Until lately I liked to think that, as a seasoned traveler, my days of cultural misunderstandings were a thing of the past.After all, I’m clever enough to call it the “loo” when asking a London waiter for the washroom, brave enough to use my elbows like every other shopper in a crowded German department store and patient enough to accept that everything moves a little slower during a Spanish afternoon.
In case you haven’t been following along, my cousin Sam and his friend Peter have completed their motorcycling trip from Cairo to Cape Town, arriving in the South Africa coastal city this week.Though they were well-prepared, I get the feeling that the trip was even more challenging than the guys expected.
Please note: this is a sponsored post.One of the best parts about traveling is the opportunity to push your comfort zone.You travel to discover new cultures and ideas, but, as you go, you’ll also unearth unknown aspects of yourself: things you didn’t know you were capable of (like stomaching that scorpion soup) or that you didn’t know you’d love (like the whip of brambles on your legs as you explore a verdant rainforest.
I applied for a press pass to visit the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in February 2008.Seven months later, I was notified I’d been approved for a visit, one of the only journalists to visit the Joint Task Force portion of the base this year. JTF is the part of the base where detainees in the US’s War on Terror are being held.
There’s no shortage of travelogues penned by restless travelers on journeys they hope will help them resolve a midlife crisis.A few that immediately come to mind? Rosemary Mahoney’s Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, and John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.
There are scholarships for travel writers.There are scholarships for travel photographers.And finally, thanks in part to Matador member Craig Martin, there’s a scholarship for travel podcasters!Craig, host of Indie Travel Podcast, has partnered with World Nomads and Global Vision International to offer emerging podcasters the opportunity to travel to Guatemala… for free.
Feature photo by Christopher Chan. Photo above by shimonkey.It’s possible to learn about life from something as simple as waiting at the airport.How many times have I done this – 30, 40, or even 50 times?It is simple, isn’t it? I wheel my bags to the airline ticket counter, show my ID to the agent, say goodbye to my friends and family, pass through security, find my gate, and away I go.
Photo: diongillardHe who owns the medium controls the messageLiberal and conservative forces in South Korea are jockeying in parliament, on the streets, and inside newsrooms in an impassioned battle that could determine the future face of news in the nation. At stake are controlling positions in the boardrooms of influential broadcasters like MBC and KBS, and perhaps the political freedom of Korean journalism.
Having a digital voice recorder within easy reach while traveling is becoming more and more essential. By capturing audio moments that may otherwise have remained unmemorable, you enhance your overall travel experience.For travel journalists – professional and amateur alike – a voice recorder is a worthwile investment.
Obesity and other ailments are no match against Swami Ramdev.Worried about diabetes? Having digestive disturbances? Diagnosed with a Musculoskeletal Disorder? Baba Ramdev has got the answer for literally whatever ails you: yoga.All in all, Rajshri.com provides 48 videos on Youtube of Swami Ramdev’s Yoga, who I’ve decided to rename, “Crazy Yoga Guy.
Photo: gomattolsonAlmost everyone jumps at the idea of city views from tall buildings. Here are some of the world’s best.The Sears Tower, ChicagoWhile the Sears Tower is not a building renowned for its beauty, the SkyDeck on the 103rd floor (412 meters) looks out over one of the United States’ most beautiful cities and, on a clear day, as far as 50 miles across Illinois and Lake Michigan into Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Being a history geek, I usually buy at least two books when traveling somewhere new.I need a travel book for getting around and a history book to help me understand what I see. Your average backpacker book provides some historical and cultural explanation.However, the balance of hostel details compared to location background information never sits right with me.
Please note: This is a sponsored post.For me, luxury travel usually means little more than clean sheets, hot water and black coffee in the morning. Camping on a beach or staying with local villagers makes me just as happy as sipping a cocktail next to an elegantly landscaped plunge pool.But even though vagabonding travelers like me have been known to sneer at expensive luxury resorts and dismiss their pampered guests as out of touch with reality, I recognize that the luxury travel experience, done well, can be a beautiful thing.
Feature Photo: L’osservatore Photo: Sir Sabbhat“We’re more isolated from the world than ever,” wrote my Mexican partner in an email this morning. “Over 300 people were shut off inside a hotel in Hong Kong just for being in contact with a Mexican, and Japan has suspended the visa exemption for Mexicans.
I began writing because I was a horribly shy, introverted child. It was a way to get my thoughts out of my head without having to endure the hideous ordeal of leaving my room and talking to an actual person.Photo: authorBut like any discipline that we approach with dedication—be it meditation, carpentry, cross-country skiing, or bee-keeping—writing has a funny way of teaching us just what we need to know.
Feature photo by Hazel Motes.Certain travel lessons can be gleaned from the philosophy of Tyler Durden.Most of us have seen the movie Fight Club. When it hit theaters in 1999 with an unbelievably carved Brad Pitt and ingeniously beleaguered Ed Norton, author Chuck Palahniuk found himself with a giant, rabid, new fan base dedicated to Tyler Durden and his philosophy.
It’s a glorious blue-sky spring morning here in Vermont, time for me to round up the most inspiring, most entertaining and most informative links from around the web.The collapse of the cheap oil economy demands action. James Howard Kunstler offers 10 ways to prepare for a post oil society.350 parts per million is the red line for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – any more than that and we’re all in serious trouble.
So we’ve been recommending you buy the smallest, ultra-lightweight, most durable, super portable travel laptop to carry with you while on the road.Well….as you scale down the physical size of a laptop, the design of its navigation touchpad is proportionally scaled down. So the smaller the laptop, the smaller (and more sensitive) the touchpad becomes.
Tired of hunting down mailboxes and checking on postage prices when you should be out exploring? Now with goPostal, you can send a personalized postcard directly from your iPhone or iTouch.The goPostal app, a free download from the iPhone App Store, allows you to select a photo from your library or snap one on the spot, write a personal message, choose a recipient, and send.
Is your wallet stuffed to the point of bursting? Time to go minimalist, and help the environment while you’re at it.The Jimi wallet is small and slender, making it an easy front pocket fit. The cardholder takes four cards while the money clip holds one card and a bill, and slides out if you want to go even more minimal.