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Old 08-08-2005, 06:21 AM   #1
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G'day people. Im a first time poster but a long time reader.

Basically im a 21 year old Aussie guy looking to move to the US for 10+ months and see the sights. Id like to work my way around doing odd jobs but have managed to get a job that earns me $500USD a month and all i need is a PC and the internet to fulfill my duties. I think having that job will make my traveling alot easyier as it can be done from internet cafe's i guess.

Is it a good idea taking a laptop? I know security is a problem but if thats under control i think it would be great to store photos on etc.

Do many of you wear glass's and or contacts? ive been wearing contacts for years now and love them. I really want to get laser surgery done though. Is it cheaper over there? its $2500ish (AUD) per eye over here.

I have some areas id like to go, but id really like to wing it. Are there any citys that are really 'backpacker' friendly?

Im going to travel to one of Australias other capital citys soon to see how i go 'winging' it. Im going to buy a ticket 2 days before the flight, look up some hostels ( but not book) and give myself a budget for the weekend. Is this a good idea to get into backpacking?

Reading posts has made made me deicde to pack light and buy my stuff over there. Im also going to research the first city i go to (hostels, food, transport etc) then just wing it.

Why arnt there many posts about the US in these forums? are most of you residents there? haha anyone looking to let me stay at their joint and you can stay at mine back home? You can ride my jetski haha

Im a bit of a party animal. Is it dangerous in clubs in the US? Will i get treated ok in their?

Any ideas where i can start on planning would be greatly appreciated.

Thats all i can think of right now... Thanks
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to the boards!

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Id like to work my way around doing odd jobs but have managed to get a job that earns me $500USD a month and all i need is a PC and the internet to fulfill my duties.
Very cool, but you'll find that $500/month doesn't really go too far here.

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Is it a good idea taking a laptop? I know security is a problem but if thats under control i think it would be great to store photos on etc
.
Sure, bring it! Especially if you're planning to be here for almost a year-- you don't want to be without your laptop, dude.

I don't know anything about the laser eye surgery, sorry... and I think that *generally speaking* the cities on the coasts are going to be the most "backpacker friendly" because of the wide range of available hostels and other travelers. But that's like asking where the most backpacker friendly places in Australia are-- it's a very big country and there's lots to do.

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Why arnt there many posts about the US in these forums? are most of you residents there?*
Certainly not everybody, but a lot of us are.

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Im a bit of a party animal. Is it dangerous in clubs in the US? Will i get treated ok in their?
Good grief, what movies have you been watching?? j/k Yes. Clubs are, by and large, safe establishments in the US. We got over the whole Wild West Saloon thing a while ago. And you'll find that there are a few people in the US who could be classified as "party animals", and they're still alive, I promise!!
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:28 AM   #3
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it's monday and i actually have a lot of work to do so i'll make this short:

contacts...i've been wearing them for 10 years...lasik is not very expensive here (considering what you're getting) basic lasik is around 500-700 per eye. you can probably get the whole thing done for around 1,200.

most of the major cities in the US are backpacker friendly...as backpacker friendly as the US gets, that is. i'm from california.....there are plenty of resources in san francisco and LA.

as far as clubbing..everything is pretty safe..as long as you're....safe about it. i've never had a problem with a safety issue at a club. afterall ...this is a western country.
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:53 AM   #4
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Well, there was that one club fire in Chicago where a bunch of people died since the emergency exits were chained shut. But overall, you have nothing to worry about - just don't go to clubs where the staff seems stupid and the clientele stupider You'll be treated well as long as you don't act stupid! hehe

You'll be fine w/ contacts. If you have a prescription from your opthamologist, bring it with you, or stock up on lenses before you come. Otherwise, a typical contact exam here is about $75, and a year's worth of lenses comes out to around $100 depending where you get them from.

Edited to add: Yes, much of the US is backpacker friendly. However, getting around the US isn't - our rail system kind of sucks, and the Greyhound buses are SCARY, but flights can be had on the cheap... then again, you're probably used to it with the expanse in Oz, so it shouldn't be too different for you.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:41 PM   #5
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and just in case you missed all the threads on how much american girls like aussie guys. and for that matter how much americans like australians in general. You will find yourself well taken care of if your cool.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:51 PM   #6
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If you're looking to travel cross country in the US I saw this Green Tortoise bus tour on the San Francisco episode of Globe Trekker. Its definately not for everyone and it looks a little hippyish but the site can tell you more than I can. Enjoy the US.
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:12 PM   #7
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It also depends on what part of the U.S. you are going to stay, in California $500 a month wont get you too far, but in the South things are cheaper so you will find that the money will last a little longer.
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:19 PM   #8
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Yeah, Green Tortoise is über-hippie, which isn't exactly my cup of tea, but one great thing is they hit up all the national parks, which is pretty rare. Keep in mind that many hostels in cities situated near national parks and attractions offer daytrips to them at reasonable prices...
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:34 PM   #9
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Heh. We have a Green Tortoise Hostel here in Seattle too, which isn't really very hippie-- but that's because there's only one other hostel downtown so there aren't many choices. The Green Tortoise has also been a great source of employees (temp catering) for me.
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:34 PM   #10
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contacts...i've been wearing them for 10 years...lasik is not very expensive here (considering what you're getting) basic lasik is around 500-700 per eye. you can probably get the whole thing done for around 1,200.
Huh?? I don't know where you are looking but around me, basic lasik starts at about $1,600 USD per eye. Zyoptix(custom) is about $2,150 per eye USD. I live in the North East.

Canada, however, due to lower malpractice insurance and I guess because they invented much of the technology offers much cheaper lasik.....basic starts around $500 CDN per eye.

I actually just got it done about a month ago here in the states (it's awesome - I wound up with betwen 20-15 and 20-12 vision). I got a special deal through my insurance co for about half price, but it still cost me about $1,800. I looked around A LOT and that price could not be beat in my neck of the woods...at least by reputable surgeons. I don't know where you have seen $500 to $700 USD per eye in the states.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:06 PM   #11
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Oh yeah Lasik is really cheap now. Im sure Ive seen ads for it for 700 bucks here in California.

As an aussie though, you wont have a problem here. A buddy of mine from oz went to New Orleans, just passing through, and ended up staying there for two months. He said it was the best time of his life, people bought him drinks every night just for being an aussie. Just make sure to talk, once you open your mouth youre home free.
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:16 PM   #12
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Just make sure to talk, once you open your mouth youre home free.
Too true my friend, too true. To many of my countrywomen, an aussie man is the insanely hot stuff of fantasies....
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:34 AM   #13
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In San Francisco, Lasik prices range from $500-$3000 per eye, depending on the individual practice, how much time they take with you (pre- and post-op), etc.

Here's a good link on Lasik pricing variances:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/cost.htm
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:05 AM   #14
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My friend is an eye doctor and said the number one thing to do is find a reputable Lasik provider. You should get a thorough screening beforehand, as the procedure is not for everyone. They'll need to check the thickness of your cornea, and believe it or not, make sure you're not prone to diabetes. He says some people just shouldn't get it done, and the disreputable Lasik surgeons don't care and just do anyone.

So, my suggestion would be to inquire with a few eye doctors in an area and ask them who they recommend. If one seems to be a consensus, go with them...

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Old 08-09-2005, 09:16 AM   #15
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Huh?? I don't know where you are looking but around me, basic lasik starts at about $1,600 USD per eye. Zyoptix(custom) is about $2,150 per eye USD. I live in the North East.
i'm from southern california. my best friend just recently got it done at the laser eye center for 1,200. no astigmatism. second generation laser. he now has 15/20 vision. lucky him.

my mom also had lasik about 3-4 years ago and she had it done for 2,000.

at 1,600 per eye i think you're getting ripped off.
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