A blog can push you forward

dark glasses

I like to criticize technology’s effects on travel — how it can shut us off from both sight and sound, turn soul-searching into wi-fi searching, and funnel hours of exploration into the confines of a monitor. But today, the man in dark glasses reminded me how blogging can push you further into the analog world.

A few … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | March 31, 2010
Category: Images from the road, Notes from the collective travel mind, On The Road, Travel Writing

Review: SteriPEN UV purifier eliminates the need for bottled water

ster1Clean water is one of the major issues facing the developing world. As outsiders, vagabonds typically rely on bottled water in such areas, but plastic water bottles are a major contributor to disturbing things such as the Pacific’s trash island, to say nothing of the strain they put on local landfills.

The far better option … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (9)  | March 30, 2010
Category: Food and Drink, Travel Gear, Travel Health, Travel Tech

Profiles of vagabonders

The wonderful website Traveling For The Young, Fabulous, and Broke has an article entitled “The Motivation for Long Term Travel.” This interview series profiles 11 long-term travelers, and is packed full of useful, inspirational, or interesting links.

The most interesting part for me was the inclusion of children in this vagabonding lifestyle; when I was a kid, I was a kid with a single mom, and all my other friends were kids with … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | March 30, 2010
Category: Family Travel, Female Travelers, General

Morocco: That looks good; what is that?


Ever find yourself wandering the local food stalls while you’re traveling and catching a whiff of something delicious? Perhaps you stand, drooling and hypnotized, gawking at, well…who knows what exactly? Do you ever find yourself eying the local cuisine and thinking, “Hmm, that looks good; what is that?”

One great part of travel is the experience of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (8)  | March 29, 2010
Category: Africa, Food and Drink

Some brief tips on making the transition to teacher-expat life in Korea

Not long ago I heard from a reader named Zach, who was newly married and headed to Seoul to teach English with his wife. He asked me for advice on how to make the transition to expat-teacher life in Korea. Since it’s been 12 years now since I’ve lived in Korea, my advice to him was brief and itemized:

Find a language institute that is well-liked, where the teachers are happy (you can check around … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | March 29, 2010
Category: Expat Life, Vagabonding Advice, Vagabonding Life

A suitcase full of souvenirs… or not

Threading WomanWe all have different souvenir styles. Some focus on shot glasses, others on local crafts, and some folks shop for home electronics or clothing while on vacation. There are travelers who prefer unconventional mementos, like recorded music, rubbings, or even words. And plenty of people follow the advice: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

My souvenir preferences have changed considerably over the years. When … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (10)  | March 26, 2010
Category: Ethical Travel, Languages and Culture

Culture clashes when working in China

More expats are moving to China, attracted by business opportunities and hopes of advancing their careers. However, working with the locals can be tricky, as illustrated by this New York Times article: For American workers in China, a culture clash.

The Chinese have a saying that captures this challenge neatly: “same bed, different dreams.”  Western expats might have goals like accessing a new market and increasing profits. Their Chinese colleagues, on the other hand, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | March 26, 2010
Category: Asia, Expat Life, Working Abroad

A difficulty in repeated long-term travel

Wing over Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

Stability and control: that’s the role of an aircraft spoiler. As your jet prepares to land, the spoiler may rise to decrease lift, increasing the rate at which the aircraft descends or slowing the speed of the aircraft down. The Wright brothers would have been … Read more »

The Lunatic Express

Lunatic_ExpressCover_250Carl Hoffman’s latest book, ‘The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World via its most dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes‘ was the perfect reading companion during my recent trip to Haiti. As I followed Carl on a bus through the Andes to Puerto Maldonado, or a train from Kenya to Uganda, or a ferry through Bangladesh, I myself was commuting … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | March 25, 2010
Category: Adventure Travel, Travel Writing