Michael Palin and his world travels

Today I stumbled upon Monty Python comedian Michael Palin’s travel website, and other than the sheer amount of travel (and travel shows) he has done, I was extremely impressed with its content as it dissects every one of his long trips around the world.

He did 7 big journeys (80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe) and you can read the entire book of each journey as … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Michael Palin and his world travels  | August 26, 2008
Category: Travel News

Dealing with privacy on the road

One of the hardest parts about being a constant traveler is the lack of privacy that tends to naturally entail.  Especially if you enjoy homestays, hostels, couchsurfing, communal living (as in WWOOFing) or anything similar — all popular money-saving devices amongst long-term travelers — your times alone may be few and far between.

Dealing with constant interaction on the road, particularly of the “How are you?  Where are you from?” repetitive nature, can be … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Dealing with privacy on the road  | August 25, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Travel takes us out of our class context

“Not only does a journey transport us over enormous distances, it also causes us to move a few degrees up or down in the social scale. It displaces us physically and also — for better or worse — takes us out of our class context, so that the color and flavor of certain places cannot de dissociated from the always unexpected social level on which we find ourselves in experiencing them.” –Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | August 25, 2008
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Don’t be caught out by the lesser illnesses

Linked to my previous entry, relating to safety while travelling, my current head cold and runny nose has me holed up in my bedroom, craving sleep, but pondering health abroad.

As with most topics involving travelling, for the most part keeping healthy is down to common sense. Get your jabs, eat cooked-through food, keep clean – you know the sort of thing. Although diseases such as malaria get the top billing when it comes to … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 24, 2008
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

A world through Chinese eyes

As ever, and with good reason, the state of our world and how we destroy it is high on the international agenda.

The Bird’s Nest strikes me as somewhat of an oxymoron in a city that is plagued by a dense smog; a symbol of recreation and nature in a home of industrial fervour. The eyes of the world are trained on Beijing as it celebrates fitness and health in … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 23, 2008
Category: General

Communicating with the locals using the universal language of music

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Human emotions bursting from unfamiliar instruments and unknown words flowing forth with passion. An unknown language but still the music speaks and everything is innately understood. Tap your toes and feel the beat throughout your body as the music consumes you and you become the place you are … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 22, 2008
Category: General

Are danger zones the last frontier?

One of the most frustrating things I hear on the road is when veteran travelers tell me, “Oh, this place was so much better 10 years ago.” Or 20 years ago, whenever. It’s like they want to make me feel that I arrived too late and they already grabbed all the cool local experiences for themselves.

About the only “untouched” places left are the countries on State Department watch lists.  Those are the places that … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | August 22, 2008
Category: General

Seeking out peculiar travel suggestions

Many travelers love quoting (or misquoting) Kurt Vonnegut’s line about how peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God. In a way, the urge to arrive at an unusual destination or to embark on an unlikely journey is similar to dancing lessons. You’re not sure about your steps at first, but if you flow with the music, everything just falls into place.

For some … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | August 21, 2008
Category: General