This page is long due an update: if you have a travel-related question, why not drop me a line via the contact form. I’m always happy to help.
So, Ant, I really like the way you look. I think about you a lot, usually in the shower and was wondering whether you’d like to meet up?
I really should stop talking to myself…
How much does it cost to go travelling?
I’m planning a trip of around 24 months, with a budget of approx £20k, give or take a few credit card limits. I might work here or there, rob a few banks, smuggle a few class-a’s that kind of thing. They say you should budget around £1k a month plus tickets etc, but I’m pretty thrifty. Who are ‘they’ anyway? Keep an eye on the ‘Rough Costs’ to get a more in depth view.
I’ve only got 2 weeks holiday, where should I go?
Look at your budget and make the most of it. If you have enough to see one of the more expensive destinations you’ve always wanted to see, then head there i.e. Japan, Norway. Don’t put it off as you may never be in the same situation again. Try not to think solely of the final destination, consider the enjoyment you could get out of the journey there. Train travel is a thrilling way to see the world in which we live. Similarly travelling under sail power can produce sparkling memories that no airport could offer. Plan, but don’t overkill; the beauty of travel is making your own trail, not always following someone else’s. Two weeks can feel like two months if you fill it with your own kind of magic.
What about Travel Visas, how hard was that?
If you’ve got time on your hands you can usually get visas as you go along. It just takes a few days for the ink to dry, so bear that in mind if you’re thinking you can just roll up with a nod and a wink. I’ll be writing a bit on this visa page as I fulfill The Trail so keep visiting for more relevant info. Obviously, if you’re tight on time then arrange it through the relevant consulate from home. My best advice is that you sort your own visas out, it might take a bit more brain power but you will save a small fortune on agency fees.
Have you planned all this on your own?
I sketched a rough route, then emailed a load of friends and family for their “Unmissables” which helped me fill in some gaps. I wrapped it all up in a neat parcel of romantic notions of travelling aimlessly, but with a ribbon of reality tied on for good measure. Not too much, mind.
How do you pack for 2 years?
I’m travelling minimalist, England is definitely not the place to buy most of the things I’ll need. My first stop is South East Asia so I’ll pop into a few slave factories and buy the latest fashions there.
Won’t you be lonely?
I’m my own best friend, loneliness is not an emotion I suffer from. I think it’s important to like yourself, and to have the ability to amuse yourself. Any reflective object is good for a couple of hours face-pulling antics. A blob of blu-tac and I’m gone for days.
How can you afford to do this?
How many people have you slept with? Nosey bastard. In all seriousness, I am uber good with money. I’m a squirrel, I don’t need many material things but I act on impulse. I boat a boat once without blinking. I didn’t earn mega bucks on civvy street, but what I scraped home I put to good use. Add in a redundancy settlement and a couple of SAYE schemes and you’re pretty much there. My best advice to any young person starting out in work is set a saving limit and a goal, soon enough you’ll forget you’re doing it and you can increase your savings in line with salary increases and any bonuses etc.
This site is cool! How did you build it?
I’m a self confessed complete web-numpty, I used WordPress’ K2 Theme and blagged my way along. Seriously, I am crap at this. It took me a couple of months and a teeny bit of help along the way from established bloggers and friends in-the-know but above all, sheer grit and a few expletives got it up and running. I thank thee all.
What about the name?
Trail of Ant’s was an amazing revelation, it summed up exactly what I needed and also contained my name! From that day forth, I have pretty much soaked up the brand and am planning on taking over the world with it. United States of America? Pah. United Trail of Ants. South Africa? Nope. South Trail of Ants. World Cup? ha. Trail of Ants Cup. Get the picture? Picture of the Trail of Ants. Ok, I’ll stop there.
You keep referring to Tonto, who is he/she?
Tonto is my spirit. As I’m travelling alone, I am automatically a Lone Ranger and naturally, every Lone Ranger has a sidekick, called Tonto. Don’t they?
Where would you recommend to go travelling?
1,000 people have told me around 10,000 places to visit, and the likely hood is I’ll love 9,999 of them. But for the sake that I recommend you that one place that you maybe won’t like, I’m going to abstain from answering the question. The thing is, it takes an awful place to make you realise the greatness so to that end, I recommend Lincoln, Nebraska! Gooooo Huskers!
What did you do before this?
I was a Print Buyer for a publishing company in my home town, Peterborough. I’d worked for the company for 7 years, print buying for 3 of them. Loved the job. Couldn’t abide the management. ‘Power hungry’ took on a whole new angle (think 3 rotund women in their late twenties. Ouch!)
Are you insane?
It takes one to know one.
Can I republish your work?
Only with the express permission of the Editor i.e. me. If I find you did it without that, I’ll take you down to China Town and “duff you up a good’un”.
Do you want a job?
I’m open to all offers, and would love to work freelance as a travel writer (wouldn’t we all!). You’ll get to know my freestyle flavour from reading The Trail over the months. I’m from a publishing background, primarily in a production orientated environment so deadlines are my specialty. Take a chance, try me.
Can you send me a postcard please?
Sure, but you’re not a charity whereas I more or less am. Sling a few nuggets my way and I’ll sketch you, or a friend, a postcard full of love. Yes. I am that tight, and that entrepreneurial.
If you could invite any 3 people to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would it be?
First up, Che Guevera. Reasons including I don’t fully understand what he’s all about, even whether he’s a goody or a baddy. But I did see the movie ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ and from that, I have muchos respectos for him. So Che, pull up a pew. Secondly I’d invite Arsene Wenger, not only his he an a gentleman and a scholar, but he’s also the manager of the on and only, Arsenal. Finally, we’ve gotta have a young lady there so I think it would have to be… jeee… this is tough… Fearne Cotton. I’d ask her to wear a name badge with her surname though, as I always call her Fern Britton. I love Fearne C’s spirit, she rocks and I think she’d compliment the guest list rather well.
You don’t look like an Ant to me?
Well what did you expect? A little 6 legged black thing following my mates about in search of a sugar lump? My name’s Anthony Stone but as I’m English, I’m compelled to shorten it, to Ant. Sorry Mum.
Did people really ask you all these questions?
Well, no, not exactly. I might of made some up but if you down to this one you obviously enjoyed it so I don’t know what you’re complaining about.