Don't Trip! Read These First!
I'm Kakimiha, a amateur archeologist and reader of many, many books. I've been traveling off and on for a few years and I thought it would be a good time to share what I've learned about researching before I leave home. No matter if you are heading out for the weekend or a long trip that will take you weeks or even months before you return home, it's a great idea to plan ahead with at least a book or three that will help you in the long run. These are the best publications I can recommend for your travel plans!
1. Packing Plans. Not exactly a book but more like a booklet of the best ways to pack as much as possible in a single backpack or crate. Can you fit enough clothes, medicine, food and other necessary items for a long trip in your backpack and have enough room for the well loved ghostkerchief rag doll you will never admit to owning? Yep, I thought so. Packing efficiently is a must for all that plan to travel a long distance from home and even those that are only just on day trips. You never know what kind of things are going to pop up along the way and having a little of everything goes a long way. Pick up Packing Plans and learn a skill that will go a long way.
2. How to Survive. The title pretty much says it all. No matter where you go, I'd recommend reading this book especially the chapters on basic survival and those relating to the area where you are headed. Need to know how to dig a temporary shelter out of snow on Terror Mountain because avalanches covered the path to Happy Valley? This is your book. Need to figure out which plants are good for a quick stew while wandering around the woody areas outside of Faerieland? This is your book. Maybe you plan to be going to Moltara; you know how hot and humid it can be but do you know how to keep your cool in the winding mines there? This book would definitely help you whether you're experienced or this may be your first long trip.
3. Gypsy Maps. Alright, this one might be a little difficult to find but it's definitely worth your while to read this one. (For those interested, visit Finneus at the Archive in Altador, who has kindly let me borrow his until I managed to find one of my own!) Before setting out, I'm sure you'll have everything planned out and everything scheduled. Well, have you thought that the bridge you plan to cross in Meridell might be in the middle of repair? Or maybe the path that you path you have marked down on your map (you do have one right?) is blocked because of that storm that passed over the Darigan Citadel knocked down some trees? This book might be helpful to at least skim since the best way to go might not always be printed on a map. Perhaps it might be in this book, better ways to get to your destination, or maybe a different scenery and people to see.
4. Gathering Food Effectively. A great book to have in your book stack that can even apply to every day life. Let's say you have a green apple and a half bitten apple. Which would you choose? Okay, that wasn't a very good example but sometimes the prettiest fruits aren't always the tastiest. I mean, I accidentally bought a bunch of vegetables, and made myself a sandwich with some lettuce, and the tomatoes looked fine but tasted awful! Needless to say lunch wasn't very good and I had to throw the sandwich and half-sliced lettuce and tomatoes in the compost heap. If I had remembered what I read in Gathering Food Effectively, I would have had a better lunch and saved my neopoints. Lesson learned!
5. History Textbook. It doesn't hurt to read books from school a second or even a third time. This textbook was one I remember reading as a young Zafara with the thirst for knowledge. It's a good start and covers various topics including the ordeal of Hannah and the Ice Caves, the Discovery of old Maraqua and what happened when with the terrible Monoceraptor and Tyrannia. Although it only touches briefly on the aforementioned topics among others, it's a good stepping stone for those that want to travel but aren't sure where to go.
6. There are Stars and Stuff Up There. No, it wasn't written in Altador, and was published after the plot in Altador was finished up. I'm sure it would've been a little helpful to those that were trying to figure out where the constellations were and if that was a really slow shooting star or was it the Virtupets satellite. There are times where you are on your own in the great wilderness of Neopia and your map isn't all that helpful and you have to rely on the stars and stuff. It's certainly helped me finding an unmarked settlement while traveling through the Lost Desert.
7. Phases of the Moon. This one I would recommend in addition to the one above for extra reading. No matter if you are going to Kiko Lake where the moon will make the night time underwater tour much more magical, or watching the moon rise in Shenkuu where this was written based on a wise old Gnorbu; this is an essential book to at least peruse. Maybe you don't think so but would you want to wander around the Haunted Woods looking for an old gypsy camp to bunk down in during a full moon? Yeah, Werelupes might be sniffing around and there's no point in getting a possible injury if it can be helped, right? Phases of the Moon is a good read and something to consider while planning a trip, long or short.
8. Encyclopedia Neopia. If you're still deciding where to go but you are sure you want to travel, maybe having a quick look in Encyclopedia Neopia would help with narrowing down your choice. More than once, I have flipped through the pages with my eyes closed and stopped on a page. And that's where I went. Admittedly, some of the places weren't all that interesting to my hobbies but I still went to them. It's also a good guide to learning about places you've already visited and maybe you may want to return for another visit. Despite its heavy weight, this encyclopedia has a lot of color and black and white drawings of different landmarks, people and famous sights.
9. Popular Destinations. If going through an encyclopedia doesn't seem all that fun (well, I think it is), Popular Destinations might be a better option. A colorful book with a lot of pictures, 'Sandra' as the author prefers to be known as, has lots of tips for the most visited places in Neopia. The beaches of Mystery Island are a well-loved place as well as the incredibly fun and bouncy Roo Island. If you're looking for someplace to visit that has a little more relaxing and upbeat flavor, consider reading Popular Destinations.
10. Summer Postcards. While these aren't books, when you're on a trip, you might want to let your friends know what you are up to. And maybe what they are missing while you are out of town! These postcards are already stamped and already written so all you have to do is sign your name and drop them in your nearest neomail box.
And there you have it, the best published works that have helped me with my own travel plans. Even if you aren't going to be heading out anytime soon, at least a couple of these could help with everyday life in Neopia. If you are curious to see what other books I'd recommend for traveling in the Lost Desert, please visit my gallery. Thank you!