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American Stopover: My memories of hitting the road alone as a teenager in the 1970s

Greg Girard recalls his younger days Asia-bound on America’s west coast – the subject of his latest photobook In the 1970s and early 1980s every trip to Asia started in California. Whether flying, or travelling by Greyhound down the coast from Canada, the journey only truly began once you arrived in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
The first departure was by Philippine freighter, from San Francisco, 18 days across the Pacific to Hong Kong. The ship was on its final voyage. The last of the pre-containerised, general cargo ships. Later trips were by air, usually on discounted, one-way tickets via Korean or China Airlines.
A typical itinerary would look something like: SFO-LAX-HNL-TYO-SEL-TPE-HKG-BKK. At that time an air ticket was a physical thing, composed of multiple coupons, one for each sector.

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