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Originally Published Sunday April 25, 2004

2-year trip true adventure

A Maori greeting in New Zealand:  touching the forehead twice while looking directly in the eye when shaking hands.

traveled. Trekking in Nepal, riding an elephant in India and taking a flight around Mt. Everest on his birthday on Buddha Air for $100 are things he always will remember. He also will recall how it was possible to stay in cheap places that were acceptable--a $2 bed and breakfast in India and a $7 room with breakfast in Turkey.
But Jones, who would like to talk to school groups and other interested parties about his journey, said other memories stand out even more.
"The best part of traveling is the people you meet," Jones said.
Chicagoan thrives on exotic locales, different cultures
t sounds crazy. Put your life on hold and disappear for more than two years. Take time out from the career hustle and blend into the Third World. Take off for parts unknown and keep circling the globe.
Bruce Jones did it. Jones, 36, of Chicago, loaded a pack on Aug. 15, 2001, and didn't come back until Oct. 4, 2003. Talk about a time warp. He left home before Sept. 11 and returned when the Cubs were on the cusp of a World Series.
As Jones proved during a recent lecture at the April meeting of the Adventure Travelers Society in Chicago when he asked for a show of hands, few people have taken trips lasting as long as three months, never mind two years.
"It's kind of like saying you're going to be an astronaut," Jones said. "You don't even put it on your radar screen. It feels daunting, but it's not."
Jones definitely appears American --something he says the skittish traveler really doesn't need to worry about as much as one might think during this era of terrorism.
Jones, who traveled with a woman he met on the Internet only a month before embarking, said people were friendly, even sympathetic, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"They literally started crying when you told them you were an American," he said. "You do have to be smart about some things and keep a low profile."
There are, of course, many ways to travel. The classic novel by Jules Verne, "Around the World in 80 Days," is being remade as a movie coming soon. People can fly first-class from city to city. People can sail from port to port. People can walk from place to place.
Jones, who gave up an Internet medical business to travel, wanted to visit mainly Third World countries, somewhat on the cheap. That meant forgetting about hotels with multiple-star ratings. It should be remembered, however, that Jones and his partner, Julia Miller, were not just traveling, but also living.
In the first year they covered about 30,000 miles by airplane, bus, truck, train and foot, spending about $20,000 each. Among the places visited were India, Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, Tibet, Nepal, Egypt, Zanzibar and Jordan.  Most of the second year,  Jones and Miller hung out in Australia and New Zealand.

"This trip was not a vacation, it was an adventure, I needed to go and be moved, not just see life on TV."
-Adventure Bruce Jones

 "This trip was not a vacation, it was an adventure," Jones said. "I needed to go and be moved, not just see life on TV."
Clearly, traveling around the world, stopping in countries where the standard of living differs from the United States, is not for everyone. And just as clearly, especially at a time of international tension, not every place is hospitable.
Probably no one is more expert at taking risks, dodging trouble and surviving hairy spots than Robert Young Pelton. He not only writes a column for National Geographic Adventure magazine, offering advice on how to avoid compromising situations, he has written a book called "The Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places."
Pelton is not your average tourist. If Jones is in the 99th percentile of travelers, Pelton is off the charts. He is lucky he is still alive to say 
his ABCs, never mind write books. A hint or two about Pelton's adventures can be gleaned from section headings in the book: "Dancing With the Headhunters," "At Play in the Fields of the Warlords" and "The Kidnappers."
For those with ready cash and a bit of boldness in their souls but no desire to get shot at, it is possible to use the book "1,000 Places To See Before You Die" as a guide.
Some of the goodies on the list: Windsor Castle, England; Pompeii, Italy; Count Dracula's Castle, Romania; the Bolshoi Ballet, Russia; the North Pole by ship from Norway; the Sahara Desert, Morocco; climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian, China; the Sydney Opera House and Harbor, Australia; the Pacific Coast Highway, California; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Kentucky Derby, and the French Quarter, New Orleans.
Jones made his own list as he 

Bruce and Julia, World Travelers and Adventure Seekers Extraordinaire.
Copyright 2004 by [MyWorldTour.org]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Feb 2007 20:21:29 -0600 .