How much money did you have left when your RTW trip was over?

As we noted in this month’s post about the RTW ticket deals for November, one aspect of planning for a RTW trip that people often forget about is planning for the re-entry – in other words, preparing yourself for a return to life at home after your trip is done. This month’s RTW Ticket Watch newsletter is full of tips and advice on coming back home after traveling long-term – and this question … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | November 20, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Additions to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list

You might be familiar with UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, or the organization’s World Heritage in Danger list. Did you know that there’s also a Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

This week, UNESCO added 47 elements to the existing list of 166, making a new total of 213 inscribed elements in the intangible list. What’s intangible heritage? … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Additions to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list  | November 19, 2010
Category: Destinations, Languages and Culture, Travel News

Credit cards without foreign-exchange fees

They’re the bane of long-term vagabonders: those irritating fees for foreign currencies and doing transactions while abroad. Hitting up an ATM or paying with a credit card can trigger charges you may not have expected. This can smear the memory of a great trip.

The New York Times Bucks blog had a post about 3 Credit Cards without Transaction Fees. For more great tips, check out the reader comments to see what other people … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 19, 2010
Category: Expat Life, Money Management, Travel News

The thrill of international competition

You don’t have to be a star athlete to experience the thrills of competition on the world stage. Some of my best travel memories have been made at the foosball table.

The endorphin rush of sports in combination with the similar neurostimulation of travel is delicious.

You don’t need a uniform, contract, nor sponsor. Pickup soccer on the beach or in the plaza, cricket on the banks of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on The thrill of international competition  | November 18, 2010
Category: On The Road

Debunking The Myth of ‘Authentic’ Travel

It’s a traveler’s biggest letdown — scaffolding covering the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, giant construction cranes obscuring the skyline of the Pyramids or children in remote villages wearing Brittany Spears t-shirts.

We’ve all had moments like that, moments where we felt somehow cheated, like our experience was not “authentic” enough. But in fact, those are the most authentic moments you’ll find. Moments where you are forced to concede that the world is not the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | November 16, 2010
Category: Simplicity, Vagabonding Advice

Book review: On The Couch

Fleur Britten’s “On The Couch” is the first travel memoir about couchsurfing I’ve seen; this doesn’t mean there aren’t any others, naturally, but it does mean that I picked it off the library shelf with a surge of excitement.  “Ooh!” I thought to myself.  “This is gonna be good!”

I was, unfortunately, wrong.

Couchsurfing is a practice that … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Book review: On The Couch  | November 16, 2010
Category: Female Travelers, General, Hospitality, Solo Travel, Travel Writing

Going to the doctor abroad

Going to the doctors in another country is always an interesting experience. We can find great similarities and parallels between visiting cafés or riding public transportation in America and Europe, or between grocery stores in the US and Japan, but going to the doctor always seems to remind you that you are in a foreign country and … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | November 15, 2010
Category: On The Road, Travel Health

Live the questions now

You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | November 15, 2010
Category: Travel Quote of the Day