And about “A World of Flophouses”



Most travel blogs, especially the “About me” section, are bragging. This is a blog about traveling, not so much about me, because traveling in general is far more interesting than anything about me. Some of the post subjects will be mass-appeal general travel topics; lots will stem from my own experience.

Most bloggers detail how many countries they’ve seen or how long they’ve been on the road. I’ll just say this: I’ve traveled a quite decent amount, over several decades, enough to see things and have opinions, and thus to write about it. I’ve traveled on a nothing budget sleeping in horrible flophouses, and I’ve traveled business class for work. I’ve gone high and low, but mostly low. And not very high. I simply think that traveling is one of the best things to do. It’s what I spend my time and money on. I’ve done it for a while, I know how to write and do research, I know something about photography and will put my photos on the site, and those are my credentials.

I have opinions and a voice and they will come through on this site, and I believe many blogs are useless without those things. I have been accused of being a snob, a foodie, a glutton, and an elitist, as if those were bad things.

I’m almost exclusively an independent traveler, someone who makes his own plans, does his own research. I’ve been on a few guided tours, two cruises, and I well recognize their appeal, but it’s not for me. Doing it on your own is much harder, but you learn more. Still, if your preferred travel plans involved parking it on a resort beach for a week, who the hell am I (or anyone) to say that’s wrong? I’m actually glad for those people, as that means they’re not competing with me for hotel space in Paris.

The whole “flophouse” theme comes because I hate to spend much money when I travel, mostly because I haven’t had much money, and the longer you stretch your budget, the more you can travel. Very often, the more money you spend on travel, the more you separate yourself from the environment you came to see. There’s only so much you can shave off transportation costs, and thus a huge way to save money is to sleep cheap, and that means not staying in canonical hotels, but rather staying in very cheap, basic ones. Flophouses. These might be hostels, or perhaps just a dumpy hotel. See the section “What is a flophouse?” for more on this.

I live in the Washington, DC area, where I see lots and lots of tourists, and in my other life I’m a linguist.


What I am not

This site is not created to condescendingly say “You can be just like me!” or “Join me as I go along on my wonderful adventures!” I will not express the hope that my own wonderful, special one-in-a-lifetime escapades will be the source of inspiration for you. I will not claim to have already helped and motivated loads of people, and now do the same for you.  This site is not done to congratulate myself for quitting my boring cubicle office job (or my high-power corporate life) and selling my house and car to tramp around the world, since I have not done those things and do not plan to do so.

Also, I don’t like words such as “tramp”. I don’t wander, meander, roam, ramble, or rove. I travel. I don’t use words like nomad, vagabond, drifter, wanderer, or adventurer to describe myself. I’m just someone who travels whenever I can and who seriously likes it. I could describe myself as a writer, a traveler, even a photographer, or as having a “passion” for those things, but since I’m creating a website about travel that contains written pieces and photos, you would probably figure those things out for yourself.


Anyone wanting to get in touch with me, send an email to:

(But I don’t check my email much)


— Tom McClive