‘White guy for rent’ and other cases of accidental celebrity

The novelty of being a foreigner can lead to unexpected job opportunities, as this article in The Atlantic explains: Rent a white guy. The shady nature of the job and over-the-top pay could be a symptom of a bubble economy, reminiscent of 90’s Japan. Or at least racial stereotyping. CNN did a similar story, along with a video of interviews: Chinese companies ‘rent’ white foreigners.

Why do Chinese companies rent white guys?  The … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | July 23, 2010
Category: Asia, Expat Life, Notes from the collective travel mind

Being open to possibility

After 12 days of traveling, I am back home from exploring Thailand. While the surety and comfort of staying in luxury rooms and participating in organized tours isn’t the typical life of a vagabonder, one of the best parts of the trip wasn’t on the itinerary.

Late one morning after rising with the dawn and biking to a couple of different markets, our small group happened upon a handful of farmers in one of hundreds … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | July 22, 2010
Category: Asia, Images from the road, Lifestyle Design

How has travel influenced your politics?

Now…although most folks I talk to say that travel has made them more liberal, I don’t know if there’s a cause-and-effect relationship between travel and political views. However, while reading this interview with 30 year-old Jake Towne, the local third-party Libertarian/Tea Party congressional candidate here in Allentown, PA, I couldn’t help but notice his travel experience.

Clicking over to Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | July 21, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Lonely Planet releases American road trip itineraries

Lonely Planet has been releasing a free roadtrip itinerary each week, from its new title USA’s Best Trips: 99 Themed Itineraries Across America, due out in September.

The itineraries are available in .PDF form until the end of August (Labor Day to Americans).  If you’re in the States and want to test their road trip savvy, give it a go!

(Just as an aside: I actually trusted Lonely Planet more than I’d thought, until … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | July 20, 2010
Category: General, North America, On The Road, Vagabonding Advice

Pueblo Inglés

Pueblo Inglés

Want to spend a week in Madrid with all accommodation, meals, and wine provided free for 7 days? That’s what they are promising over at Pueblo Inglés. All they ask in exchange is that you be a native English speaker, and that you come prepared to help animate a crash course in English immersion.

Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | July 19, 2010
Category: Europe, Volunteering Abroad

Lawrence Wright on the pleasure of reading on trains

“I don’t know why it is so much more pleasurable to read a book on a train coach than in an armchair at home. There must be a parallel between one’s life and one’s book, each of them pleasingly held in suspense as they roll through possibilities. The be in that parenthetical state between Point A and Point B, and Chapter One and The End, is to be in a state of hammocky contentment, and … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | July 19, 2010
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Pay a visit back home, or plan another trip?

We all know what it feels like to have the travel bug – to begin planning your next trip on the way home from the one you’re on (if you can even wait that long). Most of the time, planning a new adventure brings feelings of happiness – but sometimes that travel bug, the need to get out there and see the world, causes a bit of anxiety and heartache, too.

BootsnAll member Wild … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | July 17, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Travel Wishes

Aruban rock stacksWe’ve all wished for travel: to be able to take the time off, to afford that time off, and sometimes, that we spent more time in a particular location. But have you traveled to a destination to wish for something?

Well-known wishing customs include throwing a coin into the Fountain of Trevi in Rome (which inspired the film Three Coins in the Fountain) and leaving … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | July 16, 2010
Category: Languages and Culture

Specialists hunt for exotic building materials around the world

As more people travel, they want to bring home the experience by “globalizing” their houses. To help, they hire special contractors who scour the world for rare and exotic building materials. In this New York Times article, they come off as a blend of Indiana Jones and Philippe Starck:

Trophy hunters with their eye on interiors

Also be sure to check out the great accompanying slideshow: Searching the globe for authentic materials.

How … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | July 16, 2010
Category: Expat Life, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Bargains