The wish to travel is characteristically human

“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown, the bear witness to the consequences, tragic or comic, of people possessed by the narcissism of minor differences. Chekhov said, “If you’re afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.” I would say, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | May 30, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Just because you’ve left home doesn’t mean you’ve left home

“Sun, sea and snow have each become a commodity. This turns travelers by default into consumers of climates and landscapes where they can disport themselves on tame terrain, chattering the while with their mates back home on mobile phones. Horace famously put his finger on the hidden dynamic here: Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt. Different landscape but the same dreary habits of thought.” –James Hamilton-Paterson, “The End of Travel,” Granta #94 (2006)

Posted by | Comments (1)  | May 30, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

The ‘no-vacation nation’

The academic schedule is like a shell game.  For all of our school years, we get used to having summers off.  Then once we start working, those glorious three months get cut down to two weeks. For those of us who live in the United States, that is.

Every once in a while, the media will tackle this question.  The latest entry was this CNN report: Why is America the ‘no vacation nation’? Despite … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (13)  | May 27, 2011
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Unusual packing items

Vagabonders can be masters of packing methods, as well as knowing which items are absolutely necessary and which can be left behind. Recently, a Lifehacker article (Unusual Items Worth Packing on your Next Vacation) suggests some additional things to consider stashing in your bag before your next big trip.

Some of the items are somewhat old-hat, such as keeping a color copy of your … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | May 26, 2011
Category: Travel Gear

Inspiring places around the globe

Perusing the Lonely Planet website recently, I was drawn to this April article of Top 10 Cities for Artistic Inspiration. Travel can inspire us on a multitude of levels. It can inspire us to move somewhere new, embark on a new career or educational path, to write a novel or memoir, or even to produce other creative works. Great vagabonding voices like Jack Kerouac created some of their most beautiful works from the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | May 25, 2011
Category: Destinations

The goal of travel is to return transformed

“It may sound naive, but when you enter a cross-cultural situation, you are by definition an ambassador for your culture. Decency and pride dictate that we present ourselves well, with respect and integrity. Think of every such cultural encounter as a reciprocal obligation. If you make a promise to return to a village, to send a photograph, keep it. Always leave behind more than you bring away, give more than you take. Whether we travel … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | May 23, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Weekly RTW Inspiration and Information: Round the World Wednesday

Some travelers may pick a destination from a list, plan a week-long trip there, and move on to the next spot. The planning for such a vacation can be done quickly, including any last-minute prep you might feel like doing on the plane. Long-term travelers, on the other hand, tend to take longer to plan out their trips – these are, after all, epic journeys of several months to several years, so it only makes … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | May 21, 2011
Category: General

The art of unplugging for a trip

In my last couple of blog posts, I waxed poetic about the life of a digital nomad. As a counterpoint, here’s a fine article that appeared in the Orange-County Register: Digital detox for a trip to Italy. Gary Warner, the newspaper’s travel editor, decided to cut off the electronic umbilical cord for an entire vacation. With today’s gadgets and social networks, many of us have become … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (9)  | May 20, 2011
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Tech