a pretty interesting journey so far. Figured you might be interested in coming to the heartland of the USA and see where food is raised for export all over the world. It's a uniqe place, fairly new-compared to places in Europe and Asia, and a friendly down home place. Kife here moves at a slower pace than the cities but for the most part, people fall in love with this place and make it home. Most of the people in Wapello and Iowa are either employed directly to agriculture or are affiliated with it. The state can boast of having more pigs than people. With the Mississippi river nearby, recreation is plentiful especially if you enjoy the water. Boating, fishing, hunting, and camping are predominate activities enjoyed by most in the vicinity. Life here revolves around the community, local plays, festivities, and the school system. Hope you plan to visit here,it will be an interesting place to come. Let me know what other things you want to know about Wapello, Iowa or the midwest.


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 5.48 PM - 4/7 2002

hello, I'd like to thank bret (from USA) for his message. it's a pleasure to see this site: you're right.. who cares about tv when you can follow somethin' so "true"? as it's been said in a message, ramon's reports are, for a stranga reason, more interesting and involving than some National Geographic's articles.. perhaps because we're almost the same age (so ramon is a traveller as we could be? that is, we "speak the same language"?), or maybe because hosting him we can (hosts can..) really take part in it..who knows? via the internet you can follow quite in real time; personally what made me curious in the "lmsfad idea" is that you can directly (in plain words, as if you were tellin' a friend about something) know the difficults & troubles (the same that, after all, you find travelling in your real life!).
ciao, donatella


Name: Chet
City, Country: Ohio, USA
Sent: 5.41 PM - 4/7 2002

Just saw the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch article also. Sounds great! As a member of the USA Boomerang Team, I've travelled many of the places you are seeing...sometimes sponsored and sometimes not. However, seeing the world is great and will stay with you your whole life.

DO get to New Zealand for sure and make sure to hit the Southern Island. Unbelieveable sights and friendly people.

All the best,

Chet


Name: Chet
City, Country: Ohio, USA
Sent: 5.39 PM - 4/7 2002

Just saw the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch article also. Sounds great! As a member of the USA Boomerang Team, I've travelled many of the places you are seeing...sometimes sponsored and sometimes not. However, seeing the world is great and will stay with you your whole life.

DO get to New Zealand for sure and make sure to hit the Southern Island. Unbelieveable sights and friendly people.

All the best,

Chet


Name: Chet
City, Country: Ohio, USA
Sent: 5.39 PM - 4/7 2002

Just saw the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch article also. Sounds great! As a member of the USA Boomerang Team, I've travelled many of the places you are seeing...sometimes sponsored and sometimes not. However, seeing the world is great and will stay with you your whole life.

DO get to New Zealand for sure and make sure to hit the Southern Island. Unbelieveable sights and friendly people.

All the best,

Chet


Name: Alex
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 4.54 PM - 4/7 2002

Hi Ramon!
I wish I was you, and had the chance to see all the beauty of our planet!!!
Enjoy e'ry second of life...
Take care!!!
C-Ya Alex


Name: CRIPLIFE$set tripping
City, Country: Culver City ca usa
Sent: 3.56 PM - 4/7 2002

SHOOT THEM NIGGAS BITcHeS...COME tO la AND fuck WITH tHE dOWn ass ESES AND bECOmE GEHETTO FABUOUS...YEAh GOT me AN uzi FOR YOU TO sPRAY THE 8 TRAY cripS WITH yeahhhh...KEEP uP THE good WORK with THE hoES..peace


Name: dan gray
City, Country: columbus, ohio
Sent: 1.56 PM - 4/7 2002

Ramon,
I just saw a news article about you in the Columbus Dispatch Travel Section. It was a large article about you. Just wanted to say congratulations on a succesfull journey. God Bless.
Dan Gray


Name: MIND-EXPANDING SPECIES
City, Country: Muelheim an der Ruhr/Germany
Sent: 12.31 PM - 4/7 2002

You´re really a mind-expanding crazy guy. Enjoy Australia - drink a lot of Fosters and I hope one day you will visit us in Germany.
We are a not professional but crazy free mind label: http://www.mind-expanding-species.com
For people which travel around, celebrating partys, enjoying life - respecting other people and nature and for people with such f. crazy ideas like Ramon


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 4.18 AM - 4/7 2002

I know I'm late in saying this, but welcome back Donatella. I'm glad you're back to share Ramons world with us. It's always enjoyable. Who needs TV when we have Ramon.

To mike from LA! Is that "CRIP" 4 Life what I think it is? If so, please clue everyone else in on what a CRIP is. If they don't know already.

Ramon, I thought your nickname was "The Traveling Dutchman" I'll just have to give this some thought. I'm sure with Brian,Donatella, Sylvia, and that WackyBrit, we can come up with something. Now I'm sure Irene has a few good ones to contribute..........Ok, maybe...................alright then, I guess Brian,Donatella,Sylvia,WackyBrit and I will get started on that one. Let's keep in clean girls and boys.

sala kahle

Bret


Name: mike
City, Country: los angeles ca usa
Sent: 12.26 AM - 4/7 2002

Man you rock....CRIP 4 Life


Name: Irma
City, Country: Heerhugowaard, the Netherlands
Sent: 10.09 PM - 4/6 2002

Hi Ramon,
I just read about your project in Panorama. What a great idea!!
Don't forget to go to New Zealand as well. It's such a beautiful country, with very friendly people.
There's a lot of dutch immigrants in N-Z, just as in Australia, I guess. My experience is that they are very hospitable.
I wish you a wonderful time.
Irma
I wish you a great time in Australia.


Name: Rene
City, Country: Hoorn, NH Netherlands
Sent: 6.07 PM - 4/6 2002

I wanna wish you a wonderful journey and hope you can meet a lot of people and that they offer you a wonderful day when you stay with them.
I read about your trip on www.nu.nl

Have a great time


Name: Erlend Quast
Hometown: Rotterdam, Netherlands
City, Country: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Sent: 12.25 PM - 4/6 2002

Good luck with the travelling, I read the article in the Panorama!

Your former highschool mate from the Emmaus College in Rotterdam,

Erlend Quast


Name: robert w
City, Country: houston tx usa
Sent: 8.28 PM - 4/5 2002

Ramon, thanks for the travels. You are more fun than the National Geographic Magazine and a bit less expensive. I am looking forward to your USA state tour, I would even throw a kid out for your visit. With Houston Texas size, the 4 invites might be enough to cover the city, but not in one day. Keep on typing.

RAMON:
Robert, thanks for that great compliment about the National Geographic Magazine. My dad once had a subscription to it, but I only 'read' the photographs, the stories were just a bit 'too' difficult/much/political for me sometimes and I was already to old for the children's version... Thanks for letting me know that you are enjoying my thing.


Name: Devlin
City, Country: Zwolle, Netherlands
Sent: 7.48 PM - 4/5 2002

Hey! I just read that you can stay 4 a day in the Big Brother house. All i can say: DO IT! It can be a life time experience above the journey u r doing right now!

Greetz from a fellow citizin

DEVLIN


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 7.09 PM - 4/5 2002

just a note (a joke) to brian: thanks for trusting on my memory! :)
it will take quite a long time to read all ramon's reports, but..I'll take a glance (as usual, I must study meanwhile..).
I've read now the latest report: how nice and smart idea the huge backpackers hostel!
thanks for publishing - donatella


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 3.14 PM - 4/5 2002

Hi Donatella

We all make typos occasionally, so it's fine. And I'm sure your memory is just perfect!

I hope you are reading all the daily reports you missed out while your computer was playing up. Ramon has met some interesting people recently.

sala kahle

Brian


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 11.55 AM - 4/5 2002

oops..sorry for the error in the previous message, brian (not bian).. without using the laptop for some days, probably I forgot how to type...
donatella


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 11.50 AM - 4/5 2002

to bian (from south africa): hello! thanks for the message, it's very kind of you.it's really good for me to see this website & messageboard again! I've had problems with "netscape" for about 2 weeks.. and internet was so boring without "lmsfad"..
ciao, donatella


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 5.58 AM - 4/5 2002

Hey, it's Donatella and Sylvia!

Welcome back, oh loyal ones. Good to see you again.

Brian


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland, UK
Sent: 12.32 AM - 4/5 2002

Hi Ramon
As I sit here catching up with your daily reports, I still find it hard to believe that you were sitting here in my chair using my PC for a day last July!
If you remember, even the famous Red Arrows flew over to welcome you!
Fond memories!
Take care
Sylvia and Family xxx


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 10.16 PM - 4/4 2002

hello ramon, at last I can see your website again (no more problems with the browser)!! : )
I' ve lost the latest reports (apart from those sent by the mailinglist), so now I'm reading and reading..
ciao, donatella


Name: Jerry
City, Country: Dordrecht , Holland
Sent: 6.46 PM - 4/3 2002

Keep on rolling and show what the Dutch are made off.

Best off luck from a fellow country man.

Toi , Toi , Toi.


Name: Jacky Cao
City, Country: Brisbane Austrlia
Sent: 8.14 AM - 4/3 2002

I fink wat you're doin is pretti cool, i mean free loadin off all this ppl


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.04 AM - 4/3 2002

Book? Hell no! That's Ramon's job. Ramon is a far better writer than I will ever be, just read his reports.

Ramon, I truly hope that your plan of writing a book about your experiences is still alive. There must be thousands of people who would love to read it. Especially the juicy bits that are not covered in your daily reports. There must be some of those... ;-)

hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Mike Wallace
City, Country: Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Sent: 9.30 PM - 4/2 2002

Good on you! I thought I was doing well,i.e. 47 countries in 11 years while still keeping a full time salaried job throughout but this beats anything I've heard of yet! So keep up the good work, my only regret is I didn't think of it first.


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.29 AM - 4/2 2002

See what you started Brian. I had to find out the difference between Amaretto, and Amarula, because I wasn't quite sure if they were the same thing, just named differently. So here it is from the webtender website.
Amaretto is a liqueur with a distinct flavor of almonds, though it's often made with apricot pits kernels. The original liqueur, Amaretto di Saronno, hails from Saronno, Italy. Many distilleries produce their own amaretto.



Amarula Cream is a South African cream liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree, also known as Sclerocarya birrea or "The Elephant Tree", and cream.

The fruit is fermented and then distilled in copper pot-stills. The marula liquor is then stored on small oak casks for two years before it is enriched with pure marula extract and blended with fresh cream.

Amarula Cream is best served chilled, on the rocks or with crushed ice. It can also be used in desserts and cocktails. An opened bottle should be stored in a cool and dark place for no more than a year.

So what the heck is "apricot pit kernals" I'll leave this research up to you Brian for your forthcoming book (haha)

Now, about that brown snake Ramon?? Tell us more!
Happy Trails.

Bret


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.46 AM - 4/2 2002

Hi all

Alittle bit of trivia...

That Amarula drink that Ramon was enjoying, it is something invented here in South Africa.

The amarula is a fruit that looks much like an apricot, small round, and orange in colour. The trees are a couple of meters tall, not too big, and grow mostly in the northern and north-eastern parts of SA. Where Ramon went to the game reserve.

The fruits drop off the tree, as fruits tend to do, and start to rot on the ground. It is very hot and humid in these areas, and that promotes the rotting, and the fermentation, of the fruit. Much like what happens to grapes when the make wine. Except that it is hotter.

Now, elephants, another indigenous species in SA, adore these fruits, and tend to eat them in huge quantities. If they can't find them on the tree, they pick them up off the ground.

Of course, if they are fermenting, then the elephants get drunk. Now THAT is a sight to see! Imagine, five or six tonnes on meat falling all over! Best keep a safe distance away.

It didn't take long for people to realise that the fruits, which are quite nice to eat, can also be used for liquor. So, that they did, and now we have Amarula spirit and Amarula cream, the latter being one of my favourite drinks. This, when served in a wine glass filled with crushed ice, is called a white elephant.

Cheers!

Keep well, each of you

Brian
RAMON:
Well er... Brian, when can we all expect your book? Haha!


Name: Glenn Watson
City, Country: Noosa, Queensland
Sent: 12.12 AM - 4/2 2002

Hi Ramon,

Welcome to Australia and have a very, very safe journey !

NOOSA HEADS must be included on your list of stays and we look forward to welcoming you here very soon !

GW


Name: Bridget
City, Country: Adelaide
Sent: 9.05 PM - 4/1 2002

Just wanted to congratulate Anna and Anne of Fingal heads for giving you some well deserved R & R, good on ya for showing the true Aussie spirit.
Enjoy the north Ramon


Name: Michael
City, Country: London, England
Sent: 11.56 AM - 4/1 2002

Hi mate, just wanted it was great reading about Port macquarie!! Its my home town, but ive been away travelling for 2 years now, mainly based in London. Was a bit homesick, but you have flooded me with some great memories. You really captured some great spots. Well enjoy your travels!!!
cheers


Name: Ramon
City, Country: Brisbane, Australia at the moment
Sent: 7.17 AM - 4/1 2002

Bret from CA, USA, please contact me by email


Name: Milo
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 3.29 AM - 4/1 2002

Good on you mate for that approach on immigration/refugee policy. Please tell as many Aussies as you can about it. Many of them just don't get it. Especially up there in Queensland.

Cheers and best wishes!


Name: acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 2.22 PM - 3/31 2002

What a great spot Anne and Anna live in. I didn't realize that they lived right ON the lagoon! They seem, by your reports, to be very nice people.

May you encounter more like them, and the others in Oz you have already met.


Name: Colman
City, Country: Sunderland, U.K.
Sent: 10.18 PM - 3/30 2002

Hi Ramon,

We all think you are so great for doing what you do. I wish I knew of your adventures when you were in England so I could have invited you then. But it's marvellous to read about your adventures and get travel tips. I'm planning on visiting Australia this year because of you.

Cheers!
Colman


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 7.53 PM - 3/30 2002

Hi Ramon,

Just want to wish you a Happy Easter and I hope you will get loads of Easter Eggs.

Thought I would let you know that it was announced a short while ago that Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother died this afternoon, she was 101 so she had a good innings.

Happy travels!
Love
Sylvia and Family xx


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Sent: 7.11 PM - 3/30 2002

*L* Very funny, Herman! =)

I'd like to wish Happy Easter to Ramon and all who observe this day.

Best wishes,
Sharlini


Name: Herman Winkler
City, Country: NY, usa
Sent: 4.02 AM - 3/30 2002

The rumours go that the comedy series "Everybody Loves Raymond" will soon change its name into "Everybody Loves Ramon"...


Name: Miranda Stevens
City, Country: Austria
Sent: 1.21 PM - 3/29 2002

Hello Ramon.

I´m a dutch girl living in Austria. I have seen you on german television yesterday. And today i thought i have to look in to your homepage. Australia is great isn't it? I was there last year from 05.01.2001 till 14.03.2001. We travelt from Cairns to Coffs Harbor, Coffs Harbor, Broken Hill, Port Augusta, Melbourne to Sydney and than home again. I loved it, and some day i will go back. Good Luck to you. Doei Miranda


Name: Robert Hatchett
City, Country: Vevay, Indiana, USA
Sent: 2.18 AM - 3/29 2002

Hey Ramon,

I am enjoying your daily e-mails and pics, very much.
I, especially, enjoyed your published conversation about immigration. You were very sensitive to both sides of the issue. You are, also, to be commended for your humane treatment of Thomas - I do not know if I would have been so forgiving.

I had visited Newcastle and Sydney when I was in the U. S. Navy, in the early seventies. We were not very well received. We were the Yankee warmongers, and not much loved. Even after Sept. 11, 2001, I think that if an American were to try your adventure, very few people, of the world, would be supportive or sympathetic to him or her (if not hostile). But, for your effort and initiative, you have my applause. I'm on your list of awaiting hosts, if you choose to visit the States.

May your back-pack be light.

Bob


Name: Pete WackyBrit
City, Country: UK
Sent: 10.57 PM - 3/28 2002

Renee said: __I totally agree that a minority will always be unreasonably jealous of those who do something well__

Whereas I, and probably most of you, are quite *reasonably* jealous ;-) Who wouldn't want to do it?!


Name: Maarten
City, Country: Hollandia
Sent: 12.21 PM - 3/28 2002

Great trip Ramon, but if u're so popular, and you're welcome everywhere, where are the chicks?? Chicks and nature are the ultimate combination :) Later

RAMON:
Hi Maarten, honestly I see chickens as part of nature and I don't want to give chickens a higher profile than other animals, like bucks, monkeys and elephants. ;-)


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 6.50 AM - 3/28 2002

Hi All,

Just catching up. I am glad things worked out with Thomas. He made a bad mistake, bad moment as he said, writing what he did. Just was not thinking that such comments could be taken seriously. I believe Thomas in his apologies, and am glad Ramon has been in contact with him. If I were a college student (well I was many moons ago) and made such a blunder on the internet (there was no internet when I was in college! :-) ) I too would have learned a quick lesson and would have been regretful and scared. I bet Thomas becomes a fan here - he seems sincere, he just made a stupid remark. Good that Ramon took it seriously, and good it is settled. (Andy on the other hand is a plonker! :-) )

Ramon, I am loving your travels, stories, and photos from Australia. Thanks!!!

Cheers all,
Joan


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.24 AM - 3/28 2002

Hi Ramon

Lets forget about nasty messages and earthquakes for a while.

On a lighter note, why do bats flying around outside the window remind you of Irena? Not trying to be nasty, it's just a funny association of thoughts.

That stunning forest would make me think of my girlfriend, if I was lucky enough to have one. Hey, it's beautiful, peaceful, and natural, like she would be.

But, each to his own, I s'pose. :-)

Keep well, Ramon

Brian


Name: dbk Tom
City, Country: NZ
Sent: 6.03 AM - 3/28 2002

I think what Thomas should do is invite you over to NZ Ramon,and do some promotional work for you here.
Enjoy it while you can Ramon


Name: thomas jackson
City, Country: auckland
Sent: 11.44 PM - 3/27 2002

hello all,
When I posted my offensive and threatening message I really did not realize what I have done. It is true as Bret and Amanda have said that I got scared because I was busted. But I also put myself in Ramons position and thought about me receiving death threats and offensive emails. It really felt vey scary and frightening. I would have also gone to the cops. I realized my fault after this. I am not fooling around this time. I sincerely mean this . I do not drink, smoke or do drugs. I regret having hampered ramons travel in Australia. I regret having damaged the reputation of australians and kiwis as the most friendly people. I am a good student who went astray for a few minutes. Please forgive me all. I am glad that ramon has been so considerate and has forgiven me. I love my parents and they too love as much. I really dont want them to feel hurt by what I have done. I have not told them and my friends about what I have done. Please excuse me from this. Yes, Michael I really enjoy visiting the site.

cheers
-Thomas


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 10.30 PM - 3/27 2002

Ramon you are generous and forgiving. I'm not sure that I would of let "Thomas" off so easy. I doubt he needs counseling, being he's a young university student, and is apt to do stupid pranks. I'm sure we all have done some pretty silly things in our lives, but "Thomas'" stupidity is an all time high. I agree with Amanda, that the only reason "Thomas" is sorry is because he got busted. How do we know he is really sorry, and not putting on another "show". So, here's my proposal. Tell Thomas to show his offensive post to his parents, and have them post a forgiveness letter for all of us to read on this board. That would be humiliating enough to make one think twice about malicious postings. I'm sure Ramon that you'll do what's best. Happy Trails.

Bret


Name: Rhonda
City, Country: Gold Coast Australia
Sent: 10.20 PM - 3/27 2002

Hi Ramon,
Just wanted to say that it was my great pleasure to meet you a few nights ago. You are the most interesting young man I have met in a long time. Thank you for your sense of humour, for without that you may have been offended at being told to "Go to your room!" Ha! I did not have the pleasure of having Ramon stay in my home, I invited myself to the home he was staying in. I'm glad I did because the Prawns were incredible! Thank you Mark and Del. To all those who have invited him, you are in for one hell of a treat. He is someone special. Thank you for your company Ramon. Stay well.


Name: chris
City, Country: münchen.germany
Sent: 7.02 PM - 3/27 2002

hello ramon

you are great!!!!!!!!


Name: Dave and Sue
City, Country: Langwarrin, Victoria
Sent: 11.08 AM - 3/27 2002

Hi Ramon (and all his followers!!)

First time I've been in this part of your site!

Sue and I are looking forward to meeting you when you venture to Victoria. We invited you a few weeks ago after seeing your gig on ACA. Got to hand it to you though. What a BRILLIANT idea!

I, along with 3-4 million people around the globe, are wishing we thought of the concept first! Then actually achieving it is extra-ordinary. I now follow your travels on a daily basis. The people and cultures your experiencing must be mind blowing. (I'm sure there has been some "bad" times but I suspect the good are outweighing the bad 100 times over.

As for the bozo's who have a go at you. Don't let them worry you mate! Don't bother calling the cops in! Just publish their name and address on this forum. I'm sure the culprit won't get a wink of sleep!!!!

Anyway we really hope you manage to make it to Langwarrin (At the start of the Mornington Peninsula. Nice part of the world! (biased view of course)

Can't wait to meet you

Smile to excess!!

Dave & Sue


Name: Michael Offe
City, Country: Willunga, South Australia
Sent: 7.15 AM - 3/27 2002

Hi all,
It looks like Ramon is enjoying his travels in Australia (give or take a few stupid messages here), but I am sure that there are enough nice things about Australia to make up for that! :-)

I am looking forward to seeing Ramon in person when here gets to my place... I first heard about him last May.
Just for interest - I was the guy who helped organise the Bridge Climb over Sydney Harbour for Ramon. :-)


With regards to 'Thomas' and Brian's message below...
I fully agree that 'Thomas' was totally out of line, and should have thought far more about what he did!
But if he is genuinely sorry for his actions and has really learnt his lesson ('Thomas' I am trusting that you have learnt a lot from this - and will refrain from such actions in the future), may I suggest that Ramon's decision is for the best.

This may sound silly, but... in my opinion a lot of the current counselling and psychiatric help, often 'screws up' the person even more...
Especially if they aren't 'social misfits', I believe that the 'system' for dealing the true 'social misfits' tends to turn the person who isn't yet a 'bad case' in the wrong direction - since they are being treated as a true 'social misfit'.

This is just my personal opinion on the matter (don't all take it personally please), which I thought I would mention.

Ramon, enjoy you travels, 'Thomas' I hope you enjoy your future visits to this site and learn from your mistakes, and all the best to all of you reading this, and to those of you from other countries... I hope you enjoy your little insight to our unique and wonderful country!

Yours sincerely,
Michael Offe,
South Australia.



Name: Renee
City, Country: currently Sunshine Coast/Brisbane, Australia
Sent: 6.53 AM - 3/27 2002

Hey Ramon & all,

Like most people, I'm sorry to hear you had to go through what you have recently. I totally agree that a minority will always be unreasonably jealous of those who do something well, but it is much to yours & others credit to not give up your vision but instead deal with "hurdles" in a reasonable and compassionate way.

As an addicted traveller myself, I think your resourcefulness is brilliant. I've worked in the backpacker industry for years and absolutely love showing off our brilliant country to foreigners. I've even backpacked my own country several times, and although now living in the UK, I'm back in Australia for a few months to do it again! And spend some time with family.

I've made numerous precious friendships on my travels -I've had many pleasant times learning about the world from travellers, showing them the area & offering a free bed over the last few years. I am now travelling myself and enjoying their brilliant hospitality throughout the UK & Europe in return. Yes, there are always risks involved trusting people, but it is a very small percentage of those who aren't genuinely wonderful, friendly people. And by being careful & aware, the risks are well worth the long-lasting friendships or at the very least, some stimulating conversation & a lesson about life from another perspective!

Anyway, I'm rambling on, but trying to say good on you, looking forward to meeting you. And also hi to everyone else on here & thanks for your messages, enjoying reading through them!

Thanks for your texts Ramon and looking forward to seeing you when you arrive here soon!

Renee :)


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.25 AM - 3/27 2002

Hey, if nothing else, this will make facinating reading in your book...


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.24 AM - 3/27 2002

Hi Ramon

If Thomas Jackson's successive messages are anything to go by, it seems that you have answered his appeal to be lenient. Ramon, I salute you for doing this. It takes a real man to forgive such lunatic actions.

Having said that, and maybe I am horribly wrong here, I feel that this person may well be "just" fooling around. But, as has been said by many people, it is stupid, idiotic, and criminal.

Perhaps he was drunk or high or something when he did it. Whatever the case, he needs psychiatric help. Yes, it is unfair on his uni, his family, and his friends, but next time he might go further, and then what will these people say?

Ramon, I know, and understand, that you are very busy, and that it is not in your nature to interefere, but please consider a plea bargain situation, in which he will do many hours of counselling, followed by years of comunity service. If he does not accept this, then let the cops deal with it.

Maybe it will also set a precedent, and anyone else who might consider being so incredibly stupid will think twice before acting.

Whatever happens, we are all right there with you, Ramon. We support your actions, as we know that you are intelligent and level-headed. And benevolent.

hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Amanda
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 6.20 AM - 3/27 2002

Thomas is only sorry that he got caught. People like him need to be taught a lesson. He has tarnished Ramons experience in Australia and I'm over letting people get off just because they say sorry. He should have thought about the consequences before he wrote such an offensive e-mail.


Name: Thomas Jackson
City, Country: Auckland
Sent: 4.17 AM - 3/27 2002

Hi ramon,

Thank you so much. I don't have any words to explain my gratitude. Please do not let my personal information to anyone else.

RAMON:
"Thomas", please contact me by email.


Name: "Thomas Jackson"
City, Country: auckland, New Zealand
Sent: 1.41 AM - 3/27 2002

Hello Ramon and others,
I am really sorry for sending the previous message. Now since you have found out from where I am. I know the cops will find me easily. You are right I am a university student. But I really don't want to tarnish the name of my University or my parents. My real name is not even Thomas Jackson. I really did not mean anything seriously. I wanted to just have fun(I know the seriousness of it) after seeing Andys message. I know you have informed the cops. Please I beg you to take the complaint back and forgive me. I don't want to spoil the name of my university, family and parents who have worked hard to send me to the university. To all others who use the discussion board I am sorry and please forgive me. I really am ashamed of myself. I am honest this time. I really mean no harm not only to Ramon but to anyone else. Please do help me in this matter. Ramon and the others in the discussion board please help me. Dont put me behind bars. I am sorry for having used any offensive and threatening language in my message. Please. I am not jealous of your effort Ramon. I am really proud of what you have done. But I just sent the message to have some fun without realizing what I have done really. The hand of the law is firm and I can't escape it. I know you can find me out by this message I have sent. I am down to my knees. I beg you all to forgive me. I promise I will never send offensive messages, harm others or think evil about anyone else at all. This mental torture of being caught by the police is punishment enough. Please I beg you ramon and others in the discussion board.


Name: Kelli
City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Sent: 11.54 PM - 3/26 2002

Ramon,

Please dont take any notice of losers like Andy & Thomas. It is nothing but pure and simple jealousy !! We really are a great bunch here down under - but I am sure you already know that!!

I only wish I had HALF the courage you have to do what you have done. Travelling the world is only a dream of mine.

I wish there was more people like you in this rapidly depressing world of ours.

Take care, be careful and most of all - enjoy yourself!

Best wishes..

Kelli


Name: Frans Wilbrink
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 11.22 PM - 3/26 2002

Hey Ramon,

First of all sorry I took so long to finally post something here...druk druk druk, you know how that goes...

These idiots like 'thomas' and 'Andy' have no clue how much work 'freeloading' actually involved.
When Ramon stayed in my place he worked till deep in the night to write his updates. We kept him up way too long just by talking about all kinds of stuff and still he had the willpower to work on his website..

Andy's view is luckily not one that is shared by most aussies... I guess he's just a jealous nitwit...
As for 'thomas' what can you say.. he needs some serious counceling... So you don't like what Ramon does? fine, don't invite him, post a message on the board he's a freeloader and get on wiht your life...making deathtreads in a public forum where you can be traced is not only stupid, but illegal too...

Ramon, take care and don't let idiots like these get to you... I know you are smart enough not to get in trouble... If you need any help, just let me know...

As for the other readers, All I can say is I can really recommend inviting Ramon. He's a nice easygoing guy who really has heart for his project. I haven't regretted inviting him 1 second!
I don't see Ramon as a freeloader, I see him a guy who wants to travel the world (don't we all?) without the use of monetairy funds... there is more in the world then just money. Once you've met Ramon you know that 'lazy' and 'Ramon' are 2 words who are very hard to combine...


Name: Jo Dunning
City, Country: Raumati Beach, Kapiti coast, New Zealand
Sent: 8.37 PM - 3/26 2002

Can't wait till you get here - what a pity a few plonkers have spoiled your time in the land of Oz - i know they're not all like that - here's hoping the kiwi plonkers are all asleep when you get here.

I think you're living a dream of many of us who would love to be able to do what you're doing but can't - and by having you stay lets us have a small share in the experience.

Take care and i sure hope you visit kiwi land soon.


Name: Charlotte
City, Country: Vienna, Austria
Sent: 2.54 PM - 3/26 2002

Hi, Ramon - be careful, because I want you to be my guest, when once in a future life you pass by in Vienna. So - without joking -I do hope, that these insane people, who don't understand the meaning of your way to travel, will be found sonn and that you can continue without any further problems.
Love and good luck
Charlotte


Name: Lauren
City, Country: Lancashire, NW England
Sent: 11.53 AM - 3/26 2002

Hi Ramon,

Hope your travels are going as well as ever! If you ever come back to the UK, come up to the north to stay! ;-)

I find it really pathetic that some people actually bother to come here and write so much about how stupid they think this whole idea is - if they dislike it so much, why come onto the site in the first place? Sad....

Take care and have fun,
Love Lauren xxx


Name: Evelyn Hooper
City, Country: Dortmund, Germany
Sent: 10.01 AM - 3/26 2002

Hi traveller! I wish you all the best on your journey. If you ever come to Germany, feel free to pop in, you´re welcome at our house!

Have a save journey!
Evelyn.


Name: Carole
City, Country: Ottawa, Canada
Sent: 3.21 AM - 3/26 2002

Hi Ramon,

Just wanted to let you know that you have another avid follower! I am thoroughly enjoying the reports of your travels through Australia (I have been a regular reader of your website since last June). I love your pictures (especially the candid ones!) I particularly like the way your daily reports give us the 'common' man's viewpoint not the one usually offered in the glitzy tourist brochures.

Anyone who has a problem with your unique approach to travel isn't worth wasting time on. You shouldn't let the Andys and Thomas' of this world dampen your enthusiasm. For every one of them there are thousands of us who recognize how much time and effort goes into "publishing" your daily reports.

Keep up the good work - I look forward to your future(?) arrival in North America.

Carole


Name: Syd and Marion Brown
City, Country: MURWILLUMBAH , AUSTRALIA
Sent: 3.14 AM - 3/26 2002

We have just been fortunate enough to have Ramon stay-for-a-day.He is an exemplary guest; easygoing, tolerant,flexible and totally without expectation. On top of this he is prepared to participate and provoke discussion on a wide range of topics and as you can imagine he is good at it.
His stay was our gain.
Thanks Ramon and Good Luck!

Syd & Marion


Name: Jennifer
City, Country: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Sent: 2.46 AM - 3/26 2002

Ramon, I am frightened for you. Be careful!


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 11.24 PM - 3/25 2002

Hi Ramon

As you know, we are all very protective towards you and threatening remarks from people like Andy and Thomas are rather worrying. I just hope that neither of them use a false name and send you an invitation! Be very careful Ramon and I wish you a safe journey.

Love
Sylvia and Family xxx


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 9.35 PM - 3/25 2002

Ramon, Thanks for taking action on "Thomas". This message board is about sharing your travels with everyone else who travels with you.

Annette, Thank you for letting us know how hard Ramon does work to keep this project going. Without him we all wouldn't get to see the world and enjoy all the little bits of history, and other facts he reports in his letters. Plus the great pictures. Hell, I'm not envious of Ramons project, I'm envious of Ramon.

Take Care, Happy Trails.

Bret


Name: Annette
City, Country: Brighton, UK
Sent: 5.24 PM - 3/25 2002

I've only just seen the ... how can I put this nicely ... um ...negative messages that have been posted lately. I really have difficulty believing how narrow-minded some people can be!

I was kind of a surprise host right back a month after the project started (well the travel bit anyway! I dread to think how much work had to be done before leaving!) - I say surprise host because the first I knew of it was when my housemate Chris said "by the way we've got this Dutch guy from the internet staying in about half an hour". I can honestly say that when I met Ramon I was extremely jealous that I hadn't thought of the idea first, but by half way through his visit I was glad that I didn't! The amount of work he had to do made my teaching workload of lesson preparation, marking (around 60 books a night), assessment, etc look totally insignificant!

I actually thought he'd left by about 1.30pm because I hadn't seen him for a while, but three hours later he emerged from behind Chris' computer thanking us for our hospitality and saying he should be leaving for his next host! I have never known anyone spend that long working voluntarily!

Before people make such vibrant judgements about Ramon's 'work ethic' I suggest they take a moment to find out the facts - I personally have never seen anyone work quite so hard, and despite such bizarre circumstances. I am glad I didn't think of the idea first, I don't think I could have coped with the workload!

Keep up the good work, Ramon, you're definitely doing my travelling for me! I'd never get to 'see' so many places without all your hard work!

Good luck with future travels, and God bless.

Annette
><>


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 7.40 AM - 3/25 2002

Brian, You came through again! Thanks for a great post, and putting things in perspective.

As for Thomas Jackson, you haven't paid too much attention to this message board. Because if you did, you would know that Ramon has access to who you are and who your provider is, who knows where you live. So expect a visit from your local police official pal. Because you just made a death threat to someone, which should always be taken seriously. This may seem funny to you, but it isn't to those of us who travel with Ramon, and especially his family who care for his well being. I'm sure we will no longer hear from you Thomas because you WILL! be shut down. You signed a contract with your provider that most likely prohibits you from such actions. May you learn from your stupidity.

To all of my friends on the message board. You now know what it takes to "lift my relays!" I'm really hopeing Ramon takes action on Thomas' post. Some posts can be shrugged off, but death threats should always be taken seriously.

Ramon, I really hope you do report Thomas. If you drop Thomas' post, please dump this one also, so it doesn't spark unnecessary responses. As always Ramon, keep it safe, keep up the great article, and Happy Trails.

RAMON:
A lot of things are known about Thomas Jackson by now. The federal police of New Zealand has received a report about him today.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 7.00 AM - 3/25 2002

Hi all

Yow! Reality check!

While everyone has the right to their opinion, and everyone has freedom of speech, everyone also has the right to respect and dignity. Think about it.

We can all make judgements, we can all criticise, and we can all ridicule. To Andy and Thomas, have either of you ever taken five and five (to quote from someone the other day), and considered the whole picture?

I doubt it!

Ramon is not trying to travel the world by being lazy, dispite what you may think. His project involves and requires a hell of a lot of work. He has many things to do, not the least of which is keeping this website up-to-date.

He has to arrange his travels, his accommoddation, and he has to find time, at his hosts convenience, to attend interviews with many media. And he has to be friendly and sociable to his hosts.

It may seem like a holiday to you, but Ramon spends many hours each day working hard. It is a full time job with all the stress of a "normal" job, and then some. And, on top of all this, Ramon is a decent, friendly, and kind man, who smiles through everything.

Yes, we all can judge, and we all can ridicule, but is it fair to do this as an outsider? Andy and Thomas, perhaps you should visit this website in silence for a week or two, and watch.

Read the messages that Ramon's supporters post, especially those who are previous hosts. We are in a far better position to pass honest and accurate comment, since we have seen Ramon at work. Yes, it is only a glimpse of what he does, but it is something. It is a hell of a lot more than you have seen.

And, with the sour attitude that you exude, it is more than you will ever see.

So, get off your lazy butts, and get a life! Go out there, and do something. Make the effort. Then, and only then, will you be in a position to speak!

Like all things in life, until you have been there, and have understood the reality of the situation, you will be unable form honest opinion. It is your job to do that investigation.

Ramon, I feel so sorry for you having to receive this sort of crap. These guys are clearly social outcasts, and until they actually make the effort to fit in with society, they will never be welcome among us.

I am sorry for being so blunt, Ramon. Keep up the great work, and ignore naive stupidity like that which emerges from brainless individuals.

Kind regards

Brian


Name: Wayne
City, Country: Brisbane
Sent: 6.45 AM - 3/25 2002

One question Andy,
what do you do for a job? I got laid off a couple of months ago, and now I just started my own business, I'm working 60 hours a week, and not paying myself YET. I'm having a real go, not sitting behind my PC typing in puerile (sorry, that means childish, Andy) messages to another bloke who's having a go too.

What do you think of that? Working for nothing AND not on the dole. [Oh yeah, and I'm a Kiwi - I bet they're ALL bludgers in your little head].

Have a good look at yourself - if you can handle it.

Now onto better things:
Ramon - the only people you will get any abuse from are the ones who are p....d off they didn't think of the idea first. You are proving that the majority of the people of the world actually like eachother.
Stay safe and have fun.

PS just saw Andy's best mate Thomas' message - they have done pretty well by using their common brain cell !! 8-D


Name: thomas jackson
City, Country: Australia,sydney
Sent: 3.27 AM - 3/25 2002

Hey guys,
Are u nuts????I fully support Andy. we shouldn't be supporting this free loader at all. If I get my hands on this bastard I will slaughter him. Death to all free loaders.

RAMON:
I haven taken this message as a serious death-threat and will contact this persons ISP as soon as possible and provide his local police with all details. Someway people don't get that I can get their full name and address from the web.
Mr. Jackson is online in Auckland, New Zealand, his provider is Asian Pacific Information Network
A search on the web results in the facts that he even supports Central United F.C. and he's probably just a simple university student...
Speak to you soon Thomas, or should I mention your real name here?


Name: Sandy Mulholland
City, Country: Victoria Point,QLD Australia
Sent: 1.29 AM - 3/25 2002

Dear Ramon,
Re the knockers. Ignore ignorant people like that. I am sure you have already found out that the majority of Aussies do not share their sentiments. Basically small minded people like that are a minority.
Hope you enjoyed your stay on the Central Coast of NSW, Gosford is my home town and I have 2 children living and working there. It is a beautiful area and I miss it very much, and my kids too. Stay happy, and hope to see you soon.
Regards, Sandy


Name: Amanda
City, Country: Canberra, Australia
Sent: 12.58 AM - 3/25 2002

Hi Guys!!
I think its just fabulous that you all are rebuking what Andy has said but I think that he has received enough attention. He's obvioulsy a pathetic individual who felt the need for attention, be it positive or negative. Let's concerntrate of the amazing adventure that Ramon has embarked on!! Am I jealous?? Absolutely! Am I supportive...of course. Happy travells and positive thinking!!!


Name: Simon
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 2.39 PM - 3/24 2002

Hmm, to Andy, let me remind you again 'sponging off' occurs both ways. If there are people WILLING TO GIVE, it is not sponging. Dole-bluggers of the Australian tax system are spongers. We (tax payers) have NO SAY where our tax goes to. THAT IS SPONGING. This is a gift, and it normally happens from people who have a heart of love... then again, you will not have a clue what this means, do you. As for Todd (USA), yes, I agree the homeless and Ramon are 'in common' to the extent that they 'have no where to stay'. The difference is that Ramon IS DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT: using this skills and intelligence, personality and talent. That, to me, is 'getting off his lazy arse and working for it' by using his brain and marketing skills(this is for Angry Aussie Andy again).

Have fun, Ramon. As far as I am concerned, you are running an 'e-business' via this website, and you are definitely the wisest and smartest businessman I have ever met. No outlay, but heaps of income. Isn't that every business's dream????


Name: Acadia
City, Country: Maine, USA
Sent: 1.28 PM - 3/24 2002

Australia, now there is the place I would go if I had only one choice. I am glad you are there, allowing me to continue my vicarious world travels. Wonderful pictures, as usual Ramon.

I am glad the Andys of the world are in the minority.
But they can cause a stir since they are the loud ones. The kind people of the world generally go about their business quietly and matter-of-factly.


Name: Todd
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.25 AM - 3/24 2002

I find this all very interesting. All your doors are open for Ramon, while you step over and ignore the homeless person in the street.
Go figure.


Name: Bridget
City, Country: Adelaide Australia
Sent: 2.20 AM - 3/24 2002

Andy you represent yourself and only yourself when you say *we* in Australia do not want Ramon here, if that was the case then no one would be hosting him, obviously you were asleep when the Olympics were on and they declared it the *Best Ever* because of our hospitality of which you know nothing about. So you f off and go get a life and I am sure there are corporate executives out there who would love to employ Ramon for his ingenuity, thrill of adventure and great marketing skills and go getter mentality, Andy you could learn a lot from Ramon.
Ramon have a wonderful stay in Australia and where ever you will travel to because for one Andy out there, there are a billion people who would love to have you in their home and share your sense of adventure.
Up yours Andy!!


Name: Kjell
City, Country: Lensvik, Norway
Sent: 4.37 PM - 3/23 2002

Good luck on your journey!!!
We're sorry that you could not stay with us while you were in Norway. Perhaps you'll make it to Scandinavia later?
Anyway - Take care and once again good luck!!!


Name: Andrzej Maciejewski
City, Country: Moscow, Ontario, Canada
Sent: 7.14 AM - 3/23 2002

There will always be those (like Andy) who will never see beyond a set standard. If you've seen and remember "Easy Rider" movie you will know what I mean. Whitout people like Ramon the world would be a very boring and sad place. Go ahead Ramon, do what you are doing and keep our fantasy alive! Those who dont like what you are doing are simple jelous.

Anyway, we would love you to visit our Moscow (pop.60) in Ontario, Canada.


Name: Kerry
City, Country: Melbourne
Sent: 5.57 AM - 3/23 2002

You are a disgrace Andy and it makes me wonder just how "Australian" you are. Speak for yourself when you tell Ramon that we don't want him here, and not on behalf of the "true" Australians that are more than happy for him to be doing what he's doing. The jealousy has certainly come out in your words Andy!!!.

Good luck with your travels Ramon. Its an ingenious idea and I (along with the majority of Australians) wish you all the very best. Enjoy our beautiful country and the hospitality of the "nice" people here :-))


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 5.36 AM - 3/23 2002

Hey Andy, if you really want to prove your point, why don't you invite Ramon to stay for a day? You can be a total jerk, not give him anything, write all about him blood sucking off of you in this message board. You could even make him sleep in your yard on the dirt (if you have a yard), and then Ramon can write about your hospitality for letting him stay for a day in your yard. My guess is Ramon would gratefully thank you for your yard and for the invitation.

Andy, I think you got the message. F off! :-)
Joan


Name: Jane
City, Country: Perth W.A
Sent: 5.10 AM - 3/23 2002

Ramon -- please dont give another thought to Angry Ant Andrew.. He certainly isnt speaking for all of Australia, and definately not me ....Just between me and u ....I think hes jealous he didnt think of Traveling the world for free before u did !!
Happy journey thru-out my country and take your memories home to share with people in your own country --good luck.




Name: Emma Marie
City, Country: New York
Sent: 4.12 AM - 3/23 2002

Wow Andy, thank God you don't represent the whole of Australia. I spent 2 months going around Oz, and found the Australians to be a very caring and hospitable group of people. I'm lucky I did not run into you. I might be laying out in the outback somewhere, never to be found. Such anger makes one wonder what you do to people!!!!! Ramon, enjoy every minute of your stay and you will continue to find what wonderful, friendly people the Australians are. Stay well.


Name: Irene
City, Country: Cornubia, Australia
Sent: 2.53 AM - 3/23 2002

Well well well Andy, you must have been in a caring, sharing mood when you wrote that message! For you were so diplomatic, and what a charming choice of words, so convincing too! The dulcet tones still ring in my ears. I actually got out my little poem note book and scribbled down some of those beautiful expressions you shared with everybody. Very classy Andy. NOT.

Enjoy your journey, Ramon :-)


Name: Wild Bill
City, Country: Leadville Colorado, USA
Sent: 2.45 AM - 3/23 2002

You go Guy - Andy is just a narrow minded person that has a lack of soul & sense of adventure. I would do what you are doing in a heartbeat if I wasn't already locked in with a terrific job. Good luck to you - And come see me when you get to Colorado.


Name: Tracey
City, Country: Gosford,NSW, Australia
Sent: 2.16 AM - 3/23 2002

Hi,
I am horrified at the previous message left by "Andy"
He is obviously from "Mars" not Australia & definately one jelous moron.
Good luck to you, enjoy your stay down under & remember, we Aussi's are friendly people but i guess every city has one big loser!
regards
Tracey


Name: andy
City, Country: sydney, australia
Sent: 1.44 AM - 3/23 2002

Hey free loader.
The Aussie way is to support our fellow human being and not to sponge off of them. Fuck off out of OZ you scum sucker. We (Australia) DO NOT want you here in this country! If you want something then just get off your lazy arse and work for it!

p.s. Fuck off, your still here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 9.37 PM - 3/22 2002

hello ramon, how are you? gosh..the poll.. nice idea, though I personally think they'd better put a 4th choice, that is "(ramon should do) what he considers the best for himself". anyway.. I thicked the 3rd one, because it seemed the most consistent with the original aim of your "enterprise"..
I keep on reading your reports from the mailinglist, and I wish you lots of enjoyment.
ciao, donatella


Name: Tamar
City, Country: Barcelona, Spain
Sent: 8.25 PM - 3/22 2002

Hi Ramon,

I was really amazed when I first read your traveling story while reading a very popular spanish magazine.

You're a very smart guy, you're lucky to travel this way !!!!

Just keep it up and have fun !

Greetings from Barcelona,

Tamar.


Name: Jens
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 7.26 PM - 3/22 2002

wow kinda impressive, $35 for that tour.. very nice :)
they just introduced your idea and your site on our local radio station.
I'll go to the US next year, perhaps this is the way to travel in the future ;)
keep it up!

greets from germany
Jens


Name: Oliver
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 6.43 PM - 3/22 2002

this goes out 2 u Andy ... It sound kinda jealous u sittin`in the world`s famous sandpit and ramon is goin`2 see the whole without a dime in his pocket ?!?!?!


Name: Oliver
City, Country: Germany
Sent: 6.35 PM - 3/22 2002

I`ve never heard that some1 tried 2 see the world in u`r way. It`s shurly the proof that poeople r not that kinda stonehearded. I really hope that u have a lotta interesting places 2 see and a hole lotta more interesting people 2 meet on u`r trip.


Name: Monica
City, Country: Melbourne Australia
Sent: 10.28 AM - 3/22 2002

I agree with you Karen. I think that what Ramon is doing is like a job. He does not really have a lot of time because he does write all those reports and has to find all the places he has been invited too and then work out a schedule and then get there. So he probably works more hours than Andy. Andy should worru about his own life and let others live theirs the way they choose.


Name: Karen
City, Country: London, UK
Sent: 9.23 AM - 3/22 2002

Andy, why is it bothering you so much what Ramon is doing? Are you also that upset by people who are travelling and all expenses being paid for by their parents or something? As those travellers are also not working for their money...don't see what all the fuss is about; Ramon and his hosts are having a good time, most people who log onto the website enjoy reading it, so I don't see any problems! And Ramon is not begging for money, it is offered to him by people who like his idea and are willing to support him. And has it ever occured to you that writing the reports every day can be seen as work?


Name: andy
City, Country: Sydney Australia
Sent: 9.05 AM - 3/22 2002

This free loading wanker is not - r - not welcome in Australia so why is he here??? I put you in the same bracket as those scum sucking, dole bludging wastes of space scattered throughout OZ. If you want something then work for it!!!!!!!!!!!!

INSERT EXPLETIVES here!

RAMON:
Here you go: how pathetic...


Name: dbk Tom
City, Country: New Zealand
Sent: 6.28 AM - 3/22 2002

Hi Ramon,I think Greg is right.
Take your time ,and I've got a address of a dutch joker you have to go and see in Ausy.
He left Holland in 1950 and his family never heard from him for 40 years.
Lived in the outback near Perth,but has a Computer in a shed,and lives in his 4 wheel drive.
If you want a good story go and see him.
dbk Tom


Name: Greg James
City, Country: Pemberton, Australia
Sent: 2.14 AM - 3/22 2002

Ramon,

First, your idea is great! The original and the best!
Second, Australia is a BIG place, with sooooo much great stuff to see. So make sure you don't hang around too long in the same area or in boring places - get moving, and see all Australia has to offer! Make sure you make it to the Top End, Tasmania, WA and New Zealand ... sorry, I forgot for a moment that it's not just the eastern-most state of Australia! Honestly, though, any *gutsy* traveller will make sure they really get around, without leaving big things unseen. The BIG things may actually also be the LITTLE things - you never know! It's a bigger task than you think to travel around this Great Southern Land - do yourself a favour and make sure you do it right! Give yourself time, before you burn out! So, like I say, get moving man!
Third, I love your travel/stay 'Ethics Contract' with yourself - I can it into your reports! The day will come, though, when you are tempted to throw it in for a moment, and do something you'll regret. DON'T! Stay strong. I'm sure it takes a lot of energy to keep your standards high. If you get tired or tempted, 'Take 5 and 5' (take 5 steps back and just think for 5 minutes). Take breaks. When you come and stay with us, you can unwind, drink in nature, get away from the mad rush of the Western World and City Life, and ... RELAX! I'm sure you'll need it by then. If you need some counselling, we're here for you man!

Good luck, stay safe, and be happy! :-)

Cheers.


Name: sherina
City, Country: kl, malaysia
Sent: 1.07 PM - 3/21 2002

hi. fair enough ;-) i went to vote. some people have perhaps taken you seriously though as they opted for no.2 but hey, maybe they think it's funny as well.

don't know if this bit would be OT here, feel free to delete it it so. back in 1997 i came to know of this (23 year old then) french guy who started his travel from the hospital he was born in (outskirts of paris). he was to travel for 1000 days with a total amount of USD1000 around the world, and arrive back where he started new year of 2000. he was one of the first people i came to know online. i knew it when he left, and he left messages when he was in india volunteering at one of mother theresa's organisation. i also got an email when he was in malacca (malaysia), but i was on my own travel then. lost touch after that, and have no idea whether he made it. i hope so.


Name: sherina
City, Country: kl, malaysia
Sent: 12.44 PM - 3/21 2002

haven't had the time to read your reports, but the latest email that popped in my mailbox for the poll just cracked me up. why? well i just had a funny feeling when it was going to come to getting sponsors for the GF to travel as well - isn't that a bit much? shouldn't australia be quite affordable? i'd probably get bashed for this opinion, but it's just too 'funny'. i'm all for all the travels you've been doing though - so keep at it.

RAMON:
Don't misunderstand me, it is a question in a poll, which means I am just looking for opinions. It's not a fact that I am searching for a sponsor for Irena. It's not a fact that IF she comes this way, she will travel with me. Oh no, she has a life herself too! She is in the army and can go on leave for a little little while.... And of course it's funny, otherwise I would not have asked it ;-)


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 11.21 PM - 3/20 2002

Hi Ramon
Pleased to see that you are still having a brilliant time and being well looked after. It looks like you are receiving many invitations and getting good publicity, which should bring in even more invites.

My real reason for writing was to ask if you still have the "Let Me Stay For A Day Gift" from your present host to your next host?

RAMON:
The Gift-thing was worrying me too much as it is another thing for me to think about and there were certain times in the past that I just totally forgot about it. When the chain was broken several times, I didn't felt any need -personally- to restart it again. Sorry if I disappoint you.


Name: Ron
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 12.27 PM - 3/20 2002

By the amount of invitations Ramon received in Oz the Big Bang Party will be in 2004

So plenty of time to book your airtline ticket to Sydney


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, Netherlands
Sent: 3.34 AM - 3/20 2002

Brian, i WILL look you up when i get to SA. Even if the lmsfad team is jealous and don't come up with the details, i'll gues i will find you. :-)

Ron: If you get to talk to Channel 9, ask them to throw in a couple off tickets! I know some people from the Netherlands, SA, US, who would love to be a part of the BIG bang. Could be a nice item for Channel 9 :-)


Name: Janske
City, Country: Bergeijk, The Netherlands
Sent: 11.39 PM - 3/19 2002

To Brett, Brian and all other future members of the Board of Supporters!

Nice idea, it's good to see so many people supporting Ramon on his trips far away for us Dutchies... Now we know for certain he's not coming back real soon! ;) Somewhere it's relief to know he's not at his own...


Name: Crescent Songs
City, Country: EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, UK
Sent: 10.36 PM - 3/19 2002

Ramon,
Can you contribute to another site, namely ** www.gapyear.com **...; as a travel writer.
I think an approach would be met with approval, but that would depend on them and not just guesswork on our part .Just an idle thought, for what it's worth?
How are your legs holding out on these bitumen strip roads out in the Aussie Bush Country, or is it lifts all the way.
Seize the moment as is appropriate, Mate.
Try to get to PERTH, WA, if you haven't done that yet. You won't regret it, I promise you.
Best regards.
G & T.(Crescent Songs).
~#;¬{o>


Name: Ron
City, Country: Sydney
Sent: 1.03 PM - 3/19 2002

Well .........who knows lol
Ill have to talk to channel 9 first


Name: Ron (kanga) Roos
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 9.33 AM - 3/19 2002

When Ramon finishes his Oz experience there will be a big party in Sydney
We will invite all houseguest and sponsors.
He will go out with a BIG bang………

Ron
Dutch On-line promotions
Sydney
www.dutch.net.au

RAMON:
I even heard that Ron is going to pay the entire bill, haha!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.11 AM - 3/19 2002

Hi all

Where do I start? Martin, thanks for the invite and the offer. It would be fun to meet up with you guys there in Netherlands, the backup team, and of course, the Board of Supporters from all over.

Martin, and Bret, if you are ever in SA, then you MUST look me up. Ramon, Gerben, Munk, and the Team can give you my details. If they are not too jealous... :-)

I've just bought a house, and moved in last week. There is more space than there was when Ramon was here.

Bret, thanx for your compliment. Also, your comments about Munk and his team are so true. We must support them too. The backup team are like the producers and backstage staff in a TV show, movie, or theatre production. They are absolutely crucial, but virtually never seen.

Anyone for a beer?

Sala kahle

Brian


Name: João Paglione
City, Country: Coral springs, Florida
Sent: 5.00 AM - 3/19 2002

Hi Ramon!

I began to follow your website just before I planned a cross-country car trip from Florida to California. We drove a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle. Your website helped inspire us in a wierd way. I continued to read it when I lived in LA and always thought about starting my own travel site. Finally, I moved to New York after 9/11 (not what most people would do!) and worked there for a few months. During that time, I became even more active in internet travel sites. Eventually, I founded a travel community with a friend in Ecuador. It's called UNUM and it is latin for ALL. We post links to your site there and many of our members are also fans!!

Take care and good luck in Oz!!

Don't forget to stay with us when you are in Florida.

Joao Paglione


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, Netherlands
Sent: 2.07 AM - 3/19 2002

Bret and Brian:
You know you are welcome at Ramon's place when his 'project' is over (i gues he could go on for ever).
If that time comes, please let me know, i'll buy you guys a beer. Maybe 2.
One day i will go to SA and the USA.
Maybe i need a place to sleep ;-)


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.31 PM - 3/18 2002

Brian,
I'm coming to you if ever I need a mission statement. I support this mission statement 100%. :-) Maybe we should add. "We shall always support Ramons backup-team in good times as well as bad, and to send them kudos for their tremendous job."

Now if there is some way to buy the backup team a beer, or beverage of their choice. You know, just to smooth things out. We can't be upsetting the back up team. I'm open for suggestions.

As always, happy trails Ramon, always looking forward to your next report.
Brian, keep those good posts coming.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 12.24 PM - 3/18 2002

Hi all

Bret, I laughted at your description of us:- "Board Members"! Good one, Bret. Doesn't that seem odd, we know virtually nothing about each other, only that we all support Ramon and all he does.

Hail! The start of the Let-me-stay-for-a-day Board of Supporters. How about a mission statement? Mmmmmm, "Our mission is to support and encourage Ramon when it's needed, and even when it's not needed, and to defend his actions in the face of criticism." Sounds cool, hey! :-)

Keep going, Ramon, your reports are always facinating, always professional, and always entertaining.

RAMON:
Brian, members of my backup-team are getting jealous! They think I won't need them anymore soon. :-)


Name: Tom
City, Country: Hong Kong
Sent: 10.59 AM - 3/18 2002

I just read the article in the South China Morning Post magazine about you (it was published yesterday). Too bad you couldn't stay longer in Hong Kong, there is so much to see in this amazing city. I run a record label in Hong Kong and the same woman (Fionnualla) interviewed me awhile back for the SCMP.


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.35 AM - 3/15 2002

I really want to say thank you to Jan and Joke for including me in their post. I was quite tickled when I read it. You really are special people, and it shows throught that wonderful son of yours. Of course I'm not going to stop here, because I also want to give a shout out to my fellow board members, Sylvia, Joan, Brian, Donatella, Munk, Gerben (waiting for that report), and all others who's names escape me at this moment. It's good to see you all here.

To everyone else new to the board, as you can see there are some great people here who are sharing Ramons Adventure. Welcome and enjoy.

Munk,
You reported that your place is a dump? Ahhh, my friend, it is not a dump, it's a place where you put all you STUFF! See! now it's got some meaning to it. Personally I like Black and White, even though I'm a color printer. If you still use film as apposed to digital, and your looking for some neat effects, let me know. I know some neat processes. Take Care all, talk soon.

Bret

RAMON:
Bret, please contact me to get in contact with Munk to keep this board on-topic. Thanks.


Name: Genny
City, Country: Toronto, Canada
Sent: 12.45 AM - 3/15 2002

Small world! I know Stan Fung's sister! :)


Name: Mischa
City, Country: Zwolle, the Netherlands
Sent: 2.04 PM - 3/14 2002

I wonder what's wrong with those people that keep writing that your project sucks... I just took a quick tour down this messageboard, but they seem to appear every few days. Why bother, guys? There's plenty of room on the internet where jealous fellows like you don't get frustrated by another one's creativity...


Name: Janske
City, Country: Bergeijk, The Netherlands
Sent: 12.25 PM - 3/14 2002

God, I thought you were the blond one and I the brunette, but now it feels the other way around! Thanks anyway!


Name: Janske
City, Country: Bergeijk, The Netherlands
Sent: 11.16 AM - 3/14 2002

Oh so true, Martin! Although I know for sure where Ramon got it's idea for the worldtravel, now I wonder if he hadn't been able to go sooner if the K's Choice song had thesame impact on him then! Anyway, this is going to have to be his 'lijflied'! (Ramon, help me out, what's that in english?)

RAMON:
That's "life song", Janske. ;-)


Name: Martin
Hometown: Netherlands
Sent: 12.11 AM - 3/14 2002

K's Choice
Cocoon Crash (1998)
Everything for Free

I don't know who you are
But you seem very nice
So will you talk to me
Shall I tell you a story
Shall I tell you a dream
They think I'm crazy
But they don't know that I like it here
It's nice in here, I get everything for free

Have you been here before
Shall I show you around
It's very pretty
Have you come here to stay
Well, you sure picked a day
My name is Billy
It's my birthday, you're invited to my party down the hall

Where I go, what I'll become or who I am or what I'll be
I'll never know, but I am sure that I'll get everything for free

I'm not troubled or sad
I'm just ready for bed
It's been a long day
Before they switch off the lights
It truly was a delight
They think I'm crazy
But they don't know that I like it here
It's nice in here

Where I go, what I'll become or who I am or what I'll be
I'll never know, but I am sure that I'll get everything for free

Where I go, what I'll become or who I am or what I'll be
I'll never know, but I am sure that I'll get everything for free
Everything for free

I don't know who you are
But you seem very nice
So will you talk to me
Have you been here before
Well, you sure picked a day
They think I'm crazy

I don't know why, but this my favorite song by the Belgium band K's choice. Everytime i hear it i think about Ramon and his project.
Happy birthday to your website and i hope there will be some more candles on the cake..

Cheers mate!

RAMON:
Listen to K's Choice online or visit their website at www.kschoice.com.


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 11.49 PM - 3/13 2002

Hello to everyone down in Oz!
If you haven't yet invited Ramon to stay with you for a day, you are missing out on sharing his 'Great Adventure'. He is great company and you immediately feel a great fondness for Ramon and also very protective of him and it is sad to see him go after what seems to be far too short a visit of just one day.
Go on, invite Ramon, otherwise you will miss out!


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 11.32 PM - 3/13 2002

Hi Brian, Bret, Donatella, Sylvia, and everyone. It's great to be back and seeing all the familiar folks again, and new folks too. And of course enjoying Ramon's travels, journals, meeting his hosts and hostesses, and seeing the great pictures. I have found myself going back and "retraveling" to some of the previous places again this past week, refreshing my memory with the great South Africa trip and pictures.

Good luck Ramon, travel happy and safe. Take care everyone. Enjoy the ride. :-)
Joan


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 10.05 PM - 3/13 2002

hello, I hope this message will be published, although it ain't that relevant to the website. I've read the previous messageboard and I just want to say a word to brian (from SA): welcome back to you, as well. here we are, "folks", ready to follow the new australian chapter!
thanks for publishing, donatella


Name: Genny
City, Country: Toronto, Canada
Sent: 8.57 PM - 3/13 2002

Ramon,
Great photos of the fog in the Blue Mtns. I had similar weather on my trip to the Blue Mtns when I was in Oz 1.5 years ago. People didn't believe me when I told them about the thick fog and now I will just point them to your website for proof! I'm also glad to see pictures of the Jenolan caves which we had to skip because of poor road visibility on my day trip to Katoomba.

Try not to miss New Zealand, Ramon. It's a lovely country. Don't forget to have some kiwi fruit while you're there. It tastes way better in NZ than anything that is exported.

Re: the question from Sue on 03/12, I found out from a tour of some limestone caves in Texas that living limestone formations turn black if they are touched because the oils and dirt from the skin are transferred to the limestone and form a barrier, preventing further growth of the formations. The scientific reason for the blackness wasn't entirely explained, but perhaps there is a chemical reaction between the oils and the impurities in the limestone which results in a darkening of the rock.


Name: Christian Ampt
City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Sent: 7.22 PM - 3/13 2002

You rock man. What a awesome idea. I think it is great to see that people do have a generous heart. Not just arond Christmas but in the middle of March. It is great to see so many people take you on board in Australia and I proud to say I am one of them. When you do come to stay I hope you come between April and September because I would like to take you to see the greatest game in the world at the greatest sporting venue in the world, Australian Football at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. A Essendon v Richmond or Carlton v Collingwood game would be great. The crouds are huge them days. A pack house of 80,000 - 90,000 screaming fans. It is a awesome site to see. Then there is actual game. Fast funning game with freaky goals, spectacular marks, smuthers, steal, punts and torpedos. You will love it. At half time we can enjoy a bear and a pie at half time. You are insperation Ramon. Enjoy your time in Australia and don't listen to any negative comments people try to dish out to you. Your awesome man!


Name: Pakize Kaya
City, Country: Ýzmir, Turkey
Sent: 3.29 PM - 3/13 2002

Hi Ramon, Where are you now? We are waiting you to come Turkey, it will be very exciting! Have a great journey.


Name: Janske
City, Country: Bergeijk, The Netherlands
Sent: 3.20 PM - 3/13 2002

Indeed, Brian, I'm also honoured te be in Jan and Joke's list, but the list might be longer, luckily for Ramon. He's still meeting people and his horizon is getting wider and wider. No photo on this website can tell how much.

Anyway, Ramon, congratulations with the first anniversary of your site, although I'm starting to believe it's going to be a neverending story! (Oh no! Not again! No more travels please, no more camera-crews, no more newspaper-articles! ;) Hihi!)


Name: Shawnnita Fairbairn
City, Country: Moranbah, Australia
Sent: 12.40 PM - 3/13 2002

Ramon, I think that what you are doing shows that there are many wonderful and good hearted people in this world! Good for you for bringing it out in them!! Thanks!


Name: Harold
City, Country: OZ
Sent: 12.20 PM - 3/13 2002

You have really got it all together, Had the guts to
go out and do what most of us don't. your tales are
great, And that Camera does a pretty good job. Or
is it the driver ? Good on you mate, keep on doing it.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.45 AM - 3/13 2002

Hi Ramon

Firstly, happy birthday to your website. Yes, others have said it, but it's an honest sentiment.

Secondly, a great big huge thank you to Jan and Joke for including me in that special list. Especially after I tried to feed you with something that you don't eat! :-)

And, wow! I understand what you mean about Australia reminding you of South Africa. We all get to see the Sydney Harbour photos, but we don't normally see the stunning places that you have shown us on your website.

Australia really is beautiful. And they have better cricket players than we do. :-( We won't talk about Super 12...

Ramon, you are still widening our horisons, and opening up our minds, to see other cultures, other countries, and other scenes, that we are never able to see in tourist brochures. Your reports are the facts, not the glory.

An equally great huge thank you must go to you for being as objective as you can. It's really cool to see such incredible journalism.

Then there are the backup team. Munk, Gerben, and the others, keep up the hard work. Keep your friend out there, but in touch with you guys.

Jeez, that sounds like a speech! Aaarrrrggghhhh!!!!

All the best

Brian


Name: Ann-Maree
City, Country: Darwin, Australia
Sent: 5.42 AM - 3/13 2002

Good for you Ramon, hope we get to see you up here in the Top End. I think what you are doing is fantastic - who knows - you could spawn a whole new generation of free travellers ?

Don't listen to the whingers - they'd grizzle if their arse was on fire ! Bloody Australians.


Name: Grant
City, Country: sydney Australia
Sent: 4.16 AM - 3/13 2002

Hey Ramon, I hope you have a fantastic time here in Oz. it's such an amazing journey that your doing, I'm so jealous. The wed site is great.
cheers


Name: Sylvia (lucky being past host)!
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 2.00 AM - 3/13 2002

Hi Ramon
"Happy Birthday - Happy Birthday - Happy Birthday" and well done on your first year of "LetMeStayForADay.Com" web site. What a brilliant time you are going to be having down in Australia. Thanks to your mum and dad for the mention! Jan and Joke, you must be so proud of Ramon and it is good that we all feel part of your extended family. I can't wait for the Book at the end of his travels!
Lots of love
Sylvia and Family xxx


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.07 AM - 3/13 2002

hello ramon, let me say "happy birthday" to your website! I've seen the pictures of your latest report.. you lucky! such a marvellous places, amazing landscapes (especially the blue river). thanks to your parents of mentioning me, among the others; I think they should be proud, even only for your risky "bridge climbing"...
enjoy the adventure! ciao, donatella


Name: Jan & Joke Stoppelenburg
City, Country: Ouderkerk a/d IJssel
Sent: 9.11 PM - 3/12 2002

We as parents of Ramon enjoy the stories and pics from Ramon of course also very much. But we also enjoy the messageboard with messages of all those members of the lmsfad-family. as Bret, Brian, Janske, Sylvia, Gerben, Anna, Donatelle and all the others. We hope that you all will enjoy again the stories and photographs which Ramon shows us and will give him support in heavy wheather


Name: Sue
City, Country: California
Sent: 8.50 PM - 3/12 2002

1. Thanks to Channel 9 for arranging your tour of the Blue Mountains and the caves! These wonderful photos have certainly expanded my appreciation for Australia's natural beauty! 2. Thanks for the close-ups you included on some of your tour shots. 3. Why will the crystals (in the cave) turn black forever if you touch them?


Name: Rhonda
City, Country: Gold Coast. Australia.
Sent: 2.42 PM - 3/12 2002

Welcome to Australia Ramon! I heard about your journey
tonight from a friend who saw the program on TV. He has invited you to his home and I say Welcome! Enjoy! The majority of us are ok. Don't let the Turkeys get you down Lovey. I'm sure there are idiots in every country you go to. Stay Safe.


Name: Daryn
City, Country: Johannesburg, South Africa
Sent: 1.51 PM - 3/12 2002

Ramon, fantastic buddy, absolutely fantastic.
I'm on my own 2 year travel program and am completely blown away by how great your project is and how successful it has become.
I am in Sydney now and saw the excerpt about you on Channel 9, I thought you came off brilliantly and it was just unfortunate that the interviewer (or her producer) tried to portray you as a freeloader. I thought it was pathetic trying to get you to say you're lazy and don't want to work.
What these people have to realize is that you'd need to work for 6 months to travel for 6 months and that's valuable time wasted, You've generated one way of getting around that and you deserve more respect than I can give.
What the interviewer and her producer should realise is that you work just as hard as them. The amount of time and effort put into your website is astounding and having the commitment to write entries each day is tough as well. You have brought a lot of publicity to small companies who have gained just as much as you.
Congrats and good luck for the rest of your travels.

Dazza


Name: Janske
City, Country: Bergeijk, The Netherlands
Sent: 1.36 PM - 3/12 2002

Munk, Don't beg.... you can easily buy your curtains!

Ramon, well, what's that for a welcome in Australia? Thought that people were nice overthere, but now I'm doubting... Relax, as soon as they know who you are, they understand the idea, and they'll be happy to have you over. (But, as Miek said, just for a day or two! ;) Hahaha ). Good luck, hear from you soon!


Name: Dogsy
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 1.34 PM - 3/12 2002

What are these w..kers (would prefer to use the F... word)saying. They are obviously not real Australians. You'll find any real Aussie would be quite happy to give you a beer in exchange for a good old yarn at the pub or around the Barbie!!! There's nuthin' more that your good old aussie fella or Lady like's than a free Beer/Beverage (Free Piss!!!). Your trip is just an extention of that desire for the good old freebie!!!. Maybe you like travelling more than beer, I dunno!!!
Good On ya dude, watch out for those A...holes out there, coz there's plenty of 'em!!!
Hey maybe you buy me a beer and I tell you a story!!! Ha no wukas


Name: Munk
Sent: 1.07 PM - 3/12 2002

Well, at least Ramon's photo does not show what kind of a dump I'm living in. O, and by the way, the awful curtains in the background have been discarded. I don't have new ones yet, though...


Name: David & Ivan
City, Country: Brisbane, Australia
Sent: 11.06 AM - 3/12 2002

I think you have come up with the idea that everyone else wishes they had. You will be the most talked about guy in our country for a while. We wish you every sucess with your travels and hope that all this negativity is not being relayed any where other than on your website. Australia is not known for it.
I hope you decide to come and stay with us and we will take you 4WD along the beach. One that you will never forget.
I wish I had the guts to do what your doing.
Good on ya mate!
D I


Name: Munk
Sent: 10.10 AM - 3/12 2002

Hey Bret,

Photography's coming along fine, I prefer colour. Just started another project with two friends. Next week also session for some aerial pictures for newspapers in the area. And yes, I didn't think anyone would remember. Have some great shots on Ramon too, but that's a different story... :)

RAMON:
Haha! Me first with one with Munk


Name: Brendan
City, Country: Canberra Australia
Sent: 7.27 AM - 3/12 2002

how do you do it man


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 7.12 AM - 3/12 2002

Hi Ramon

Jeez! Oz really is a country of contrasts. Some love you, some hate you! Hey guys, relax. Get over your jealousy. Ramon is a wonderful, friendly, and honest man, I know, I hosted him for a couple of days.

Ramon, it is hard to describe the feelings when I visit your website. Nostalgia? In a strange sort of way, I s'pose that's the best word.

It is good to read your stories, and see your photographs. And it's good to see all your fans, our friends from your website. Donatella, Bret, Sylvia, Joan, and all the others. Welcome back, folk.

Ramon, I'm truly impressed with your comments about how some places over there remind you of some places over here in SA. Did SA make such a good impression on you? I hope so. Perhaps one day, when your project is done, you'll bring Irena here, and show her our country.

Keep well, Ramon, and keep as friendly, honest, and loyal as you were here in Durban. To the ozzies, look after our hero, guys!

Hamba kahle.

Brian


Name: Simon
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 2.57 AM - 3/12 2002

Hi Ramon,

As a foreigner who has just applied for Permanent Residency in Australia, I am actually quite horrified by some of the abuses you have to put up with from certain Australians. I don't see your project as 'free-loading', or 'lazy'. It is a matter of perspective, and a matter of looking at it from a positive point of view. Some people feel 'used' and 'threatened' by the fact that you do not have to pay for anything because they regard this as unfair TO THEM. I suppose it hits too close to home for Australians as far as 'dole-bluggers' are concerned. However, I see your action as something brilliantly refreshing, simply because you DO NOT FORCE anyone to do anything, or to give you anything. Unlike bludgers who constantly rely on tax-payers' hard-earned money, YOU GIVE US THE CHOICE.

I remember the segment on Channel Nine when the female interviewer asked if she has to pay for your lunch at the lunch bar, and you said, "If you want to." She agreed. I don't see that as an obligation, but just a decision instigated by a freedom of choice.

Ramon, you are an instrument for self-reflection, human goodness and decency. By being who you are and what you do, we as a community of strangers are forced to look within ourselves to see just how comfortable we are to 'open doors to strangers' and to welcome them with love and compassion, and the desire to share, learn and experience. Every person who has given positive feedback here, and who has open their doors to you, deserves credit for being able to show any signs of love and encouragement admist a world of bitterness, jealousy and anger.

Ramon, you are always welcome at our place should you ever come to Perth. Australia has become my second home, next to Singapore. I want it to be as close to home for you too.

Best wishes, and all the best, Simon


Name: Scott
City, Country: Woolgoolga Australia
Sent: 2.21 AM - 3/12 2002

I reakon you should come visit coffs harbour as we are between brisbane and sydney and offer the best beaches in the world. We also have the Big Banana and trust me its worth a look as its a great icon. then 30km norht is woolgoolga where i live and we have beaches and the indian temple with our on version on the RAJ MAHAL. Woolgoolga has the largest population of indians outside india and you wouldnt know it as there arent a billion of them walking around. Woolgoolga or Woopi as the locals call it is a great little town.ome visit it.
Thanks and good luck SCOTT go_scottie@hotmail.com


Name: Scott
City, Country: Woolgoolga Australia
Sent: 2.20 AM - 3/12 2002

I reakon you should come visit coffs harbour as we are between brisbane and sydney and offer the best beaches in the world. We also have the Big Banana and trust me its worth a look as its a great icon. then 30km norht is woolgoolga where i live and we have beaches and the indian temple with our on version on the RAJ MAHAL. Woolgoolga has the largest population of indians outside india and you wouldnt know it as there arent a billion of them walking around. Woolgoolga or Woopi as the locals call it is a great little town.ome visit it.
Thanks and good luck SCOTT


Name: Peter Power
City, Country: ppfiteam@primus.com.au
Sent: 1.48 AM - 3/12 2002

go home you freeloader !


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, The Netherlands
Sent: 1.38 AM - 3/12 2002

Fran: You made a good point. But, maybe Ramon will do that thing you are looking for? His project is a challenge for all of us; would you open the door to a complete stranger?


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.17 PM - 3/11 2002

Ramon, by the looks of the message board you have officially landed in Australia. I have a cousin somewhere in Australia, so I'm trying to get the word out to give you an invite.

Dana,
Tell your mum to check Ramons site out and some of his reports from all around. She'll soon realize what a great guy he is, and easy to accomadate.

Munk,
Hows the photography going? And you thought nobody would remember. What's your favorite, color or Black and White?

To all our new board members from OZ, WELCOME! Keep it pleasant or Ramon will have his way with you. Hahahah. Take Care, looking forward to hearing from more of you all.


Name: fran
City, Country: australia
Sent: 10.58 PM - 3/11 2002

I am disappointed fellow Australians won't be so generous to help out our own homeless people by letting them 'stay for a day'. Then again, it's more aesthetically pleasing to help anglo saxon's I suppose. Don't get me wrong, Ramon is on to a good rort, but we should be helping our own first.


Name: Dana
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 10.22 PM - 3/11 2002

Ramon I think you are the greatest most inspiring person, I wish I had the guts to travel at other peoples expense. I want ot have you stay but my mum said no. Any way good luck on the rest of your trip!!


Name: Chris
City, Country: Austin, TX USA
Sent: 8.32 PM - 3/11 2002

Ramon, I'm glad to see you have resumed your travels. I missed being able to read of your adventures. I'm quite an old lady in your book I'm sure, being in my fifties and with sons your age. I just wish I'd had the internet and your imagination when I was young like you! Now who knows? Maybe you will inspire some old babyboomers like me to go have some more adventures! There's only one thing my motherly self would urge you, and that's to please at least try not to publicly thumb your nose at anybody's laws. I mean especially the remark about the hitchhiking. Of course, if something is prohibited by law, you wouldn't ever think of doing it, now would you (wink wink)? I'm sure you get my point .... Be safe and continue to have a good time and keep telling good stories so the rest of us can keep vicariously enjoying your adventures!


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, Netherlands
Sent: 5.25 PM - 3/11 2002

W@SP: Who needs a job when you get it all for free?

Cheers Ramon!


Name: W@SP
City, Country: AUSTRALIA
Sent: 4.51 PM - 3/11 2002

HEY MAN U BETTER GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER !! GET A HAIR CUT AND GET A REAL JOB !!

ONE DAY YOUR WEBSITE MIGHT BE HTTP://WWW.HOWTOGETMURDEREDBYBEINGSTUPID.COM

BE CAREFUL LOTS OF CRAZY PEOPLE OUT THERE

ADIOS AMIGOS - GOODLUCK WITH THE REST OF YOUR TRAVELS


Name: Anne
City, Country: Perth, West Oz :)
Sent: 4.31 PM - 3/11 2002

I think that what you are doing is great and to all the people who are saying all those aweful things : it makes me ashamed of being an Ozzie, but you must all be jealous that you didn't think of doing this before Ramon did!!

Good onya Ramon, Enjoy every minute of this GREAT country of ours!!

If you ever get across to the West, you are MOST WELCOME to spend a day or a week with us!!! Voor niks!!
We wish you safe travelling.

Cheers mate!
Anne :)


Name: Mick
City, Country: Darwin, Australia
Sent: 4.02 PM - 3/11 2002

Excellent !!! you must be having a great time travelling, meeting great people..
Any chance of coming to Darwin?
Keep up the great travelling bug, keep safe..


Name: Jaimes
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 3.30 PM - 3/11 2002

mate - you are a living legend !!!

if you ever make it across to Perth, I'll buy you a beer ... keep up the great "work"

cheers!


Name: Chantal
City, Country: Zwolle
Sent: 2.42 PM - 3/11 2002

Don't get homesick!!Because at home they miss you just as much!!!!


Name: Melanie
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 2.19 PM - 3/11 2002

G'day! I just saw your segment on A Current Affair. I think what you are doing is unreal. Hope you have a wonderful trip!!!


Name: Ross
City, Country: Brisbane Australia
Sent: 2.05 PM - 3/11 2002

I was surprised and disappointed to read a number of emails from other Australians criticising Ramon for what he is doing .
This guy is being completely open and honest about what he is doing - no one is being ripped off or forced to accomodate him if they do not wish to .
Perhaps some of the knockers will realise (when they are old enough to travel without their parents ??)that reciprocal hospitality is one of the pleasures of back-packing ie some-one may accomodate you on your travels and you may have the opportunity to do the same for a fellow traveller .

RAMON:
Hi Ross, thanks for your reply. Fortunately some of the 'knockers' on this messageboard have been the same person and posted under different names. Good that I get to see who REALLY posts a message ;-)


Name: lily
City, Country: australia....northern territory
Sent: 1.58 PM - 3/11 2002

g'day ramon...i see you have no invites to the "topend" of oz...i live in darwin...a stones throw from kakadu etc......you are more than welcome to pop in, damper is fresh, beer is cold, weather is fine....we may even spot a croc or three!! it is "wet" season" here at present, so not really ideal time to visit. if u can hold off 'til after june, you won't be disappointed...the land of the "never never" has to be an integral part of any oz experience!!


Name: Bec
City, Country: Perth, Australia
Sent: 1.13 PM - 3/11 2002

Well, i'm sad to say that sometimes i feel ashamed to be the same nationality as the mindless, closed minded, selfish people on here bagging you. I am proud of our country and welcome anyone to spend time here. It is a fantastic place and Australians (most) will treat you with the respect you deserve for having thought of an idea like this and showing us that it isn't just money that gets us everywhere... You are a genius!! Just watch how many people follow your lead (probably some of the people bagging you on here!!!)

Enjoy our country...


Name: Sally
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 12.44 PM - 3/11 2002

Anyone who has anything bad to say is just jealous!! i think youre excellent, if i could do what youre doing i would do it without a second thought!! hope you receive the best of hospitality in australia and have fun!


Name: Matt Holme
City, Country: Brisbane, Australia
Sent: 12.33 PM - 3/11 2002

WELL DONE RAMON!
Do not listen to anyone who is bagging you for your excellent idea. They are obviously jealous, have a second rate job, and just can't stand it that someone else has thought of a terrific idea. It is obvious that the people who invite you to stay at their houses are genuinely wanting to meet you. You're not only giving yourself a great experience, but you're obviously becoming quite a celebrity. You'll probably make quite a profit from your idea in the future. I hope you do, because you deserve it for the terrific idea.

And to the people who are giving you crap... I'm sure Ramon is happy with you. You're visiting his site, and making it very interesting. This means the hits are increasing... they'll be more publicity, and inturn Ramon can find himself more sponsors and therefore go on more trips. Well done guys!

Congratulations Ramon, keep it up!


Name: Spencer
City, Country: New Zealand
Sent: 12.11 PM - 3/11 2002

... well Inez, you visited the website so you were obviously affected by the news article.


Name: Inez
City, Country: Leiden, the Netherlands
Sent: 12.06 PM - 3/11 2002

Gosh...are all these messages because of the item on Channel 9 about Ramon? Please go and get a life like Munk said. You all have obviously not understood what Ranon's project is about.. it's pathetic!


Name: Mike
City, Country: Ballarat
Sent: 12.04 PM - 3/11 2002

Well done,
I watched you on Tv. and said I wish I thought of that when I was younger. Keep up the good work.


Name: Brett
City, Country: New Zealand
Sent: 12.03 PM - 3/11 2002

It seems that some of the poor skippy australian poofs dont like your idea Ramon, I think its because they are too slow to think of the idea themselves. Being a country formed by evicted convicts I find their comments about you being a cheep bastard funny.I on the other hand say well done & good luck to you!!


Name: Kristy
City, Country: Australia
Sent: 12.02 PM - 3/11 2002

You're a geneous. This idea is great and it is working which is the best thing about it. I hope you are enjoying your travels. I plan to travel but it is still impossible for me to do so because I want to achieve my year 12 certificate. ENJOY!!!!


Name: Munk
City, Country: Zwolle
Sent: 11.23 AM - 3/11 2002

Well, well. Some poor people seem to be wasting their precious time, telling somebody they do not know at all, what they think of him BY TYPING AN ANONYMOUS POSTING IN A MESSAGEBOARD. Get a life! Ramon certainly has one...


Name: theo the great
City, Country: melb
Sent: 11.06 AM - 3/11 2002

you really sucked in a lot of people.get out of my country and do'nt EVER come back. you are using people and you deserve to be locked up.you are a lazy morron,and i hope u get lost for good.get lost and earn you money like us normal working people then travel the world you scum.


Name: Jack
City, Country: Melbourne
Sent: 10.37 AM - 3/11 2002

The idea is stupid. The concept is dumb. Your website is boring as hell. You have really sucked in a lot of people. To see the world and have some other poor bastard pay for it, well all I can say is BRILLIANT. P.S. Who will read your book - your English is terrible!


Name: Dan
City, Country: QLD
Sent: 10.28 AM - 3/11 2002

Ramon surely Australia is not the only country where you have to pay for internet time.
You seem to be hung up on this issue of paying for things.poor you .somethings in life you have to pay for
regards
dan

RAMON:
Fortunately my webproject doesn't rely on people like you Dan, then I'd be home within a week. And fortunately some people have a sense of humor, you don't, Dan.


Name: Lynda
City, Country: Gympie, Queensland
Sent: 10.28 AM - 3/11 2002

What a way to see the world. Have a great time in Australia!


Name: Ron
City, Country: Sydney Down Under
Sent: 10.17 AM - 3/11 2002

Hi Ramon
Welcome to Oz
Have a wondefull time and enjoy your stay in Oz.
I put your site on our Dutch website in Oz
www.dutch.net.au
Dutch On-Line Promotions Sydney


Name: Dan
City, Country: Newcastle, Australia
Sent: 10.12 AM - 3/11 2002

Hey Ramon,
Good on ya mate, Anyone who says your a cheap bastard is just gealous that they didn't think of your idea 1st, Goodluck on ya adventures and take care....


Name: Ken
City, Country: Brisbane Australia
Sent: 9.56 AM - 3/11 2002

When Ramon has finished his trip he can always become a Member Of Parliament as would have the experience to free load off people just like Members of Parliament.


Name: Inez
City, Country: Leiden, the Netherlands
Sent: 9.25 AM - 3/11 2002

Hi Ramon,

Great reports, great pics. You even took pics in the hospital! It looks all too familiar to me.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Inez


Name: Evert
City, Country: Wageningen, The Netherlands
Sent: 9.13 AM - 3/11 2002

Hi Ramon,
Congratulations that it is a year ago that you started this project!!!!
Tomorrow, it is exactly a year ago that I read about your project on the dutch news-website nu.nl http://nu.nl/document?n=27702 . Since then I surfed often to your website and read most of your reports.
You did not only had the idea for this project, but you also realised it. So I am very proud on you.
Good luck for the coming months and I will follow you in my heart.


Name: Jill Henderson
City, Country: NZ
Sent: 4.37 AM - 3/11 2002

Hi Ramon,

It certainly was inspiring to meet you on Saturday on the four wheel drive, I really enjoyed listening to you and learning about your endeavours throughout the world.

I have always been interested in people from other cultures, I suppose that's why in the 50's when all the other little girls got blonde blue eyed walkie talkie dolls for Christmas I ordered a black doll. Then there was the time spent corresponding with penfriends hence Helen.

Good on you, enjoy yourself. I believe people make their own luck, and you certainly have!

At this stage we can't offer you a bed, only floor space, as we are full up in our temporary accommodation, but would love to take you out to dinner
whilst you are in Sydney and show you another side of the city.

Cheers!


Name: Terry Ross
City, Country: Sydney, Australia
Sent: 4.35 AM - 3/11 2002

Hello Ramon.
I just finished going through your web page and I'm very impressed at how thorough you are with details. Your photos are great and add a nice touch. To have spent just 2 days with you was a fantastic experience and to see the photos enhances some great memories. It would be great to see you before you leave Oz, you can contact me if you need a bed and a good meal. Have a great stay in our marvelous country and thanks again for letting us be a part of your journey.

Terry....the Channel 9 cameraman.


Name: Angela Oliphant
City, Country: Brisbane
Sent: 1.09 AM - 3/11 2002

Hey there Ramon, we are looking forward to you making your trip up to sunny Brisbane, there are great places to see including the Croc Hunter.... Be sure to stop in for a drink or to...
Cheers (mate) Angie :)


Name: Sylvia (past host)
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 6.57 PM - 3/9 2002

Hi Ramon
It is great to be able to check out your daily reports and brilliant pictures once again as we follow your journey down under! Have lots of fun.
Love
Sylvia and Family xx


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 3.14 AM - 3/9 2002

Gosh Ramon, welcome back. It was great reading your recent posts and seeing the photos you take again. Once again, I am hooked and will be checking daily, to travel with you. :-) We've missed you, but understand the much needed break you took. When I travel for just a few weeks at a time I am anxious to get home. I can only imagine how hard this is for you at times, as well as being exciting and enjoyable and educational.

Take care, and best of luck in Australia. It was wonderful that you had the opportunity to experience Hong Kong if only for an afternoon. Loved the photos! Even the ones on the plane! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks again for all you do. You are remarkable!
Cheers,
Joan


Name: Joan
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.16 AM - 3/9 2002

Hi Ramon,

Great to see you are off on your travels again. Best of luck.

I have a question about the message board sorting. I can't remember how it was before, I have not checked since you went on vacation. It seems it would be easier if the messages were in chronological order, versus most recent first. It makes one have to read from bottom to top, scrolling up instead of the "natural" scrolling down, reading down.

Just a thought, it seems the most recent should be at the bottom of the lists, and on the last page. :-) It's hard reading backwards. Is there an option to sort chronological versus reverse chronological?

Thanks, and Have fun, good luck,
Joan


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 11.04 PM - 3/8 2002

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Ramons Back!
Looking forward to all the reports.

Ramon, I still think it would be cool if you had Gerben write a report every now and then. Call it something like "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" by Gerben. Just a thought. Good to see you back. Happy Trails.


Name: Sue
City, Country: California
Sent: 9.19 PM - 3/8 2002

"Off and running"!!! It feels wonderful to be "traveling" again--thanks to Let Me Stay For A Day! I have even more admiration for you now, because you took the time to renew your friendships, and to strengthen your love ties with Irena! A real man listens to his heart and learns how to balance his life with love, friendships, and adventure! Please take as many "vacations" as you need and we'll follow you to the ends of the earth! Many hearts travel with you!


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, Netherlands
Sent: 12.28 PM - 3/8 2002

Great reports and pictures, like always!
Did Telstra become a sponsor allready? :-)
I was wondering; since there are a lot of Dutch people or people with Dutch blood Down Under, did you get invitations by them?

Cheers and happy travels.


Name: me
Sent: 12.00 PM - 3/8 2002

Hope you meet the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin!
He was in the States a few days ago.

RAMON:
Haha, guess who is back in Australia this week... Contacts are being made!


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.15 AM - 3/8 2002

sorry, I forgot: just for curiosity, how did you feel being "on the road" again after some months?
best wishes, donatella

RAMON:
It feels strange. Suddenly I walked unexpectedly in Hong Kong City and even more suddenly for my body conditions I was in Sydney. And with the media hunting me the first week here, it feels I haven't really started yet...


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.10 AM - 3/8 2002

hello ramon, I haven't been lookin' at your website for such a long time..at last now I'm not that busy at university so I've taken a glance at the latest messageboard. so now it's up to australia? I wish you a good stay there and.. be careful: don't forget the laptop nor the mobile phone..
ciao, donatella


Name: Inez
City, Country: Leiden, the Netherlands
Sent: 1.37 PM - 3/7 2002

Hi Ramon

I can't wait to read and see your reports about your ozzie adventure! And I hope you didn't cause my lovely friend the shock of her life showing up at her doorstep armed by camera's! But knowing her she coped perfectly with that.
Strange thing eh, that internet is so expensive in Oz? I mean, it's not exactly a third world country???
You should go to the hospital library, it's for free there.

RAMON:
Unfortunately public internet is mostly outdated and locked up - as anywhere I think. A library mostly offers internet only, no word-processing or floppy-disk drive possibillity... I am just waiting for an answer from Australian's biggest internet company Telstra.com.au.


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.09 AM - 3/7 2002

Hi Gerben

That wine you mentioned, I'll swop. I'll take the French wine, and I'll give you a good bottle of SA wine. What say U?

To all of Ramon's supporters and fans, I hope to see you all back on the messageboard again.

Brian

RAMON:
Brian, you know that only you, my friends and me visit this messageboard, haha!


Name: Martin
City, Country: Roden, The Netherlands
Sent: 8.15 PM - 3/6 2002

No reports and pictures yet, i gues he's busy with the media like television, radio, newspapers :-) Maybe a little jetlag? :-)
Anyhow, i'll be watching this site the coming months and i'll wish you the best of luck!

Cheers mate!

RAMON:
Hi Martin!It took me quite a while to get from Amsterdam to Australia and I arrived Wednesday morning with an enormous jetlag. Indeed, the television (Channel 9) was following me the first days and now I am going for a good days rest.
The reports are written and the photos ready, but one fun thing: Australians know NO FREE INTERNET PROVIDERS. They have to pay for their account, pay per minute and even for the ammount of space they up- or download!
Strange country, but I am sure I'll get my stuff online soon. . .


Name: Janske
City, Country: Bergeijk, Netherlands
Sent: 6.38 PM - 3/6 2002

So he's gone... Some people thought it would never happen others will miss him... Fact is that a remarkable person has left and I don't have any doubts that he'll return... We'll follow him on his tour through Australia,wish the Australians a lot of fun (and strength ;) !!) and meet again, sometime, somewhere!


Name: Gerben
City, Country: Netherlands, Zwolle
Sent: 10.27 AM - 3/6 2002

And he's going, going, gone...

He almost forgot his passport. I'll bet you for a good bottle of wine that he'll loose his laptop and mobile somewhere along the way!

RAMON:
Hey Gerben, that bet: is that between you and me or between you and everybody who reads this website? It will cost you quite some bottles of good French wine, my friend ;-)


Name: Fabian
City, Country: Pembroke, Malta
Sent: 1.03 AM - 3/6 2002

Hello Ramon

I just read about your adventure in a magazine and decided to visit your site. It seems imoresive that you have managed to achieve so much in such a short time and at no expense at all. Hope you'll include Malta in your trip.


Name: Juan Carlos
City, Country: Margarita Island, Venezuela
Sent: 8.57 PM - 3/4 2002

I liked your website, Ramon... i think your website can help to me and other persons for to go to other countries. Continue your fantastic advertures...
Juan Carlos from a venezuelan paradise... Margarita Island


Name: Karen
City, Country: London, UK
Sent: 3.36 PM - 3/4 2002

Can't wait to check your site again every day for updates on your adventures!
Good luck!!!!


Name: Brian
City, Country: South Africa
Sent: 6.14 AM - 3/4 2002

Bon voyage, Ramon.

I wish you all the best, and may you always remember Irena. Munk, I'm proud that you chose wine from my small part of this huge world. It is indeed the best.

Now the messageboard will be filled with contributions from all your web friends again.

Do what you do best, Ramon, we are all behind you.

hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Susan
City, Country: Seattle, WA
Sent: 10.00 PM - 3/3 2002

You are an amazing inspirational person. I am looking forward to your Aussie adventures. Great that you have found Irena to share this experience with.
Take care and have fun down under!


Name: Munk
City, Country: Zwolle
Sent: 8.06 PM - 3/3 2002

It's the evening before the take off of Ramon's second leg of the trip that seems to have gained him a certain Internet fame. Irena's, who you may remember from the Barcelona Christmas report, is on her way to the army barracks in Breda again after she said goodbye to Ramon, who gavce her a boomerang as a symbol he would be back. Gerben is on his way over here from his parents in Nijmegen, where he and Mirjam have had a pleasant and peaceful day. Yes, they indeed fell in love (at last!). We'll have a very nice and probably South African wine tonight and bid him farewell for the next few months. Undoubtedly we'll meet again, proably in a city in Southern Europe again. We'll miss him. And we all wish you take care of him down under! He deserves it...


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver, USA
Sent: 10.13 AM - 3/3 2002

Hi!! Good luck in Oz, I think you will love the people and be close to FIJI!!!!!
:)


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Sent: 9.54 AM - 3/1 2002

Hi Ramon,

This is my third posting attempt. For some strange reason, while typing out my post using Opera, the message board disappears and I go back to your main page. Anyway, I'm back with IE. Great that you're off to Australia in a few days! I guess this means that I don't have to wait years before you reach this part of the world. =) Have a safe, comfortable trip (don't forget to take long walks on the plane to avoid DVT) and hope to hear about your adventures again!

Donatella, here's a belated 'buon compleanno!' to you. You share your birthday with my brother. =)

Oh, and does anybody know how long you have to roast cocoa seeds to make chocolate? Thanks!

Regards,
Sharlini

p/s: I noticed IE trying to go back to your main page too....hit the Stop button at the right time. Perhaps that's why there hasn't been many posters in the past few days?

RAMON:
Hi Sharlini, thanks for your writing. The guestbook will stay an external service to my website, say I can't always depend on a great service unless I pay for it ;-)
But I noticed that everything works, of course things can be different any time. But that's life all about...


Name: Sylvia (past host)
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 10.17 PM - 2/26 2002

Hi Ramon
Just to wish you all the best for your trip down under. I am looking forward to checking out your daily reports once more. Love to you and Irena.

Lots of love
Sylvia and Family xxx


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 8.23 PM - 2/26 2002

Looking forward to your down under journey. Happy Trails.


Name: Arnoud
City, Country: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sent: 6.44 PM - 2/26 2002

Have a very nice and safe trip, Ramon! I'll be watching you ;-)


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.31 AM - 2/25 2002

Hi Donatella

Just a short note to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you have a wonderful day, and everything happens as you want it to happen.

Brian


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.29 AM - 2/25 2002

Hi Ramon

I am looking forward to seeing your reports from 04 March to see what transpires with you in Oz. It should be interesting.

Watching with eager antici......PAtion.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Rita
City, Country: Den Haag- Nederland
Sent: 4.23 PM - 2/22 2002

Dear Ramon-Fantastic that you and Irena are lovers I hope you will be together for ever ! Do not let her go , so keep in touch with her when you are on the move .
I wish you both lot's of luck !


Name: Simon Darling
City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Sent: 3.10 PM - 2/22 2002

Ramon, i hope you realise you are a revolution and inspiration for millions of your generation.

i LOVE the concept of reaching out to the world and letting it come back with generosity.

You write wonderfully empathetically. You will inspire many many with a book when you're ready.


Name: Petra Sabjan
City, Country: Velika Gorica, Croatia
Sent: 1.26 PM - 2/22 2002

I just wanted to wish you a safe trip to Australia.
Enjoy yourself and have a great time.
And take care, off course.


Name: donatella
City, Country: milano, italy
Sent: 8.03 PM - 2/21 2002

hello ramon! it's great to read that you got reloaded and you' re starting a new adventure. in a certain way, you're starting it on the 25th, the day of my birthday.. it's senseless, but I wish it could bring you further luck, if possible! now I go back to my book ("diritto penitenziario".. it sounds like "the law in italian jails"..). enjoy your days at home before leaving!! I'm looking forward to read some news about your "odissea".
my best wishes,
ciao, donatella


Name: Connie
City, Country: USA
Sent: 2.52 AM - 2/20 2002

Ramon,
So happy to hear you will be traveling again. Australia is an excellent choice. Wonderful country and people. I'm sure you will had loads of hosts. Looking forward to your reports and pictures. Wishing you all the best and be safe. Peace.


Name: Coralie
City, Country: England
Sent: 8.46 PM - 2/14 2002

Hi Ramon
wowow Australia !! my Dave lived in Perth before he met me all those many moons ago .....I really look forward to seeing where you are going .....what great memoirs for your book/film!
take care......ps we have a new grandson now ...named Bradley ......3 weeks old !
((Hugs))
Coralie


Name: Annemarie
City, Country: zwolle, The Netherlands
Sent: 11.54 AM - 2/14 2002

Hey ramon
Finally going to OZ!! Great to hear that, I'll be leaving to go too but not until the second of august. I'll send you some more places to stay at in south australia though!
Hope to talk to you before you leave!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.41 AM - 2/14 2002

Hi Ramon

It's really great to hear that you are going to move again. Excellent news indeed. I hope the Oz folk are going to be as hospitable as the South Africans were. And, when they try to get you to support them in rugby, cricket, or anything else, please remember that SA is the only country to support. And the Stormers is the Super 12 team! :-)

Keep strong, Ramon, and don't let the likes of Deidre in Ireland get to you. People that talk like that are possibly jealous that they didn't think of the idea before you did.

You are laerning about life in a way that most of us have no clue about. We just plod along, and you are making the most of it.

Keep strong, and always remember Irena, she seems to be your soulmate. I truly hope that your romance lives long, you deserve a lady like Irena.

To quote John Lennon (I hope I get this right!), "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.". So long you actually do something, and don't just plan to do it, you are living. I wonder if Deidre understands this...

Keep strong, Ramon, and your loyal fans will keep supporting you.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 7.21 PM - 2/12 2002

Hi RS, glad you're still going to continue, but whatever you decide, it'll be the right choice. It's your life, your project and you're the one who decides if it continues or not. TV shows can go off the air, but you always have the memories and fantastic reruns. PS, yes, the site looks great!


Name: abass diop
City, Country: Dakar
Sent: 2.19 PM - 2/12 2002

I hold you in high esteem and I appreciate the way you move on.I suggest you to keep on organizing your projects and I hope your desires to be realized.Everything will be all right just be courageous!


Name: Michel
City, Country: Quebec
Sent: 8.04 PM - 2/11 2002

A small note. Your idea is equivalent to the Pet Rock, several years ago. Someone made millions selling rocks. Gloriously simple and highly effective, Brilliant. Congratulations.


Name: Acadia
City, Country: maine, USA
Sent: 1.45 AM - 2/11 2002

Wow, Deirdre, pretty harsh.

Who said Ramon gave up his journey? All indications thus far have pointed toward a restart of his travelling fairly soon. I'm sure the whole thing did not quite go as Ramon and his team thought it would and they are spending time rethinking some aspects of the project. (a bit of speculation there) If his log kept you interested, then how could it have possibly been a waste of time?

If for any reason Ramon does not go back on the road, then I still thank him for sharing his wonderful experiences on the web site.

RAMON:
History continues: I just don't seem to be able to go along with the Irish... HAHA!

But, thanks, Acadia, you are writing the right thing. Maybe Deidre is also one of those who complain at the TV-stations when her much loved TV-show is off-air for a season. She'll be telling all those TV-producers to GROW UP, because it isn't fair.

And, fortunately I still have a life next to traveling around through this website. And I just don't feel like writing about it that much - at the moment.

But things are progressing. My backup team and me are working on different plans so I can hit the road again. But this time a bit better.

Professional surfers may notice some changes in the website lately (everything is in PHP) and there will be some more to come.

Become a member of the mailinglist to stay up to date with the latest information, because I feel there is a mailing coming up very soon...


Name: Deirdre
City, Country: Ireland
Sent: 12.48 PM - 2/10 2002

RamonYou lasted 8 months, had an easy ride satying in hotels and such. Now you give up so easily, call yourself a backpacker. I am so sorry i followed your trip , it has wasted so much of my time and energy. You said you were going to travel for 4 years. Wake up and smell the coffee, get a job like the rest of us and GROW UP!!


Name: Andy White
City, Country: Bournemouth, England
Sent: 8.22 PM - 2/8 2002

Missing reading of your adventures. But remember that in life many things catch the eye and few things catch the heart. Follow your heart and if Irena fills your heart with joy then make the time for her as it will be worth it! Looking forward to reading more of your reports soon!

Take care,
Andy


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 7.59 PM - 2/7 2002

Hi Ramon
When are you planning to get going again and where will it be? Is your romance still going strong?
Good Luck!
Sylvia

RAMON:
I will be going on my leave again very soon, it all depends on a sponsor that will get me 'there'.
The romance is going great, Irena is a great lady.
You can expect a new update on the mailinglist next week.


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA,USA
Sent: 9.06 PM - 2/3 2002

Ramon, Thanks for revealing Mister Iran to us. It seems some of us are always coming to say sorry for the sheer stupidity of fellow countrymen. It is probably this same ignorance that has gotten us in the situation that we're in. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your continued travels.


Name: Sharlini
City, Country: Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Sent: 5.35 PM - 2/1 2002

Hey Ramon!

How's it going? It would be really cool if you could visit this part of the world, especially during Chinese New Year (Feb 12 & 13). You'd be brought to open houses and you'd be stuffed with lots of food! Malaysia is all about food! =)

Sharlini


Name: Martine
City, Country: The Netherlands
Sent: 1.03 AM - 1/31 2002

Ramon, congratulations with winning the DutchBloggies 2002 with the "Best Initiative of the Year"! Keep up the good work!


Name: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
City, Country: Axis of evil, Iran
Sent: 11.29 PM - 1/30 2002

Ramon please visit us. We feed you lamb stew.
We have many visitors coming from America soon.

RAMON:
Strange how Americans make fun of themselves. Mister from Iran, strange how you surf on a connection of Cox Communications, based in Atlanta, Georgia (US), not??? An e-mail has been sent out to them about your action...


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 5.56 AM - 1/29 2002

Hi Ramon

Just in case you thought we'd given up on you, we haven't. Your loyal and faithful fans still check up on your web page, not as often, but we still do visit.

There must be some thoughts going through your mind about whether or not your lovely lady will accompany you in chapter two of the Letmestayforaday.com adventure. And you say that you're going half way around the world?
Indonesia? Oz? Malaysia? Singapore? Hmmmm...

This will understandably be a huge decision, so we don't mind if you need some time to work it out. It's almost like having a family, I s'pose. You have to consider all involved before you just decide to go somewhere.

Quality takes time, and all of us, fans, followers, back-up, sponsors, and you, all appreciate a good quality project. So, we are happy to wait.

I'll be watching carefully...

sala kahle

Brian

RAMON:
Don't worry, Brian, I will be on the road very soon. And of course, without Irena, because it's LetMEstayforaday and I just can't create myself a family and travel. This is a great project that I will finish anyway.
Fortunately Irena and I go along very very good and also she has her ambitions. While she does her things, I'll do mine and we'll keep very close contact. Wherever I might go, she might come over for a break... :-)


Name: Marc
City, Country: Barcelona Spain
Sent: 1.57 PM - 1/27 2002

Hi Ramon!how are you?
today i have seen your web on Tv and i decided to visit your web.I thing that your travell is amazing, have you ben i barcelona?I hope it will like you, the people is very fun and the weather is really good!!!
I hope you will visit Gaudi's houses, the sagrada familia and Macba
I Wish you the best!!good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Name: Helena El Masri
City, Country: UK
Sent: 4.53 PM - 1/26 2002

Hi Ramon,

As promissed now and then I check on your progress and I was very happy to learn you are in love.

Follow your heart always and you will be happy!

Helena


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 7.21 AM - 1/25 2002

Hi Ramon! Glad to see you are still kickin' it. I am fantastically happy for you. I hope your next leg of your trip will be as or even more successful as the first and that all your dreams come true.

MJ


Name: Erwan
City, Country: Netherlands
Sent: 8.09 PM - 1/24 2002

Do u guys think Ramon should continue his travels where they stopped (Spain) or somewhere else ?

If somewehe else, where would you want him to go ? (most likely this should have to be some yet unvisited European country)

RAMON:
Honestly I can say that I had a very difficult time in Spain. The media>invitations-process didn't work out like in the other countries I've visited. But I can always go back and continue a southern Europe tour.
At this moment I am planning to get out of Europe again and make a long flight half around the world. But where? I don't know yet. But sponsors can tell me...


Name: Liam
City, Country: United Kingdom
Sent: 1.34 PM - 1/24 2002

Ramon,
You have proven your point with your journey to date. I appreciate the stresses you must have been through and perhaps you sould remould the project to simply visit each remaining country using a selection of the the submitted addresses (dare I say for more than one day!). You will still be the first to navigate the globe through this media and you might even hold on to your sanity


Name: alex cain
City, Country: milledgeville georgia USA
Sent: 7.31 AM - 1/20 2002

So many places, so much time. You should at least put a big toe in the U.S. before you end this.


Name: James
City, Country: Arnold, CA
Sent: 6.41 AM - 1/20 2002

Enjoyed Ramon alternates writing about the Christmas in Barcelona, but more about the view of Ramon from the outside. A different perspective. We learn about you Ramon from your writing, but we now have some inside ideas about you from your friends. Thanks. Thanks also for the continued sunset photos. the reflection in the windows was a nice twist on the theme.
James


Name: Jeanine
City, Country: Grahamstown, South Africa
Sent: 2.22 PM - 1/19 2002

Well ... glad to see you visit your own site during your break! :-) Geesh Ramon and the dutch site is also taking a break, there's absolutely nothing for me to do! :-) So .... I just hang around in empty space :-) How are you doing, enjoying your break back home in the company of family and friends and of course the beautiful Irena? I'm so happy for you, just what you needed ... have biiiiig fun, you of all people deserve that.
Go well ... and am looking forward to continue being your biggest fan :-)


Name: Jeanine
City, Country: Grahamstown, South Africa
Sent: 9.58 PM - 1/18 2002

So .... Ramon is taking a break and found love too with a gorgeous lady ... what do we do in the mean time? Any suggestions? Or have all the Ramon followers taken a break too? :-)

RAMON:
Go ahead, Jeanine! You deserve a break too... You even had me visiting your place in SA! :-)


Name: Munk
City, Country: Zwolle
Sent: 1.48 PM - 1/16 2002

Hi Dorion,

No, Ramon has not given up, that's for sure. And last year is only sixteen days ago, by the way. He's having a well-earned period of rest and relaxation after hurrying from place to place for seven months. I was at his place only yesterday, and believe me, he needed a break to continue the LetMeStayForADay adventure the way he wants to: enthousiastic, optimistic and making the most of it for not only himself, but most of all the people worldwide who read his daily reports. In short: Ramon has certainly not given up, he's reloading for the second part of his journeys.

RAMON:
Thanks Munk, for the clearification. Dorion, please know I have the latest news about LetMeStayForADay.com posted on the frontpage of this website and I keep people up to date through the mailinglist.


Name: Dorion Ozykowski
City, Country: Rainy River,Ontario,Canada
Sent: 12.30 PM - 1/16 2002

Was wonderin'whether Ramon has given up?Nothin'posted,since LAST year,and I get the feelin'that he's homesick,and no longer wants to continue.Am i right??


Name: Henk
City, Country: Zwolle
Sent: 9.58 AM - 1/15 2002

Nice, so will Zwolle be a famous place in the World!!!


Name: miranda
City, Country: china wuhan
Sent: 9.18 AM - 1/12 2002

well i am a high school student now,so i can't offer u a free trip to my city.but if u come here,i will be ur tour guide.and i want to do the same thing as u one day.


Name: Marjolein
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 9.09 PM - 1/11 2002

I just discovered this site today and I totally loved the entire concept!
Ramon, you are what we in Holland call een kei. A rock (of course you know what it means just translating for the rest of the people on the post) keep going with the flow and updating the site. Good luck with your travels! Groetjes! Marjolein


Name: Zoki
City, Country: Yugoslavia (USA now)
Sent: 10.49 AM - 1/11 2002

Oh how wonderful Christmas you had. I am glad you fell in love with her. Love is what makes us happy and what keeps this world moving.

See ya around

Zoran


Name: Connie
City, Country: USA
Sent: 1.57 AM - 1/10 2002

Ramon,
Way to go. Glad to hear you are so happy & in love. Enjoy your R&R and I look forward to reading some updates from time to time. Take care and all the best for a wonderful, happy, healthy 2002!!!


Name: kyongmi Chong
City, Country: Korea
Sent: 1.51 PM - 1/9 2002

Hi.Ramon
Your christmas stories are so moving:)
Have a good relax and Keeping going,,


Name: Allen
City, Country: San Jose, California, USA
Sent: 3.46 AM - 1/9 2002

When do you plan on doing the States, more precisely, the West Coast?


Name: donatella gazzoni
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 10.17 PM - 1/8 2002

Hi Ramon, at last I've read your latest news, and I've known that you're givin' up this adventure for a few time. Although I ain't one of your "personal friends", but I'd like to say that you've taken the right decision (this is just my opinion..): of course, following by the web someone who's trippin' around in such a particular conditions is interesting, and you become curious and curious (as you were watchin' a film, or something like that). But, above all, this is YOUR life and nobody could be disappointed because you decide about it (it's only up to you). I've followed your experience so far as you were a kind of "younger brother" (I'm 26, so we're almost the same age), and I'll keep on givin' a glance at this site now & then. I hope to find some news about you, but mostly I wish you good luck (with your newborn "love affair" - hope you've found your twin soul - and with your life!!). Relax and enjoy the moment. My best wishes and greetings!! CIAO, Donatella


Name: annemarie tissen
City, Country: alford, schotland
Sent: 7.19 PM - 1/8 2002

Irena, lucky girl!!
Take care for the both of you.
Annemarie


Name: Karen
City, Country: London
Sent: 12.12 PM - 1/8 2002

Ramon, I think you made the right decision to take some time off and reflect on all that has happened in the last 7,5 months. Good luck with your new love and I will definetely be checking your site every now and then to see what you are up to!


Name: Laurens
City, Country: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Sent: 11.40 AM - 1/8 2002

Hi Ramon!
I enjoyed reading your daily reports very much and I will sure miss them. But I hope you will have a great time back home. And I think I can speak for all of us if I say we all hope to hear from you soon again!


Name: L.S.O.M.
City, Country: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Sent: 9.23 AM - 1/8 2002

Ramon dear,

Its 2002! It takes 2 to make any relationship a success and one a failure. May the 9 fruits of that spirit be with you too. Bless you young man.

RAMON:
Hi LSOM. From the beginning I have problems understanding you, but this time I tried to get some help. Unfortunately the lady at my local fruitshop also didn't know anything about 9 spirits fruits, so the just gave me a pineapple. I hope that might help out too....


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 7.02 AM - 1/8 2002

Back again...

True friends are hard to find. I've just read the Christmas reports, and, well, there is a reflection of true friendship.

When Ramon was on the phone to his friends while he was at my place, I could see that these people were special to him. From the last few reports, this has become incredibly clear.

Ramon, you and your backup team are the epitome of friendship. It always pleases me to see people in the company of those dear to them.

Friendship: A relationship of mutual love, trust, and respect.

Brian


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.19 AM - 1/8 2002

Hi Ramon

Mmmmmm, free, what was it you said at my place? (Just kidding with you!) :-)

Congrats, mate! You are one ahead of me. It is great to see that you have met someone special, and I really hope that all works out nicely for you two.

Remember, you are the most important person in your life, and if this romance moves into something serious enough, then you may have to call it on your project. Do what is best for you, and don't break her heart just to continue.

Life is a mysterious thing that bowls curved balls all the time. A good man is one who can adapt to his changing environment and accept those curved balls at a moment's notice.

All the best, Ramon, we are all behind you.

Brian


Name: Sieto van der Heide
City, Country: Leeuwarden, Nehterlands
Sent: 2.17 PM - 1/7 2002

Hello Ramon,

Great to see you're taking a vacation. I think everybody sees you flying around the world thinking it's an 'all-time-holiday' thing, but I can imagine you need a break too, once in a while.

I'll look forward to the time when you do start traveling again, but until then; enjoy your time off!

Sieto van der Heide, aka 'var' in #letmestayforaday


Name: toeli
City, Country: los angeles
Sent: 7.40 AM - 1/7 2002

heard about you on npr. good story. coming to la anytime soon?


Name: Journo Jim
City, Country: Rostrevor, Northern Ireland
Sent: 8.10 PM - 1/5 2002

To Ramon (and all your online buddies),
Happy holidays and a wonderful New Year.
Ramon, you were my second favourite house guest in 2001 (after my daughter!) and I look forward to catching up with you somewhere in 2002. Good to hear that you're in love too. It may be difficult to resume travelling with l'amour in your heart, but it is good for you. I'm hoping all works out well! You are the Guardian's net personality of the year, by the way. It was announced in today's paper.
Catch you later, Jim.


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 7.25 PM - 1/5 2002

hi ramon! first of all.. HAPPY NEW YEAR! I haven't been looking at your website lately (I'm quite busy whit an exam at university.. when will it finish at all?..) and now I was surfing and I read this marvellous news: you've found someone to share your experience with! of course, I wish you all the best for your story, I think it'll give you new (precious!) energies and make more enjoyable your trip. have fun!! CIAO, donatella


Name: Sylvia (ex-host)
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 6.07 PM - 1/5 2002

Ramon
I have just had a look at your recent pictures and Irena looks gorgeous! I especially like the 'artistic' black/white close up of her on Dec 27, also the colour picture of her in the Santa hat.
I can't wait for the next instalment since she has flown back to be with you. Is she going to accompany you on your travels? Good Luck to both of you.


Name: Jasper
City, Country: The Natherlands...
Sent: 5.48 PM - 1/5 2002

Start a new project with your love...
"Let us stay for a day".com

Have fun! :)


Name: Jackie
City, Country: Ohio, USA
Sent: 12.26 AM - 1/5 2002

She is gorgeous Ramon and it will be time for you to settle down by the time you finish this trip. Good luck! Now what will you do? Have her come visit every now and then" Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Jackie


Name: Sandi
City, Country: Canada
Sent: 10.27 PM - 1/4 2002

Happy New Year to All!

. . . and congratulations, Ramon, for starting the new year "in love"! She looks like a very beautiful girl. I wish you all the best - enjoy for as long as it lasts!

I've been checking this website after the holiday season and was pleasantly surprised to see that Gerben was kind enough to keep us updated - thank you so much for your efforts! I hate to admit it, but I was feeling a little lost without my daily "fix". I've been following your travels since the beginning, and feel like I've come to know you and your many hosts.

I look forward to see what the new year will bring. Continued good luck in your travels!




Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 10.01 PM - 1/4 2002

Ramon
What exactly do you mean by "I fell in love"? Is it temporary or a permanent thing? How do you know it is love? Did you know her before? If it is real love, are you going to take Irena with you for the rest of your travels?


Name: Han de Man
City, Country: zwolle, netherlands
Sent: 4.18 PM - 1/3 2002

ill want to say its nice to read your name in the newspapers back home in zwolle. and i want to give the best wishes from HAN & DAWN + hear you soon!


Name: Nico
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 10.29 AM - 1/3 2002

Hi Ramon,
In today's newspaper (de Zwolsche Courant) is an article about you!
I got interested, and wanted to take a look at your site...
It's al way cool!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 6.22 AM - 1/3 2002

Hi all

Here's wishing each of you the best of the best for 2002. Ramon, keep up the incredible job you are doing.

Donatella, thanks for your message, it is appreciated. Maybe you are another kind person on The Messageboard.

Now, I'll start the slow process of catching up with all the reports I've missed in the last few weeks. It'll take a while, methinks. Been on holiday, you see...

Keep well, each of you

Brian


Name: Sandra
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 10.01 PM - 1/2 2002

Hi Ramon,
I just wanted to let you know that I admire what you are doing. I am adventurous as well and when I read all this I am kind of jealous. Keep up the good work and enjoy everything!

Sandra


Name: Richard Threehouse
City, Country: Bay City Mi USA
Sent: 9.46 PM - 1/2 2002

Just working on genealogy of my last lame Threehouse / Destroismaisons And ran a cross this page and so far what I seen it good If you ever need help in Michagin you can call on me

Dick Bay City Mi USA


Name: Gustavo
City, Country: Ushuaia, Argentina
Sent: 3.54 PM - 1/2 2002

If you come to visit Argentina and you come to patagonia, see visit to me in ushuaia, I have cybercafe that will be to your disposition without cost so that you can respond your messages
Happy New Year!
Gustavo


Name: Pam DeMonte
City, Country: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Sent: 7.44 PM - 1/1 2002

I may be a bit behind the others, but I do wish one and all a very happy New Year.
Health and Happiness for the year 2002, especially to you Ramon. How and where did you see in the new year?


Name: Bret
City, Country: CA, USA
Sent: 12.28 AM - 1/1 2002

Ramon and everyone else on the message board. Wishing you all the happiest of the New Year to come. Take Care.

Bret


Name: Marc Eigner
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 8.05 PM - 12/31 2001

Ramon,

Here one of a unknown relative from Holland, I haven't seen you for a while and actually this is the first time I'm visiting your website. Thing looking OK from my point of view. Keep on going and I want to wish you a very happy and more prospective 2002, secondly you get the king regards from Lisette (my wife).

See and keep going on.

Regards Marc Eigner


Name: Loran
City, Country: Holland
Sent: 7.19 PM - 12/31 2001

Everyone, all over the world:
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Wish you all the best.
In afection
Loran


Name: Coralie
City, Country: ENGLAND
Sent: 5.20 PM - 12/31 2001

Well , Ramon what a year ......so much has gone on this year September 11th ..I pray for you all...and wish you ALL a Very Happy New Year 2002 !!wonder what the next year will bring ? perhaps we should have a prophecy board!
much love
coralie


Name: Michael
City, Country: Seattle, USA
Sent: 4.19 PM - 12/31 2001

Sylvia,

You can find "The Doors Award 2001" news article at:
http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/article/0,,9015-2001584866,00.html
But you will need a Sunday Times password.
Also the full text of the article is shown in the graphic
on this site (main page).


Name: Sylvia
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 1.27 PM - 12/31 2001

Where can we read about "The Doors Award 2001" Web personality of the year please?


Name: xiaoting wang
City, Country: xi'an China
Sent: 11.57 PM - 12/30 2001

I read about you in a chinese maganize ,
How amazing you are.
Welcome to China someday.


Name: Heather
City, Country: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Sent: 10.23 PM - 12/30 2001

I read about your website in a weekly publication in our city...Amazing!! Sounds like you are having fun!!
Have a Happy New Year where ever you may be!!


Name: Sylvia (past host)
City, Country: North Berwick
Sent: 8.32 PM - 12/30 2001

Message for Fraser McIntosh: If you look back over the "online reports" to July 13 you will see that Ramon was in Edinburgh where you live and North Berwick which is not far away! He was great company and 'to stay for a day' wasn't long enough!


Name: fraser mcintosh
City, Country: edinburgh, scotland
Sent: 3.53 PM - 12/30 2001

what a brilliant idea; i only just read about your site today in the papers so felt i had to have a look. no doubt you will meet many kind and good people all over the world - -nice one.


Name: Shiva
City, Country: Tehran, Iran
Sent: 4.41 PM - 12/28 2001

Hi Everybody,
I really enjoy looking at Ramon's adventures everyday.
Good job Ramon. It's just perfect. I am in London now but when I get back to Iran I will invite you. I am sure lots of Iranian are looking forward to see you and also I am sure that you will enjoy your stay in Iran.

All the best and have a perfect new year,
Shiva


Name: Shiva
City, Country: Tehran, Iran
Sent: 4.40 PM - 12/28 2001

Hi Everybody,
I really enjoy looking at Ramon's adventures everyday.
Good job Ramon. It's just perfect. I am in London now but when I get back to Iran I will invite you. I am sure lots of Iranian are looking forward to see you and also I am sure that you will enjoy your stay in Iran.

All the best and have a perfect new year,
Shiva


Name: Esmeralda
City, Country: México
Sent: 1.12 AM - 12/26 2001

Happy New Year !!
I'll wait for u here. You'll love Méxican food...


Name: duby
City, Country: zeelim, israel
Sent: 3.04 PM - 12/25 2001

merry cristmas to you ramon, and for all.
waiting for your visit in our unpossible country.
have a wonderful holiday.


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 6.06 AM - 12/25 2001

Merry Christmas to all, to the less fortunate, to families that have lost loved ones anywhere in the world, to those that have pain or suffering...let the ones that are fortunate extend yourself...and also to anyone this message reaches, have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
:)


Name: donatella
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 2.17 PM - 12/24 2001

to Brian (from South Africa): MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, as well!!


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 11.24 AM - 12/24 2001

Hi all

Yep, still in Cape Town on holiday, and again at an internet cafe (with a painfully slow connection...).

To all of Ramon's followers, to all his fans, notably Tom whose wise and kind words grace this site, to alll of Ramon's support team, and to Ramon as well, have a wonderful Christmas if you are celebrating it. May 2002 bring all that is good and peaceful to each of you. Ramon, we will continue to follow and support you.

Regards

Brian


Name: Simona
City, Country: Ancona, Italy
Sent: 11.31 PM - 12/23 2001

Merry Christmas! May Jesus bring to all of you peace and love.


Name: Helena (ex-hostess in UK)
City, Country: Shoreham by Sea
Sent: 11.20 PM - 12/21 2001

Late Happy Birthday, which I only realised by reading the last messages. So here's my message to you:

“You are never given a wish
without also being given the
power to make it true.
You may have to work for it, however.”
Richard Bach “Illusions”

That 2002 brings you health and that your dreams may keep coming true.

Helena, Iman and Zane


Name: Anja
City, Country: Duesseldorf, Germany
Sent: 10.11 AM - 12/21 2001

dear ramon,
a bit late but nonetheless straight from my heart:
happy birthday to you


Name: donatella gazzoni
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 12.13 AM - 12/21 2001

sorry for being late, but.. happy birthday!! I sent you an e-card. I hope your stay in spain is goin' on at the best. I wish you well, enjoy the spanish groove.
CIAO! donatella


Name: Nelmarie (ex host)
City, Country: Bredasdorp, SOUTH AFRICA
Sent: 9.22 PM - 12/20 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMON!!!!!!!! (I hope you got new hiking shoes) Safe travels... bye x


Name: Karen
City, Country: London, UK
Sent: 5.27 PM - 12/20 2001

Happy birthday!!! Hope you are having a great timeand that you will enjoy your 2 weeks holiday!


Name: Gerben
City, Country: Zwolle, The Netherlands
Sent: 3.31 PM - 12/20 2001

Happy Birthday Ramon. Damn, you're ageing! You're a big boy now ;-). See you Sunday...


Name: Marc Meij
City, Country: Barcelona
Sent: 3.12 PM - 12/20 2001

Ramon!
Nice story in El Pais, good picture! I read you'll be in Barcelona around Christmas, and I heard from Bas van. D. that they will come as well. I am happy you already got shelter, but if you need anything, mail me.

Marc.

P.S. Happy birthday, I got my birthday tomorrow...


Name: annemarie
City, Country: zwolle
Sent: 1.55 PM - 12/20 2001

Happy Birthday Mones!! I'll have a drink on you tonight! Hope you have a nice day. stay in touch ok!?
see ya!


Name: Jeanine
City, Country: Grahamstown, South Africa
Sent: 1.20 PM - 12/20 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMON AND ETIENNE!!
Have a great day and a super year ahead of you.
Keep well ...


Name: Munk
City, Country: Zwolle, Ramon's home town
Sent: 12.18 PM - 12/20 2001

Hey Ramon,

One year older, one year wiser. Any grey hairs yet? :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY! See you soon...


Name: Bart VDC
City, Country: Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Sent: 10.34 AM - 12/20 2001

Hi Ramon,

I've needed 2 weeks to read all the contents in your site and just in time to wish you a happy birthday.

This is such a typical Dutch idea, it would be impossible for a belgian to create an idea like that because we don't have such a big mouth and aren't so extravert like you guys do. Hope you have a fine time partying through the end of year period.

Cheers
Bart


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 10.24 AM - 12/20 2001

Hi Tom

Yep, you are quite right. Thanks for those positive words. I agree with you. I believe what you say, but I had to warn Ramon that my cooking can improve.

Hey, I'm alive, and it is not thanks to take outs! Can't afford them. But thanks anyway. You can read more about me as soon as birthday boy has a bit of time (hint to his hosts...) to update the missing reports.

Sala kahle (means stay well in Zulu)

Brian


Name: Brian
City, Country: Durban, South Africa
Sent: 10.21 AM - 12/20 2001

Hi Ramon

Greetings from a warm, sunny, and windy Cape Town. Yep, I'm on holiday in CT for two weeks or so. Sitting at an Internet Cafe, just to say a great huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. I hope that Spain is treating you well, I'll read the reports when I get back to work next year.

May you have a truly great day, and keep warm in that freezing part of the world. I hear the Spaniards are warm people, so you should be fine.

Hamba kahle

Brian


Name: Salomé
City, Country: Cape Town, South Africa
Sent: 10.13 AM - 12/20 2001

H*A*P*P*Y B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y !!
Have a fantastic year with lost of love & light.
Still reading your reports everyday and loving it :-)


Name: Bob Williams
City, Country: Johannesburg , South Africa
Sent: 8.55 AM - 12/20 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2 U.
Just in case you thought I would forget. It was great being your sponsor to South Africa and many thanks for the kind words about me and my company www.etravel.co.za.
Enjoy Spain and have a GR8 Birthday.


Name: Rebecca
City, Country: Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Canada
Sent: 7.44 AM - 12/20 2001

Hello Ramon!
I have just checked out your website after hearing your interview on Arthur Blacks' Basic Black here in Canada and I'm not too sure you'll want to visit me! I live in the Arctic right now in a community of Inuit people... I think it would be interesting for you but you'll need to get a little better at handling the cold! But we have big parkas you can borrow... not to worry! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas as well... I am sooo impressed at your idea... it's wonderful! Hope you visit Canada soon. I am also from Calgary so you can visit me there as well when you visit your Aunt and Uncle. Take care,
Rebecca


Name: Anna & Juan (ex-hosts)
City, Country: Madrid, Spain
Sent: 6.45 AM - 12/20 2001

May this be your first birthday of a few more in this trip around the world...
Be good, be happy
Anna & Juan


Name: Sylvia (ex host)
City, Country: Scotland
Sent: 1.32 AM - 12/20 2001

(To be sung)!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Ramon
Happy Birthday to you

Lots of love and have a nice Birthday
Sylvia xxx


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver
Sent: 12.19 AM - 12/20 2001

Feliz Cumpleanos a ti! Happy birthday, Ramon,

MJ


Name: Juan
City, Country: Madrid
Sent: 11.16 PM - 12/19 2001

Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!


Name: juut en gerrieke
City, Country: groningen, netherlands
Sent: 7.22 PM - 12/19 2001

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

AND have a NICE day!!!

lots of love

juut en gerrieke


Name: Ivana
City, Country: Bologna, Italy
Sent: 1.02 PM - 12/18 2001

I don't know U...I just had a look at your website and discovered that it will
be Your Bday in 2 days...so
HAPPY BIRTHDAY....

and if U'll ever think to come to Italy, Bologna, pls let me know.


Name: Ramon
City, Country: Barcelona, Spain
Sent: 10.09 AM - 12/18 2001

Read the online report from the Independently Homeless crew in South Africa


Name: MJ
City, Country: Denver, US
Sent: 4.20 PM - 12/17 2001

Anna, you seem to be a very sweet person!! :) I'm glad Ramon had the chance to stay with you and we, as readers, got to meet you as well.

I'm always in the habit of trying to cheer people up, it's what I do. :) A bright side would be, yes, it seems you got to meet and become friends with a very fine person. How lucky! In that process I think you also gained 200 other friends that have hosted Ramon, and the thousands of us out here that follow his website.

I hope that helps somewhat? Lovely to meet you Anna!!

Your friend,

MJ


Name: Anna Mayer (ex-host Madrid)
City, Country: Madrid, España
Sent: 11.20 AM - 12/17 2001

Saturday and Sunday felt a bit restless, and I wonder whether this is a common thing among your hosts. Maybe it was having you here for three days instead of just one, and of course the silly jokes about the Swedish helped somehow :-)

The feeling is that of a loss, of having contacted with a nice person and seeing it go so soon; not only: having you here was somehow special (not because *you* are special, just in case this upsets you :-), but because you were our only guest; I guess that if I had something like letmehostyouforaday.com, guests would still be special but in a quite different way); and one can't help feeling that this necessarily can't be both ways, what with all the 2700 hosts you had/you're going to have.

Now, this is getting complicated, when it is not.

What I really want to say, not caring whether I seem selfish and self-centered, is that it was really nice having you here, and it is a pity that you have this funny 5-year project ahead of you (it's not a pity of course because it looks like an excellent project, but it is a pity for me-Anna Mayer, as opposed to me-the host), because this probably means that there are little chances of seeing you again, not to mention getting to grow a friendship, at least not soon. Besides, I probably should "compete" with other 2699 people :-D

It may be an Italian thing, or an Annamayer thing, who knows, but I just get really upset when a relationship (such as a friendship in this case, I hope I don't have to point this out too often, just in case I get misunderstood!) doesn't get going the way I would like it to; and the best method I've found so far in my life to solve or at least smooth the "upsetting" (upsettment?) is to speak it out.

I don't know whether the overall tone of this mail manages to convey what I'm feeling, or whether you see only bad or upset thoughts. I might have insisted on the upset ones, but only because I suppose the good&happy ones are obvious and taken for granted :-)

Be good, enjoy yourself.
Anna Mayer


Name: donatella gazzoni
City, Country: milan, italy
Sent: 1.59 AM - 12/16 2001

hello ramon,I want to cheer you if you're still on line. I haven't read your latest reports, apart from the message below. also here in italy is freezing: we've had a sudden snow buffering..
I hope everything's going on well for you!
ciao, donatella


Name: Ramon Stoppelenburg
City, Country: Madrid, Spain
Sent: 12.20 PM - 12/15 2001

The latest news:

The wave of cold and snow summons up the life of six people in Barcelona

The weather is causing serious breaks, not only circulatory, in all Catalonia. Great part of Barcelona has been without light this late by a blackout that has affected, in addition, to the localities of Calldetenes, Manresa, Vic, Terrassa and Vilasar of Sea, among others, according to has informed sources into the Fecsa-cEndesa company.

In addition, all the schools of Gerona are being evacuated as a result of the intense ones made snow-white falls in the zone, whereas the schools of a twenty of Catalan localities have had to bad weather close their doors due to.

The temperatures will lower in Madrid, where it will be able to snow to any level, until the five degrees below cero, being able to also register winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour in zones of the mountain range which they are to 1,000-1,500 meters of altitude.

One of the communities where the weather is feeling with special intensity is Catalonia. The snow has been lowered from this morning on the provinces of Gerona and Barcelona, including the coast and the Catalan capital, that has forced the Firemen to carry out the first exits and to evacuate several schools in the gerundenses regions.

Translated article in El Pais, ready to declare emergency situation
Guess I have to flee to the Canary Island at the African westcoast...


Name: KathleenWhite/Richard Hijnen
City, Country: Calgary Canada
Sent: 2.01 AM - 12/15 2001

Greeting from your cousins in Calgary. Hope you have a fun birthday and Merry Chritmas. Good luck with your adventures,see you in Calgary sometime in the next 5 years. Kathleen, Richard adn Dylan. Take care.

RAMON:
Hey uncle Richard and Aunt Kathleen logged in on my website. Really great! Greetings from cold Madrid.