Jaki Roy, pilots a sailboat belonging to a fellow the Roys met "coincidentally" in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands during a 15 day vacation in January.
A West Chazy couple who have traveled the world on a money-saving budget will host a presentation Feb. 21 to talk about how they were able to do it.
Jaki and Rob Roy not only traveled on a shoestring but later wrote about it in their book titled “The coincidental traveler: an Adventure for budget-minded grown-ups.”
The Roys will host a presentation about their travels and book at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Alice T. Miner Museum, 9618 Route 9 in Chazy.
During the animated presentation the Roy’s will share photos and stories of their less than conventional travels.
“We like to travel close to the ground, staying in hostels, couch surfing, hitch hiking, totally opposite of tourism,” Rob said.
The Roy’s, who own Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, have been able to travel inexpensively around the world to places like Chili, New Zealand, Panama and Europe. During their more than 50 years of travels they have discovered how to truely immerse themselves in the culture of each country and meet new people. In their book they share simple workable travel strategies gleaned over the years that they have found create exceptional experiences.
On one recent journey, Rob and Jaki were invited into a sacred Maori marae in the Cook Islands; witnessed an exploding volcano in Vanauatu; canoed and steamboated Australia’s Murray River; played cricket in a New South Wales goat field; hiked across Rarotonga, and snorkeled among self-illuminating jellyfish in New Zealand’s Poor Knights Islands.
“I try to cultivate coincidences, by seeking out people who we share interests with and extending ourselves,” Rob said. “The key is to think outside your comfort zone.”
The Roy’s say the all inclusive, resort style vacations create a barrier between the traveler and the locals.
“You don’t get to see the country and you don’t realize what you are missing by traveling like that,” Rob said.
The conventional method of travel can also create what Jaki calls the “ugly American.”
“The ugly American describes people who leave America and want everything to be the same for them on vacation with the same comforts. The ugly American on vacation is louder, more demanding, boisterous, and brash,” Jaki said. “People want to reach out and learn about your life too, and share experiences, but it’s when we become brash it creates a barrier between us and them and it doesn’t create a good feeling.”
The Roys said when going on vacation they make arrangements for their first day in an unfamiliar country. With the use of social media sites and websites like couchsurfer.com and other mediums they let the rest of the vacation play out as time passes.
During their Feb. 21 presentation they will share their techniques for travel, and how to do as much as possible with the least amount of cash. Rob said thier least expensive trip was a five-week trip to Panama where they spent between $12 to $16 a night.
“There is so much to do and see in Panama, the travel was cheap using busses and walking and we had a really great trip,” Rob said.
Their lessons are for anyone with a basic level of fitness, willingness to depart from one’s comfort zone, have free time, and (a little bit) of money.
The Roys book, “The coincidental traveler: an Adventure for budget-minded grown-ups” will be available for sale at the presentation and is also available at the Corner-Stone Bookshop on Margaret Street in Plattsburgh; Conroy’s Organics on Route 9 in West Chazy and on Amazon.com.
Space at the Alice is limited and reservations are encouraged. To reserve a seat or to learn more about the event call 846-7336, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.