Welcome to Harvey Flea!

Harvey Flea, our adventurer extraoridinaire

Harvey Flea, our adventurer extraoridinaire

This is the online home of Harvey Flea, the world’s first travel writer who is also a mosquito.   With humor, fun, and buckets of adventure, Harvey trots the globe.  Read  Harvey’s bio here.

Harvey also welcomes essays from his friends.  These include Grumpy Retired Travel Writer Lady, Yuri the gloomy Moldovan, and Archibald Chops.  For more information on the cast, see  Adventure Strike Team.

Minky NaFluss and the Linguistic Endeavor



Harvey Flea has transmitted a reader’s question to me, and although I have many important tasks to complete, I have agreed to take it on because Harvey’s niggling is annoying.

The question is as follows:

I will be in Italy next year, and I would really like to be able to speak the language. I don’t have a lot of money for classes. What tips do you have?

– Annabelle of New Brunswick

Dear Reader, I don’t see why you are worried about money. Language classes are not that expensive. Why, I was able to learn Ket with a private tutor for a mere 10000 Euros, which is equivalent to a little bit less than 15000 CAD. And Ket is much, much harder than Italian.

If you aren’t willing to invest in this endeavor, then perhaps it is really not that important to you. If you are satisfied with having no more than prego and Chef Boyardi in your repertoire because anything more ambitious would be too expensive, so be it. I won’t try to stop you, eh?

Yuri the Tax Expert – Have Debt, Can Travel

This paper is fake. I no have so many clients.

This paper is fake. I no have so many clients.

Harvey sent me question he received from travel fanatic. I am very humbled. Harvey said the question has to do with money, and since I am “tax expert” — those are exact words! — I should answer question.

Here is question:

Harvey, you say we should broaden our horizons by travelling, but I am on a budget! How can I travel without forking over tons of money?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         – Broke in Miami

First off, I want to say that is beautiful name, Broke. My cousin’s name is Brokel! Very similar! Ha ha. I love coincidences.

I used to be like you, Broke. I thought because I no have money, I can not travel. But that is sad. Life is short, and you must squeeze as much juice from life and make lots of lemonade so when you die, you still rot in ground, but your passport has stamps, and the acid from the lemonade makes smell less bad.

But I have no money! What do I do? I am accountant (or tax expert!) in poor country, so not too many people can pay me to fill out forms about money they not have. But then I have idea! Brilliant idea!

I do not need money to travel if I have debt! That is what credit card is for. Have debt, can travel!

Not just people do this. Many countries do this. They have debt, can travel! So Broke, you need to get credit card. And when credit card is full, you get another credit card. I have 12 credit cards.

There is another good thing. When credit card is full and you can not pay, happy people from bank call you to get your money. Not too many people call me, so it is nice to be able to talk with people, even if these people want money. It is still people. If you do not like to talk on phone, then there is solution too! You will want to be far away in place with no mobile phone signal, putting more money on credit card. Then happy bank people can not talk to you.

The more debt you have, the more you travel!

It is beautiful solution.





Grouchy Retired Travel Writer Lady Pops Pills

Grouchy Retired Travel Writer Lady

Arthritis! Where’s the Vicodin when you need it?

As a former professional travel writer (unlike you, Harvey), I frequently gets gobs of frequently asked questions. One of the most common is from amateur travelers who are understandably concerned about what to do if they get sick in a foreign country.

Understandably, my foot! What a bunch of wusses. One of the things that I liked most about traveling was getting sick. Why? Because when I got sick in foreign countries, I got to try all sorts of new drugs. Legally. Without a prescription. Foreign doctors tend to be cute too. (For more on that, click here.)

Go to Pakistan, you can get Valium over the counter. My doctor in Jersey would never prescribe me Valium. Ever.

Party pooper.

Go ahead! Drink the water.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a druggie, but part of experiencing an authentic travel experience is also taking part in the local drug culture. I think they call it ethnopharmacology or some crap like that. I wanted to write about it back when I had a job, but my wuss of an editor said the readers would get upset if I wrote about chewing coca leaves in Bolivia. “I don’t care if you did that for altitude sickness,” he said. “There’s an direct relationship between the number of coca leaves you write about and the number of old lady subscribers who will boycott my paper.” I think he even had some graphs and spreadsheets to prove it, so I spilled my coffee on them to make his day.

Speaking of coffee, isn’t that a drug too? How come I could blather on about Jamaican brew but not about over-the-counter Valium?

So anyway, what was the question again? Something about what to do if you get sick in a foreign country. My advice is to take advantage. Go to the pharmacy or wherever they sell meds and find whatever you can’t usually get your hands on. Then pack it in a box and mail it to Constance Penderstein, P.O. Box…

Note from the editor (that’s me, Harvey Flea!): Thanks, Constance, for sending in your piece about six months late. It is the policy of HarveyFlea.com not to allow personal addresses on the website.

Note part deux from the editor (Harvey Flea again!): Unless it is to send fine chocolates from Switzerland. Then we may make some exceptions.

Harvey Flea and the Trusty Travel Bug


harvey-header1In this issue, I am going to discuss the travel bug.

Not the good kind of travel bug, the kind that takes over when you just have to pack a bag and travel somewhere else, even if that else is just down the street.

Rather I am going to talk about that other travel bug. The one related to Montezuma and his revenge tactics.

This is an important issue. Not just because my tum-tum is a wee bit delicate at times. But because the impulse to vomir (etc.) while on vacation doesn’t fit well with postcard expectations of our loved ones back home. However, it is something we travelers can manipulate to our advantage.

You see, dealing with those we left behind requires a delicate balance: We need to provoke just enough jealousy so our trip seems worth it, but not so much jealousy that they never give us a Christmas gift again. It is an incredibly difficult balance to achieve. Even I, a world-class traveler, have trouble arriving at perfection.

The Swiss like their cows.

The Swiss like their cows.

Sufficient amounts of time communing with the toilet can tip the balance in our favor. If the traveler’s awe-inspiring photos of the Alps make your mother-in-law seethe with envy, the traveler should groan slightly and point out that the stomach problems haven’t quite ceased yet. And it was too bad that the beleaguered traveler couldn’t make it to the artisan shop to buy Swiss cows. Such a shame. Maybe next time?

toilet-in-switzerland3I make it a point to always eat something that doesn’t quite sit well with me. Confession: I sometimes cheat and wait till I get on the return flight. That guarantees two things: I WILL get sick, and I won’t ruin my trip to the Alps.

Yuri Takes On Errant Decimal Places

Do you have error in decimal place? Aha! I arrest you.

Do you have error in decimal place? Aha! I arrest you.

“Accounting is a scintillating career. Accounting is hot, hot, hot. Accounting lets me travel the whole world uncovering incorrect decimal places.

Accounting is the next big thing.”

I am listening to self-help tapes. These tapes are for accountants, to help accountants improve our – what tape calls it? – self-esteem.

These tapes try to make me believe accountants are like 007. The only difference is 007 has dangerous gun. Accountant has even more dangerous calculator.

And spreadsheet. Please not to forget the spreadsheet.

I am listening to these tapes, even though people laugh and say, “Walkman!? You have Walkman!? Ha ha ha!” because I need “to be galvanized”. *

And accounting. It is very, very “intoxicating.”

But maybe not so much in Moldova. I am living in Moldova, and here, accounting maybe not so exciting, because there is not much to account. We people in Moldova, we no have too much money to count. So accounting has many zeros.

This makes me hungry, because zero looks like doughnut.

We have delicious doughnut made with potato in Moldova. Nice. Round. Like zero.

So I will learn new accounting “savvy.”  The tape calls skills “savvy” because it is exciting, savvy is. Skills, not so much, apparently.

I want to be “international accountant”. Yes, international accountant, because then I travel. And I already know many, many things about international accounting. I did taxes for pretty stewardesses in airport in America.

And my English is almost very good. (Harvey wants me to study the English articles. I will study the English articles.)

Maybe I can be “forensic accountant” too. “International and forensic accountant.” I catch bad criminals all over world with dangerous spreadsheet and dangerous calculator. And very, very dangerous pencil. (Several pencil. I need several pencil.)

Calculating James Bond

Aha! 007 is accountant too.

I catch so many bad criminals, they call me “International 007” accountant. Or “International .007” accountant. I put decimal because I am not just Bond, but Accountant Bond.

So, yes. I will be world-famous accountant of .007 and international accounting. Are you criminal? Are you hiding decimal places? Are you scared? You should be scared. I will find you. I will drag you to Moldova. You will rot and die in Moldova jail.

But is not so bad. I will give you potato doughnut. And fun spreadsheet to read.

Because spreadsheets, they are “electrifying.” Like 007.

* Tape is very useful. I have recorded self-help information from computer because tapes, they are easy to carry. The computer, it not so easy to carry. And the cable for plugging to wall, is not too long.