Contact Barbara Weibel at Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

Please feel free to contact me. I will read everything you send but I cannot promise to respond to everything, as I will be traveling a good deal of the time and will be limited by access to Internet connections. Email me by clicking HERE or use the address barbara (at) holeinthedonut (dot) com.

If you would like to receive an email once a week alerting you to new photos and stories that I have published, please sign up using the form below (this will also provide you with a free copy of the eBook “Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers.”)

Thank you,

Barbara Weibel
Publisher, Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel


239 thoughts on “Contact Barbara Weibel at Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel”

  1. Hi Barbara, I am available immediately if someone needs a car driven across the country from Los Angeles to Chicago…I have some things that need to be taken care of in Chicago and need to get there as well so if there is someone who needs their car driven across to chicago from los angeles let me know!

  2. Hello Barbara,
    I am truly inspired by your story and taking control of your life. It has been my dream for sometime now to travel and backpack the world. It always seemed impossible to me. I have since worked jobs that i hate, and got into a back financial situation. I dream of traveling all the time. If you dont mind me asking, how old were you when you decided that you were going to follow your dream and travel? I am 30 years old now, it will be realistically at least three years til my finances are straightened out before I could seriously follow my dream and travel. I feel like then i may be to “old” for that. I guess im looking for inspiration, as your story is truly inspiring. Thank you so much, have a good day.


    • Hi Wes: Well, now that I’ve stopped laughing, I’m only too glad to tell you that I was 54 when I started. You’re just a youngun’ so you’ve got time, but don’t wait too long…continuing to find excuses like “I haven’t got enough money yet,” “What will my friends and family think?” etc., can result in never going. Had it not been for a really serious sickness, I might never have had the ability to break away. Thanks so much for leaving a comment and glad I could provide a bit of inspiration. In the end, you just have to “Do it!.”

  3. Hi Barbara, I am heading to East/South Africa the end of August (have yet to decide which first). I’ve read through almost all of your experiences in Africa and wonder if you could recommend any safari companies or guides, etc that you enjoyed and felt was worth the money. I am traveling on a shoestring as much as possible but willing to spend the money for the things I want to do – safari in Africa! I know it’s been a few years and you are busy enjoying Nepal but any advice is appreciated, I follow your blog religiously!


    • Hi Kelley: Wonderful to hear from you. I used Safari Makers in Arusha, Tanzania for my main safari. The safari itself, including the schedule and guides, was quite good and very affordable, however the woman who made all the arrangements was a poor communicator. I could have saved quite a bit more by joining an existing group, but the company was ill equipped to bring together people and try and meet all their individual needs. However if I were to do it again I’d book the safari I wanted to take and then leave comments in Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum in an attempt to pick up two or three other travelers who would be willing to join up and share the costs. Also, if you plan on hopping over to Zimbabwe, you might try contacting my friend Victor Sibanda at in Victoria Falls, who owns Veneto Adventures. He’s totally dependable and provides excellent service. He can also arrange for trips/safaris in neighboring Zambia and Botswana. Email him at [email protected] or [email protected]; tell him I referred you. You will have an incredible time – the animals are truly amazing.

      • Thanks so much Barbara!! I am definitely heading to Zimbabwe also and will contact Victor. Appreciate your time and info as always!

  4. Hi Barbara, we are going to Thailand in June and really want to go to Tiger Temple how long do we have to book in advance and how much is it?

    • Hi Kim: No need to book in advance at all. Just walk into any tour company and tell them where you want to go. Most of the time the Tiger Temple is combined with other locations on a day tour. For instance, mine went to the floating market early in the morning, Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge over the River Kwaiin the early afternoon, then ended with an afternoon at the Tiger Temple, but I’m sure one of the companies could arrange for you to go just to the Tiger Temple if that’s your preference. The cost is by donation,bust most of the companies now collect a fee up front to ensure that everyone actually makes a donation. I’m not completely sure, but I think it was about 500 baht, which is about $16 USD. Alternatively, you could look intot taking a local bus from Chatuchak Bus Park (probably the cheapest alternative), or into hiring a taxi driver for the day (which would be expensive).

  5. Hello,

    I am available to drive a vehicle from Kansas City to Phoenix, and then another vehicle back for the return trip.  I have a perfect driving record and insurance.  Will pay for gas.  I am very reliable.


    • Hello Satyamlimaye: Are you in Nepal? If so, you can buy one from any number of vendors on the streets of Kathmandu, in Thamel and in Chhetrapati on the way to Durbar Square. They are also sold everywhere on the streets of Pokhara.

  6. i am going to sunyani ghana in may can you tall me anything about it is it nice place to go and have a vist and fun there?

  7. i like to now anything of sunyani ghana i have sent you 3 or 4 email to you i have not got any thing back from you i hope you can  sent it to me thank you my email is [email protected]

  8. I am in Apopka, Fl and need a car to drive to Kalamazoo, Michigan immediately.  If you have one available for today, please call me asap @ 407 814-9006 or 407 536-0032 as I have someone in the hospital dying and need to get there ASAP!  Thanks, Patty and Todd

  9. Hi,
    I am webmaster of a travel website. I came across this website and found it relevant according to our theme if  you think we can exchange links which will benefit both of us, in return I will also give you a link from equal important page from my network travel website.

    If interested please mail me your webmaster mail id.

    my mail id is [email protected]



  10. Hi Barbara, I plan to leave for a year, possibly longer, the end of August and I want to buy a one-way ticket to Nairobi, Kenya to start my trip through Africa. I am concerned that I may run into problems since it’s a one-way ticket with no proof of traveling onward. Is this something I need to worry about? Should I purchase a round trip ticket even though I will not use it, seems like a huge waste of $$.

    Thank you for any input!


    • Hi Kelley: It is true that many countries require proof of onward travel, however I have only been asked to show this proof one time in all my travels, and that was recently in Costa Rica. It was just a fluke that I had a round-trip ticket that time, as I’m usually flying one way. Some people have suggested that you go to a booking site, search for a return flight, and when you find one that looks OK, and print it out rather than actually booking the ticket and hope that the immigration agent will not scrutinize it too closely. Of course, you are taking your chances with this method. You might also compare round trip and one-way prices; often the RT is cheaper than the one-way and in this case you just use the flight out and never use the return.

  11. Barbara, We will also have to travel very economical thru Ecuador and wondering if you have any suggestions of clean, safe hostels or hosterias that you could recommend to us 3 sisters. We are flying into Guayaquil and are planning on staying on the western side of the Andes and traveling gradually north exploring smaller villages as far over as the coast for 2 months and would really appreciate any info you may give us. Thank you.

    • Should have read this one first Janice. In Guayaquil, definitely stay at Manso Boutique Hostel. It’s right across the street from the Malecon and a great place. They have dorms for $9 per person, and their cafe has a great lunch that includes many vegetarian choices. You should also consider Cuenca (Milan Hotel), and Banos (Posada del Aret or La Chiminea). But check all my blog posts for more specific information -I generally provide links to the places I stayed if they are good.

  12.  I enjoy your blogs so much. You have a marvelous way of expressing your travels that just puts me in your seat beside you. Thank you for sharing your experiences. We are going to Ecuador to visit and your informational blogs helped so much. Bless you!

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  14. Hi.  I am going to Peru in September and will be traveling alone.  I’m hoping to spend some time in Puno and Cusco which are at high elevations.  Have you experienced any altitude sickness and, if so, what do you recommend?  

    • Hi Piz: Yes, I had terrible problems with altitude sickness.But just go into any pharmacy and buy the Sorochepill, which is manufactured in Peru for altitude sickness. Works like a charm!

  15. I’m intersted in driving a from Palm Springs / LA area to Mrytle Beach SC. in August or Sept. please contact at gentlemanjim97@ yahoo .com will show DMV print-out on agreement thank you

  16. Hi Barbara, I came across your site through twitter.  You were recommended to me as a follower as a fellow traveler.  Our family will be embarking on a 1 year RTW trip in 2015, and while I say it will be that once in a lifetime trip for us, I hope it isn’t and that it continues.  My question to you is, “how are you able to fund continuous travel?”.

    Kind Regards from Canada, elaine… (

    • Hi Elaine: Well, money is the biggest struggle for me at al times. Writers don’t make much money, and it’s also hard to make a living as a photographer, so I supplement by selling ads on my blog, however it was nearly three years before the blog made a nickle. I make enough to stay on the road full time, however I must do so economically and usually stay in inexpensive guest houses and hostels. Best of luck with your trip!

      • Thanks for the reply Barbara.  I applaud you for being able to sustain your traveling through your blog.  It’s a great accomplishment to be able to have such a large following to support that.  If you ever need a guest writer re: traveling with young children, do get in touch! [email protected]

  17. I have a question about your last post.  You mentioned that you had been accosted by thugs in Quito–where, and what time of day?  Since I will be traveling alone, I want to be aware of potential risks.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Penny:
      I was walking in the San Blas neighborhood, about half-way between La Mariscal and Old Town, when a woman tapped me on the shoulder and told me I had been “shit on by a bird.” It’s a common scam, so I knew what was going on. First they throw brown-colored liquid at your back, then they stop you. She pulled baby wipes out of her purse and started to clean my shirt, then tried to get me to take off my backpack so she could clean it as well. That’s when he accomplice would have jumped in and grabbed the bag. When I declined and said “and you know why not” she took off.

  18. Came across your site via another link. “Hole in the donut” is exactly how I’m feeling. Feel like someone’s been scooping out my insides for a while and I let it happen. It’s OK to not like my job, right? It’s OK to think that there’s something better out in the world, right? It’s been a long time since I traveled but I think it’s the only time I truly felt happy going from place to place. Looking forward to exploring your site more. Thank you.

    • Yes, 13thwar, it’s OK to feel that way. But it’s wonderful that you recognize it, so now you can do something about it!

  19. Good Morning!  I just wanted to share with you something similar that happened to you in Alusia.

    Back in 1984, I was visiting Cusco for the first time with a niece.  We stopped and looked into a room
    and saw a wedding reception was going on.  Like you, and we were invited in to join them.  We even were asked to dance and right, we were the only non-Peruvians there.  My niece was 21 at the time and I am not sure who enjoyed our visit more.  One of the reasons I enjoy traveling in Peru and Ecuador is the kindness and friendliness.  Your notes on Ecuador have made me realize, I need to go back to Ecuado,r one more time.  Thank you for all the information you have written.

    • Hi KathyinMCO: Isn’t it remarkable the warmth of the people you meet around the world? And in most cases, they have so much less than we do, yet they are so giving. I wish more U.S. citizens would travel independently outside of the country, so we could reverse the ever=present belief that international travel is somehow dangerous. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

      • Just a short note to say, I have lived outside the country for a total of 12 years and agree, more should travel to know how other countries are and how friendly the people are.  Also, make people realize how fortunate we are, with all we have.

        To see a small child playing with a pile of rocks and having fun……..but ours need roomful of toys.  We are all so spoiled.  Travel has been a love of my life 
        for many years and fortunate enough to be able to see it….Kathy

  20. You need to go to El salvador very nice and interesting landscapes on the Pcific and the Volcanoes I am from there and now live in Miami and go there everytime I can. I highly recommend it for you!

    • Hi Guillesala: I’d love to visit El Salvador someday, however the entry rules make it difficult. I understand that if you arrive by bus they make you buy a return ticket the day you arrive, even if you don’t use it, and then you can only stay two weeks. Maybe someday, if I fly in, I will be able to go.

  21. I loved your article and it was really helpful. I just want to run through things again. My daughter is studying abroad in Italy and she has the Iphone 4S. She is going to use her iphone on WiFi only and is following your directions to do that. We joined WiTopia and she downloaded it on her computer and iphone. Now she has to join skype with unlimited calling in order to have the ability to call landlines and cell phones using wifi and her witopia tunnel like address, correct? Can she use my skype account that I already have set up? Or does she need her own account? Also unsure about what to do with her cell phone number and the google voice app? If you can help me finish this I would appreciate it. This was soooo extremely helpful! Thank you sooo much!

    • Hi SoupyHoops: I am not completely current on the type of subscriptions that Skype offers and I’m grandfathered in with an unlimited US and Canada subscription, but it sounds like you are correct that your daughter will need an unlimited calling subscription. She can, of course, use your Skype by signing in with your user name and password, and then you can keep the account funded for any calls she can’t do through the WiTopia connection. If you’re using Skype, you don’t need Google voice, and in fact, Google voice is NOT a VoIP service, so it won’t work for international calls. However it is a good idea to sign up for a Google phone number and use it for sms texting, which is free with a wifi connection and a cell phone, since she will be charged HIGH rates if she enables the 3G network to send them. If she does all that, the only thing she won’t be able to do is mms testing (multi-media texts, like those that send photos or videos).

      • You are really terrific! My daughter uses WhatsApp to sms text so i don’t think she needs goole voice but she should still forward her cell phone number to her skype account so she can retrieve her voice mail and will be able to receive calls through skype when she is connected to wifi, right? When she is trying to talk to her friends who are local in Rome how will she do that so that it is free for her and them?

        • Spoupyhoops: Yes that is correct. As for speaking with her local friends in Rome, there are only two ways – if they have Skype accounts they can connect that way, or if she has an unlocked cell phone she can buy a local sim card and recharge as she needs.

          • Assuming WhatApp works with WiFi my daughter and her local friends whether they have a blackberry or an iphone they can text eachother….I think?…So then if she wants to speak with her local friends she should either get a local sim card (which she shld use with WiFi only, right?) or she can rent a local phone? Are they 6 of 1? Or is one better than the other?

            • Soupyhoops: I don’t know anything about WhatApp so I can’t help you out there. A local sim card hooks her up with the local (Italian) 3G network. (it has absolutely nothing to do with wifi). If her iPhone is unlocked she can just take the AT&T sim out of her iPhone & pop in the local one. And since the AT&T card is not in the phone, she has no danger of incurring charges. She can also rent a local phone or buy a disposable one with pre-loaded minutes. I think any choice is OK, though if she uses her iPhone she will also have use of all her apps. If you have future questions, I’d appreciate it if you’d comment on my original post about the iPhone so that all who are reading can benefit: Thanks.

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