Hudson Doyle, 26, of Brookline
Around the world
September 2007 to February 2008
"I had just finished a graduate degree in acupuncture and I wanted to see how they practiced Chinese medicine in China. I also wanted to go to Australia and visit friends," said Doyle, who went to undergraduate school in Sydney. "I got my ticket through STA Travel when I was still a student."
GOING AND GOING:
Doyle's flights took him to Spain, Italy, Cyprus, China, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. He was on a tight budget and stayed mostly in youth hostels but he also stayed for free with eight CouchSurfing members (couchsurfing.com) for a total of 30 days. "It's a great service, but it's quite a bit of work online to find places that fit your schedule."
Doyle's only reason for going to Cyprus was to visit a friend there. "Just before I was going I got an e-mail from him that he was being deported because of a visa issue. So I wasn't really prepared to go there alone." He stayed at a sketchy hostel in Nicosia before finding a CouchSurfing spot with a Dutch citizen living in Limassol.
The internship that Doyle, a graduate of New England School of Acupuncture, had set up was an hour south of Shanghai at Zhejiang Provincial Hospital in Hangzhou. "It's a picturesque city popular with Chinese travelers. It's small in China - with 4 million people." I took a bus from Shanghai with a piece of paper they'd sent me with all their information in Chinese. Otherwise I did a lot of sign language and pantomime. I observed rounds in acupuncture and Chinese herbals. The acupuncture was pretty much the same, but I learned a lot on the herbal side. The doctor was really good at diagnosing and making formulas."
While staying in a dorm with young Chinese travelers he was asked to help with a China Central Television cultural documentary to precede the Olympics. "They took us out to this sanctuary and we acted out like a skit; I was a foreign traveler and a Chinese guy was the interpreter." ISLAND TIME: In Thailand Doyle hit the beach, landing on Koh Phangan in time for its infamous rave-like Full Moon Party. "It's a pretty cool little island and not very developed, although tourism is expanding. From Bangkok he went to Ching Rai, where a guided jungle trek took him through hill tribe villages. He stayed with friends in Australia before heading to North Island, New Zealand, where he mostly hitchhiked around. "It was just fantastic, and the people were so generous."