HelpX – Volunteer to help out

I found out about this cool service from the Journeywoman newsletter, which is also worth subscribing to for their cool tips and occasional nuggets of usefulness for the permanent traveler (although it’s geared more towards vacation travelers).

HelpX describes themselves as “an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | June 30, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Only firsthand experience can validate or challenge our intuitions

“Saint Augustine declared that “the world is a book, and those who have not traveled have read only one page.” Only firsthand experience can validate or challenge our intuitions, giving us confidence about risky political decisions in a complex world of instant feedback loops and unintended consequences. During travel, perception and thought merge; a contradiction can emerge as a truth to be revealed, not some exception to be disproved. Such ambiguity is the corollary of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (8)  | June 29, 2009
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

New legislation to encourage study abroad

Good news for student vagabonders hoping to make that leap abroad. This Matador pulse article, 1% of American students study abroad, introduces the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act.  If it gets signed into law, it could enable more students to take that first step overseas. Here’s the official website.

Some of the biggest obstacles are getting financial aid and the bureaucratic nightmare of making … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | June 26, 2009
Category: Travel News

5 Tips for self-studying a foreign language

In a previous post here at Vagablogging, I wrote about what tools you can use to self-study a language. While your choice of tools will determine the success of your program, your approach to studying can make the learning process easier and more enriching. Here are some things you should keep in mind while you’re studying on your own:

Learn everyday. You don’t necessarily have to take on a full-blown lesson each day, but … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (9)  | June 25, 2009
Category: General

Book Review (and Giveaway!): Lost on Planet China

With factories belching and spewing pollution, benzene plants exploding and contaminating rivers, J. Maarten Troost presents a vivid description of the environmental peril in modern day China in Lost on Planet China: One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation. Of course, Troost (author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (9)  | June 25, 2009
Category: General, Travel Writing

How much will that pillow cost you? A guide to airline fees

As if the basic idea of being in a thin, metal tube 35,000 feet above the earth wasn’t enough, the airlines seem to have gone out of their way to make flying about as miserable as possible.

To add insult to injury, flying these days means your wallet suffers a slow death by paper cuts — seemingly everything in, on and around an airplane … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | June 23, 2009
Category: General

Ouch My Eye Gallery Call for Artists

If you’re an artistic person and would like to participate in an art experiment long distance, consider answering Seattle gallery Ouch My Eye’s “Call for Artists”.  They’re seeking art by mail, between July 4 and July 18, 2009 — absolutely anything you send will be displayed.  What a perfect art project for the vagabonding lifestyle!  Be part of an art opening without having to carry a delicate painting across the country!  It doesn’t say … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Ouch My Eye Gallery Call for Artists  | June 23, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Some brief advice on accessing your money from the road

An LA-based reader named Jon recently emailed me with a question about access to money on the road. “I plan to vagabond around the world for an undetermined length of time,” he wrote. “I want to avoid ATM fees, charges on currency exchanges, and inflated exchange rates. Are there institutions that offer sensible banking solutions for the vagabonder? Where would I look for the cheapest ways to access my income?”

This is what I told … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | June 22, 2009
Category: Vagabonding Advice

Can we find work easily along the way?

There are typically two schools of thought when it comes to taking long trips – either people save up enough money to just go and do the kind of trip they want and home when the money runs out, or people plan to work along the way to support an even longer trip than they could have afforded by savings alone. There’s not really a right or wrong answer to the question of which one … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | June 20, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind