Disaster relief volunteer needs continue long afterwards

PaintersIn the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, one thing is certain: Help is always needed. For vagabonders who are drawn to giving back to the global community, especially when times are tough, this offers a wide variety of ways to get closer to a culture. But what happens when the media coverage dies down and attention moves on to the next big thing?

While emergency needs … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 30, 2009
Category: General

It’s not that dangerous . . .

With all the bad news from the media, positive trends don’t get that much coverage. It’s easy to find news about where not to go. But how about an update? What often goes unnoticed is when dangerous places get safer.

Forbes Traveler had an article called Not-So-Dangerous Destinations. It goes in the opposite direction by trying to champion emerging spots for more daring travelers. The attached slideshow was a well of inspiration. I … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 30, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel News

Cultivating wonder on a city curb

Khao San Road

Khao San Road (Bangkok, Thailand)

There are many places in the world where I’d happily sit, at two o’clock in the morning, on a dirty curb, watching urban nightlife take its course. One such place is Thailand’s Khao San Road.

Khao San (sometimes spelled Khao Sarn) is a 500-meter stretch of asphalt … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | October 29, 2009
Category: Images from the road

A bird’s eye view

As soon as I’ve returned from a trip, I’m usually imagining where to go next. One of the first tools that I use in researching a destination is Google Maps.

Even the best guidebooks can’t give you the level of detail and overall geography that is made possible through worldwide satellite data. This view of Sayulita, Mexico clearly shows the triangular plaza in the center of town which appeared in the hand-drawn scribble from the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 29, 2009
Category: Vagabonding Advice

Get captured by a fort city

No matter which continent they’re on, fort cities will pour a cauldron of boiling wonder over your head.

Fort cities are built on prime real estate–land that someone really, really wanted to hold onto. Whether the city proper is surrounded by walls or huddled at the foot of a fortress, there’s likely to be winding alleyways and an ancient market. You’ll find the old, tight neighborhoods of families … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (8)  | October 28, 2009
Category: General, Vagabonding Advice

Why fear should never hold us back from travel

fearkhBrave New Traveler, one of the sites in the Matador Network, recently posted an essay on fear, specifically, on how fear can hold us back from our travels. In the piece, “Fear and Loathing: How Risk of Injury Can Inhibit Travel Plans,” the author writes that after she was badly injured in a bike accident, she worried that she would be too afraid to venture far … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | October 28, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Vagabonding Advice

Atlas Obscura: Go to weird places

Do you like going to new exciting places, weird locations, and curious locales?  Are you not in America, so Roadside America just won’t do it for you anymore?  Do you have a touch of the Jules-Verne-I’d-like-to-see-the-world-in-a-balloon about you?

Try looking to Atlas Obscura for inspiration and amazement.  THRILL to the sights of the Sati Handprints.  MARVEL at Catherine de Medici’s secret medicine cabinet.  And MAKE A LIST by continent of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | October 27, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Measure travel inwards

“Measure travel inwards” is a quote by Henry David Thereau. I came across these three simple words several years ago and, taking them quite literally, they quickly became a sort of talisman to my personal travel style. One should never cheapen the thrill of seeing a place that they have until then only dreamed of but, to me, travel also follows a strong internal road and allows us to map to very the center of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | October 26, 2009
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

The latest reader feedback on Vagabonding

One of the coolest things about writing a book is hearing back from the folks who read it and took its message to heart. Based on recent reader emails, here are some reasons why people are finding Vagabonding useful and inspiring:

To spark a personal urge to drop it all and hit the road

“Read Vagabonding. Quitting my dreamless job as a mail carrier, finding new homes for my dogs, renting out my house, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 26, 2009
Category: Feedback

Paying for things on the road

The NY Times Practical Traveler blog had an interesting article called For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad. It brings back a lot of memories of having trouble paying for stuff abroad that we’ve all had: broken ATMs, credit cards that didn’t work, etc. The readers’ comments are well worth a read for the anecdotes about problems like these.

This is definitely a wake-up to check your credit cards, though. So far I haven’t … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | October 23, 2009
Category: Vagabonding Advice